If you’re a connoisseur of quality skincare, a stroll through any French pharmacy is a self-care experience like no other. I’ve spent hours perusing the jam-packed shelves for products that will support the health of my skin, transform and diminish fine lines, and treat any skincare ailments or needs.
Fortunately, many products that I’ve come to love are available to purchase online or in stores in the United States. We can’t all get to France but we can take advantage of the decades of research and technology the French have put into their superb skincare. Here is a rundown of the many skincare products I discovered in France and have repurchased from home.
Embryolisse Lait Cream Concentrate – One of my Top 3 favorite moisturizers to use under makeup. Used by makeup artists for years, it’s now available to the rest of us.
DARPHIN Age-Defying Dermabrasion – A beautiful physical exfoliating scrub with the finest dermabrasion particles. I enjoy the experience of using this product and like to take my time
DARPHIN Purifying Balm – DARPHIN is known for their aromatics and this moisturizing balm exemplifies that point. This contains 12 essential oils that soothe and hydrate dry or stressed skin.
Yon-Ka Lotion Dry Skin Toner – My aesthtitician turned me on to Yon-Ka skincare fifteen years ago. This toner is my favorite item in the range and I have repurchased it numerous times. Similar to the Coup D’ Eclat ampules, this toner softens and hydrates dry skin.
Caudalie Beauty Elixir – Another toner or essence that I’ve used for years is Beauty Elixir. The smell is so addicting, I tend to spritz my face
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra – I use so many LRP products, it’s difficult to narrow down my favorites but the entire Toleriane line for sensitive, dry or irritated skin is wonderful, very comforting and moisturizing. This sensitive skin moisturizer.
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Eye Cream – This eye cream from the range is a favorite.
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Moisturizer – Whenever someone asks my recommendation for a great all-around moisturizer, I often recommend this one. It works perfectly and it is affordable. It also comes with an SPF 30.
La-Roche-Posay Anthelios SPF 60 Sunscreen – Another high factor sunscreen in my Top 3. Works great and doesn’t irritate the eyes.
A313 – This is an over the counter, mild Retin-A pomade long available in France. It used to be sold under the name, Avibon, now discontinued. It’s not as potent as prescription strength Retin-A so it shouldn’t irritate the skin. It is a pomade like Vaseline. You’d want to slather this on only at night.
Ialuset Hyaluronic Acid Cream – Another French pharmacy item I like is this thick hyaluronic acid cream which can be used on the face or body. It casts white so I use it more as a mask when I’m tinkering around the house and not putting on makeup. I don’t rinse it off. I let my skin absorb it. They call it a serum but it is a cream.
Clarins Beauty Flash Balm – There are many stellar skincare products in the Clarins range. I’ve narrowed it down to the three that I have repurchased more times than I can count. Beauty Flash Balm is a brightening moisturizer that actually brightens the skin. I often use this under a moisturizer as I like the effect of using it in combination especially when I’m tired.
Clarins Extra-Firming Eye Lift Perfecting Serum – The ONLY eye gel I’ve ever used that actually de-puffs puffy eyes. This formulation has been phased out and replaced with Extra-Firming Eye Balm which has the same key ingredients: albizia extract, caffeine, and horse chestnut. I’ve tried their eye creams in the $40 range and they don’t do anything. This costs $64 and worth every penny.
Clarins Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen – An excellent high factor sunscreen that works great under makeup or on its own, blends into the skin and doesn’t irritate the eyes.
Erborian Sleeping BB Mask – Erborian is a unique French-Korean skincare range. The sleeping mask is an
Erborian BB Creme – My Top 3 BB Creams includes this from Erborian. Deeply moisturizing and tinted for light coverage. It’s perfect for non-makeup days.
NUXE Merveillance Dry Skin Cream – A rich plumping moisturizer that smells like flowers. It’s a luxury to use and I love its impact on my skin. It’s been reformulated under the Merveillance Expert line.
A-derma Epitheliale A.H Skin Repair Cream – The French do skincare better than most as is reflected by the fact that my list of French favorites is heavy on moisturizers and skin repair creams. I’ve used three tubes of this over the years. It’s
Bioderma Micellar Water Make-up Remover – I write about this all the time. Used it for years to remove eye makeup, and will continue to buy it.
Biologique Recherche P50 Lotion – A super-charged acid exfoliator with a cult following. It contains lactic, glycolic, malic, salicylic acids to exfoliate dead skin cells and resurface the skin. Niacinamide to help treat acne, rosacea, pigmentation, and wrinkles. This line has a slew of amazing products. This is the one I repurchase over and over again.
Melvita Cleansing Oil for Face & Eyes – Made with 100% organic plant oils, this cleanser is a dream to use.
Le Petit Marseillais Shower Gel – A bonus recommendation is this inexpensive shower gel that can be found in drugstores and grocery stores in France. I love the way they smell.