Tuesday, 27 March 2012

My French Pharmacy Favourites!

My favourite make-up maestro Lisa Eldridge recently posted a video about her her favourite French pharmacy skincare favourites, which inspired me to post about my own.  Though my job is nowhere near as glamorous as Lisa's (nor am I nowhere near as talented in the make-up application department), I completely comprehend and share her love for French pharmacy skincare brands. For me and my sensitive skin, they are the best thing to keep me soothed and soft!

I'm not lucky enough to be dashing off to Paris now and again in order to stock up on my French pharmacy faves, but luckily enough for me, the brands have slowly been making their way over the channel to Blighty. 

My favourite ranges are La Roche Posay, Avene, Vichy, Caudalie, Klorane and Bioderma.  So far, the first five brands have been readily available from larger Boots stores, John Lewis, other department stores and smaller 'boutiquey' pharmacies that have popped up in London in recent years.  With Bioderma, I mostly order online, or occasionally pick up in speciality make up supply shops if I am in the area.

My top places to buy French pharmacy brands:

1. Garden Pharmacy, 119 Long Acre, Covent Garden, London WC2E 9PB.  Love this pharmacy in Covent Garden, which stocks numerous beauty and perfume brands!  It also has a great loyalty card scheme.  If you're not in London, you can buy online at: Garden Pharmacy
2. Le Guide Sante - http://www.leguidesante.co.uk - an online emporium where you can all those hard to track down brands!  The amount of brands they stock is amazing!
3. Escentual - http://www.escentual.com - another online favourite which stocks numerous beauty and perfume brands
4. Guru Makeup Emporium, Studio 4 Filmer Mews, 75 Filmer Road, Fulham, London SW6 7JF.  This shop is great for speciality makeup and beauty supplies.  Again if you're not in London, buy online at Guru

My French Pharmacy Favourites!

My top buys from my favourite brands are:

1. Vichy Dermablend Corrective Foundation Stick - for those days when you need more coverage than usual, but don't want to appear caked in make-up!  This is really kind to skin and I also use it as a concealer. £12.70, from Garden Pharmacy (Garden have a 1/3 off sale on all Vichy products till 31 March) also available from larger Boots stores, or online at Lloyds Pharmacy.

2. La Roche Posay Physiological Micellar Solution - a lovely gentle cleansing water, ideal for my sensitive skin!  Shifts all make-up without being harsh.  A close contender to the Bioderma Crealine H20 cleanser.  It's £7.70 at the moment at Garden Pharmacy, normally £11.50. Also available from Boots online, and Escentual (who are also running a 1/3 off sale on French pharmacy brands till 31 March).

3. La Roche Posay Physiological Soothing Toner - I use this alongside the cleansing water - a lovely, soothing toner that just feels kind to the skin.  It's £7.70 at the moment at Garden Pharmacy, normally £11.50. Also available from Boots online, and Escentual

4. La Roche Posay Toleriane Riche - when your skin is feeling parched and thirty, replenish with this moisturiser, which contains soothing, anti-irritant water from the La Roche-Posay hydrotherapy spa as well as both squalane and glycerin to moisturise and protect. It's also enriched with 7% shea butter.  I've used this throughout the winter months when central heating and the changing weather was playing havoc on my skin!  It's £9.70 at the moment at Garden Pharmacy, normally £14.00.  Also available from Boots online, and Escentual

5. Avene Skin Recovery Cream - an ultra gentle cream, Avene Skin Recovery Cream is specifically designed to restore comfort to troublesome skin, helping to calm irritation and rebuild the hydrolipidic film.  Has saved me on more than one occasion!  £8.33 at the moment at Escentual, normally £12.50.  Also available at Garden Pharmacy, larger Boots stores and online.

6. Klorane Oatmilk Shampoo - a very gentle shampoo, which cleans the hair and the scalp, made from oat milk, one of my favourites! It's £4.00 at the moment from Escentual, normally around £6.50.  Also available from John Lewis, Garden Pharmacy.

7. Klorane Oatmilk Gentle Dry Shampoo Spray - a dry shampoo version of the above, ultra gentle, with no overpowering fragrance! Works like magic to revive hair in between washes, but with your hair remaining soft and natural!  It's £5.00 at the moment from Escentual, normally £7.50 (for 150 ml).  Also available from John Lewis, Garden Pharmacy.

8. Bioderma Crealine H20 Make Up Remover - one of the most gentle and soothing cleansing waters available and a dream for my sensitive skin!  I think it is the best in the cleansing water/micellar solution categories.  Available from Guru Makeup Emporium or Leguidesante, prices vary, around £15.50.

9. Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum Complexion Correcting - a gentle, milky serum that I use morning and evening before moisturiser for added radiance.  I find it's perfect for the transition from winter skin to spring, when skin is lacking that sparkle! Available from stockists including John Lewis, Space NK, but I buy it from Leguidesante, for a lot less!

10. Caudalie Beauty Elixir - a favourite of the fashion and beauty pack and with good reason! This is a lovely soothing and smoothing multitasking product.  It tones, freshens, revives... the list is endless! You can use it under makeup or over makeup throughout the day to freshen yourself up.  You can even keep it in the fridge for a cool boost on hot days. Available from stockists including John Lewis, Space NK, but I buy it from Leguidesante, for a lot less!

What are your favourite French pharmacy brands and products?


  1. Hi

    Just a quick mention for two more French brands available in the UK - Eye Care Cosmetics and NATorigin. Admittedly, they don't sound very French!

    Both are formulated for extremely sensitive eyes and skin by Contapharm Laboratoires. They have been selling into French/European pharmacies and parapharmacies for over 30 years now so are very well established.

    Thanks Michelle (UK distributor)

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