My French Pharmacie Must-Haves

I have a huge passion for French pharmacies and been wanting to write to post for a while now. If you’re a beauty junkie and will be visiting France then you should definitely drop by a pharmacie. It’s no secret that the French pharmacies often are a “tourist” attraction itself. I have to admit that for me, visiting the French pharmacy is more about browsing and shopping than it is about the medicinal. I love to discover new less known beauty brands which I didn’t know before coming to France, many of them have become some of my favorites now.

Bioderma’s Crealine Eau Micellaire is perhaps the most known and obvious French pharmacy must-have and no wonder this product is a favorite among makeup artists and models around the world! It is unscented, suited for sensitive skin and gently removes any trace of makeup with just a few swipes. It doesn’t irritate, dry or sting and you’re left with a soft, clean face. I love it!

Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré represents yet another of those products that has got a cult following. This “super moisturizer” is rich but not too thick. It’s easy to use, never irritates, and sinks in easily. What I love about the Lait-Crème Concentré is that it is a multi-use product – it can be used as a standard moisturizer, makeup remover, mask, after shave cream etc. As far as I know you can only get this product at pharmacies in France, it is not sold abroad or online.

Caudalie Eau de Beaute is a 2-in-1 toner and serum, however I use it mostly as a refreshing facial spritz. It can be used on clean skin or over makeup and used as a toner or to hydrate the skin at any time of the day. I love the cool “wake me up” feeling it gives as well as it is hydrating my skin. It has a lovely refreshing smell it contains extracts of grape, rosemary, orange blossom, rose, myrrh and organic balm mint. It tightens your pores and makes skin radiant. I like to carry this with me in my handbag but also when I’m traveling or working with my studies.

I wrote about the clarifying shampoo Phytoneutre from Phyto in yesterdays post. Phyto is a brand that is sold in other countries, however the clarifying shampoo can be a bit tricky to get hold. It does a great job cleaning my hair from product buildup as well as it’s highly concentrated with natural active ingredients (lots of essential oils), which I love!

Other French pharmacy brands I love, such as La Roche-Posay, Caudalie, Nuxe and Avène, are widely accessible outside of France now, however they are a lot more affordable when bought here. :)

I do of course have many more must-have products from French pharmacies than the ones listed above, here are some of them;
La Roche-Posay Anthelios sunscreens, Nuxe Huile Prodigeuse, Avène Eau Thermale Water Spray, Caudalie Vinoperfect Day Perfecting Cream, La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Pro-Recovery Skincare, La Roche-Posay Tinted Moisturizer, Nuxe Honey Lip Balm, Lierac Diopti Calm Anti-Fatigue Eye Balm & Mask, La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP Body Balm and Biotherm Anti-drying Body Milk.

Have you been to France? What are your French pharmacie must-haves? I know I have a lot of French readers as well and I’d love to hear about your favorite brands and must-have products! :)

Hanne Sagstuen

Norwegian New Yorker Hanne Sagstuen a fashion model, art director and editor in chief. Beautylovin is the website where she shares her take on life, travel, beauty and everything in between.

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  1. Christine

    Interesting!which are your favorites pharmacie shops in Paris?could you tell us name and address?thank you.

    1. Author

      City Pharma in Saint Germain (Rue du Four) is great, they have everything(!!) and their prices are usually lower than others. However especially in weekends it’s VERY crowded and difficult to move around and very long time to pay. Another one I love is much closer to me, just by metro Villiers in the 17th, they have a lot of different brands too but are maybe not as cheap as City Pharma, however I can shop peacefully :)

  2. Camille

    Hello Hanne,
    I live in Paris (I live near Batignolles… small world!). I use all the products you mentioned. There are real “must have” and are in my skin routine since a long time! I suggest you to add to your list the Rose Water by Sanoflore (Vanessa Bruno swear by it on the catwalks…) Have a nice day :-)

    1. Author

      Hi Camille,
      That’s so funny you live in Batignolles too, maybe we are neighbors! ;) I will definitely try the Rose Water by Sanoflore, I haven’t heard of it before! Thank you for the tip! ;) Xx

    2. Camille

      Tu trouveras l’eau Sanoflore pour 7euros à la parapharmacie du Monoprix de Villiers :-)

  3. Camille

    The cheapest pharmacy of Paris is in the fifth district in place monge. They have all the products (organic products, luxury brands etc) and often give full size sample!!

