Summer is finally here and for many women, warm-weather problems such as sweat, humidity, oily skin, and fast-fading makeup can make that beautiful summer skin seem like an elusive dream. For those of us who struggle with these issues, Vichy offers a wallet- and skin-friendly solution in the form of Total Mat.
Part of the Normaderm line, Total Mat is a hydrating and mattifying gel that neutralizes all causes of shine, leaving your skin looking and feeling fresh throughout the day. As with all of the Normaderm products, Total Mat is intended for oily/combination skin that is prone to clogged pores, blemishes, and blackheads. Having struggled with this skin type since forever, I’ve tried numerous mattifying products only to end up with ones that dried out my skin, clogged my pores, or caused me to break out the next day. With Total Mat, I think I’ve finally found the one! I’ve been using this product for about 5 weeks to determine its efficacy, and below you will find a detailed review along with a list of ingredients and their function(s) to help you determine whether to incorporate Total Mat into your beauty regimen.
Skin Type: oily/combination
Ingredients: Aqua, Dimethicone, Alcohol Denat., Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Lauryl Methacrylate/Glycol Dimethacrylate Crosspolymer, Ammonium Polyarcyldimethyltauramide, Perlite, Nylon-66, Peg-12 Dimethicone, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Salicylic Acid, Sodium Polyacrylate, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Poloxamer 184, Disodium EDTA, Caprylyl Glycol, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Parfum
What You Need to Know: Total Mat contains absorbents, moisturizers, astringents, and beta hydroxy in the form of salicylic acid (0.5%). Salicylic acid is a light chemical exfoliant used to help skin cells shed more rapidly, open clogged pores, and constrict pore size to prevent further clogging. It also has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. This product also contains Perlite, a natural ingredient with absorbing properties; polytrap micro-powder, which absorbs excess sebum and has a blotting effect; and fibers, which control excess sweat on skin.
- Slightly white, pearly gel that goes on completely translucent
- Absorbs into skin immediately after being applied
- Feels fresh, cool, light, and dry to the touch
- Leaves skin instantly mattified
- You only have to use a pea-size amount, so it really lasts
- The salicylic acid in this product helps to tighten pores and decrease clogging. I have naturally large pores on my T-Zone and they become clogged very quickly from daily makeup use. However, I’ve noticed less clogging when I use Total Mat prior to applying my makeup
- Lightweight and dry finish allows it to double as a primer
- Mattifying effect makes it great for use under makeup, when going makeup-free, in hot and humid climates, and during periods of physical exertion. I tested the efficacy of Total Mat in a variety of settings, including above 100° temperatures and 90 min. workouts, and found that my skin remained shine-free for several hours
- I didn’t experience any sensitivity or breakouts after use, but my skin is already accustomed to salicylic acid. If you have never used a product containing this beta hydroxy acid, Total Mat may cause dryness to occur, so use it sparingly at first. Vichy recommends reducing application to once a day/every other day if you experience dryness. That being said, you should avoid this product if you are a dry skin type.
- Can be paired with another moisturizer if you have combination skin. In this case, you would use Total Mat only on oily areas such as the T-Zone.
- Retails for about $27 CAD
- Mattifying effect lasts about 4-5 hours and not a full 12-hour day as promised by Vichy. This will, however, vary for each individual so you have to determine the validity of this claim for yourself. Because my skin tends to get very oily, whenever I need a full day’s work from my makeup or intend to wear a heavier application, I use a primer (I like Smashbox Iconic Photo Finish Foundation Primer) or anti-shine gel (I likePeter Thomas Roth Anti-Shine Mattifying Gel) after applying a regular moisturizer
- Can be slightly drying like any product that targets oily, acneic skin, so alternate or follow with a nourishing moisturizer, especially one that will restore your skin’s natural moisture barrier. Ironically, oily skin is the most dehydrated skin and you may even notice an increase in oil production after using such products. For this reason, I use a light facial moisturizer at night to offset any dryness that may occur.
- Does not contain SPF, so you need to follow with a sunscreen (I like Vichy’s Capital Soleil Ultra-Fluid Sun Protection SPF 30 Fast Drying Formula) or makeup with SPF (I like Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24H)
- Suitable for day use only, so you have to incorporate a night-time moisturizer or repair serum into your regimen
- Although Vichy claims that Total Mat is hypoallergenic and sensitive-skin friendly, it is scented. Personally, I like the fragrance in this product but you can test the gel on a little patch of skin prior to use if you’re concerned about this