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There’s something admirable about the way those in France approach skincare; minimal and effortless are a couple descriptions that come to mind. If you’ve never personally stepped foot in a para-pharmacy—shops that provide easy access to a surplus of skincare brands—on the streets of Paris, fear not. Plenty of top French skincare brands are in reach within the States, allowing you to build the perfect French girl routine without going the extra mile (s).
French skincare brands notably put extensive research, time and resources into crafting high-quality formulations that won’t irritate, inflame or stress your skin out. Ingredients like Thermal Spring Water, Volcanic Water and retinal alternatives such as Bakuchiol can often be found listed, putting an emphasis on nourishing your complexion safely and avoiding harmful chemical ingredients and endocrine disruptors. All the more reason to seek out as many French formulas as possible.
Ready to pamper your skin like one of those French girls? Us too. That’s why we’ve handpicked all the top French pharmacy skincare brands to shop right now—whether you’re on a budget or in the mood to splurge a little, there’s something for everyone.
The history behind Avene is wholly intriguing, but perhaps the biggest takeaway from its development is the unwavering inclusion of one golden ingredient: Avene Thermal Spring Water. Hailing from the Cévennes Mountains in Avène, France, the natural and soothing additive has been proven by more than 150 brand efficacy studies to successfully treat a variety of skin concerns, such as redness, inflammation and acne. Each of the brand’s products contain it, including the best-selling RetrinAL Advanced Correcting Serum and Hydrance Aqua Gel.
RetrinAL Advanced Correcting Serum
Hydrance Aqua Gel
La Roche Posay
Avene isn’t the only brand to uncover the benefits of mineral-rich spring water—La Roche Posay has made it a vital inclusion in their dermatologist-backed skincare products, too. In fact, expert approval is the brand’s ethos; La Roche Posay continually partners with dermatologists to ensure its formulas stay at the forefront of science. Add any of the brand’s pharmacy staples—from the Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer to the Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum—into your regimen and watch your skin heal graciously.
Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer
Hyalu B5 Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum
If you haven’t heard of Caudalie before—supermodels and celebrities alike swear by the brand—listen up. Its TikTok-viral products are not to be missed, particularly the Instant Detox Mask that tightens pores and evens out texture in just 10 minutes. The environmentally-conscious company continues to effectively build on its formulas, requiring a minimum of 95 percent of natural origin ingredients and keeping 60 controversial substances off the list.
Instant Detox Mask
Vinoperfect Radiance Dark Spot Serum
Per the brand’s website, this is how Embryolisse got its start: “In 1950, a dermatologist from a Parisian hospital specialized in skin pathologies created the Lait-Crème Concentré
, which has since become a ‘cult product’ sold by millions around the world.” The brand has since grown to be a primary leader amongst French beauty, particularly because its face and body products bring healthy, effective and cutting-edge ingredients (from hyaluronic acid to collagen) to the complexion for a stronger skin barrier. Not to mention, they are all relatively affordable, so you can keep them in your regimen for the days to come.
Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré
Embryolisse Lait Creme Fluid Face & Body Moisturizer
Last but certainly not least, Vichy; the brand leans on one vital inclusion in many of its products
: Mineral-Rich Vichy Volcanic Water. “Powered by 15 minerals clinically proven to strengthen, hydrate and soothe skin,” the ingredient protects against environmental aggressors that can prematurely age delicate areas. Sourced directly from the Auvergne French volcanoes, the water’s intense level of antioxidants bring numerous transformative benefits. Lucky for us all, you won’t have to wring out your wallet to access them.
Vichy Mineral 89 Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum
Vichy LiftActiv Vitamin C Serum