Photo: Vichy Singapore

We all know how important it is to moisturise our skin; in case you need a reminder, bad lifestyle habits (such as smoking and burning the midnight oil), stress and the environment can accelerate our skin’s moisture loss and cause dehydrated skin.

However, the hot and humid weather in Singapore, makes slapping on thick and luxurious creams impossible without walking out of the house with a shiny mien.

This is the same reason why I’ve been avoiding facial oils like a plague because they tend to make my skin look greasy and I already have oily skin. Then there’s the sticky feel too, which isn’t exactly the best feeling to have in Singapore’s heat.

So when I heard that Vichy has launched its new Aqualia Thermal Spa Oil-In-Water Essence, which is a combination of oil and water, I was thrilled. A beauty therapist once told me to try a clarifying facial oil but I was hesitant so she convinced me to dilute it by mixing a pump of facial oil with three pumps of water-based facial mist.

It worked but still, it was rather troublesome and quite frankly, a tad too messy for my liking; the water mist always dripped and spilled all over the place.

Back to Vichy’s Oil-In-Water Essence; at first look, it’s hard not to be intrigued by its transparent glass bottle because it’s simply too pretty. The oil, protected by micro-capsules and suspended throughout the essence, looks more like tiny pearls glistening in the sea. Since it’s spread out in the bottle, I didn’t find the need to shake the bottle to blend the oil with the water before application.

So, what does this essence do exactly? It basically mimics our skin’s natural hydrolipidic film which is the skin’s self-defense layer of water, sebum and lipids. It retains skin’s moisture and keeps it healthy so that our skin is protected against environmental assaults like UV rays and pollution.

Photo: Vichy Singapore

But because of all those aggressors, this film weakens over time, making our skin more vulnerable to “attacks” by free radicals, UV rays and pollution. That’s why it’s important to “top up” key nutrients for this layer to stay strong.

To do that, Vichy has formulated this essence with several key ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and glycerin to moisturise and plump up the skin. There’s squalane which replicates our skin’s natural sebum to trick the skin into thinking that it’s moisturised (so that excess sebum won’t be a problem here) and vitamin E to repair damages caused by free radicals.

Now, on to the application. It hydrates the skin without drying it out completely (this is something that dry skin users will appreciate). When I apply it onto my skin, it feels very smooth and most importantly, I’m happy to report that the texture is non-greasy (meaning great for those with an oily complexion).

Photo: Vichy Singapore

While it feels as hydrating as normal oils, the Vichy pH Balancing Thermal Water in it really helps to eliminate any greasy feel. The essence is also quickly absorbed into the skin, leaving a clear and oil-free finish. I can easily apply my moisturiser (or skip it because this essence alone feels hydrating enough for my oily skin) and sunscreen easily afterwards.

Overall, this Oil-In-Water Essence has changed my thoughts on how oils can feel too “heavy”, especially on oily skin. So, if you’ve always wanted to give facial oils a go, this is a good option to consider. It retails at $52 for 100ml.

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