I'm a Beauty Editor Who Has Just Been to France—28 French Pharmacy Skincare Favourites I Really Rate

There are certain countries that are well-documented for their unique approach to beauty. For example, you can expect cutting-edge skincare formulations to come from Korea, and it's known that Australia produces some of the best SPFs in the world. However, when it comes to French beauty, there are just so many things that they just get right. Not only is France considered one of the major fragrance capitals of the world, but if there's one thing they have refined to a T, it's skincare.

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(Image credit: @alicezielasko)

French pharmacies, in particular, have become widely known for their skincare selection, offering the kind of effective and affordable products that you would never come across in your local British chemist. Skin health is a much more widely appreciated topic in France,& and it is more commonplace for people to seek a pharmacist for skincare advice than it is here in the UK. After all, the skin is the largest organ in the body, and it deserves just as much TLC as the rest of our organs. As such, the allure of French pharmacies is their range of incredible French brands that support this lifestyle. You'll find just about anything you could want under one roof, from Vichy to Nuxe to Caudalie to La Roche-Posay, and it will come at a reasonable price, too. While it can be fun to splash out on expensive skincare, the more affordable French pharmacy skincare brands are likely to become the backbone of your routine.

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(Image credit: @ruerodier)

There's a lot of skincare advice that we can learn from the French. For one, they do not tend to implement an over-the-top, 10-step skincare routine. Instead, they'll have a couple of dependable, key products that they return to time and time again. It's about keeping it simple, just like their fashion choices. It's an ideal approach to take if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin, which can often be exacerbated by using too many products.

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(Image credit: @ruerodier)

Ahead, we round up some of the best French pharmacy products to stock up on the next time that you plan a trip to France. However, if you're not able to make it across the channel, we've linked everything below that you can get in the UK. It's a win-win.

The Best French Pharmacy Skincare Buys, Listed:

  1. Best French pharmacy moisturiser for ultra-sensitive skin: Avène Cicalfate + Restorative Protective Cream for Very Sensitive Skin
  2. Best French pharmacy serum for lightweight hydration: Vichy Minéral 89 Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Serum
  3. Best French pharmacy cream for all skin types: Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré Moisturiser
  4. Best French pharmacy everywhere oil: Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse or Golden Shimmer Multi-Purpose Dry Oil
  5. Best French pharmacy rich moisturiser: Avène Hydrance Rich Hydrating Cream Moisturiser
  6. Best French pharmacy everyday lip balm: Nuxe Rêve De Miel Lip Balm
  7. Best French pharmacy lip balm for sore skin: Dermophil Indien Lip Stick
  8. Best French pharmacy facial mist: Caudalie Beauty Elixir
  9. Best French pharmacy face mask: La Rosée 3-In-1 Regenerating Stick Mask
  10. Best French pharmacy rescue cream: Avène Antirougeurs Fort Relief Concentrate for Chronic Redness
  11. Best French pharmacy multi-use salve: Boiron Homéoplasmine
  12. Best French pharmacy micellar water: Bioderma Sensibio Cleansing Micellar Water For Sensitive Skin
  13. Best French pharmacy SPF: La Roche-Posay Anthelios Uvmune 400 Invisible Fluid SPF 50+ Sun Cream
  14. Best French pharmacy solution for acne-prone skin: La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo (+) Moisturiser
  15. Best French pharmacy brightening serum: Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum
  16. Best French pharmacy solution for dull skin and fine lines: A313 Cosmetic Cream with Retinyl Palmate
  17. Best French pharmacy moisturiser for oily skin: Bioderma Sébium Mattifying Moisturiser
  18. Best French pharmacy body SPF: Vichy Capital Soleil Solar Protective Water Hydrating SPF 50
  19. Best French pharmacy body SPF for sensitive skin: Bioderma Photoderm Lait Ultra Spf50+ Very High Protection Sunscreen
  20. Best French pharmacy body SPF for families: Mustela Very High Protection Sun Lotion SPF50+
  21. Best French pharmacy body wash: Mustela Gentle Cleansing Gel
  22. Best French pharmacy shower oil: Bioderma Atoderm Shower Oil
  23. Best French pharmacy solution for dry and dermatitis-prone skin: La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume for Sensitive Skin
  24. Best French pharmacy gentle cleanser: Avène Tolerance Control Extremely Gentle Cleanser for Very Sensitive Skin
  25. Best French pharmacy shampoo for dandruff: Vichy Dercos Technique Anti-Dandruff Purifying Shampoo
  26. Best French pharmacy dry shampoo: Klorane Daily Dry Shampoo With Oat Milk
  27. Best French pharmacy deodorant: Caudalie Vinofresh Natural Stick Deodorant
  28. Best French pharmacy foot cream: SVR Xerial 50 Extrême Crème Pieds

