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12 Iconic French Pharmacy Skincare Brands (and the products we love)

By Carly Cochrane - 1 year ago | Updated
best french skin care products

From A-beauty, to J-beauty and K-beauty, it seems like we can’t get enough of alphabet-inspired formulas. But, whilst the newbies enter the limelight, one letter remains at the forefront: F-beauty.

French beauty has been a pioneer in the industry for quite some time now, and trust us, it hasn’t gone unnoticed. French-born products have continuously been a backstage favourite at the likes of fashion week, with both makeup artists and hair stylists swearing by them.

Luckily, the goods have now made their way across the channel and are much more accessible to all beauty enthusiasts. Before now, you would have to splash out on a Eurostar ticket if you wanted to get your hands on the epic skin care and feel-good formulas.

To help you be the first to snap up the best of the bunch, we've rounded up a list of iconic French pharmacy products.

Avène

Avène's story began in 1763 in a small, rural village located in the South of France. Today, they are one of the biggest beauty brands across the globe, renowned for their iconic Thermal Spring Water. With each product specially designed to naturally soothe, comfort and protect sensitive and irritable skin, you can trust Avène to heal any skin concern.

Avène Thermal Water - 150ml

Avène Thermal Water

Ask a French girl if she's used the Thermal Water as part of a skin care routine and the answer will almost always be yes. It's Avène's famed formula, as it boasts a magnitude of beautifying benefits. Whether you use it to set makeup, calm redness or as a hydrating pick-me-up, you can guarantee skin looks and feels healthier.

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Avène Cleanance Cleansing Gel

Avène Cleanance Cleansing Gel

This cleansing gel flies off the shelves thanks to its ability to purify and regulate oil production without the use of soap. Ideal for blemish prone skin, it’s a gentle formula that’s good to use on both your face and body.

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Embryolisse

The Embryolisse journey dates back to the 1950s, when a dermatologist in a Parisian hospital created a formula that would keep the patient's skin hydrated. Now, it's a staple name in not only French households, but homes across the world. Even the likes of Karlie Kloss, Kim Kardashian and Scarlett Johansson are firm fans.

Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre

Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre

The Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentre is nothing but an all-rounder. Boasting a three-in-one formula, it can be used as a moisturising lotion, primer and makeup remover. No wonder it's a best-seller.

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Embryolisse Lait Creme Fluid

Embryolisse Lait Creme Fluid

The Lait Creme collection is home to another popular formula. The Fluide is a velvety-smooth lotion that can be used as a replenishing moisturiser, after sun, makeup remover and more.

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NUXE

Ahh, Nuxe. This is a French skin care brand that we are high-key obsessed with. From their eco-friendly ingredients to their innovative formulas and sweet-smelling scents, the French are really on to a winner with this one.

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Riche Multi-Purpose Nourishing Oil

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Riche Multi-Purpose Nourishing Oil

It’s a cult-classic and the multitasker that French women swear by. Made from entirely natural ingredients, the NUXE dry oil laces hair, skin and body with an unmatched moisture and a scent that screams summer.

Don't believe us? Check out our NUXE Dry Oil Review and see how it transformed a temperamental complexion.

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Nuxe Reve De Miel Ultra Nourishing Lip Balm

Nuxe Reve De Miel Ultra Nourishing Lip Balm

Looking for a lip balm that actually works? Allow us to introduce you to the Nuxe Reve De Miel Ultra Nourishing Lip Balm. This hardworking formula can restore and revive dry, sore and chapped lips in no time at all.

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SVR Laboratoire

SVR Laboratoire originated as a family business, when husband and wife embarked on a mission to formulate dermatological active ingredients without affecting the skin's tolerance. Now, they offer expert products that can tackle everything from acne, eczema, hyperpigmentation and ageing.

