When we think of French women, we think of their efortless elegance, inherent grace and beauty, magnificent simplicity and charm... Most of the fashion and beauty trends come from France, and it is these women who are a real standard of subtle style and impeccable taste. French women are confident, they know how to enjoy life and treat themselves with love and care at any age. They do not like to spend a lot of time and money on skin care and makeup, rarely visit beauticians, and always look great. What is their secret? In addition to independence and unfailing love of life, the true secret of charm, of course they also use beauty products of market leading French cosmetic companies. It helps maintain beautiful and healthy skin throughout life. Many French cosmetic brands are known all over the world, and in recent years, the cosmeceutical trend has been gaining popularity. This word of cosmeceutics is a combination of "cosmetics" and "pharmaceuticals", and refers to cosmetics with medicinal properties. They do not contain hormones, parabens and perfumes, instead include high concentration of active ingredients and are more effective in solving specific skin problems than conventional skin care products.
Here we introduce you to some trendy cosmeuceutical beauty products that can be found in Parisian pharmacies and that are well known for their quality and effectiveness.
If you are 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 a 15% tax refund for the purchase of more than 175 euros.
The absolute minimum program for daily skin care always includes three main steps: cleansing, toning and moisturizing. If you wish, you can treat yourself to some additional treats.
The most important rule is to use cosmetics suitable for your skin type, because the needs of dry, oily or combination skin are significantly different. You may consult your dermatologist or professional cosmetician to define your skin type.
The first step in any beauty routine is cleansing your face. This must be done twice a day: in the morning to remove the dead cells, and in the evening to rid the skin of particles of atmospheric pollution that accumulate during the day. Ignoring this step or improper cleansing can lead to premature aging of the skin, the appearance of age spots and inflammations.
Our first recommendation is an oxygenate cleansing foam Hydra Ecume by the organic French brand Algologie. It has a delicate airy texture, gently cleanses the skin, carefully removes impurities, dead particles, excess sebum, and cosmetics. Suitable for sensitive and very sensitive skin. The Algologie brand was created in Brittany, the region of France bathed by the Atlantic Ocean, and all of its products contain an active complex based on seaweed, as well as cornflower extract. Natural ingredients help maintain the pH balance of the epidermis, moisturize and nourish the skin.
Essence (or a serum) is a concentrated cosmetic product that is most often referred to as an additional care product. The concentration of active ingredients in it is several times higher than in a cream, so serum will work much more efficiently and faster. French brand de luxe Filorga created an exceptional product for restoring skin elasticity - Essence Lotion Régénérante Supreme. Its unique formula, named NCEF (New Cellular Encapsulated Factors), contains 50 ingredients (vitamins, amino acids, minerals, coenzymes, antioxidants) that penetrate each level of the skin due to a cutting-edge encapsulation technique.
It is suitable for solving the problem of dull complexion, dehydration, the first signs of aging. This is a mild alternative to a beautician's meso-injections. Just a few drops is enough for the entire face and décolleté.
Medacnyl Clarifying Enzymatic Lotion from the innovative French brand Synbionyme contains an enzyme of natural origin - papain, as well as vitamin B3, aloe and green tea extract. It effectively removes impurities and dead cells of the epidermis, soothes the skin, helps narrow pores and even out complexion. It leaves a pleasant feeling of freshness.
One of the best-selling products of the well-known pharmaceutical French brand Vichy is a daily booster for any skin exposed to an aggressive external environment. It contains a high concentration of Vichy mineral thermal water (89%), which helps strengthen the protective properties of the epidermis and hyaluronic acid - the main weapon in the struggle for beautiful smooth skin. The product does not contain parabens, silicone, perfumes and alcohol, it is hypoallergenic, so it is perfect even for very sensitive skin.
Normally, serum is aimed at solving a specific problem: a dull complexion, rosacea, pigmentation, early signs of aging, etc. Just a few drops is sufficient for daily use: a high concentration of active substances provides exceptional effectiveness, and a delicate texture makes the ritual of applying serum easy and enjoyable.
Condensé Paris Active Moisturizing Serum is the newest cosmetic bestseller that received the famous French cosmetic award Les Victoires de la Beauté this year. A high concentration of plant extracts and high molecular weight hyaluronic acid provide excellent hydration. Aloe vera extract andjojoba oil soften and protect the skin from pollution and aggressive environmental influences.
My Payot Concentré Éclat from another French brand de luxe Payot is the secret to youthful, radiant skin. Vitamin C is well known for its antioxidant properties and its important role in collagen synthesis. This serum also contains fruit acids, which stimulate the regeneration of skin cells. In a matter of minutes, the skin comes alive and looks fresh, radiant, rested, as after a two-week vacation at the seaside.
