Before getting to the details of what’s in my latest French Pharmacy haul, after luxury, this is my favourite category of skincare products. Like it or not, the French are masters at skincare and at offering effective products at accessible prices, many of which can hold their own against more expensive items. So as much as I’d love to jet off to France every time I need to restock, the next best thing is online although increasingly, it is possible to find some of the more popular French Pharmacy items over on this side of the pond.
Cleansers, Makeup Removers, Masks
Galenic Pur Velvety Milk cleanses and removes makeup. For me this cleanser is better for morning although it’s also good at emulsifying makeup so that removal is quick.
While the ingredients aren’t trendy and they include mineral oil, this cleanser does what I need it to do, plus it’s 400ml and it’s less than $10.
Galenic Pur 2-in-1 Milky Lotion is my baby and this is my second bottle. This creamy cleanser has surprised me by how well and how quickly it gets rid of makeup including mascara. While I always use a dedicated makeup remover, in actuality I could skip it if I’m using this.
My skin always looks so bright and feels incredibly comfortable after I’ve removed this that it reminds me of my other favourite cleanser that’s also French but five times more expensive, Biologique Recherche Lait VIP 02.
The 2-in-1 Milky Lotion also comes in a 200ml container and it’s less than six dollars. By the way, Galénic is part of the Pierre Fabre Conglomerate, of which Avène, maker of my all-time fave, Avène Thermal Spring Water Spray is part of. And the best part is that the Avène Thermal Spring Water is one of those French Pharmacy items that are increasingly available here.
Klorane Eye Makeup Remover features blue cornflower, a soothing ingredient that makes this safe to use for sensitive eyes. I’ve used this eye makeup remover on and off for several years and it still does an excellent job of getting rid of everything.
Nuxe Insta-Masque Detoxifying and Glow Mask actually surprised and impressed me with the glow it leaves on my skin. Admittedly, it took me a couple of tries before I realised I liked how this makes my skin look after it’s removed but I absolutely do not appreciate the texture.
It feels similar to heavy hair gel, but it’s easy to get past that. I’m looking forward to getting to know this mask even better before I go into more detail but for now, top marks for the glow, zero marks for the texture.
For body care, I have two heavy creams and body scrub. Weleda Birch Body Scrub, Uriage Xemose Lipid -Replenishing Anti-Irritation and Cicabiafine Creme Corporelle Redensifiante.
Weleda Birch Body Scrub is totally new to me and right off the bat, my favourite aspect of this scrub is the scent. It’s so refreshing and makes my bathroom almost smell like a garden. With notes of grapefruit and cypress along with pearls made from beeswax and carnauba, this leaves my skin feeling hydrated.
Although it’s a standard scrub, it doesn’t feel harsh against my skin nor does it leave my body feeling stripped dry. It’s rich in oils such as sesame seed, castor and apricot kernel plus rosemary leaf extract.
Having CicaBiafine Redensifying Body Cream (Cicabiafine Crème Corporelle Redensifiante) represents my second go-round with the brand as I previously wrote about another one of their products, CicaBiafine Anti-Irritation Body Moisturising Cream that I completely finished.
As much as I love fancy body oils, nothing can ever take the place of an ultra-hydrating balm that really keeps the skin balanced and feeling comfortable.
I haven’t dug into this body cream yet but I do have high expectations because it’s formulated with hyaluronic acid and glycerine so watch this space for the full breakdown soon.
Uriage Xeomose Lipid Replenishing Anti-Irritation Cream is the heavy hydrating balm the dry skin on my calves needed. With a thick, fast-melting texture, this will help cracked skin or irritated skin without leaving any residues.
The best part is that it’s suitable to use on the entire family and it’s fragrance-free.
My final two products in this French Pharmacy Haul is for the hair:
Phytokératine Extrême Exceptional Cream and Phytoelixir Intense Nutrition Mask. So far the Phytokeratine Extreme Exceptional Cream has offered much-needed hydration to my dry hair and has helped in increasing its manageability.
It helps to make blowdries easier and faster to accomplish at home and adds a bit of a shine. Plus it acts as a heat-protectant and in the long-term, it should help with breakage and split ends.
While I’m usually sceptical about such claims, it’s left to be seen if it truly helps my hair with breakage and split ends, both of which I’m currently contending with. Otherwise, this hair cream has a light texture and is paraben-free, silicone-free, talc and sulfate-free.
And lastly, here are the active ingredients in Phytokeratine Extreme Exceptional Cream via their website:
Sapote Butter: 2x richer in Omega 6 fatty acids than Shea Butter; hair is soft, protected, and replenished
Baobob Oil: Restores the hydrolipidic film; increases suppleness and strength
Botanical Keratin: Biomimetic complex of 18 amino acids, imitates hair’s natural keratin
Phytoelixir Intense Nutrition Mask is probably one of the things I’m most excited by in this french pharmacy haul. I love a dense creamy hair mask and this one certainly fits that description.
With narcissus flower wax and macadamia oil, this delivers much-needed hydration for my porous, thinning, dry hair. With a pudding-like texture and mildly scented, this feels like a proper mask especially since it also softens my hair without leaving it limp or weighed down. And of course, any benefits or downsides I encounter as I work through this mask will also be shared here.
Phyto is a French haircare brand that’s already clocked fifty years of existence and uses the power of plants in all of their products. While the name Phyto comes from the Greek word for plants, the brand’s founder, Patrick Alès recognised the benefits of plants in skincare and felt that those benefits should extend to the hair as well.
So fifty years later and counting, Phyto’s products are proven. Included in their collection are products specifically for coarse, coiled and relaxed hair. These include treatments, shampoos, conditioners and relaxers.
Watch for updates in the future as I work my way through this latest french pharmacy haul and share which products won, lost or were meh. Speaking of winners, there’s more to see in my All Chanel, All Hydrating Skincare Hot Date. It’s quite a few things from the brand that satisfies the need for pure indulgence and comfortable skin and I hope this helps.