ElenaMilano asks…Vichy has created a much publicized rhamnose based anti aging line, called Liftactiv. They claim rhamnose is a very important patented discovery and that it stimulates the papillary dermis, causing it to produce new skin cells, collagen etc. Is it true or is it the usual marketing ruse?
The Left Brain responds:
Vichy, for those who may not be familiar with the brand, is the self-proclaimed ”number 1 skincare brand in European pharmacies.” Vichy is also owned by L’Oreal so they have access to deep pockets for R&D spending.
Liftactiv day cream
According to Vichy’s website, there are 13 Liftactiv products, 3 of which contain 5% Rhamnose. Here are ingredients for the day cream:
BUTYROSPERMUM PARKII BUTTER / SHEA BUTTER • RHAMNOSE • PRUNUS ARMENIACA KERNEL OIL / APRICOT KERNEL OIL • PENTAERYTHRITYL TETRAETHYLHEXANOATE • DIMETHICONE • ISOHEXADECANE • PENTYLENE GLYCOL • STEARIC ACID • STEARYL ALCOHOL • CERA ALBA / BEESWAX • PALMITIC ACID • PEG-100 STEARATE • GLYCERYL STEARATE • PEG-20 STEARATE • BIS-PEG-18 METHYL ETHER DIMETHYL SILANE • NYLON-12 • CI 77891 / TITANIUM DIOXIDE • MICA • TRIETHANOLAMINE • DIMETHICONOL • PHENOXYETHANOL • ADENOSINE • MAGNESIUM ASCORBYL PHOSPHATE • ASCORBYL GLUCOSIDE • POLOXAMER 338 • DISODIUM EDTA • CAPRYLYL GLYCOL • XANTHAN GUM • PENTAERYTHRITYL TETRA-DI-T-BUTYL HYDROXYHYDROCINNAMATE • A C R Y L A M I D E / S O D I U M ACRYLOYLDIMETHYLTAURATE COPOLYMER • POLYSORBATE 80 • PARFUM / FRAGRANCE
So what’s the big deal about this product? Aside from the standard “reduces the appearance of wrinkles” claims, here’s what Vichy’s says about Liftactiv:
“Our breakthrough formula features Rhamnose, a naturally derived plant sugar extracted in its purest form. Rhamnose in a 5% concentration, has been clinically proven to improve skin rejuvenation at the source; improving collagen production, elastin production and cellular turnover.”
These are pretty bold claims to make and would require significant research. Is there anything to back this up?
What does Rhamnose do?
According to a study from PubMed, in vitro lab tests on cell cultures (i.e., testing done in a “glass dish”) show that cell cultures treated with rhamnose and other similar compounds produced fewer aging byproducts (known as Advanced Glycation Endproducts or AGE). (1) These results suggest that rhamnose could be an effective anti-aging agent. Of course laboratory testing alone does not demonstrate that the benefit will be seen when used on real people, but surprisingly (at least to me) there is an in vivo study that backs up the laboratory testing.
According to a paper presented by L’Oreal (2), the effectiveness of Rhamnose has been confirmed in by in vivo testing. A rhamnose containing lotion and a placebo lotion were applied twice a day for 8 weeks to the internal side of forearms of female volunteers between the ages of 50 and 7. Clinical and histological measurements were taken before and after treatment and the results showed “a significant increase of pro-collagen I expression at papillary dermis level and considerable epidermis thickening…” This looks to be a properly designed test but since I was unable to review the entire study protocol, I’m concerned that measured effects may be statistically “significant” but may not be large enough to be observable to the user. I’m still skeptical but it’s refreshing to have at least some basis for believing this technology works.
The Beauty Brains bottom line
We’re quick to call “Bull Sh*t” if there’s no evidence of a product providing a differentiated benefit. However in the case of Vichy’s Liftactiv, based on the limited information I’ve been able to find, it appears that rhamnose MAY provide a measureable anti-aging benefit that other products don’t. Whether or not you want to gamble $50 to find out whether or not you can tell a difference on your skin is up to you. (You may also want to keep an eye on other, less expensive, L’Oreal brands in case they decide to leverage this technology beyond Vichy.)
1. Age- and passage-dependent upregulation of fibroblast elastase-type endopeptidase activity. Role of advanced glycation endproducts, inhibition by fucose- and rhamnose-rich oligosaccharides.
2. A STRATEGY FOR LONG-LASTING YOUTHFULNESS L’OREAL – Research Communication & Innovation – January 2011
Comments on this entry are closed.
the “study” was an in house paid one, and not a real, independent, objective study using a generic 5% rhamnose cream. exogenous actives like rhamnose (from buckthorn) are rarely effective.
endogenous actives (estriol, vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin E, beta glucan, SOD, etc.) are far more effective internally and externally.
this cream costs less than $3 to produce, and selling it for $50 is criminal.
Thursday I received samples ofVichy Liftactiv. Been using them all week. I will come back in 4 weeks to tell you what if any difference I see. I am 62 years young
Good luck, Joyce!
aaaandddd… she never came back…
A mere sample of this product reduced me to a swollen mess of allergic reactions from redness to puffiness and incredible itchiness. Just a warning to people who might be second guessing this product because of past allergy experience…
I’ve been using this mainly to help my lashes, but as a eye serum I find it awakens my orbital bone area and just under outside corners of my eyes. I definitely feel a slight tingle and it’s soothing and refreshing.
However, only been using about 2 weeks …
To summarise: anti-ageing not sure, but happy with product. I paid roughly 25 British pounds.
I love this formula and Notice a positive effect from the very first use. We live in Arizona where it’s super dry and it’s actually keeping my skin fresh and moist
I’ve been using this serum for a month. It’s amazing. I’m absolutely delighted with the results. HOWEVER….I then found out it’s manufactured by L’oreal…..don’t they test on animals. If so I’ll never purchase another Vichy product again 🙁
In the UK, it is illegal to test cosmetics on animals.
I use Vichy Neovadiol product line. I was given a few sampls of Liftactiv Supreme Serum 10 with 10% Rhamnose and hyaluronic acid. After 5 nights I thought my skin looked different so I purchased a bottle of the serum. I have noted a huge difference in my skin. The wrinkles are softened and my face looks younger – the skin is tighter. Definitely recommend. However, one must be faithful with any skincare product – even the simplest moisturizer improves the skin if it is used everyday.