A blog post that needs no introduction.
As you all know, I am a sucker for French skincare, so I figured, why not give you guys a glimpse into my library of French pharmacy beauty staples. Get your pens, notes apps, and online carts ready as I dive into my cult-fave product picks…
This rich, all-purpose cream was created in the 1950s by Dr. Tricot, a Parisian dermatologist. Fast forward to over 70 years later, and his formulation remains a holy grail item in drugstores around the globe. It consists of a generous amount of mineral oil to deliver top-tier emollient properties, and it also boasts a combo of shea butter, beeswax, and aloe vera to offer a good dose of nutrients to the skin. What I particularly love about this moisturizer is how versatile it is. It can double as a makeup primer, makeup remover, daily moisturizer, beauty mask, and a soothing post-shave treatment, too.
I am OBSESSED with this stuff! Right now, you’ll find a tube in my kitchen, my bathroom, and in my car compartment, especially when I’m running around with my kids. This is because it’s a literal miracle worker for superficial scrapes, first and second-degree burns, and minor abrasions as it initiates and accelerates the skin's inflammatory response and wound-healing by stimulating macrophages. It’s thick in texture but silky and features some wonderful emollients like stearic acid, squalene, and vitamin E-rich avocado oil to deliver extra antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.
Often touted as France’s best-kept beauty secret, this is one of the best over-the-counter retinol complexes out there. It features a mix of three retinol esters: retinyl acetate, retinyl palmitate, and retinyl propionate, which is the most effective out of the three. This is a silky protective ointment that works wonders for acne, hyperpigmentation, and fine lines and wrinkles, and it’s particularly great for those in very dry climates as it won’t leave your skin feeling stripped. However, it’s pretty damn strong, so go easy once you start. For any retinol newbies out there, I wrote a lengthy retinol-for-rookies guide here [Embed: https://pillowtalkderm.com/blogs/news/retinol-for-newbies-a-dermatologist-s-comprehensive-guide-the-best-serums-and-creams-for-all-budgets] where I chat through retinoids, how to use them, their benefits, and more.
This is another much-loved bathroom cabinet staple — it’s a homeopathic treatment in a Vaseline-like ointment base that’s packed with calendula. For those who aren’t familiar with this ingredient, it’s a plant extract that offers amazing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory perks, and it also aids in preventing trans-epidermal water loss to help keep your skin plump and well-nourished.
Formulated for sensitive skin, this is a lovely first-step cleanser that's also gentle enough for teens and does a standout job in removing makeup, oils, and other impurities without disrupting your skin’s hydrolipidic film. And don’t confuse or substitute it with Garnier’s — I know, the pink caps can get confusing, but this is, by far, the more superior micellar solution on the market.
Avène is a very famous French skincare brand with products designed to soothe sensitive skin. Their formulations are infused with mineralized thermal spring water, which is sourced directly from the French village of Avène, and multiple studies have backed its anti-inflammatory abilities, which is why it comes highly recommended for skin redness. Currently, I’m enjoying Avène's Hydrance Intense Rehydrating Serum. It’s a lightweight, glycerin-based serum that soothes and restores skin hydration. Their Cicalfate+ Restorative Protective Cream is also worth looking into. It's yet another effective multipurpose cream that helps heal minor cuts and dryness.
This is another French brand that's geared towards sensitive skin. Two products that I love from their range are: their Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer with SPF 30, ceramides, niacinamide, glycerin, and thermal water sourced from La Roche-Posay, a tiny town in the countryside of western France, and then their Cicaplast Baume B5, a beautiful all-in-one skin protectant for cracked and chapped skin, dryness-induced irritations and also diaper rash for the little ones.
In case you missed it, you can watch my French skincare haul here
and I’ve also included a shopping link in the video description so you can stock up on all my French pharmacy faves in a jiffy.