    1. Author

      Thank you for the tip Camille! I didn’t know about this pharmacy, I know City Pharma in St Germain but it’s always so crowded!

  4. Mina N

    Jeg var i Nice i desember og da kunne jeg kjøpt alle disse herlige produktene. Men da visste jeg selvfølgelig ikke om de. Jaja, next time. Men jeg elsket “pharmaciene” der, stappfull med masse kule produkter. Får i alle fall tak i noen av merkene nevnt her da. Den eneste jeg har prøvd er Avène Eau Thermale Water Spray. Veldig fornøyd med den :)

    1. Author

      Åå så dumt! :/ Men ja, next time! Ganske god unnskyldning for å dra til Frankrike igjen, hehe ;) Avene Eau Thermale er et must om sommern! :) Xx

  5. Constanze

    La Roche-Posay, Avène, Nuxe, Biotherm and Clarins are available in Germany, too. For my facial skinscare I use exclusively Avène at the moment. The products are great! :)
    I heard so many good things about Bioderma…

    1. Author

      Yes Avène have so many great products! :) Bioderma is great, a simple and very gentle makeup remover! It’s very hyped up and some people have too high expectations! But it’d definitely a wonderful product! :)

  6. WaxWhiteRose

    Everyone’s recommending the Bioderma stuff and now you do too… I think I’ll have to get a bottle of it, there seems to be no way around it.

    1. Author

      Yes I know, it seems like everybody is talking about Bioderma! It’s a simple and very gentle makeup remover. Here in France you can buy 2 x 500 ml bottles for only 16 euros, so it’s very cheap! :)

  7. Olivia

    Hi Hanne!

    Firstly, thanks for replying to my email about the Clarisonic – I went ahead and bought one!

    And I’ve been purchasing Embryolisse from CocoBeau for about a year now. Their shipping is super-fast :)


    1. Author

      Hi Olivia,

      My pleasure, I’m glad I could help! :) I didn’t know about this website, but thanks for letting me know! :)

  8. Marina(Makeup4all)

    Great post! Actually, I can’t believe that I still haven’t tried Caudalie Eau de Beaute and that is after ALL those raves, even from Victoria Beckham herself.
    As for Embryolisse, it is available from with Worldwide shipping if anyone is interested.

    1. Author

      Thank you! :) Yes you should definitely give it a try! I love it! I’m also planning to buy the Embryolisse Eau de Beaute, apparently it’s similar to Caudalie but much more affordable :) I didn’t know you could buy Embryolisse online, thanks for letting me know! :)

  9. Ludivine

    Hello !

    J’utilise 2 de ces produits. La créaline de bioderma et le lait concentré d’embryolisse. Mais j’ai très envie de tester l’eau de beauté de Caudalie et je sais que le produit phyto est de qualité!
    De très bons choix.

    Bonne après midi ^^

    1. Author

      Ludivine, you’re back! :) I feel like Bioderma Crealine and Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré are such classics! :) I love the Eau de Beaute from Caudalie, today I’ll buy the one from Embryolisse, apparently they are quite similar but Embryolisse is much cheaper! :)
      Have a nice day!

  10. anne

    Phyto and Furterer products are great, i love their pre-shampoo oil treatment. And L’eau à la Lavande Sanoflore is quite good for combination skins.

  11. pony

    I adore french pharacies and especially the Anthelios AC mat fluid by la roche-posay. It´s amazing. ;)

  12. Cécile

    I love Bioderma. This is my favorite brand for my atopic skin and for my baby. I use every day crealine h2o, hydrabio milk and atoderm showergel and atoderm PP baume as skincare. I love it because it’s simple and have safe formula.

    1. Author

      I would love to try more products from Bioderma as I know it is very gentle, so far I only know Crealine H2O which is great! :)

  13. Cécile

    These are great products. And I love to lipbalm and emulsion called “bobomulsion” from Bi Mat Cay but this isn’t pharmacy’s brand. This is inspired by vietnamese skincare with plants but my sensitive skin likes it. I love these multipurpose products too.

  14. sylvia

    Hi Hanne

    Great picks. I think you will love the Embryolisse Eau de Beaute. I also love the Embryolisse Micellar lotion, which CocoBeau stock.(They ship worldwide really fast.) I tried it in a sample I got from them and fell in love.

