It wasn't until I had a look through my skincare collection that I realised just how many of my absolute staples are from the French pharmacy, which has become soooo much more accessible in recent years. However it's not always easy to decipher what exactly the products are meant to do, so hopefully this post demystifies some of my favourite products for you...
Caudalie Beauty Elixir* | £32 (100ml) | I have to say that this is more a product I enjoy using than one that's going to transform your skin! It's nice and hydrating but I do think their Grape Water (which this also contains) does a very similar job for less money. However I just love the scent of this and find it really relaxing and calming. I actually have a mini version I tend to take in my hand luggage when I fly so I can hydrate my skin and get those aromatherapy benefits. You can also mist this over your makeup so it looks fresh and sits nicely on the skin - I often use this to refresh things after a long day when I'm heading out for the evening.
Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum* | £46 | This lightweight, non-sticky, milky serum contains grape sap and squalene to even the texture and tone of the skin. Over consistent use I've definitely noticed this serum has helped to reduce the look of old blemish scars and it's improved the quality of my skin overall. It also gives a nice little hydration boost, which I like.
Caudalie Lip Conditioner | £5.50 | This has to be one of the best lip balms I've ever tried! It's made from natural ingredients, has a lovely grape scent and such a lightweight texture. It's really hydrating, leaving my lips soft and smooth, as well as taking care of any dry patches.
Caudalie Hand & Nail Cream | £4 (30ml) | This is probably my favourite hand cream! I have the original grape scent here but you can get rose and a couple of others. I love the lightweight formula - it hydrates my very dry hands without feeling slippery or greasy and it lasts all day.
Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum | £25 | I don't tend to reach for this serum so much any more, but when someone asks me for a great hydrating product they can just pick up at Boots - I always recommend this! It's lightweight and gel-based, meaning it absorbs quickly and won't sit on the surface of the skin, even if you're more on the oily side. This contains glycerin and hyaluronic acid to plump, smooth and hydrate the skin.
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Fluid* | £17.50 | If you have sensitive skin and you haven't tried this product: definitely check it out! This is a lightweight cream that can be used as a serum (if you're quite dry and need something richer on top) or as a moisturiser. It isn't at all oily and has such a nice, calming effect on my skin. When my skin flares up in the cold weather, this is about the only thing it can tolerate!
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo + | £16 | This product can be used in a similar way to the Toleriane, however this one is for blemish-prone skin. It contains niacinamide, zinc and salicylic acid, which are all amazing for soothing inflammation. This is definitely gentle enough for everyday use and over time it helps to fade blemish scars, as well as calming down active breakouts.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Ultra Light Fluid SPF50+ | £16.50 | This is definitely one of the best sunscreens you'll find at the drugstore that gives a great level of broad spectrum protection without being horrible to apply! Unlike many formulas, this is lightweight and tinted, so I don't get that awful white-cast and it doesn't break me out or pill up when I apply makeup on over it.
Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentrate* | £15 (50ml) | This product was a total revelation for me this time last year and I've barely strayed from it since! It's a gorgeous lightweight cream that's nourishing but not heavy or greasy on the skin. It's an amazing multi-tasker - as well as being a hydrating daily moisturiser, I often use it overnight and it can also double as a primer, ensuring makeup doesn't cling to any dry patches. It just makes my skin look so fresh, healthy and radiant when I use it!
Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm | £10 | I use this lip balm every single night and have done for the past 3 years! It has a richer, heavier texture, which is why I like to use it before bed. It never fails to leave my lips smooth and nourished. I never really get chapped lips, even in the coldest of winter weather, and rarely have to exfoliate - I credit this lip balm with all of that!
Nuxe Huile de Prodigieuse Multi-Usage Dry Oil | £29 (100ml) | I don't know how many bottles of this I've gotten through, but it's been several! This is a dry oil, meaning you can use it on your body for amazing nourishment (which is exactly what my dry skin needs!) without it being slippery or greasy. It absorbs beautifully and can also be used on dry hair ends.
Avene Hydrance Optimale Serum* | £18 | Sadly the product I wanted to talk about looks to have been discontinued! I've linked you its replacement, though I've not tried the reformulation yet. This is pretty similar to the Vichy serum in that it's lightweight and gel-based but quenches my skin's thirst, making it look plumper and healthier, as well as leaving it so nice and soft.
Bioderma Sensibio H2O Makeup Removing Micelle Solution | £19.50 (500ml) | I literally have about 5 backup bottles of this in my drawer - that's how much of a hardcore fan I am of the micellar water that made micellar water a thing! It's as gentle as water but really good for removing makeup. I tend to prefer something more oil-based on my waterproof eye makeup, but I always use this to ensure every scrap of makeup is gone but also on light makeup days, and it works perfectly.
Have you tried much French pharmacy skincare? What are your must-haves?
Disclosure - products marked * were sent to me for consideration however all opinions remain my own.
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