French pharmacies are not the typical pharmacies we know in the Unites States. They are a treasure trove of the crème de la crème of affordable, high-quality French beauty products that are usually free of alcohols, parabens and harsh chemicals. For me, a trip to Paris is never complete without a visit to a French pharmacy to stock up on my favorite products and discover new skincare gems. I have put together a list of my French beauty staples that no longer require a trip to Paris to get your hands on since you can now order them online!
Bioderma Micellar Water
A staple for makeup artists around the world, Bioderma’s Sensibio H2O is possibly the most famous micellar water of all. It is the first thing I put onto my skin every morning and every night with just a cotton pad. It’s the perfect product for removing my make-up (even the most stubborn waterproof mascara) and excess dirt without drying my skin out. Soap-free and hypoallergenic, it’s great for soothing sensitive skin as it’s super gentle and doesn’t irritate. Ever since seeing this micellar water backstage at every fashion show, I’ve been hooked and the rest of the world is too, as a bottle of Bioderma’s Sensibio H2O is sold every three seconds around the world!
Caudalie Beauty Elixir
Inspired by Queen Isabella of Hungary’s youth elixir (whose youthful complexion charmed the King of Poland, who was 35 years her junior), Caudalie’s antioxidant facials spritz instantly brightens and invigorates my skin. It was created almost twenty years ago and remains Caudalie’s best-selling product. It contains 99% natural ingredients, including Caudalie’s hero ingredient (grape water) as well as extracts of rosemary, myrrh, organic balm mint and orange blossom. When travelling, this item is always in my carry-on and I use it to tone and hydrate my tired, dry skin when on an airplane. It’s also perfect for setting makeup or to refresh your skin before going into a meeting.
Avène Thermal Spring Water
Another facial mist I’m obsessed with, Avène’s Thermal Spring Water calms and soothes my skin whenever it feels irritated from travelling or after wearing lots of heavy make-up. I also spray it whenever I need cooling down from the LA heat or after a sweaty gym session. This light facial mist is ideal for sensitive skin and it heals and softens the skin with its mineral-rich formula. One of these mists is sold every two seconds throughout the world so you know it’s the real deal.
Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré
This skin-saving tube of dreams was created by a Parisian dermatologist to quench dry skin. I apply it to my face every morning as a day cream and, not only does it brighten and hydrate my skin, but it also makes the perfect makeup remover, cleansing lotion and makeup primer. It is enriched with essential fatty acids, vitamins and natural ingredients such as aloe vera, beeswax, shea butter and soya protein. A skin care classic that French women swear by, this moisturizer is light in texture but extremely rich and a little of it goes a long way so you only need a small amount for each use.
Homéoplasmine is a favorite among celebrities and make-up artists across the globe. It can be used to treat dry skin, irritated skin, and flaky skin. I personally apply it to my chapped lips every evening before bed, leaving it on overnight, and waking up to super hydrated and moisturized lips. This skin-saving homeopathic ointment can be used to treat basically anything, from dry hands to eczema, acne, sensitive eyelids, cracked heels, and sunburn. It is full of plant extracts and has a matte, non-greasy feel. This miracle tube truly is a one-stop skin shop.
Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Multi Usage Dry Oil
Sure to be found in almost every French woman’s armoire de toilette (bathroom cabinet), this luxurious, multipurpose dry oil can be applied to your face, body and hair. Over 98% of the ingredients are natural and it contains six skin-restorative plant oils, including sweet almond oil, hazelnut oil, and macadamia oil, as well as Vitamin E. Its subtle scent is heavenly and it is incredibly lightweight. I use it as a nourishing body moisturizer after a bath or shower to make my skin soft, hydrated, and luminous without looking greasy.
Nuxe Ultra Nourishing Lip Balm Rêve de Miel
The luscious smell of this lip balm (a combination of honey, shea butter and grapefruit) is simply divine. Its thick texture is non-greasy and smooth and, after one application, it stays on all day. I use it under lipstick or, when my lips start to crack, I wear it overnight for more intense hydration. It is hard to find a lip balm that truly delivers in nourishing, plumping, soothing, and repairing dry, chapped lips. Nuxe’s Rêve de Miel is the only one I’ve found that does all four of these so it’s no surprise that one of these lip balms is sold every 28 seconds around the world!
If you’re a French beauty addict like me, tell me some of your favorite French skincare products in the comments below! And if you’ve tried any of these products, let me know what you think!