SkinСeuticals is a leading brand of professional cosmetic products, which was created as a result of longstanding scientific research of the skin. The composition of all products of this brand has antioxidants - powerful tools in the fight for health, youth and beauty of the skin. This serum calms and moisturizes the skin, it contains hyaluronic acid and various plant extracts. It is suitable for sensitive, irritated skin and for acne-prone skin.
French women love to use universal oils that are suitable for the body, face and hair. Below we list the best skin oils that can be found in French pharmacies.
Our favorite oil is the skin booster serum Patyka Huile Absolue. This oil was created in the 1920s and quickly became popular among Parisian beauties. Its formula was improved and reintroduced into production some years ago. The composition includes twelve different natural oils that perfectly help restore the natural radiance and beauty of the skin.
Patyka is one of the first French brands of organic cosmetics. In their compositions they use only natural ingredients.
NYM Fundamental Skincare Oil can be used for the entire body, face, hair and scalp. Thanks to its special formula and the absence of parabens, it is suitable for all skin types, including irritated skin, skin with rosacea and acne-prone. The composition contains neem tree extract - an ingredient that is unique in its healing and anti-aging properties, which is often used in traditional oriental medicine and cosmetics. This oil will make your skin moisturized, soft and revitalized.
Last but not least is hydration. Use a good moisturizer suitable for your skin type. It is especially important to use a moisturizer after 30, as the skin gradually loses its elasticity and needs quality care.
Crème Cachemire is one of Caudalie’s best sellers. It is a moisturizer with a lifting effect. Very soft, comfortable, light in texture. It contains peptides and resveratrol, a unique component from the vine extract, which is called the "youth molecule". It makes the skin firm, soft and visibly reduces wrinkles.
After 30 the skin gradually reduces its elasticity and signs of aging start to appear. It is very important to use a good anti-aging cream in order to protect the skin and restore its natural firmness and beauty. This collagen Tri-Logic cream by Hormeta is an ideal choice. It has a very rich texture and contains a special ingredient - a shellflower extract that helps to deeply hydrate and activate collagen synthesis.
A-Derma is a cosmetic brand from the south of France, created for sensitive skin. The composition uses herbal ingredients with exceptional regenerative properties. It is also used for healing wounds and scars.
For many years, Pâte Grise (Grey Paste) from Payot has been one of its top-selling products. Its powerful effect is aimed at cleansing, healing and rapid maturation of acne. Suitable for any skin type, it does not contain parabens, silicone, perfume, dyes, alcohol. It must be applied pointwise to the area of inflammation.
At any time of the year, it is important to protect and moisturize the skin of the lips. Nuxe Rêve de Miel is our favorite among moisturizing balms. Its rich texture is ideal for dry and chapped lips. Paraben-free, suitable for sore and sensitive lips. The balm contains shea butter, honey, almond oil, calendula, vitamin E. It perfectly nourishes, moisturizes, restores, protects the delicate skin of the lips and still smells divine.
In French pharmacies, you can find everything you need for beauty and health: body lotions, toothpastes, products for hair... All are chosen by pharmacists and doctors based on high quality and efficient compositions.
Brushing your teeth is a daily necessity, but it can also be a real pleasure and enjoyable ritual. The French brand Lebon creates luxurious toothpastes with incredible tastes and stylish packaging that make you look forward to brushing your teeth. They contain no harmful ingredients that are often found in other toothpastes. We recommend you try Cap Ferrat Mood pasta with mint.
Klorane is a well-known pharmacy brand of very high-quality therapeutic shampoos. This line of products with a pleasant peony aroma is designed for sensitive and irritated scalp.
Thermal water is part of all La Roche-Posay products due to its powerful antioxidant and moisturizing properties. Lipikar Syndet AP + is a creamy shower gel without soap and fragrances. It is ideal for dry and very dry skin, as well as for skin prone to atopy and eczema. Suitable for infants and children.
If you have very dry skin, try A-Derma Exomega Control Cream. Thanks to its natural composition, it soothes irritated skin, restores the natural protective barrier of the epidermis and heals small wounds.
Puressentiel Purifying Spay is a must-have item on the French pharmacy shopping list. This spray is completely plant-based (41 natural essential oils in its composition), it has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal effects. It is sprayed in the air not only to get rid of unpleasant odors and to clean the air in the room, but also to eliminate dust mites and bed bugs.
We hope this guide was useful and helped you discover some interesting products that you could try and use for your daily skincare routine. If you are interested in French food supplements, do not hesitate to have a look at our article here. Make sure to download and use O'bon Paris coupon for a 10% discount to use in the famous Parapharmacy Monge in Paris!
Words and Photographs by Phan Thanh Thuy
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