Wednesday, 13 June 2012

French Pharmacy Must Haves

There is nothing I like more than perusing pharmacies in foreign countries. The US ones are incredible, huge and full of amazing makeup and cosmetics. But the French ones, although smaller, offer wonderful products that can be next to impossible to get hold of in the UK. I have just sent my mother in law off on a mission to replenish my Bioderma stocks in Paris (I'm sure she loves nothing more than traipsing around Paris in search of beauty products for me!). If French isn't your mother tongue, it can be hard to navigate around pharmacies and find the beauty must haves, so I thought I'd share mine. I speak a little French, mainly involving wine, beer and the word 'more', but through trial and error, have found some fab bits and bobs that I always buy when I'm away.

Bioderma Crealine H20: This is the number 1, must buy, never visit France without purchasing product. It looks pretty unassuming, almost boring, but it is Ah-mhaze-zing. Seriously. It removes every spec of makeup, without drying, irritating, stinging, greasing or anything else. Imagine saying a magic word and suddenly your skin being clean...that is what this product does. It's gentle and hypoallergenic, so perfect for every skin type. And, even better, it is a cheapy. A few pounds in France, a bit more if you pay to have it shipped over, which you can do (but I like to justify a spa weekend at the George V i order to buy it, although my logic has not worked on Mr. G quite yet). 

Nuxe: Reve de Miel and Huile Prodigieux: Two brilliant products. The Creme de Miel is a honey based hand cream, which sinks in quickly, leaving soft, supple hands. I adore the scent and always buy some. The matching lipbalm is lovely too. However, Nuxe really beat the competition when it comes to dry body oil. The Huile Prodigieux, either in the plain or golden varieties are so good for adding glow and sheen to your skin, without leaving an oily residue. It is also great for pregnant bumps, it really seems to make your skin glow with health, and prevent stretch marks. I cover myself in the stuff after a bath, and really rate it highly.

Savon de Marsaille: Deliciously scented and uber stylish handsoap. This is available in the UK quite readily, but I love to buy it in France (Mr. G loves carrying heavy suitcases), and leave it by the kitchen sink as a reminder of my lovely holiday (pre-children, now the only memories I have seem to involve vomit and 5am wake ups). To be certified as 'Marsaille', it has to be made with natural oils and be very good quality. I am partial to the 'Pamplemousse' variety (grapefruit), mainly because I love saying the word, but it does smell delicious too!

Avibon: I read about this in Vogue, ages ago, and have now become a convert. This, medical looking tube, is an anti-ageing, wrinkle fighting cream, packed with Vitamin A (avoid like the plague if you are pregnant though). It soothes dry patches, but doesn't give you spots, while reducing wrinkles. What more can you ask for.

Caudalie Beauty Elixir: A spritz of this over your makeup, will not only pep you and your face up, but will help to fight wrinkles, tighten pores and make you look radiant. Claiming to contain an 'elixir of youth' keep one in your handbag for youth-lacking emergencies. I do!

All products are available from most French pharmacies, for much less than the prices below, but if you are not planning to visit France soon, do not fear!

Bioderma Crealine H2O: £8.58 plus £6.07 for shipping (it takes a while!), online at Le Guide Sante

Nuxe Huile De Prodigeuse: £23.70 online

Nuxe Reve De Miel: £10 online

Savon De Marsaille Hand Soap: from £10, available online from Amazon

Avibon, only available in France (sorry!)

Caudalie Beauty Elixir: from £9.90, available online 


  1. I've only tried the Bioderma and the Avibon before, but I'm going back to France in September so I'm definitely going to invest in some of these! Thank you!

  2. This is delightful! I was recently in Spain with my partner visiting his family and wanted to rummage through the local pharmacy of the chic little town we were staying in. Thankfully I have his familial ties to encourage us back!


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