It’s a sunny afternoon in Paris and I’ve decided to do a spot of shopping. But I’m not at Galeries Lafayatte or strolling along the Champs-Élysées. I’m at 26 Rue du Four, at a magical place called City-Pharma.
It may seem unusual to some that I chose to spend my time in Paris in a pharmacy. But City-Pharma is different; it is a treasure trove of skin care, hair care and luxury products at the best prices in town.
I never thought of myself as a skin care junkie, my obsession started innocently enough. Bioderma’s micellar water has been gaining popularity in Australia and I was curious as to how a clear liquid in a bottle could be making such fuss. Naturally I turned to the internet and some of my favourite YouTube beauty gurus (shout out to Fleur de Force, Amelia Liana and Lisa Eldridge) not only sang the praises of micellar water, but also a range of other French skincare products.
My skin is at best picky, and at worst hypersensitive, prone to break outs and plain irritating to deal with. As such I am almost always on the hunt for gentle cleansers, moisturisers that won’t leave me oily and spot treatments that won’t cause my skin to burn. Research told me that French skin care lines like Avène, La Roche-Posay and Bioderma were regarded by many in the beauty industry to be the best of the best.
This isn’t just a case of getting swept up in some clever advertising. La Roche-Posay, for example, is recommended by tens of thousands of dermatologists all over the world for people with sensitive skin. The products in the line are made using thermal spring water and are paraben-free, fragrance free and hypoallergenic. That’s a big tick in my sensitive skin book.
These brands are available in Australia, however some can be very expensive. Enter City-Pharma; a mecca for beauty gurus, makeup artists, models and those seeking high quality skincare.
A word of warning: if you go to City-Pharma, you need to bring your A-game. It’s always busy, there will always be a line and you will be overwhelmed seconds after stepping through the door.
I suggest doing some research and making a list, though you will inevitably find yourself throwing things into your basket you didn’t intend on purchasing.
The pharmacy assistants in white coats know their stuff and are very helpful, many also speak excellent English. City-Pharma often does excellent deals on popular products; double packs of micellar water fly off the shelves faster than they can be stacked.
Though at times chaotic the general mood is polite with less pushing and shoving than I expected. Be patient, wait your turn to examine the shelves and don’t panic when you see the line at the cash register. (Pro tip: there are cash registers upstairs and downstairs. Though the line upstairs seems longer, there are more cash registers).
Though the bargains don’t entirely justify a trip to Paris (from Australia anyway), if you’re in the city for a holiday it may be worth stopping by for a look… you never know what you might find!
Here’s a little taste of what I picked up:
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo – for acne prone skin
La Roche-Posay Serozinc – a zinc sulphate mist to soothe skin irritations (can also be used on razor burn)
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra – a daily moisturiser for ultra sensitive skin
Bioderma Hydrabio Mousse – a cleansing, moisturising foam (spoiler: you’ll have fun with this stuff)
Bioderma Hydrabio Mask – a hydrating face mask for sensitive skin
Bioderma Atoderm Instensive Gel Moussant – a cleanser for very dry and hypersensitive skin
Bioderma Micellar Water – a rinse free makeup remover
Avène Thermal Spring Water – a face mist to hydrate and calm irritations
Emrbyolisse Lait-Crème Concentré – a moisturiser with a cult following
Caudalie beauty Elixir – a toning mist that also sets makeup
Nuxe Reve de Miel lip balm – another product with a cult following
Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse – a multi purpose oil for the face, body and hair
Come and join the discussion!
Have you ever tried French skin care? What would you recommend? Leave a comment below!
DISCLAIMER: This is not a sponsored post, I just want to share the French skin care love!