The French Pharmacie: Beauty List

There’s one last stop you must make before leaving Paris – la pharmacie. Forget Sephora, the department store beauty counter doesn’t hold a candle to the everyday French pharmacy. The ones in Paris are extraordinary, but even small town ones will stock all of your must-have beauty essentials – products you can only get in France, and at an incredible value. Here were a few beauty buys on my list:

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ACorsCoryse Salomé – Compétence Anti-Age – Crème pour les mains – 100 ml – 9€

Life in London wreaks havoc on your skin, so I’m constantly slathering on this hand cream for dry skin. I once read a hand model say she avoids washing her hands except in the morning and night since it’s so damaging to the skin, but I work in an office so I have to wash mine often to fend off bugs circulating in the workplace. Therefore, I keep a tube of this on my desk and use repeatedly throughout the day. It is especially soothing around the nailbeds.

BembroEmbryolisse Laboratoires – Lait Crème Concentré – 13€

This is right up there with the best luxury brand moisturizers I’ve tried. Whisper-light and instantly restorative – a travel bag staple.

BBioBiotherm – Intensive Body Treatment with Apricot Oil – 23.99€

The apricot oil in this lotion leaves my legs polished and shiny – they actually gleam.

BBiodermaBioderma Laboratoire Dermatologique – Créaline H2O – 23.90€ (for twin pack)

This skin cleanser/make-up remover is phenomenal. And so cheap! Dab a few drops on a cotton pad and it strips every last speck of dirt and trace of cosmetics from your skin. It feels like water, but leaves your face squeaky clean.

BKloraneKlorane – Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oatmilk – 7€

A gym bag essential. Also great for beachy hair – squeeze the plastic bottle and spray little puffs of this powder onto lifeless or greasy hair. Leave on 2 minutes then brush through. Clean, conditioned hair with a little bit of volume at the roots.

BAvenmasqEau Thermale Avène – Soothing Moisture Mask – 10€

Soothing, indeed – with a slight firming effect, leaves skin dewy. Apply to face, leave on for 10 minutes, then lightly mist face with Avène Eau Thermale (see below).

BAveneAvène – Eau Thermale – 5€

Sourced from a thermal spring, this water spray is full of minerals which soften and sooth skin. Spritz it on by the pool in the summer heat for a tingly refresh. I would recommend using it after waxing or shaving.

BBiaBiafine Topical Emulsion €

Biafine works with the body’s own natural healing processes to treat compromised skin through macrophage recruitment. I don’t normally get sunburn, but I am highly susceptible to heat rash (prickly heat) on my neck and chest – this cream is great for soothing burns and can clear up redness and bumps. I also dab on the occasional boo-boo as it helps little cuts and scrapes heal faster.

BhomeoHomeoplastine – 5.30€

Vanquish dry and chapped skin – great for refurbishing elbows and heels. I also use to lessen redness around my nose.

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If you’re traveling by plane, check to make sure products aren’t over the carry-on size. There are no restrictions on the Eurostar that I know of – so go nuts!

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