Vichy Capital Soleil Sunscreen

Vichy Capital Soleil Sunscreen. Courtesy Photo

A trio of launches from drugstore brand Vichy has caught our eye -- not for what's in the products, but rather what's not in them.

The Capital Soleil Sunscreen franchise makes the jump from the European market to debut in the U.S. in May, bringing with it a lotion and fluid formula rich in Vitamin E and white grape polyphenol antioxidants that will launch next month.

However, we noticed that the seemingly superstar sunscreen ingredient of the moment -- mexoryl -- is included in the European version, though not the American one.

A spokesperson for the brand tells StyleList that a costly FDA quagmire prevented Vichy from using the ingredient in this formula.

"In Europe, sunscreens are considered cosmetics, while in the U.S., they are considered drug products. Thus, it is not as complicated from a regulatory perspective to market a 'new' UV filter or sunscreen in Europe, allowing Mexoryl SX a marketing history elsewhere since 1993," says the spokesperson.

"While [parent company] L'Oréal applied to the FDA in 2007-2008 for...Mexoryl SX as a safe and effective UV filter based on 18 years of global marketing history, FDA has not yet responded to our request," adds the spokesperson.

According to Vichy, the FDA established a regulatory process for considering international data as a part of the safety and efficacy history for an over-the-counter drug ingredient in 2002. Yet, to date, the FDA hasn't ruled on any of the pending requests to add new ingredients to the system.

So instead, Vichy utilizes UVA/UVB filters like avobenzone and oxybenzone for full spectrum protection in the U.S. version of Capital Soleil sunscreen, which comes in high SPFs of 30, 50 and 60.

A unique partial emulsion form that separates the oils and waters are shaken together with a ball bearing that makes for a fresh, lighter fluid consistency each time you apply.

Launching in stores this month, the Normaderm Triple-Action Anti-Acne Hydrating Lotion is an oil-free hydrating treatment that aims to balance skin's moisture levels while at the same time treating breakouts with one percent glycolic and salicylic acid, plus LHS -- a derivative of salicylic acid.

Vichy ProEven Total Dark Spot Corrector and Normaderm Triple-Action Anti-Acne Hydrating Lotion

Vichy ProEven Total Dark Spot Corrector and Normaderm Triple-Action Anti-Acne Hydrating Lotion. Courtesy Photos

A brand spokesperson tells us that instead of drying out the acne or including exfoliating grains, the aim is to soothe and gently treat skin that acne sufferers notoriously over-treat.

"What we've found in studies is that people who broke out when they were young get obsessed with the fear of breaking out again, and they overdo it later in life, leading to persistent adult acne," says Marketing Director Amelie Fortier-Cry.

Retailing for $22.50, execs say the lotion decreased acne in study participants by 20 percent in one week, and by 42 percent in four weeks.

Uneven pigmentation is often a frustrating relic left in the wake of breakouts, but it's also something we unconsciously detect as a marker of age, says Boston dermatologist, Dr. Ranella Hirsch.

"When they want people to look older in movies, they put dark spots on them. The quickest way to look older is to add dark spots on your face," says Dr. Hirsch.

Vichy's new ProEven Total Dark Spot Corrector aims to address the issue without the use of the controversial lightening agent, hydroquinone, which has raised cancer-causing concerns among some experts.

Instead, the French brand uses a paraben-free combination of Vitamin C and E with LHA to speed up cell turnover rates, which they claim will produce results on all skin tones. Micro pearls and titanium help impart a luminous finish. Directions say to apply twice daily for optimal results.

Vichy products are sold at select CVS, Walgreens and Duane Reade drugstores, as well as online.

We're certainly grateful for the French skin care touch.

Another thing we're grateful for? The free skin care starter kits Dr. Hauschka is giving away for free.