French girl beauty has a sure je ne sais quoi that continues to mystify – an ambitious effortlessness that we can’t get enough of. So we decided to track down French beauty finds that keep skin healthy even before that signature rouge lip.
While we’d rather go straight to our trusty Parisian pharmacy to pick up a bag full of goodies, going straight to the source isn’t always that easy. Luckily, no matter what your summer travel plans are, you can order some of your favorite brands directly on Amazon.
Perhaps start with a good cleanse with La Roche-Posay’s gentle creamy facial cleanser or Klorane’s hair strengthening shampoo. Refresh under-eye dryness with Vichy’s Hyaluronic Acid-infused Eye Gel, or quench parched hands with L’Occitane’s Shea Butter Cream.
Ready to stock your vanity with the best of Les Pharmacies Française? Below is an edit of ten brands to shop now — and top products to consider.
La Roche Posay
La Roche-Posay is one of the most notable French pharmacy brands available in the US – often seen on the shelves of your favorite drugstores and retailers like Ulta. Founded in 1975, the brand is constantly recommended by dermatologists for gentle, yet effective products suitable for even sensitive and mature skin. Consider the gentle cleanser, infused with prebiotic thermal water and brand-name ceramides to lock in skin’s moisture. Or this oil-free sunscreen that helps absorb pore-clogging oils – a solution for acne-prone skin types.
In urgent need of a hair care refresh? Take a look at Klorane’s range of plant-based, biodegradable formulas; Pierre Fabre founded the brand in 1965, inspired by the healing properties of herbal products. Today, the dry shampoo with oat milk is recommended for sensitive scalps to combat irritation and suppress oils. On the other hand, give the strengthening shampoo a try to promote visibly thicker, healthy-looking hair.
The Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré was born in 1950 in a Paris hospital and decades later, the formula is a coveted daily moisturizer that even doubles as a face primer. If you prefer a lighter option, buy the accompanying Fluid lotion which offers the same nourishing and soothing benefits.
Renowned Parisian hairdresser Patrick Alès created Phyto for botanical hair care solutions that were gentler than its chemical-based counterparts. We would reach for the Smoothing Balm to get an ultra-smooth blowout without frizz and tangles. Otherwise, consider the scalp treatment that protects hair follicles and stimulates growth to combat thinning hair.
Founded by Mathilde Thomas in Bordeaux, Caudalie sought to harness the antioxidant power of grape seed polyphenols for anti-aging solutions for the face and body, thanks to the insight of Professor Joseph Vercauteren, a leading specialist in polyphenols. To clarify pores and remove impurities, try the Detox Mask, which cleanses and tightens in just ten minutes. Those looking to remove dark spots should consider the much-loved Vinoperfect serum, which boosts radiance and evens out the complexion.
Jean-Noël Thorel founded Bioderma with skin biology in mind to preserve, protect and strengthen the skin’s natural barrier. With that ethos in mind, you can expect each of its products to do well for sensitive skin types. Perhaps the most iconic product in the United States is micellar water, which easily removes dirt, oil and makeup from the skin without irritating or affecting its natural moisture. Then there’s the facial and body cleansing oil that leaves the skin soft and nourished after one wash.
The history of Avène dates back to the 18th century in the town of the same name in the south of France, where thermal springs were used to treat patients with skin conditions, from dermatitis to eczema and psoriasis. Now the brand is adding the skin-soothing properties of the water to its range of sensitive skin-friendly ointments. Spritz the Thermal Spring Water spray over your face when you want to soothe irritation or a little more moisture. Otherwise, if the typical retinol formulas are too harsh on your skin, consider the RetrinAL cream to smooth and plump fine lines.
Vichy was launched in 1931 and was founded by Dr. Prosper Haller, who took a holistic approach to beauty with general health in mind – powered by Vichy thermal mineral water. And so, as you browse the collection, you’ll discover effective serums such as the LiftActiv Vitamin C, which combines the antioxidant with hyaluronic acid to brighten and firm. To moisturize and smooth fine lines around the eyes, watch out for the Minéral 89 gel.
Leonor Greyl delivers botanically infused solutions to repair, style and nourish all hair types while maintaining a healthy scalp. Co-founded by Greyl and her husband Jean-Marie in 1968, the brand continues to be family-run and is now a worldwide sensation – even celebrities like Conan Gray count as fans. Gray used the styling cream to soften his curls, while the L’Huile de Leonor Greyl is a classic moisturizing pre-shampoo treatment.
Look to L’Occitane en Provence for skin, hair and fragrance products straight from the south of France. As the name suggests, Olivier Baussan founded the brand in 1976 to celebrate the region’s botanicals. To moisturize les mains, apply a dollop of the shea butter infused hand cream as needed. Or, for the body, keep the oil-to-milk cleanser in your shower to experience the nourishing benefits of almond and grapeseed oils.