SVR Sun Secure Cream SPF 30

SVR Sun Secure Cream SPF 30

A protective sun lotion that's water-resistant, non-sticky, non-greasy and suitable for the entire family... we'll take them all. The Sun Secure Cream SPF 30 safeguards your skin whilst also ensuring you achieve a luminous and even-looking tan.

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SVR Clairial Hyperpigmentation Serum

SVR Clairial Hyperpigmentation Serum

Wave bye-bye to brown spots and dark patches, as this potent serum gets to work on reducing the overall appearance of hyperpigmentation. With an 8% Depigmenting Complex and 2% stabilised vitamin C blend, the serum simultaneously reduces the depth of dark spots and boosts natural radiance.

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Filorga

The secret behind French women's youthful looks has been revealed. Filorga is the line of products that kept signs of premature ageing and sagging skin in check, way before botox was a thing. With hyaluronic acid powering their formulas, it's your one-stop-shop to keeping a young and plump complexion.

Filorga Time-Filler Eyes

Filorga Time-Filler Eyes

Keep your peepers pretty, as anti-ageing experts Filorga bring you the ultimate formula. Inspired by the latest, innovative medical techniques, this eye correction cream smooths, plumps and lifts skin around the eye to reveal younger and wider looking peepers.

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Filorga Time Zero Serum

Filorga Time Zero Serum

Whether its contraction wrinkles, deep wrinkles, surface wrinkles, fatigue wrinkles or expression wrinkles, this high-powered, perfectly balanced serum can help minimise the appearance of them all.

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Bioderma

Bioderma are one of the most popular and recognisable brands in the industry at the moment. Home to one of the best micellar water collections plus other skin-loving formulas, such as sunscreen, it's a French favourite that deserves a place in your every day routine.

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Make-up Removing Micelle Solution

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Make-up Removing Micelle Solution

It’s the veteran of all micellar waters and our favourite for makeup removal that’s mess-free. Its ability to dissolve all traces of build-up whilst soothing skin is what makes this a hit backstage at fashion week.

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Bioderma Sensibio DS+ Cream

Bioderma Sensibio DS+ Cream

Give stressed out skin a break with a smothering of the Bioderma Sensibio DS+ Cream. Developed to calm and soothe red, dry and flaky skin, the gel cream utilises gentle ingredients such as coconut oil to provide ultimate comfort and care.

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Erborian

When French luxury is combined with Korean innovation, the result can only be ground-breaking. Erborian is a skin care line that utilises both Korean technologies and high-end ingredients in order to create makeup and skin care hybrids that are truly unmatched.

Erborian CC Creme Dore

Erborian CC Creme Dore

Korean intelligence combines with French beauty to create this epic CC cream. A few swipes of this velvety-soft formula will leave you with skin that’s perfected and radiant. If you want to know more, check out our guide to CC cream.

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Erborian Yuza Double Lotion

Erborian Yuza Double Lotion

Supercharged with Yuza, a powerful antioxidant ingredient, this lotion packs the ability to defend the skin against environmental aggressors. Your natural skin barrier is strengthened and the deeper layers of skin are hydrated for an all-round, healthy-looking complexion.

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Vichy

Vichy is the French-born brand that caters to even the most sensitive skin types. For 80 years and counting, they've been providing formulas that are rich in minerals and help to soothe, calm and clarify skin.

Vichy Thermal Spa Water Spray

Vichy Thermal Spa Water Spray

Originating from the French volcanoes, Vichy’s Mineralizing Thermal Water is your one-stop shop to healthy skin. Enriched with 15 minerals, the hero product protects, fortifies and smooths your complexion.

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Vichy Mineral 89

Vichy Mineral 89

The Vichy Mineral 89 Serum is the daily dose of TLC your skin needs. Made with 89% Vichy Thermal Mineralising Water - the highest concentration in the range - it works to plump, hydrate and protect your skin like never before.

