Quelle surprise, the French know what they're doing when it comes to skincare, just like they know what they're doing when it comes to fashion, designer handbags, and pretty much everything else too. At this point, the French girl is all but envied by Americans. She's sophisticated yet trendy, can make a plain black turtleneck look ah-mazing, and oh—she's got perfectly glowing skin, too. And although we can't exactly be her, we can adopt her skincare routine.
If you missed the stop to Paris on your last European vacation, let us fill you in. France is known for its readily available skincare products sold in local pharmacies. The French have mastered no-frill formulas that use only necessary, non-irritating ingredients. These low-maintenance, feel-good products have been adopted by celebrities, makeup artists, and supermodels globally. And now, you can get your hands on these unfussy basics too.
WHAT MAKES FRENCH SKINCARE SPECIAL
So why all the hype about French skincare? Well, French skincare brands are celebrated for formulating gentle products that baby the skin. These products are so delicate that they can be used on just about anyone, even people with sensitive skin who suffer from eczema or dermatitis. French skincare products rarely include fragrance or alcohol to avoid irritating the skin, unlike some harsher formulas commonly seen in America.
HOW TO ADOPT A FRENCH SKINCARE ROUTINE
A French-girl skincare routine is simple and minimalistic, just like her. The French girl tends to take it easy on the makeup, as her fresh skin is sure to complement any look she's rocking. Second to her treasure trove of products, a French women's healthy habits keep her skin glowing—she limits harsh sun exposure and always removes her makeup before bedtime, even if she's traveling and even after a long night out. Needless to say, in France, skincare comes first. That being said, you might be wondering: what are the best French skincare products? As the old saying goes, less is more, and that's especially true with F-beauty. Our recommendation? Treat your skin to everything it needs and nothing it doesn't. Looking for more moisture? Consider a cream moisturizer or hydrating spray when you're on the go. Softer skin? We recommend a multi-purpose oil. If you're already mentally crafting the perfect routine, no need to hit the search engine, but do keep scrolling. We've already done the heavy lifting to help you in your search for the best French pharmacy products with a certain je ne sais quoi.
TIPS ON APPLYING YOUR FRENCH SKINCARE
After you've mixed and matched your favorite products for crafting the perfect French-girl routine, it's important to apply them properly and in the correct order. As with any skincare routine, layering is everything. To ensure you properly layer, you'll want to apply your thinnest products first. Start by cleansing with micellar water, then move on to serum, then moisturizer, then sunscreen. Last but not least, slather on a facial oil for some added moisture, and voilà!
HOW WE FOUND THE BEST FRENCH PHARMACY PRODUCTS
Due to the current situation with international travel, it's highly unlikely any of us will be taking a stroll through the aisles of a French pharmacy anytime soon. Luckily, e-tailers worldwide have made it incredibly easy to snag the following items without even leaving your couch. Not sure where to start? Pas de soucis—we've done the hard work for you. Using our data-driven algorithm, we've rounded up the Top 10 French skincare products you need to create your ultimate French skincare routine. Our recommendations are based on real user reviews from French-girl fanatics just like you, editorial mentions, and the latest social media buzz. Keep scrolling to shop the best French skincare products the world wide web has to offer—no plane ticket to Paris necessary. Opening image: @embryolisseusa
Enjoy reading about our 10 best French Skincare Products? Then you'll love our 10 Best French Girl Loungewear Essentials.
October 21, 2020
Top 10 Lists serve as unbiased shopping guides to the most trusted product recommendations on the internet. Products are scored and ranked using an algorithm backed by data consumers find most valuable when making a purchase. We are reader-supported and may earn a commission when you shop through our links.
Talika Bio Enzymes Anti-Aging Mask
BEST FRENCH MASK
WHAT IT DOES: This single-use purifying mask promotes clearer skin and a more even complexion in a cinch. Formulated with antibacterial botanicals, natural astringents, peptides, and hyaluronic acid, this mask hydrates and protects your skin and is perfect for a mini pampering sesh.
