The French Pharmacy Edit: 20 Beauty Products I’m Obsessed With

I learned a few things from studying abroad in Paris my junior year of college: the best baguettes are the baguettes tradition, you will sound like a douchebag if you keep starting sentences with “this one time when I studied abroad in Paris” when you get back, and every corner pharmacy store is full of beauty product treasure. Walking into a pharmacy in France is like finding a pot of refreshing, moisturizing, and well-scented gold at the end of a très chic rainbow. For a skincare-obsessive like me, it was where I spent a lot of my time and money during my six months in Paris (#blessed that it’s fairly affordable). 

Luckily, you don’t need a passport to try them out for yourself. Here are my favorite French pharmacy products you can order online that will have you saying au revoir to your current skincare routine. 



S.O.S. Serum with Peony

Scalp care is all the rage these days, but the French have been caring for their scalp for decades. This lightweight scalp treatment reinforces the scalp's natural protection and soothes irritation (like dandruff, dryness, or itchy scalp). Plus, it's is silicone-free, vegan, and pH balanced.


Calming Facial Mist Spray

I do not leave the house without at least a travel-size of this facial mist in my bag. Just one spray infuses the skin with hydrating and soothing antioxidant water. Layer it under makeup for an extra glow or spritz throughout the day for added hydration.

La Roche-Posay

Hydrating Gentle Face Cleanser

This is the OG milk cleanser before milk cleansers were even a thing. This creamy face wash is gentle on skin and thoroughly cleanses while maintaining the skin barrier.


Soothing Micellar Cleansing Water

The product that started a revolution: micellar water has taken the beauty world by storm, and you can thank the French for that. This one cleanses the skin while it hydrates and is gentle enough for sensitive skin.

La Roche-Posay

Pure Vitamin C Face Serum

The French don't just have "no-makeup makeup," they actually wear no makeup. To keep skin glowing sans foundation, a good vitamin C product brightens up and corrects imperfections. This one has 10 percent pure vitamin C, neurosensine, and salicylic acid.


Whitening Mint Toothpaste

I don't know if you consider toothpaste to be a beauty product, but a French woman knows that good dental hygiene is a crucial part of her beauty routine. Plus, how pretty would this one look on your bathroom counter instead of the basic brand you have now?


Moisturizing Melt-in Body Balm

You've heard of cleansing balms for your face, but what about a balm for your body? Thermal spring water and shea butter combine to soften the skin, safflower oil protects against oxidative stress; and notes of rose, jasmine, and bergamot are just plain fancy (and smell amazing).

La Roche-Posay

Retinol B3 Serum

When it comes to serums, the French know what they're doing. This one visibly reduces the look of lines, wrinkles, and signs of premature sun damage with ingredient superstars like retinol and vitamin B3.


Tinted Compact (SPF 50)

A mineral face sunscreen in the form of a tinted compact?? Yep, sign me up. Plus, it contains skin-nourishing vitamin E for potent antioxidant protection and thermal spring water to soften the skin. Your SPF has never looked prettier.


Serum-Milk with Hyaluronic Acid Body Lotion

This hydrating, firming lotion is formulated with hyaluronic acid, LHA, and 10 botanical oils, so you're giving your skin the very best. It firms while evening out your skin's complexion for an all-over glow.

La Roche-Posay

Clear Skin Dry Touch SPF Lotion

Ever since first trying this facial sunscreen in Paris, I've been hooked. Not only does it protect against sun damage like a normal SPF, but it absorbs pore-clogging oil to prevent breakouts (can your SPF do that?). As if that didn't sell me already, it also has a matte finish, which means no more greasy sunscreen face.


Soothing Eye Contour Cream

Anti-aging is big for French women, and they do what they can to prevent wrinkles around delicate areas like the eyes. This eye cream contains antioxidants and vitamin E to protect and moisturize, dextran sulfate to minimize puffiness, and the classic thermal water to relieve irritation.


Multi-Purpose Dry Oil

You know when you stumble upon those products that change your beauty routine? For me, finding this multi-purpose dry oil was one of those moments. It can be used on your face, body, or hair for a moisturized and soft feel that isn't greasy. Don't buy multiple oils for your body, face, and hair! You just need this one.


Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk

Before we were putting oat milk in our lattes, the French were putting oat milk in their dry shampoos. French women do effortless beauty better than anybody, and dry shampoo is a staple in achieving effortless beauty. I love this one because it's nourishing and soothing (thanks to the oat milk!), unlike most dry shampoos.


Vitamin C Brightening Skin Corrector

For an extra brightening boost, this formula contains 15 percent pure Vitamin C and hyaluronic acid for brighter skin that feels firmer in a few days. This serum is also really good for protecting against environmental damage from things like pollution or sun exposure.


Rich Compensating Cream

If you need a super hydrating and thick cream (without feeling too heavy or greasy), look no further than this refreshing Avène product that revitalizes dull and lackluster complexion —without clogging pores.


Double Glow Peeling Mask

What would a list of beauty products be without a really good mask? This one is a five-minute radiance booster for luminous and glowing skin, made with natural AHAs from plant extracts to gently exfoliate the skin's surface for immediate results.


Anti-Pollution Purifying Mist with Aquatic Mint

If you live in a big city like Paris (or, you know, Chicago), odds are you're exposed to pollution on a regular basis. We're starting to be conscious of protecting our skin, but the French know that our hair and scalps need protection too. This purifying mist uses protection from antioxidants to detoxify and protect from pollution, as well as decreasing odors or irritation.

La Roche-Posay

Retinoid Acne Treatment

Your acne has officially met its match, and it comes in chic packaging. This topical treatment helps clear and prevent blackheads, whiteheads, clogged pores, and blemishes with a prescription-strength retinoid. Plus, it improves the skin's overall tone and texture, as if clearing it up wasn't enough.


Peptide-C Anti-Aging Ampoules

Leave it to the French to reinvent skincare altogether. These futuristic capsules provide a daily dose of phyto-peptides, 10 percent pure vitamin C, natural origin hyaluronic acid, and Vichy mineralizing water. The future of skincare is looking efficient, powerful, and a little bit French.