Review: Vichy Normaderm Refine Total Pore Resurfacing Essence

by Paris B on · 28 comments

in Primer,Product Reviews,Treatment

There are few skincare products I truly like within a short period of trying them out. Usually, I’m just sceptical. Unusually, the new Vichy Normaderm Pore Resurfacing Essence is an exception. 3 days into using it, and I was in love with it. After more than 2 weeks, its now a staple.

Vichy Refine Pore Resurfacing Essence

A new addition to the Vichy Normaderm line, the Pore Resurfacing Essence is an essence you apply after cleanser and toner and before moisturizer to help refine your skin and make your skin look smoother with smaller pores.

Vichy Pore Resurfacing Essence makes a lovely makeup primer

What it does for me is not only keep my skin smooth and matte and oil free all day, but also acts as a lovely makeup primer! Yes my dears, I’m ditching my makeup primers for this lovely little gem of a product  :)

Used in the day, I apply it before moisturizer and sunscreen. Its a gel texture serum that spreads easily and mattifys the skin almost immediately. Lovely if you have oily skin or combination skin. I sometimes get a tad oily as the day wears on but with this essence, I’m relatively oil free and whatever foundation I use sticks better to my skin and looks and feels smoother. Reminds me a lot of Estee Lauder’s Idealist when I was using it a long while back.

Vichy Refine Essence combats pimples and spots

Another side benefit I’ve discovered is the wonderful ability for this Vichy Pore Resurfacing Essence to help combat pimples and spots. 2 days after using this essence day and night, some stubborn spots on my chin have all but disappeared. 2 weeks later there is no sign I ever had spots! I hardly noticed it until I wanted to dab concealer on them and realised there was no need to. If I have a particularly stubborn spot, I dab some Vichy Refine essence on the spot and wake up the next day to trouble-free skin. I attribute it to the salicylic acid – the same magic ingredient in the aspirin mask and the St. Ives Medicated Scrub. Only because this stays on your skin, it seems to work better for me.

In fact, this Vichy essence seems to work in a remarkably similar manner to the Kanebo Blanchir Smoothing Conditioner. I prefer the Vichy though because it comes in a tube – it makes it easier to control. Plus, its slightly cheaper 😛

Does the Essence make pores smaller?

Vichy pore essence

I don’t have very large open pores and it is supposed to take 4 weeks to see any results so I can’t quite say with great certainty that it made pores look smaller. My skin is looking a fair bit smoother though after more than 2 weeks.

Upon application, my skin looks and feels very smooth and pores do look a little smaller. Whether it stays that way remains to be seen. I reckon this essence would be good for those with oily skins – its certainly targeted at oily skins.

A 30ml tube retails for RM110 at Vichy counters in leading pharmacies. I’ve seen it going for less and its an item I’m planning to keep as a staple both as skincare and makeup base! If you want to make it last longer, use it only on areas with open pores or oil or spots. I however use it all over my face to save the trouble LOL…

Pros: Keeps skin oil-free and matte, Helps dry out spots and pimples, Skin feels and looks smoother and clearer

Cons: Price might seem pricey to some

Ingredients: Aqua/Water, Glycerin, Alcohol Denat, Dimethicone, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Ammonium Polyacryldimethyltauramide/ Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethultaurate, Silica, Totarol, Zinc PCA, Glycyrrhetinic Acid, Triethanolamine, Dimethiconol, Poterium Officinale Extract/ Poterium Officinale Root Extract, Zingiber Officinale Extract/ Ginger root extract, Salicylic Acid, Cinnamomum Cassia Extract/ Cinnamomum Cassia Bark Extract, Poloxamer 338, Nylon-12, Disodium EDTA, Isopropyl Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Capryloyl Salicylic Acid, Tetrasidium EDTA, Eperua Falcata Bark Extract, Biosaccharide Fum-1, Xanthan Gum, Dextrin, Parfum/fragrance (code FIL: B35092/1)

Where did I have dinner yesterday?

I myself can barely believe it but I went down to Seremban yesterday evening after work with Beetrice for dinner! The lengths food lovers will go for some seriously good food!

Seremban, for those not familiar to Malaysia is a town about 1 hours drive from Kuala Lumpur (its also in a different state altogether!). A place I know as being famous for its Siew Pau and beef noodles. We had some pretty decent food and a most spectacularly amusing encounter at the A&W … but I’ll let Bee tell you about it 😉

Tonight I’m going for ice-cream mmm….

How was your evening yesterday? 😀

Stay beautiful,

Paris B

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[ 21 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

July 16, 2009 at 10:21 am

oooh! this looks nice! oil control products are always good for me!

i wonder how low Vichy’s price can go to? How long does a tube last you? 😀


ParisB July 16, 2009 at 10:37 am

Hi Plue

I’ve been using a tube for close to 1 month now and its still going pretty strong. I use it day and night all over my face everyday. I’m told 1 tube can last about 1 month but I’m thinking at least 1.5 months used the way I do :) Vichy’s prices never go down by very much unfortunately – they are rather more exclusive :)


Phuong March 10, 2011 at 2:30 pm

I cannot find this on Vichy website.
where can I get this product.
I bought mine in Singapore at the Pharmacy store but is not able to find it now.


