The French Pharmacy: The Favorites

Via GOOP by Gwyneth Paltrow

The French Pharmacy

Many of the absolute best beauty products I’ve found come from regular French pharmacies. I always stock up on these items when I’m in France or ask friends to bring some back when they’re passing through. Below is a list of all of my favorites.


Avène Eau Thermale Water Spray

A soothing water spray for irritated skin. It’s also good as a quick refresher on a hot day. I know lots of makeup artists who use it, as it helps set makeup.

Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oatmilk

This stuff’s great when your hair needs a little spiffing up, especially when it’s starting to get a bit greasy. If you want to maintain a blow dry or don’t have time to do a full wash and blow out, this really does the trick. It gets right to the roots and brings back volume and makes your hair less oily.


Meant for skin irritations, it’s also a life-saver when it comes to dry, winter-ravaged skin.


I apply Biafine to my daughter’s lips when they get extra chapped and it always does the trick. We also keep this in the pantry for the inevitable burns, bumps, and scratches. This cream cleans the surface and moisturizes it, minimizing scars and healing the area miraculously fast.

My Notes:

By Prescription only in the US, sold over the counter in France.  In the US it is used for: 

  • Cosmetic surgical procedures
  • Skin cancer excision and destruction
  • Laser resurfacing
  • Mole removal
  • Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)
  • After actinic keratosis removal and treatment
  • Moh’s surgery
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Full and partial thickness wounds
  • Dermal donor sites
  • Chemical peel burns
  • Superficial wounds
  • Radiation dermatitis
  • Dermal Ulcers
  • Graft Site Management


All the makeup artists I know swear by this cream. It works as a super-moisturizer that simultaneously cleans the skin (and helps eliminate zits), leaving it perfectly prepped for makeup.


Avibon is hard to find outside of France, but it’s one of my very favorites. It’s full of Vitamin A, which is wonderful for the skin, getting rid of blemishes, tough dry spots and preventing wrinkles (they say). I know an older movie star who uses this every night and she has the most amazing skin!

Bioderma Crealine H2O Micelle Solution

The BEST makeup remover. It’s unscented, doesn’t dry your skin or sting, and gets rid of all your makeup with a few swipes. You’re left with soft, clean skin.

Alfalux Baume Levres

I always pick this up at the pharmacy when in France. It has an incredibly silky texture.

Phytopharma Apricoderm

This is my ultimate winter lip balm as it’s thick and stays on even in harsh weather. It’s a German product but you can find it all over Europe.

I first discovered these products in France but they are now widely available:

Nuxe Huile Prodigeuse

This is an all-around oil that you can apply to your entire body, face and hair for a quick moisturizing, glossy refresh. It’s great right after the bath as it really takes right then. It also has a very lovely, very subtle smell.

Savon de Marseille Extra Pur

I first discovered this natural, beautifully packaged liquid soap in France. It’s much easier to find now and comes in a variety of aromas. I personally like to keep the Figue bottles in the kitchen and in the bathrooms at home. The French take their products seriously and not just any soap gets the denomination as it must be made up mostly of natural oils in order to be truly Marseillaise.

Biotherm Aquathermale Spa Body Scrub

A solid exfoliating scrub for the shower.

Decléor Aromessence Baume Spa Relax

Decléor’s products are all about their aromatherapeutic qualities. Apply all over right before bed to relax all your muscles at the end of the day.

Caudalie Premières Vendages

Your basic daily moisturizer—good for all types of skin gives and a healthy glow.
Note: Here’s an incredibly well-stocked website for all those skincare needs:


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