Discover the pharmacy products that keep French women looking their very best
Have you ever wondered what beauty secrets French women hold close that keep their skin line-free and their hair glossy – all the while looking effortlessly chic?
Well we can reveal to you that their secrets lie in affordable French Pharmacy skincare products, rather than expensive well known brands.
From targeted skincare products to treat aliments such as eczema, to multi-purpose oils that will protect skin and hair against the winter elements, French pharmacy beauty buys can cure a whole range of problems.
Click through our round-up of the little-known beauty heroes, available online or in French pharmacies, to reveal radiant skin, beautiful hair or perfectly plumped lips.
Due to the nature of their work – constantly travelling the globe for fashion shows and photo shoots, Make-up artists are always the first to discover the best international beauty products. And when it comes to Paris, the one cosmetics brand they stockpile by the bucket load is Make Up For Ever. With a range that’s colourful, versatile and bottomless it’s in a league of it’s own when it comes to long-lasting, flawless coverage and the good news is it’s coming to Debenham’s next month.
It was founded in the 1980’s by French make-up artist Dany Sanz when she couldn’t find the practical tools and durable formula’s she needed to create long-lasting theatre make-up. Originally intended as a professional brand created by make-up artists for make-up artists, four decades down the line it’s now available over the internet and counter.
The dynamic range includes brushes with flat sided handles – perfect for scooping up product and mixing it like a spatula, a clever sealing liquid that can instantly turn your smudgy mascara and eye liners waterproof with a single drop and the pièce de résistance the Silky Face Liquid Make-Up – a face and body foundation so flawless it’s virtually undetectable on HD television.
It’s water-based (cue easy to remove at the end of a long day) gel formula minimises fine lines and large pores for a uniform tone with an undetectable satin finish. Designed to withstand the hot lights of a stage, it’s unbudgeable in the heat and can be applied to the body to cover small imperfections such as thread veins during swimsuit season. Simply apply a fine layer, let it dry for three minutes and then blot away any excess with a dry tissue before getting dressed.
A versatile and effective multitasker, Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré’s rich and creamy lotion can be used a primer, make-up remover or intensive moisturiser. Favourited by professional make-up artists, dermatologists and celebrities, including; Yasmin Le Bon – who looks fabulous at 50, it’s survived as a cult beauty product across the channel for the last 65 years, with one selling every 60 seconds.
Made up of mostly natural ingredients the hydrating formula helps to speed up cell renewal, injecting parched complexions with a much needed moisture hit to reveal a supple, plump and soft texture.
The good news is that it’s finally made it’s way to Britain and is available in Boots. The bad news? No matter how quickly the shelves are stocked it constantly sells out, snap yours up whilst you can.
Alcohol-free and ultra mild, Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micelle Solution is the go to cleanser for women who suffer from sensitive skin or rosacea. Packed with clever micelle molecules, this lightweight water cools the complexion as it wipes away impurities, decongesting skin without causing unnecessary irritation. A cult product in many professional make-up artists kits, it’s weightless quick absorbing texture is a great buy for spring.
Until recently La Roche Posay Serozinc spray wasn’t available in the UK, so the only way to get hold of it was to hot-foot it to a French pharmacy and stock up! However thanks to a savvy online retailer a limited supply is now available at the click of a mouse. What’s all the fuss about you ask? Spraying zinc over your exfoliating toner seals pores with a hit of hydration and prevents spontaneous breakouts. Miracle stuff, snap it up before it sells out.
If there’s one thing we love more than French skincare, it’s bespoke French skincare. New brand, CODAGE Paris has just launched in the UK and is offering a tailored serum to suit your complexion. Founded by brother and sister team, Julien & Amandine Azencott, their approach is based on traditional French phamacy products, which aim to target individual concerns with specified properties and dosages.
So if you are struggling with a difficult complexion, whether that’s oily, dull or discoloured skin, CODAGE Paris will have the answer.
Kate Middleton is a big fan of oxygen creams, which increase oxygen levels, allowing skin to breathe and increasing circulation. This helps to balance out an overly oily or dry complexion, at the same times detoxifying and minimising pores. This Thalgo Oxygen 3-Defence Cream is richly hydrating and protects the skin against pollution and free radicals, revitalising a dull texture to leave you radiant and glowing.
A celebrity favourite, Klorane’s Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk is kinder to hair than your regular high street branded dry shampoo. Made up of oatmilk extract, corn and rice starch, this naturally powerful dry shampoo thoroughly cleanses the hair so you can go an extra day between washes. Do check out Klorane’s range of targeted shampoos and conditioners, which are all designed to naturally solve any scalp or haircare problems you may have.
If you suffer from eczema or easily irritated and sore skin, a specialised zinc cream – generally only available in French pharmacy products – is for you. Our pick is the Bioderma Atoderm PO Zinc Creme, which is gentle enough to use on babies as well as your own face and body. This targeted moisturiser is full of purifying ingredients, which stop the nasties that cause irritation, redness and related skin conditions. Fragrance-free and richly creamy, Bioderma’s Atoderm PO Zinc Creme sinks quickly into the skin, ready for make-up application.
Spray on make-up and skincare are the latest innovations to hit the beauty world. As well as being quicker and easier to use, a spray can benefit your regular routine. Institut Esthederm’s Cellular Water Spray is our hero product to come from the French Pharmacies and we urge you to add it to your collection now. Whether used as a spray-on serum, a make-up fixer or just to refresh throughout the day, you will love this reasonably priced beauty buy.
This Homeplasmine ointment cream is something of a ‘do-all’ buy that’s viewed as a healing product in France. If you do have an emergency burn or skin irritation, it’s great for soothing the skin – or if your skin simply feels worn and chapped from harsh winter conditions, you can dab it on specific areas for relief.
Multi-purpose oils are something of a god-send – especially in the cold winter months when our skin needs that extra hydration hit. This Nuxe oil can be used to smooth and add shine to hair or moisturise both face and body. The best time to apply it to your body is straight after the bath or shower when your skin will literally drink it up. The nourishing vitamin E helps to balance hydration levels – so works for acne-prone skin as much as dry skin. Our tip? Spritz on to a hairbrush to add shine to your locks.
Packed with Vitamin A which works wonders on dry skin and is a known anti-ager, Avibon is a fantastic moisturiser for real hydration. Gwyneth Paltrow recently revealed that she knows an older movie star who uses Avibon every night – and has incredible-looking skin. Sold!
Need to repair a burn to the skin or minimise an old scar? Biafine has powerful healing properties that reduce old war wounds. Not only that, but day-to-day this ointment soothes chapped lips and dry skin patches quickly.