Out of All of the French Skincare Brands, This One Is by Far the Most Underrated

When it comes to French skincare, I’m all in. Any product that promises to give that naturally radiant, smooth-as-butter, signature French complexion goes straight in my basket. And the truth is, while so many skincare products fail to live up to my (albeit exceptionally high) expectations, French brands just seem to get it right every single time.

My skin is sensitive but prone to congestion and excess oil on my T-zone, and trying to find products that strike a healthy balance between purifying and non-aggressive has always been tough. For years, I have relied on French skincare brands such as La Roche-Posay and Bioderma to keep my skin from either breaking out in blackheads or breaking out in red irritation. With help from La Roche-Posay’s expert-approved Toleriane range and Bioderma’s Sébium, I have always managed to keep things in check.


(Image credit: @SABINASOCOL)

But not so long ago, I realised that in all of my attempts to keep my skin from flaring up, it had lost its glow. It was clear and even, sure, but it lacked a certain je ne sais quoi. I needed some form of lightweight hydration to inject some life back into my tired complexion, so I started phasing in different moisturisers and serums. While some turned my skin red and sore, most broke me out. Until I remembered an old classic from, you guessed it, another French skincare brand.

In the depths of my cupboard, I pulled out a long-forgotten bottle of Vichy Minéral 89 Serum (£25). Lightweight, cooling and jam-packed with hyaluronic acid and thermal water, it truly does deliver that glowing, French-girl complexion that us sensitive-skinned people dream of every time we apply our skincare. And this got me thinking, why don’t I champion Vichy products in the same way I do its fellow French pharmacy brands?


(Image credit: @LENAFARL)

And I think the truth is that whereas other French skincare heroes in my cabinet cater to congestion (and therefore offer up visually dramatic results), Vichy is the more modest, quiet underdog. Formulated with the brand’s signature thermal spa water that’s rich in minerals and antioxidants, Vichy products as a whole are healing, soothing, refreshing and, most importantly, radiance-boosting.

But that’s not to say that it doesn’t offer up some hard-hitters, too. Take for instance its Normaderm range, which helps to tackle blemishes with minimal irritation, and let us not forget about the famous Dermablend, a high-coverage makeup line with the ability to camouflage even the most intense of rosacea flare-ups.

So yes, since falling back in love with my hero Vichy products, I think it’s fair for me to conclude by saying that, frankly, Vichy deserves a little more credit. It might not be the most commonly recommended brand by dermatologists and it definitely doesn’t make any miracle claims, but if you ask me, it’s the closest thing to French-girl skin in a bottle that I’ve ever found.

Shop Hero Vichy Products

Next up, the best face masks for every single skin concern.

Freelance Beauty Editor

Shannon Lawlor is a renowned beauty journalist and has contributed to Who What Wear’s beauty content since 2020. As a leading beauty editor, expert and brand consultant, she has over eight years of experience working for some of the industry’s most esteemed titles, including Who What Wear (of course), Glamour UK, Stylist, Refinery29 and Fabulous.

Having also worked behind the scenes with some of the industry’s biggest brands and retailers, Shannon has a unique insight into what people really want from their beauty routines. Understanding that beauty lovers seek honest, open and responsible advice, she has it made her mission to demystify the intimidating world of beauty, taking a no-frills approach to the most relatable topics.

While Shannon is the first to admit she doesn’t hold the answer to every beauty question out there, she is dedicated to sharing her expert insights in a bid to help. As a self-proclaimed lazy girl, Shannon has an affinity for easy-to-use, foolproof beauty products and has made it her mission to scope out the best of the best.

When she’s not working, Shannon is likely soaking in the bath or giving no-holds-barred beauty reviews on Instagram from her bathroom floor.