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La Roche-Posay

The French swear by their products, A-listers swear by their products and we swear by their products. La Roche-Posay has been offering highly effective skin care solutions for all concerns for the last 30 years. Whether it's redness, acne, oiliness, ageing or dryness, there is a formula here that will transform your skin for good.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Cleansing Gel

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Cleansing Gel

Calling all oily-skinned beauties, this is the cleanser you never knew you needed until now. Once applied with water, the gel lathers into a foam that works overtime to balance sebum production, shrink pores and minimise blackheads and blemishes. Skin if left purified, clarified and fresher than ever before.

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La Roche-Posay Anthelios Anti-Shine SPF 50+

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Anti-Shine SPF 50+

If there’s one product that will keep you shielded from harmful UV rays, it’s the Ultra-Light Anthelios Face Sunscreen. The non-greasy formula provides very high sun protection, making it ideal for all skin types, especially fair and sensitive complexions.

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Darphin

Pierre Darphin was a Parisian kinesiotherapist that brought together some of the world's best cosmetologists, massage therapists, manicure experts and other professionals to create a line of never-seen-before skin treatments. Today, Darphin serves up everything from day creams to face oils and serums, all of which keep your skin in tip-top condition.

Darphin Intral Toner

Darphin Intral Toner

This toner is the perfect pick-me-up for skin that has had a long day. Natural ingredients like chamomile and sage soothe, whilst makeup and impurities are removed. The result? A clearer, brighter, more energised complexion.

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Darphin 8 Flower Nectar

Darphin 8 Flower Nectar

Staying true to its name, this rejuvenating elixir blends the rare aromatic essences from eight precious flowers in order to visibly improve the appearance of your complexion. Expect skin to feel comfortable, nourished, renewed and full of life after just a few applications.

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Institut Esthederm

The Parisians really do know a thing or two about skin care, don't they? Institut Esthederm is an innovative skin care and sun care brand that supplies nothing but skin-friendly formulas. Their products only ever work to boost your natural beauty and help to prolong it, so that you can flaunt youthful and healthy skin for years to come.

Institut Esthederm Intensive Propolis Serum

Institut Esthederm Intensive Propolis Serum

Introducing a super serum that is nothing but a household favourite amongst the French. Working to balance and treat acne-prone skin, this high-potency formula unclogs pores, regulates excess sebum and stimulates cell production.

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Institut Esthederm Aftersun Tan Enhancing Body Lotion

Institut Esthederm Aftersun Tan Enhancing Body Lotion

This body lotion from Institut Esthederm makes sure that sun-soaked skin is given the right after care. Infused with the brand's Cellular Water, each layer of skin (even the deepest) is generously nourished and hydrated. Not only does this encourage quicker skin recovery, but it also prolongs the life of your natural tan. It's a win-win.

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Caudalie

Caudalie is the French brand that brings you spa treatments from the comfort of your own home. The skin care line was established in Bordeaux, France, and was the first to combine the revitalising effects of the hot springs water with homegrown vine and grape extracts. It soon found itself on the shelves of many French pharmacies, which then led to its global success today.

Caudalie Beauty Elixir

Caudalie Beauty Elixir

Want to ensure that your beauty looks are budge-proof? Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir uses extracts of grape – the same kind used to create that fine French wine – rosemary, orange blossom, rose, myrrh and organic balm mint to reduce the appearance of pores and give your skin a little pick-me-up.

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Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum Complexion Correcting

Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum Complexion Correcting

A best-seller and global favourite, Vinoperfect Radiance Serum is loved by millions of women as it corrects dark spots with minimal effort required. Saturated with the Caudalie patented Viniferine (which is 62 times more effective than vit C), it effectively boosts radiance and evens skin tone and texture.

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Now that you're fully stocked up with French pharmacy product favourites, why not check out The Best Hand Cream for Dry and Cracked Skin?

Carly Cochrane

Written by Carly Cochrane

Carly is a beauty editor at Cosmetify and has been a part of our family for three years. She has over five years of experience in health, beauty and wellness writing.