Whenever I travel to France, I seek out excuses to go into the "green cross" pharmacies that beckon on just about every block, their shelves lined with chic but simply packaged products from brands that are so very French: Klorane, La Roche-Posay, and Avène, to name a few.
The brand that has recently seduced me is Vichy Laboratories - partly because I love the products, but also because I love a brand with a great history, which Vichy has. Lucky for you, the products are easy to find stateside, but to really appreciate them, you'll want to take a virtual visit to France.
I recently traveled to Vichy on a trip with the brand and went in with a skeptical attitude toward this magical water. But after experiencing the thermal springs up close and learning about the process used to create the products, I became a genuine fan.
Vichy, France, is a sleepy town in the center of the country, and since the 17th century, it has attracted visitors from all of Europe to its healing thermal hot springs. For centuries, people have come to soak in pools filled with Vichy mineralizing water, which originates in the volcanic region of Auvergne. Under Napoleon III, Vichy became the first spa resort in Europe.
Vichy mineralizing water contains 15 minerals and is an ingredient in every single one of the line's quenching skin care products. The brand was founded in 1931 by a doctor who observed that Vichy mineralizing water had scar-healing benefits on his patients. Today, doctors in Vichy, France, can "prescribe" the water as treatment for their patients, who visit the so-called Hall of Sources to drink water from various local springs. I had a chance to visit the Hall and drink the Vichy Kool-Aid waters; some of the water really does taste like medicine (aka a sulfur punch in the mouth) while other springs produce water that's refreshing in the traditional sense.
Whether you buy into the idea of "healing water" or not doesn't really matter. The skin-quenching properties of the products are obvious when you use them. Here are seven of the Vichy products I recommend and why.
Travel and expenses for the author were provided by Vichy Laboratories for the purpose of writing this story.