French Skincare Brands to Try

7 Skincare Product Recommendations from a French Pharmacist

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I never thought I’d be THAT woman. The one who travels with a bag full of skincare or beauty products. Then, I entered my early 30s and became a full-time digital nomad. Now, if I don’t travel with my skincare and beauty products I don’t have them at all.

Because, well, my life is on the road now. And I love it! But I also love self care and unique experiences. In the pursuit of both, the last time I was in Paris I knew there was one spot I HAD to visit. No, not the Eiffel Tower or Louvre. Not even Ladurée for macarons. On this particular trip to Paris, I had CityPharma Paris on my mind.

Skincare Product Recommendations from a French Pharmacist

I’d heard that this is the place to go to get French pharmacists to not only talk to, but also advise you on your skincare routine. And, that the products are significantly more affordable than found here in the US since what we consider high-end brands here are simply staple drug-store brands there. Tres chic.

I walked in early on a weekday to avoid the crowds and spent some time simply wandering the aisles. While I was taking in the sights of the pretty bottled blues and pinks, strolling through the serums and oils, admiring the cleansers and moisturizers I was approached by a skin specialist.

She asked what my skin concerns were and I was prepared — anti-aging and dark spot fading, please! I grew up with oily, acne-prone skin and while I don’t break out quite as much anymore I still have scars to remember pimples of the past by.

I had tried retinol in the past but could never bring myself to make it through the ‘purging’ stage so I requested something more sensitive.

Recently, I shared everything I ended up purchasing from the French pharmacy in this TikTok video. But I’ll list all the products out below as well. You can also find all my current skincare and beauty favorites linked in my Amazon store, including the ones listed in this post.

Psst! Planning Paris travel ? Check out this itinerary for Paris travel tips!

French Pharmacist Recommends : Top 7 Skin Picks

Avene Cleanance Gel

First, we got me set up with a gentle cleanser. I am still carrying around this big bottle of Avene face wash — it’s been 6 months and I still have product left! This blue gel is soothing, lightly scented and gentle on my sensitive skin

La Roche Posay Moisturizer

This next product has become one of my absolute favorites in my skincare routine. The French pharmacist recommended this to me to help counteract the dryness that was possible due to the serum she guided me toward (getting to that soon, another favorite!).

The La Roche Posay Hyaluranic Acid Face Cream is so hydrating and has multiple uses in my skincare regimen now. I use it over my serum, as intended. I also often use it before bed as an under-eye cream and overnight mask of sorts to keep my skin moisturized and plump.

I keep buying this and of all the La Roche Posay products I’d say it’s my favorite!

la roche posay moisturizer

La Roche Posay Scrub

I realize (based on TikTok comments) that a physical scrub can be considered harsh. I use a chemical exfoliant once every couple weeks because I actually find it more abrasive to the skin than this La Roche Posay Ultra-Fine Scrub.

The pharmacist I spoke with suggested I should be scrubbing and applying a mask twice a week to support my skin’s deep cleansing.

la roche posay ultra fine scrub

La Roche Posay Mask

Always following the scrub, I apply this La Roche Posay Shine Control Clay Mask. It only needs to be left on for 20 minutes and I find it’s the perfect way to force myself to relax a couple times a week when I’m too caught up in action mode with work, school and life.

I can normally sense when I’m ready for the scrub/mask combo, when my skin feels clogged up, but I aim for 2x a week as was recommended. If you’re seeking a clay mask for oily skin, this is my go-to.

la roche posay french skincare clay mask

ACM Depiwhite Brown Spot Treatment

The ACM DEPIWHITE Anti Brown Spot Cream was my skin consultant’s response to seeing the scarring on my face. I’ll be honest, I have no way to guarantee this is working. From what I can tell, it’s more effective on newer scars than older ones.

I’ve been in Costa Rica and Mexico for the last several months meaning I’m super tan and can’t tell how well the spot treatment is working, but I continue to apply it and will likely grab another tube of this stuff when I run out.

Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen & Matte Screen

Okay so, the French pharmacist did not recommend this particular brand but she did strongly encourage sunscreen. Lucky for me, my sister had already made it loud and clear that I needed to start incorporating facial sunscreen into my routine as soon as possible.

My sister is probably the biggest influencer in my own life — whatever she has I usually want. Why are younger sisters so much cooler??

Anyway, that’s why I started using Supergoop sunscreen. What I love about this Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen is that it doubles as a primer under my makeup. As someone with larger pores, I appreciate this double duty impact.

On the flip side, as someone with oily skin I also really appreciate the Supergoop Matte Screen. I have both in my toiletry bag at the moment, TBD which one will get replenished after I run out.

Supergoop unseen sunscreen for skin health
anti aging skincare supergoop matte sunscreen

Incarose Vitamin Serum for Face

Alright, this final product is my crown jewel. The Incarose Pure Solutions Vitamins A+C+E+F Serum is an alternative to harsh retinol and the perfect anti-aging tool in my belt. After purchasing and finishing only 1 bottle of this stuff from City Pharma Paris, I realized how hard it was going to be to replace it.

As I was still in Europe, and this is either a Spanish or Italian brand, I thought it would be easy enough to restock. Especially while I was in both Spain and Italy!

Later, I learned even other parts of France did not carry this serum. What’s so special about it? The fact that it’s a gentle formula with vitamins A+C+E+F ALL in one bottle.

I realized on my hunt to replenish my stock just how rare that is, as pharmacist’s would direct me to multiple serums to have the same effect. Finally, I found an online pharmacy that has it in stock and I bought 2 more bottles. I’ll be back in Paris soon and plan to really stock up on this stuff from the pharmacie this time!

Incarose Pure Solutions Vitamins A C E F

There you have it, my top 7 skincare products recommended by a French pharmacist. This is the longest I’ve kept a true skincare routine going, and the products + trusting the consultant behind them has made all the difference for me.

Which of these are you planning to try? What else should I check out at CityPharma Paris the next time I’m there?

7 French Skincare Products Recommended by a French Pharmacist | French Pharmacy Skincare Product Recommendations from CityPharma
French Skincare Brands to Try