Jooj July 16, 2009 at 10:33 am

ooh nice! i was just looking at this yesterday. i’ve been shopping around for a new salicylic acid product now that Olay discontinued their Total Effects for blemish prone skin. unfortunately all the alternatives are 3-4 times the price :/


ParisB July 16, 2009 at 10:38 am

Hi Jooj

I’ve never tried the Total Effects one so I can’t compare. I must agree this one doesn’t come cheap but I’m going to save up to replenish whenever it runs out! :)


sweetlikechocolate July 16, 2009 at 10:52 am

ooh great review..I bought the Vichy starter kit and have yet to try it out yet. But I am definitely checking this out. Love the fact that it has salicylic acid and doubles as a primer too.


ParisB July 16, 2009 at 6:11 pm

Hi Sweetlikechocolate

You know, I’ve never tried Vichy before this but now I want to try the other products! This ones awesome.


Saintangelius July 16, 2009 at 4:37 pm

Wah! Do share on where you can get Vichy at a cheaper price. I reckon that this one is not part of the range that is available in Watsons? Sasa tends to be pricey. LYN? but I haven’t seen a Vichy spree in a while. I have this conspicuous pore at the end of my nose and the parts of my cheeks closest to my nose.


ParisB July 16, 2009 at 6:12 pm

Hi Saintangelius

Heh.. I meant I’ve seen it go for slightly under RM110 if Vichy has a sale or promo prices. You can get this one at any Guardian or Watsons store that stocks Vichy products.


Shanghainese Dumpling July 16, 2009 at 7:58 pm

Fantastic Review, like always Paris, you know i think those people should start paying you cos most of the things you’ve reviewed I want to buy now hehe!!!

I would love to try this out but in Australia there’s no Vichy line, which really suck…

But I’ll put that on my overseas shopping list :)


ParisB July 17, 2009 at 9:51 am

Hi Shanhainese Dumpling

LOL… Hopefully someone is reading this – no Vichy in Australia? That’s so odd! Well, there’s always online shopping 😉


Amanda July 16, 2009 at 9:53 pm

I’ve tried a few Vichy Normaderm products but not this one. I’m currently using Estee Lauder’s Idealist. Will try this one when I finish the Estee Lauder’s Idealist I’m currently using. Vichy products never really work on me, I don’t know why.


ParisB July 17, 2009 at 9:57 am

Hi Amanda

This one’s new here but I’m not sure about elsewhere. I’d never tried Vichy products before because I used to think they were for acne prone skin. This one works to keep my spots away but others I’ve tried are a little more drying. Maybe thats why it doesn’t work?


KS July 26, 2009 at 9:50 pm

Hey ParisB! Just saw this in Sg, am tempted to try it after your wonderful review… Just wondering, r u still using The Body Shop’s Vit C Skin Boost? I am using that and I am wondering if it is worth ditching the TBS one for this one…


ParisB July 27, 2009 at 9:44 am


I finished up my Body Shop Skin Boost a while ago so I’m not using it anymore. I reckon the Vichy and Body Shop gives different effects. The Vichy one smooths pores and skin while the Body Shop one adds radiance. To me anyway. I dont’ think they play well together though since they both contain silicones so they may cancel each other out. But since the Vichy is permanent you could try it once your Body Shop Skin Boost is finished?


sehseh July 30, 2009 at 3:03 pm

Thanks for recommending this – I was finishing up on my Cellnique Pro Sebum Gel and wondering if I should try other brands. The pro sebum gel did help reducing spots on my forehead but I’m looking for something that can control pores as well – without burning a big hole in my pocket.
Will be heading to Guardian, because they are having a promo for this Vichy essence :)


Hazel November 29, 2009 at 10:44 pm


care to share with me which moisturiser and sunblock u use along with this Vichy Essence?

also, u mentioned that u use it as a makeup primer too – do u layer on powder foundation or liquid foundation? Which works better?



ParisB November 30, 2009 at 11:42 am

Hi Hazel

I use my regular moisturizer and sunblock – anything I have on hand, nothing special. I find it works a little better with powder foundation and I don’t use it specifically as makeup primer, but since its already on my skin it acts that way.


Haslina December 1, 2009 at 11:48 pm

Vichy should be cheaper in Singapore!


nevin October 26, 2010 at 9:25 pm

where can i get it in klang valley malaysia?


ParisB October 26, 2010 at 10:07 pm

Look in major pharmacies – Guardian, Watson’s, Caring, Jusco Wellness etc


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