While traveling to Paris, visiting a local Pharmacy is both a cultural and a shopping experience. In France, they are usually divided into two parts, the “Pharmacie” for medicine and the “Parapharmacie” for Skincare and beauty. In good parapharmacy, advisors will be there to help you find the best product adapted to your skin. As French Pharmacy products are famous worldwide, it would be a shame to visit France without bringing some home! In this article, we introduce several products that you should get in French Pharmacy. We divided them in four categories: Ultimate travel Essentials, Skincare, Body and Hair products, Dietary supplements. To finish with, we provide at the end of the article a short lexicon with helpful words to get what you need.
If you’re planning to shop in Paris, we advise you to use our special 10% off coupon at Parapharmacy Monge (click here to download it). You can also get there a 15% Tax refund while spending more than 100 euros).
There are some products that every traveler should always carry. These travel essentials will be quite useful during your trip.
First of all, to protect your skin in the short as well as long term, it’s always good to use Sun cream protection. The most protective ones are the SPF 50. We advise you the “Fluide Peau sensible SPF 50” that is suitable for any kind of skin, even sensitive ones.
Thermal water sprays are quite useful while traveling too: it can be used after sunburn to set make-up, or just to refresh your face. We have a particular crush for "Serozinc” (La Roche-Posay). This mattifying face mist helps reduce the appearance of shine and is particularly recommended for oily or sensitive skins.
While traveling you can also easily get body pains due to transportations of when you walk a lot. To soothe muscles pain, you can use an essential oil Roller. The « Puressentiel Roller Articulation et muscles » is a highly recommended one. Made of 14 relaxing essential oils, it quickly relieves muscular soreness.
In summer or winter, it’s always better to protect and moisturize your lips, especially while traveling. There are plenty of great French lip balms, but the most famous one from far is the Uriage “Stick lèvres hydratant”.
Last but not least, when you travel, jetlag can be a problem if you don’t get used quickly to your destination time zone. To avoid sleeping trouble, you can combine Chronobiane Immédiat (a spray with quick effects) and/or Chronobiane LP 1,9 mg (To take one hour before going to sleep, for a deeper sleep).
Parapharmacies are dream places for people that love taking care of their faces. You can find everything you need, whatever your skin type is. We will first introduce general Skincare products, and some products specifically for sensitive skins and anti-aging products.
All skin types products
The first step of any beauty routine is cleansing and make-up removal. In most of French pharmacies, you will see a lot of different options for cleansing. We recommended the Aromatic cleansing balm with Rosewood (Baume Nettoyant au bois de Rose) of the Elegant French Brand Darphin. This honey-like balm is a very unique and gentle way to whisk away impurities.
Once or twice a week, in order to clean deeper the skin, it is advised to do a face scrub to get rid of dead skin cells through exfoliation. The well-known French brand Filorga has created a very original product, “Scrub and Mask” that exfoliates the face skin with a scrub action, and re-oxygenates the skin.
Before applying a Serum and cream, the beauty experts advise using a booster to target specific skin concerns and to multiply the effects of the Serum you will use after. Many great French cosmetic brands develop their booster. it’s the case of Vichy, with Mineral 89 which is mainly made of Vichy mineral water and hyaluronic acid. It has a plumping, smoothing, and moisturizing effect on the skin.
To treat some specific concerns or improve your skin condition, you can choose a Serum that will deliver a high concentration of active ingredients that penetrates deeply into the skin. For example, if you want to lighten your skin and reduce your brown-spots, you can use the night Serum White Objective of Bioderma.
The eyes contour is a very specific area of your face. Most of cosmetic products cannot be used near the eyes because they can cause irritations. That’s why it’s always better to use specific products. "Optim-Eyes" of the brand Filorga reduces dark circles, wrinkles, and under-eye bags. You can also keep it in your fridge for a stronger cooling effect.
Any beauty routine should end with a moisturizer. The daily face and body cream of Embryolisse hydrates nourishes and protects even the most sensitive skins, thanks to a formula blending together natural-origin active ingredients (such as shea butter, beeswax, soy proteins, aloe vera...).
Having sensitive skin makes it harder to find suitable cosmetics, as some of them could increase the skin problems instead of solving them. It is always better to ask the advice of a Pharmacist, according to your skin type.
For acne-prone skin, the first step, cleansing, is essential. Do not use a random cleanser, but specific ones that help reduce acne without irritating your skin. The brand Uriage offers a lot of good products designed for sensitive skins. The foaming Gel “Hyséac” is a good option to purify and clean smoothly oily skins.
To get rid of pimples, you can use specific creams. The French brand Payot is well known for its skincare products. “Pâte grise” is an anti-blemish secret transmitted from generation to generation for over 70 years. On cleansed skin, apply a thick layer at night locally on small spots to accelerate the maturation of spots and make them disappear
It is not easy to find a Serum that does not irritate sensitive skin. The “Sérum Universel” of the French Brand Synbionyme can of course be used by everyone but is also a perfect option for sensitive skins. It’s a very innovative product using probiotics for skincare: the Pro-B3 Complex strengthens the skin’s natural defenses by taking care microbiota (the microorganisms that protect our skin and play a major role in the health of the skin). It’s also a hydration booster thanks to the concentration of Hyaluronic Acid.
Sensitive skins need to be protected thanks to efficient moisturizers. Bariederm Cica-cream (from Uriage) is a face and body repairing cream that insulates the skin's surface to prevent future aggressions and also deeply regenerates the damaged and altered epidermis.
