Beauty writers are forever cataloguing their must-have French pharmacy finds and giving lists of exotic products to friends should they happen to be hopping over the channel. I too could spend hours in French pharmacies using my GCSE French to translate labels and searching the aisles for make-up bag additions. Here I add my two euros worth:
Made famous by Gwyneth Paltrow’s recommendation on her GOOP pages, Avibon is a Vaseline-type product containing vitamin A which despite the thick consistency doesn’t’ feel greasy or clog pores. Originally formulated for irritated skin, the cream is now often used as a night cream or for dry skin on face, hands, cuticles etc.. It’s a really versatile product and although not everyone likes the thick textures, I love the hydrating-mask feel. Not readily available outside France, and usually only over the counter; get practising your conversational French for when you’re next in Paris.
La Roche-Posay is now widely available and even stocked in Boots, although the products available represent just a slither of the full range. A sensitive skin hero, the brand boasts state-of-the-art formulations whilst treating an array of sensitive skin complaints. I love the suncare range and in winter the Nutritic lip balm is a saviour for extremely dry lips. Look online for full ranges and the website for tips and advice for badly-behaved skin.
Bioderma Crealine H2O is a really thorough cleanser that won’t irritate or upset skin. Make-up artists use it on models when make-up is constantly being removed and reapplied. It’s quite expensive outside France as pharmacies often do bundle offers and larger sized bottles so its worth getting it from France rather than paying premium internet prices.
Other amazing pharmacybrands that are now readily available in the UK include: Avene, Caudalie, Nuxe & Klorane.
If your French is as bad as mine make sure the products you’re buying are suitable and safe for you to use, especially when buying over-the-counter skincare.