  15. Méli

    Hi Hanne ! <3
    Sorry for the delay, I definitely want to advise you the mask "apaisant hydratant" de chez Avène. It's not very moisturizing but really soothing. I love this brand for my sensitive skin. Hope you like it too ! :) Xx.

    P.S : I'm really sorry for my english, I'm a french reader !

  16. Emma

    I use the bioderma Créaline too, this is soooo good for sensitive skin!

  17. Lily

    Hi Hanne,

    As I am traveling to Paris this thursday(!), I’m most definitely stopping by a pharmacie for all of the products you mentioned in your post. But, before I get there I was just wondering what the prices of these items generally are (just a ballpark estimate). Thank you!

    1. Author

      Hi Lily,

      I would recommend you to check out City Pharma in Saint Germain and/or Bailly pharmacie by metro Saint Lazare, both of them have really good prizes on all the products mentioned in my post! :) F.ex you should be able to find Bioderma Crealine 500 ml x2 for about 16 euros there. :) Good luck! Xx

  18. Karen

    While in Paris I bought Lierac Solaire Extreme sunscreen in a pharmacy and love it. Do you know any web sites that carry it? I have only seen it on the Paris Lierac site, not the U.S. version.
    Thanks, Karen

  19. sue jacobs

    I was in Paris recently and was told about store named Laboratorie Plantaderm @ 8 Rue Prague . Unfortunately I went to their old location. I heard that they had great eye cream and a nail hardener that they make for a cosmetics department. Do you know anything about this????

    1. Author

      Hi there,
      I haven’t heard of this but I’ll definitely check it out when I go back to Paris! :)

  20. Maria

    Hi Hanne! Thanks for the interesting post! I will definitely try some of the products listed. By the way, have you heard of the MiLady skincare line or Yahlina? I’m looking for those products but can’t seem to find them anywhere! :*(

    1. Author

      Hi Maria, thank you! :) No, I haven’t heard of the skincare line Yahlina, but I’ll definitely check it out! Good luck with your search :)

  21. Becky

    I’ll be in Paris next weekend,can you recommend a less crowded (cheap) pharmacie than City Pharma, I’m not sure that I can handle the crowds there on a Saturday :)

    1. Author

      Hi Becky, you should try Pharmacie Bailly by the metro Saint Lazare :) It’s great and probably less crowded than City Pharma :) Have a nice time in Paris!

  22. Maria

    Can I buy Bioderma products in Ottowa in Canada??? Please reply a.s.a.p as on holiday from Ireland. Thankyou

    1. Author

      Hi Maria,
      Unfortunately I’m not sure, the best way to find out is to visit a pharmacy. I know that it’s very hard to find Bioderma outside of France… :/

  23. Denise

    Hi! I’m in Paris now (originally from NY) and just wanted to chime in since I’m pretty obsessed with Parisienne pharmacies. City Pharma has many choices but Pharmacies Monge has much better prices. It’s a little out of the way but worth the trip. Go during the week, not on the weekend!

  24. Karen

    Hi Hanne,

    Thanks for these recommendations. I’m giving those “must haves” a try now. I’m recently moved to France and I was having a tough time know what products to choose. There are so many! I wondered if you can recommend a facial cleanser, or does the Bioderma Créaline serve that purpose? Thanks, again for the help!!


    1. Author

      I really like the balancing cleanser from Alpha-h and also the cleanser from Liz Earle. You won’t find them at the French pharmacies but they can be easily bough from British online shops ;)

  25. Carissa

    hi i just totally love this post of yours.. just stumbled upon this site when I was searching for embryolisse and truly this post gave me an idea what to purchase next :)


  26. Maryann

    A friend has just moved to Lyon. Do they have the same
    pharmacies in Lyon or are they only in Paris? I hope to visit this
    fall so I will be following your blog and panning on what to buy. I
    had just heard of the Caudalie product line and I am starting to
    sample some of the products. I love how my skin feels. I am in my
    early 60’s so I am looking for recommendations for good anti-aging
    products. I am so glad that I found your blog

  27. elle

    can you tell me what product is the container with a star on top? thank you.

  28. Brianne

    Hi :) i stumbled across your blog, and i love it! Im going to Paris in June, and i would love to try bioderma. I looked on Amazon, and i can buy it on there, but i dont know if it is the official product or not. I was wondering how much bioderma is in France? On amazon, for a 100 ML it’s 17 dollars or 12.53 euros. I would like to buy a larger bottle, but i dont want to go broke with the exchange rate.

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