I have been to Paris twice in my life, and apart from making me a devoted Francophile, it has also influenced my beauty routine. While it is true that I like to mix up my skincare routine, and the products that I use are constantly changing, you will often find French brands rotating back in fairly regularly. In particular, French pharmacy buys make frequent appearances, since, a) they are so well priced, and b) they really work. I am a total sucker for a new product launch (hence the Chanel Le Essentials serums in my current routine) but my new resolution is to not keep doing this, and stick with my tried and true.
So what are my tried and true French pharmacy buys? I pretty much have it boiled down to four brands – Avene, La Roche Posay, Nuxe and Klorane. All are easily available at pharmacies close to me, and all are very reasonably priced.
I am now using their cleanser Micellar Lotion 3-in-1 every morning, and alternate evenings (I am still using my Clarisonic with the Dr LeWinn’s Glycolic cleanser the other nights). This cleanser is incredibly soothing, and perfect for the lazy gal like me, since it needs no rinsing – you simply apply to a cotton pad and swipe over your skin. I repeat once more, and am left with sparkling clean but incredibly soft skin. $34.99 AUD
Yes, Eau Thermale is effectively nothing more than water in a spray can, but in summer I find it indispensable! There are a number of brands of tinned thermal spring water (including La Roche Posay and Evian), but this is the one I like the best. It is incredibly soothing to the skin, and I generally use it in three ways: 1) as a cooling spray when I am hot, 2) as a makeup setter and 3) as a “toner” right before I apply my serum/oils, as it helps them spread better. $9.99 AUD
La Roche Posay
I first came across La Roche Posay through their sun care range, and the Anthelios XL 50+ Extreme Fluid is now a constant applied every morning, rain, hail or shine. I love that this sunscreen is very high protection, effective against UVA rays (not all sunscreens are), does not clog my skin, is light going on, and not greasy at all. It is truly my Holy Grail of sunscreens, and I can’t imagine every using a different one ever again. $25.99 AUD
I also carry the stick version in my handbag, Anthelios XL 50+ Sensitive Areas Stick to top up my protection during the day, especially during summer. This is very, very important since sun screen rarely lasts more than a few hours, so if you only apply in the morning, you are spending most of the day without any protection at all. $21.99 AUD
The star product in Nuxe’s collection is Huile Prodigiuse Multi-Purpose Dry Oil and this amazing product really does everything. It comes in two versions; the original, and one with a gold shimmer in it and I use one or the other (often both) on a daily basis. The original I use on the ends of my hair after towel dring, or during the day to tame flyaways (I have a sample bottle that I refill that is permanently in my handbag). I use it as a quick 10 minute mask before shampooing. It is also wonderful as a light moisturising oil in summer, or a booster to my richer body creams in the depths of winter. The gold shimmer is mostly used in summer to add a gorgeous shine to my skin (great on legs, arms, collar bones and cheek bones) and is wonderful in my hair when I am going out. $24.95 AUD
I now have three pots of Reve de Miel Ultra Nourishing Lip Balm, it is that good! I have one next to my bed, one in the kitchen and one in my car. This balm is incredibly nourishing, tastes lovely (honey and citrus) and has a matte finish, which makes it great under lipstick or on its own. $19.95 AUD
I am in love with Klorane hair care, but it is unfortunately becoming harder and harder to find here in Australia. While their Dry Shampoo is available almost literally everywhere, and is deservedly a cult product, I love their shampoos and conditioners even more! My fave the pomegranate range for coloured hair – it does a great job and smells devine. $9.99 AUD