These days, it seems like people are infatuated with everything French – French fashion, French models, French crêpes. One of the bonuses of living in Paris, besides a front row view of the Eiffel Tower, is constant access to the French pharmacy. When it comes to beauty products, especially for skincare and hair, French products are the crème de la crème. They are both effective and affordable. Over the summer, my best friend shipped me a large box of French products to try, and I’ve managed to come up with a list of my favorite French discoveries. If you are ever in Paris, visit City-Pharma in St. Germain, as it’s tax-free. However, even if you don’t live in Paris or visit Paris, you can still try these products for yourself by purchasing them online.
1. Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Dry Oil ($27)
Putting oil directly onto your skin sounds a bit odd, but once you use Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Dry Oil, you’ll be hooked. It’s an amalgam of six essential oils – such as sweet almond, camellia, hazelnut, and macadamia – that hydrates the skin. The point that won us over is its multi-purpose function: we use it in our hair, apply a few drops to our face for a dewy finish, or rub it into any rough patches, since the formula contains a generous dose of healing vitamin E. It smells lush and leaves you looking more fresh than when you stepped out of the shower – a win-win!
2. Bioderma Crealine H2O Micelle Solution ($23)
This pseudo-cleanser makeup remover is every makeup artist’s secret product. It looks like water, but don’t be fooled – this product is gentle on the softest of skins and hailed as the king of makeup removers. Even when you wear waterproof mascara, a swipe of Bioderma-dampened cotton on the eye leaves no trace of any makeup. An added bonus is that it can be used as a toner after cleansing your face. We’re always told to never sleep with makeup on, and what better way to follow this rule than to use Bioderma.
3. Weleda Wild Rose Creamy Body Wash ($12)
It’s hard to determine whether Weleda’s Wild Rose Creamy Body Wash is a bestseller due to its sweet smell or perfectly creamy texture. Featuring organic rosehip seed oil, the product leaves your skin smooth like velvet and nourishes you with essential fatty oils. Whenever I use this body wash, people are always asking me what perfume gave me this “naturally floral scent.” Plus, the apothecary hot-pink tube looks equal parts femme and cool in your bathroom cabinet.
4. Homeoplasmine ($25)
This French import is a godsend for anyone who wants to emulate Angelina Jolie’s or Lindsey Wixson’s full, soft lips. With one swipe overnight, my lips felt non-oily, non-sticky, but markedly crease-free. The strange thing is that Homeoplasmine is marketed as a nipple ointment for breast-feeding moms, but stop anyone on the streets of Paris, and they are guaranteed to tell you they use it as a lip balm or for glossing eyelids. It’s like French Aquaphor without the heavy sheen.
5. Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk ($18)
French brand Klorane is taking over the hair industry by a storm with their dry shampoo. For days when you have too much homework and can’t be bothered to shampoo, dry shampoo is a lifesaver. The aerosol spray is easy to use. Simply spray your roots evenly while holding the can 10 inches from your head, allow your scalp to soak up the product for two minutes, and brush your hair thoroughly. Made with softening and protective oat milk, the dry shampoo cleans hair, eliminates dirt and oil, and regains volume, all without water!
6. Embryolisse ($23)
I’m already on my second tube of this miracle cream, Embroyolisse. Since the 1950’s, every Frenchie has devotedly used this creamy-scented cult moisturizer, from Jane Birkin to Julia Restoin Roitfeld. Containing aloe vera, shea butter, and soy proteins, it’s non-aggressive and hydrates the skin without feeling heavy. An added bonus: we’ve heard that if you prep your face with a small slather of Embroyolisse, foundation glides on like butter.
For more international beauty secrets from countries ranging from Brazil to India to Ireland, check out our upcoming print issue, coming out this January.
Photos courtesy of Amazon (1, 2), Bioderma, WeDoOrganic, Ricky’s NYC, and Heaven Salon.