We have so much to be grateful to the French for. Pastries. The first hairdryer. The bikini. The metric system. Champagne. Mayonaisse. And of course, the chicest women in the world.
Just like their approach to fashion and beauty, French women live a faff-free life and when it comes to their skincare, the French pharmacy is a fountain of problem-solving, trend-and-fad-free knowledge. Plus, if it means I’ll look like Vanessa Paradis at 45, I’ll give it a go.
Irish pharmacies are now stocked up with Gallic gems, so now, if you’re packing for Paris, there’s no need to free up space in the suitcase. Réjouir!
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Here are six French pharmacy heroes to add to your routine.
Avène Eau Thermal Spring Water, €8.99
Let’s dive into the history of Avène for a moment. In 1736, a horse – bare with me – with pruritus (dry, itchy skin) went for a swim in the Orb river, in the village of Avène in southern France. After a few swims, the horse’s skin condition completely healed. That’s where the discovery of Avène cult classic Thermal Spring Water began – with the soothing and anti-irritating properties found in the Orb Valley. Avène Thermal Spring Water was also used to treat burn victims of the Great Chicago Fire in 1871. Now, not only can you mist that magical elixir directly onto your skin, you can find a minimum of 50% of it in every Avène product.
Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water 250ml, €11.50
The original micellar water, Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water sells every two seconds around the world. Micellar water, or eau micellaire, originated in France – thank you again, you beautiful geniuses – and dates back 100 years to a water shortage in France in 1918. Jennifer Rock told us that in micellar water little oil molecules “are attracted to debris and oil thus acting as a magnet to remove the residue from the pore.”Bioderma Sensibio is mild, has a pH of – 5 so it’s safe, and has soothing and decongesting active ingredients designed to eliminate impurities without drawing out moisture from the skin. If you rely on micellar water, make this your go-to.
Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Or Dry Oil, €27
Nuxe – the name which comes from a blend of the words ‘nature’ and ‘luxe’ was created by Aliza Jabès, who loved aromatherapy and phytotherapy. Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse was her first product and one bottle is sold every seven seconds. The sparkly version, Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Or Dry Oil, is moisturising with a warming scent of essential oils – apply it to your body for soft sparkling skin or add a drop to your body lotion for a subtle highlight on the collarbones or down the arms.
SVR Xérial Peel, €35
Pharmacists Simone and Robert Véret created SVR in 1962 with the aim of created targeted products that tackled skincare issues with the highest possible doses of active ingredients without affecting the skin’s tolerance. Xérial was created with 50% urea concentration – an industry first – to target very dry skin. An IMAGE Beauty Award 2018 winner, the SVR Xérial Peel, €35 is an exfoliating sock mask for a new skin effect in a single application that deeply moisturises the feet while protecting the sensitive areas.
La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Hyaluronic Acid Serum, €38
Featured image: @georgiamayjagger