Sometimes the best things in life are hiding in plain sight and one of France’s best-kept secrets is the pharmacie. We’ve seen countless iterations of the glamorous French woman in film and literature and one thing common among them is the certain je ne sais quoi that just exudes chic effortlessness. Being unbothered is part of their charm and that attitude also extends to beauty. Case in point: many of their essentials are French drugstore beauty buys.
Unlike the usual drugstore, however, French pharmacies feature a broad range of products at different price points but all offer high-quality results. For all their casualness, the French do actually take their skin and body care seriously. Thankfully, you don’t have to go all the way to Paris to partake in the French experience as many of these products are available internationally. Deciding on which ones to try can be quite overwhelming the first time so here’s our little guide to French drugstore beauty items to check out on your next shopping trip.
Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Solution
Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Solution, SGD7.95/~USD6 (watsons.com)
A staple of French drugstore beauty, Bioderma’s micellar water has earned cult status among celebrities and beauty insiders for its effective cleansing powers. French It girl Jeanne Damas calls it an indispensable product in her routine.
Avène Eau Thermale Cleanance Soapless Cleanser
Avène Eau Thermale Cleanance Soapless Cleanser, SGD30.50/~USD22 (watsons.com)
Avène’s pH-friendly cleanser has the most refreshing herbal scent. Infused with the brand’s renowned thermal spring water, this soapless cleanser gently purifies the skin while providing an instant soothing effect.
Caudalie Beauty Elixir
Caudalie Beauty Elixir, SGD22/~USD16 (sephora.com)
Many have sung praises for Caudalie’s facial mist for its brightening properties. Inspired by Queen Isabelle of Hungary’s famed elixir of youth, this convenient spray primes, hydrates and sets makeup for a flawless finish.
Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré
Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré, SGD36/~USD26 (lookfantastic.com)
Embryolisse’s cream is a popular French drugstore beauty essential because it’s a great multitasker. It can work as a makeup remover, primer, and moisturiser all in one handy tube. The rich formula contains essential fatty acids and vitamins to hydrate the skin and promote cell renewal.
La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo+
La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo+, SGD42.90/~USD31 (watsons.com)
Tough on blemishes but gentle on the skin, La Roche Posay’s treatment flies quickly off the shelves. The solution makes use of a keratolytic (a treatment for removing warts and other skin textures) called LHA, which absorbs easily and is non-drying. It can also be worn under makeup as the formula doesn’t make skin sensitive to the sun!
Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse
Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse, SGD25/~PHP945 for 30ml (rustans-thebeautysource.com)
Nuxe’s dry oil is an iconic French drugstore beauty product with good reason. The ultra-luxurious yet lightweight oil nourishes the skin with a blend of anti-ageing, soothing, and moisturising oils. It can be used on the hair, body, and face, leaving behind a fragrance that is absolutely divine.
Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oatmilk
Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oatmilk, SGD14.90/~USD11
The secret to French girl hair, Klorane’s dry shampoo gently cleanses strands with effective oil-absorbing ingredients to control excess sebum. It also provides a great lift for roots giving you that perfectly tousled, lived in effect.
With these French drugstore beauty products in your vanity drawer, channelling that effortlessly beautiful spirit will come almost naturally that people will be wondering “What is it about her?” Don’t worry, we won’t tell.
Next, check out these halal beauty brands in time for Ramadan.