All you need is a good pharmacy with a French accent.

Or at least that's what numerous advocates claim. They've ditched the ''traditional'' luxury beauty brands for the advice of a good pharmacist (as explained on this article) and a well selected range of para-pharmacy products tailored for every need they might have.

They queue up for sales, share tips and compare similar products between brands. Maybe they just have sensitive skin and that's why they work best on them or maybe they are onto something.

If you've ever been at one of the most famous pharmacies in Paris you've seen it. A mix of tourists with baskets full of skin care products, locals running to the shelves to get exactly what they want and the pharmacists themselves, full of authority and wisdom, kindly advising newcomers and regulars alike.

French pharmacies are completely different from the British ones. They are oasis of medicinal blends and skin care.

There are so many brands and ranges to choose from that for the uninitiated it can be overwhelming, how to separate the best from the not so best?

Well first of, there is no best, at least not in the usual sense, there is a best range and that's the one that works for you and your needs. Most long time users mix and match from different brands and ranges after finding out what are the best combinations for them.

Some of the brands you should definitely try are: Avène, La Roche-Posay, Vichy and Yves Rocher. Thankfully all these brands are now readily available everywhere.

Avène's skin range was created with a skin hospital in mind. Every single product is meant to nourish even the most sensitive skin. That's what if been using for my daughter's eczema prone skin since she was a baby.

La Roche-Posay is there to help you with specific dermis problems. Elasticity, acne, redness, blemishes... Their Effaclar range is one of the most used ones to treat skin's imperfections.

Vichy is the Queen when it comes to treating dry and brass skin, they have a great make up collection that both treats and enhances your natural beauty.

Yves Rocher is a paradise for botanical product advocates, you can find everything from bath soaps to perfumes.

And then there's the 3 essentials. Products said to be found in any French woman's (and many times men's) skin cupboard:


Used by everyone in the fashion and beauty industries. Their incredibly mild and soothing cleansing water removes make up and washes your skin smoothly while toning it. A must in everyone's house.


Theirs is one of the most sold moisturisers in France. It's light and effective without weighting down the skin and making it break out. With its hyaluronic acid composition it plumps and primes the skin giving it a youthful look.


Used to calm any kind of skin abrasion, burns, rashes... and as a key for perfectly smooth lips! Say goodbye to your chapstick.

Have you ever used any of these brands? Are you planning on running to a pharmacy first thing when you go to Paris?



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