The 12 Best Cult Beauty Buys Found At French Pharmacies |
There’s something so appealing about French style that also filters down into their beauty products too. French pharmacies are renowned for stocking the crème de la crème of affordable and hard-working brands, with a French twist. Here are SL’s top twelve favourites…
Favourites 60

1. Embryolisse Laboratories Lait-Crème Concentrate, £13

Loved by everyone from the biggest models to expert’s backstage, this cult cream does the work of three products in one. Whether you use it as a primer, moisturiser or to remove your make-up, its mild formula will leave your skin looking brighter and feeling softer instantly. We like to mix a little with our foundation for a really dewy finish, but be weary, a little goes a long way so you only need tiny amount.

2. La Roche-Posay Effaclar K Anti-Sebum, £16

A dermatologically-tested treatment for acne-prone skin, this uses salicylic acid and niacinamide to unclog blocked pores and congested skin within days. Use it after cleansing and toning all over the face (avoiding eye area), for best results. You may find it provides you with enough hydration, but most people still like to opt for an additional moisturiser on top. It’s been dubbed as both ‘life-changing’ and ‘magic in a tube’ - we couldn’t agree more.

3. Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micellar Water, £10.80

This wins the award for most famous micellar water, and with good reason. Created specifically for sensitive skin types, it’s suitable for everyone and removes every inch of make-up effortlessly – even waterproof formulas melt away. Packaged in a typical French pharmaceutical-looking bottle, it also happens to look as cute and covetable as it is effective.

4. Klorane Dry Shampoo With Oatmilk, £9

Boasting a serious celeb fan base (think Clémence Poésy and Diane Kruger), this is one of the best dry shampoos we’ve ever used. It absorbs oil and product build-up with natural nettle and oat milk, both of which control over active oil glands in the scalp. It’s also a general godsend for those wanting to extend the life of their blow-dry, or for anyone wanting effortless French-girl texture.

5. Topicrem Ultra-Moisturising Sparkling Body Crème, £7.70

This was recommended to us recently by top, French make-up artist, Morgane Martini, and it’s easy to see why she loves it. It leaves limbs with a subtle, highlighted sheen thanks to golden glitter micro-particles, while its nourishing formula delivers a hefty dose of moisture to keep skin smooth and free of flakiness. 

6. Nuxe Ultra Nourishing Lip Balm Reve de Miel, £10.50 

Finally, a lip balm that delivers on its promise. Keeps lips plump and healthy-looking with its honey and shea butter-rich formula.

7. Mixa Cica Crème Repair Balm, £5.99

A no-fuss balm that has become a beauty editor staple, this do-it-all salve hydrates, heals and keeps skin in a healthy and balanced state – whether that’s on the hands, legs, arms, or even face. The rest of the range is as impressive and worth checking out. Thanks to soothing vitamin B5 and the lack of parabens and fragrance, this balm is great for rashes and burns too.

8. Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum, £46

Ramp up your skin’s ageing defences by swapping your regular serum for this antioxidant-rich one. Not only does it stimulate collagen and elastin production, it’s also proven to visibly lighten sun-derived, or age-related spots in just four weeks. No wonder it’s one of Caudalie’s hero products. 

9. Homeoplasmine Ointment, from £10.95

This French antiseptic cream heals and soothes dry patches like no other. Originally used as a nipple cream for expecting mothers, it now has a multitude of uses, giving skin a soft-focus glow without make-up, or a youthful dewiness when mixed into foundation. It’s the definition of a one-stop-shop.

10. Gallinée Soothing Cleansing Cream, £23

It may be lather-less, but this 2-in-1 cleansing cream gently cares for strands like no other thanks to its prebiotic formula. Designed to balance our scalps microbiome, it minimises itchiness and dandruff while softening lactic acid (the gentlest AHA) maintains the scalp’s optimal pH level. The formula may take a while to adjust to, but it’s so worth it, we promise.

11. Vichy Mineral 89 Hyaluronic Acid Booster, £16

Vichy is one of our favourite French brands, delivering fuss-free formulas that get to the route of the problem fast. This gentle booster is no exception. Offering a mega dose of hydration, it plumps out fine lines and revives tired-looking skin in just 10 minutes flat. Also, a great product for soothing sunburn and reducing inflammation post-wax. We guarantee you’ll fall in love.

12. Institut Esthederm Sun Care Oil For Body and Hair, £38

Yes, it’s pricey, but boy is it worth your hard-earned cash. Its triple cellular protection works hard to shield you from the harmful effects of UVA and UVB rays. But the best bit? It optimises cells’ natural tanning processes to guarantee you get an enviable, even, golden glow. Vitamin E and Meadowfoam Seed work together to re-hydrate parched skin too, so you’ll never have to worry about that post-sun snake skin.

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