Who knew that the secret to an effortless Parisian glow was hiding in plain sight on every drugstore shelf in Paris? Our Beauty Editor has the dispatch from the French capital—her four essential products, where to get them, and how to use them.
By Emily Matson
Since moving to Paris, I have been graced with the privilege of having French skincare (literally) at my fingertips. By this, I’m referring to the holy grail of highly- coveted products that I used to search high and low for in the States—going as far as obsessively Google searching pharmacies around New York City that stocked my favorite French cosmetics and paying obscene prices to have them delivered to my doorstep. Here in Paris, however, these miraculous goods are available at virtually every pharmacy around the city, all at an alarmingly low price that rivals any discount section at your CVS or Walgreens.
There is a reason why these products are the fantasies of cosmetic junkies and beauty editors alike. As with fashion, food, and, well, everything else, the French seem to have it down to a science. While I have been loyal to French products for quite some time now, having them so easily accessible and a part of my everyday life has led me to revamp my skin regimen. I have swapped some of my old, overpriced picks for these affordable pharmacy favorites and I’m already feeling the benefits—both in my complexion and in my wallet.
I’m already counting on needing an extra suitcase to stockpile these goodies upon returning to the US, but if I had to choose four standouts, these would have to be my picks:
NUXE BODY OIL
Although this ambrosial-scented oil is making its way across the states (at about triple the price), Nuxe has been a pharmacy staple for quite some time here in France. It’s practically a miracle in a bottle: smells like a dream, perfect for glowing skin, and you can even apply it to damp hair to reduce frizz.
The French answer to Aquaphor or Vaseline—but, like everything else French, much more chic. This little tube is the ultimate multi-tasker: a gentle salve that can be used for cuts, burns, dry cuticles, chapped lips, or virtually anything else you could apply it to. A must for dry LA summers and brutal NY winters.
AVÈNE THERMAL WATER SPRAY
Who knew that for less than four dollars, you could buy a little slice of heaven in a spray bottle? While I used to scoff at the thought of buying what is essentially canned water to spray on your face, my Thermal Water quickly become the MVP of my medicine cabinet. There’s something about Avène Thermal Water that is so pure and refreshing; I have gotten into the habit of applying it after showering and as a sort of ‘top coat’ for my make-up, yielding a dewy glow and hydration that’s hard to beat.
BIODERMA CRÉALINE H20
This is one product that I have been using for a while, and it was next to impossible for me to track it down in the US. It’s some of the best and most gentle eye make-up remover I have yet to come across, and countless beauty editors and experts seem to agree. For the pleasant price of fifteen euros (less than 20 US dollars), I scored two jumbo bottles of Bioderma that will probably last me months. Bioderma, je t’aime.