21 Genius French Beauty Products
Get in on these French skin secrets
Jenny Chang/ BuzzFeed
Bioderma Créaline Micellar Water £7.45
The original micellar water, Bioderma’s Créaline solution is great for dry and sensitive skin. This gentle makeup remover is a staple for makeup artists because of its powerful cleansing abilities, without rubbing or scrubbing. Keep a bottle by your bedside table for a classier alternative to wipes.
Avène Cleanance Gel £7.87
A gentle soapless cleanser, Avène’s Cleanance Gel is made for oily problem skin. Removes makeup effectively without stripping and is gentle on sensitive skins. After cleansing, spritz on Avène’s Eau Thermale, a thermal water spray which will restore the natural PH of your skin. A must in hard water areas.
Bioderma Cicabio £4.80
A brilliant treatment for burns and irritated skin, this gentle cream sinks right in and helps fade scars. A little tube of this lasts for longer than you’d think, so it’s great to have to hand in your bathroom.
Nuxe Rêve de Miel Lip Balm £9.50
Rêve de Miel means ‘honey dream’ and this thick lip balm is a total dream. It’s thick without being greasy or shiny and it’s totally soothing for chapped lips. A hero among lip balms, it’s on the pricier end of the scale but it will last months and months.
Hei Poa Monoi Oil £6.20
Hei Poa Monoi oil is a summer classic with a floral smell that feels like waves at your feet and sand on your shoulders. Use it on wet skin for post-sun moisturising and in hair as a leave-in treatment. There’s a few different scents to pick up but this one has gold shimmer powder for maximum beach babe vibes.
La Roche-Posay Tolériane Ultra £17
This wonder cream is great for stressed out skin. Whether it’s sunburn, exzema, rosacea, sensitivity or you just want something soothing after using AHAs or retinols this gentle moisturiser calms and heals.
Ventilated Green Clay £7.25
French people love green clay. Buy ready-mixed pastes to use on your skin as a mask, mix with honey and oil for a hair-balancing treatment or make like Shailene Woodley and buy the powdered stuff to mix with water and drink. NB – if you’re planning on drinking clay, mix with water, leave to settle for a few hours and drink the water without ingesting the heavy sediments of clay at the bottom.
La Roche-Posay Redermic £28
One of the best retinol creams on the market, Redermic promises to reduce wrinkles and improve the texture of the skin. Results are visible, quick and the little tube lasts and lasts. As with all retinols there is some sun sensitivity, so use at night and make sure to wear a high-factor SPF (min 30) in the day.
Akileine Blister Balm approx £4.80
This anti-blister balm by Akileine is just the thing for nights out, preventing rubbing and chafing when you’re in heels or new shoes.
Eau de Cologne £8.70
Cheap and cheerful eau de colognes are easily found in French pharmacies. They’re a great standby and the clean, fresh smell is a classic. Splash it on to refresh after a long day when you feel less than fragrant. Tip: use it to get mirrors really clean, leaving a lovely scent.
Klorane Dry Shampoo £8
A king among dry shampoos, Klorane’s offering is ultralight and refreshes hair without that dusty, wig effect. It’s a bit pricier than your average dry shampoo but a real treat, with oat milk to soothe your hair and scalp.
Caudalie Overnight Detox Oil £29
A luxury product that lasts a lifetime, Caudalie’s Pohlyphenol facial oil combines grape actives with nourishing plant oils for a seriously boosting nighttime treatment. Works on dry or combination skin to leave it glowing.
Boiron Homéoplasmine £6.63
Homéoplasmine is the cult beauty product that make up artists rave about. Great for irritated, chapped or dry skin this wonder product soothes and protects and contains soothing ingredients like calendula.
Mustela Hydra Bébé £11.49
Babycare products are so sophisticated French women have been stealing them for their own use for years. Mustela’s gentle body lotion has a mix of vitamin E, shea butter, sweet almond oil and more for supersoft skin.
Etat Pur Hyaluronic Acid £15.80
Not strictly a pharmacy brand, Etat Pur is known for their range of targeted actives you can mix and match. Their hyaluronic serum is a seriously brilliant skin plumper, that delivers visible results quickly, smoothing out fine lines and giving youthful firmness.
Phytodefrisant Straightening Balm £16.50
A legendary product, Phyto’s straightening balm works wonders on frizzy, curly and afro hair and is compatible with heat-styling or air-drying. Made from 99% botanical ingredients, the more you use it the more it eliminates frizz, lasts forever too.
Ushuaia and Petit Marseillais Shower Gel from £3.20
Enter a French pharmacy or supermarket and you’ll see a variety of shower gels that you never imagined possible. Ushuaia and Petit Marseillais are two of the best, choose from one of their dozens of scents for a totally dreamy shower.
Biafine is the medicine cabinet standby that all French people rely on to heal everything from burns to sores, nappy rash and dry skin conditions. This thick emulsion is easily absorbed and tolerated by even sensitive skins.
A-Derma Epitheliale A.H £6.25
The ideal cream for chapped and irritated winter skin, A-Derma’s Epitheliale A.H cream also works on patches of eczema. Contains oat milk to calm redness and hyaluronic acid to heal.
Vichy Eau Thermale £4.66
Vichy’s mineral-rich water is the perfect post cleansing spritz to incorporate into your routine. The water rebalances your skin PH before moisturiser, making product go further. Also great for refreshing in summer, this handy little spritz is a bargain product.
Rogé Cavaillès Shower and Bath Oil £14.23
Forget the slightly fusty packaging, Rogé Cavaillès is one of the best-kept secrets of French pharmacies, their range of moisturising washes and creams will keep your skin looking its best. This shower and bath oil cleans without drying or irritating.
Have you got any other genius products we should mention? Let us know in the comments.