LOVED FOR: This cult-favorite mask is the secret behind French women's never-aging skin.
CAUDALÍE Vinoperfect Radiance Serum
BEST FRENCH SERUM
WHY YOU NEED IT: Don't let the price point scare you. This satiny formula is one of the highest-rated serums on the market. Formulated with grapevine sap, it's 62 times more effective for brightening the skin than vitamin C. Yes—you read right.
BEST FOR: Dealing with stubborn acne scars and hyperpigmentation? This French serum will get you on your way to glowing, even skin in a flash.
A313 Vitamin A Pommade
BEST FRENCH RETINOL
WHAT IT DOES: Retinol is a close cousin to the Retin-A. The holy grail ingredient can truly work miracles, but it has a reputation for being too harsh. Luckily, there's this overnight potion with the same beloved qualities of Retin-A, minus the irritation.
BEST FOR: This overnight retinol moisturizer banishes blemishes, wrinkles, stretch marks, fine lines, and enlarged pores.
BEST FRENCH OINTMENT
WHAT IT DOES: This multifunctional ointment treats everything from minor burns to severely dehydrated lips. The non-greasy formula can be used nearly anywhere and on any skin concern.
FUN FACT: This cult-favorite formula is celebrated by makeup artists globally.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Light Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50
BEST FRENCH SUNSCREEN
WHY YOU NEED IT: We've said it before, and we'll say it again: you need to wear sunscreen daily. And if you're going to slather yourself in anything, it might as well be this stuff.
HELPFUL TIP: This ultra-lightweight formula blends like a dream. It also has a matte finish, which makes it the perfect primer.
Eau Thermale Avène Skin Recovery Cream
BEST FRENCH MOISTURIZER
WHAT IT DOES: This French-girl go-to is both thick and gentle, making it perfect for treating maskne or wintertime dryness.
USERS SAID: "I love when I can find my favorite French products in the US. This is a substantial cream that I use in the winter to protect my sensitive, combination skin. I have never broken out after use and love the tube it comes in."
Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Purpose Dry Oil
BEST FRENCH FACIAL OIL
WHAT IT DOES: This miracle formula aligns itself with French skincare values by naturally hydrating the skin with plant oils, giving you a softened, youthful appearance.
FUN FACT: You can use this 98.1% natural oil virtually anywhere on the body for softer skin.
Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water
BEST FRENCH MICELLAR WATER
WHAT IT DOES: If there's one product you should never pass up in a Parisian pharmacy, it's micellar water. This fan-favorite is best-selling for a reason. The micelles in the formula are one-of-a-kind and very close to the natural composition of the skin, which is why it's so great at soothing and calming irritation.
AS SEEN ON: Gwenyth Paltrow loves the stuff.
Eau Thermale Avène Thermal Spring Water
BEST FRENCH FACIAL SPRAY
WHY YOU NEED IT: Bye-bye, dryness. This thermal spring water acts as a protective layer that moisturizes, hydrates, and calms overly dry skin.
BEST FOR: Don't be fooled—this isn't just water in a spray can. This product restores the skin's natural balance, delivering healthy, healing hydration.
Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre
BEST FRENCH MULTI-PURPOSE MOISTURIZER
WHY YOU NEED IT: This French skincare product is so popular, it made its way into the hearts of women stateside decades ago. The formula blends together only the best natural ingredients like shea butter, soy protein, and beeswax for one radiant glow.
BEST FOR: Use this French-girl fave as a daily moisturizer, primer, makeup remover, or aftershave for the fellas.
Top 10 Facial Self-Tanners
Hands Down, These Are The Best Facial Self-Tanners For A Natural-Looking Glow
Top 10 Powder Eyeliners
This Eyeliner Formula Is Trending—Here Are The Internet's Top Picks Worth Adding To Your Cart
Top 10 Makeup Primers
We Ranked The 10 Best Makeup Primers, And There’s Something For Every Skin Type
From Our Partners