1. Best French pharmacy moisturiser for ultra-sensitive skin: Avène Cicalfate + Restorative Protective Cream for Very Sensitive Skin

2. Best French pharmacy serum for lightweight hydration: Vichy Minéral 89 Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Serum

3. Best French pharmacy cream for all skin types: Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré Moisturiser

4. Best French pharmacy everywhere oil: Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse or Golden Shimmer Multi-Purpose Dry Oil

5. Best French pharmacy rich moisturiser: Avène Hydrance Rich Hydrating Cream Moisturiser

6. Best French pharmacy everyday lip balm: Nuxe Rêve De Miel Lip Balm

7. Best French pharmacy lip balm for sore skin: Dermophil Indien Lip Stick

8. Best French pharmacy facial mist: Caudalie Beauty Elixir

9. Best French pharmacy face mask: La Rosée 3-In-1 Regenerating Stick Mask

10. Best French pharmacy rescue cream: Avène Antirougeurs Fort Relief Concentrate for Chronic Redness

11. Best French pharmacy multi-use salve: Boiron Homéoplasmine

12. Best French pharmacy micellar water: Bioderma Sensibio Cleansing Micellar Water For Sensitive Skin

13. Best French pharmacy SPF: La Roche-Posay Anthelios Uvmune 400 Invisible Fluid SPF 50+ Sun Cream

14. Best French pharmacy solution for acne-prone skin: La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo (+) Moisturiser

15. Best French pharmacy brightening serum: Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum

16. Best French pharmacy solution for dull skin and fine lines: A313 Cosmetic Cream with Retinyl Palmate

17. Best French pharmacy moisturiser for oily skin: Bioderma Sébium Mattifying Moisturiser

18. Best French pharmacy body SPF: Vichy Capital Soleil Solar Protective Water Hydrating SPF 50

19. Best French pharmacy body SPF for sensitive skin: Bioderma Photoderm Lait Ultra Spf50+ Very High Protection Sunscreen

20. Best French pharmacy body SPF for families: Mustela Very High Protection Sun Lotion SPF50+

21. Best French pharmacy body wash: Mustela Gentle Cleansing Gel

22. Best French pharmacy shower oil: Bioderma Atoderm Shower Oil

23. Best French pharmacy solution for dry and dermatitis-prone skin: La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume for Sensitive Skin

24. Best French pharmacy gentle cleanser: Avène Tolerance Control Extremely Gentle Cleanser for Very Sensitive Skin

25. Best French pharmacy shampoo for dandruff: Vichy Dercos Technique Anti-Dandruff Purifying Shampoo

26. Best French pharmacy dry shampoo: Klorane Daily Dry Shampoo With Oat Milk

27. Best French pharmacy deodorant: Caudalie Vinofresh Natural Stick Deodorant

28. Best French pharmacy foot cream: SVR Xerial 50 Extrême Crème Pieds

Eleanor Vousden
Beauty Editor, Who What Wear UK

Eleanor Vousden is the beauty editor for Who What Wear UK. She was previously deputy editor at Hairdressers Journal, health writer at Woman & Home and junior beauty editor at beauty website Powder. She has also contributed to Wallpaper and Elle Collections with written and styling work.Working as a beauty journalist since 2015 after graduating in fashion journalism at the London College of Fashion, she has been highly commended at the BSME Talent Awards for her work on Powder and also contributed to the title winning Website of the Year at the PPA Awards.Eleanor’s journalistic focus is to provide readers with honest and helpful beauty content. Through words, video and live broadcast, she has interviewed several celebrity makeup artists, hairstylists and top dermatologists throughout her career, as well as celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker and Scarlett Johansson. She has a particular interest in finding solutions for acne and eczema, which she has experienced firsthand. She has also amassed a large collection of fragrances and can never say no to a new candle.When she’s not writing or testing the latest beauty product or treatments, she’s on the seafront in her hometown of Brighton and Hove, where she lives with her partner and her miniature dachshund.