Because of external factors (pollution, sun…) and internal conditions (alimentation…) our skin is aging: the process can be quicker or slower according to the person, but it also can be hindered by specific treatments. When your skin starts aging, it’s recommended to use specific products that are made to address this issue. We have selected a few products that are perfect for an anti-ageing beauty routine.
The « Elixir des Vagues » is a hydrating and replenishing booster to be used before a Serum. The product is highly concentrated with hyaluronic acid. This French brand from Britany (Atlantic coast) uses in all his products natural ingredients from the sea such as seaweed and ocean water concentrated with minerals.
For skins prone to visible signs of aging, it can also be interesting to use products targeting these signs. Double Serum of Clarins is a powerful Age control concentrate. This anti-aging treatment enriched with 21 plant extracts stimulates five vital functions of the skin: hydration, nutrition, oxygenation, regeneration, and protection. It makes the skin firmer, smoothes wrinkles, and restores the radiance of the complexion.
The advanced plumping Serum of Patyka (Sérum repulpant fundamental) is a Serum using pure botanical hyaluronic acid (not chemical one, Patyka’s product uses natural organic ingredients). It improves skin firmness and elasticity as well as reduces wrinkles. We love this Parisian brand for the efficiency of its products as well as its very original and ecofriendly packaging.
In the French pharmacies, you can find care products for all your body: body lotions, toothpastes, hair products… The difference with other shops will be that these products are selected by the pharmacists for their healthcare characteristics and their quality. Here are some of the best products you can find in this category:
Brushing tooth is necessary, but it can also become a pleasure. The French Brand Lebon has created original luxury toothpaste that makes you look forward tooth brushing time. Moreover, they avoid a lot of chemical products that can be harmful for health but which are still used in many other toothpaste brands. We recommend the toothpaste “Rhythm is love” (green tea and sweet mint natural flavor).
For any skin issue or type, you will find specific products in French pharmacies. For example, if you have very dry or atopic skin (eczema for example) the best product is the cream Exomega Control of A-Derma. This brand is specialized in sensitive skin, and also develops products and reduce the scars after an accident or a surgery, such as Epitheliale A.H Duo.
Body oils are a good way to strenghten and hydrate the body, and to have a relaxing time at home. We can suggest the “Huile Tonic” of Clarins, which is made of 100% plant extracts. It helps to reduce stretch marks, improve skin elasticity, and the essential oils give a very gentle and relaxing smell.
For hair, the leading French brand is Furterer. They develop a lot of different products for all hair types. To strengthen your hair, especially if you have periodical hair loss, you can use the Triphasic shampoo, in combination with the treatment product “Triphasic Progressive”. This anti-hair loss ritual stimulates hair growth and extends the life of the hair.
In France for most of the medicines, you need a doctor’s prescription. However, as a tourist, you can shop French dietary supplements. Along with a healthy way of life and alimentation, supplements can help to cure specific problems in a natural way, without taking drugs. However, it’s always better to have advice from a professional (Doctor or Pharmacist) to find the supplements that are the most suitable for you.
Having a balanced alimentation with all the nutrients needed by our body is not an easy task, and a nutrient deficiency is often the main reason of tiredness or physical weakness. The French brand NHCO is specialized in amino acids, and the supplements Orthosamine combine all the essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids needed for the proper functioning of the Human body.
NHCO also develop specific supplements based on their knowledge on amino acid. For example, they develop a product to strengthen Hair in case of Hair loss, Effluvium. It stimulates the hair bulbs and hair growth by supplying all the needed amino acids.
With age, it’s frequent to suffer from joint discomfort. Nutralgic 1000 of Santé Verte is an anti-inflammatory made of natural products that helps maintain the body’s flexibility.
As Detox diets are getting more and more trendy to cleanse and rejuvenate the body, some nutrients are developed to help the body in the detoxification process. It’s the case for example of “Ergydetox” from the brand Nutergia: with 18 active ingredients, it supports the action of the liver and kidney to get rid of the pollutants and heavy metals accumulated because of pollution or unhealthy ways of life.
When you travel or play sports, it is frequent to have muscular pain. FlexActifs from Aragan is a supplement made of plants and minerals that reduce muscular pain.
Magnesium deficiency is affecting 75% of people. It is due to the fact it’s not easy to get all the Magnesium we need even through a healthy diet. Magnesium helps to reduce stress and tiredness, so it is recommended to take magnesium supplements for a month once or twice a year according to the needs. FORMAG of the brand Pileje is a good reference for magnesium, as they use in their products marine magnesium and Vitamin B6 to ensure better absorption by the body.
If you are traveling to France and need to carry out a Covid Test, you can do it in most of the Pharmacies. They usually operate the test outside of the pharmacy, in small tents, but you need to go to the pharmacy first for the payment. In Monge, the results are disclosed after 10 minutes and you get official documents stating that you don't have Covid. From Monday to Saturday, tests are charged 25,01 euro, and 30,01 on Sundays.
We hope that this guide was useful and helped you discover some of the products that can be found in French Pharmacies. To help you, we quickly summed up some useful words if you visit a French Pharmacy, either for minor health issue or to shop skincare products. These words can help you understand the package of products, or you can just show them to an advisor if you want to find a specific product. Do not forget to download and use O'bon Paris coupon while you visit Parapharmacy Monge.
Words and Photographs by O'bon Paris team