Top French pharmacy beauty products

Written by Diane on. Posted in on life in France

French pharmacy beauty products

If you’re a beauty buff and just happen to be visiting France, you’ll surely make a stop (or 10!) at a French pharmacy or parapharmacie before returning home. For every cream, serum and scrub your body needs, the French pharmacies are where all your dreams will come true. Well, not exactly, but you will have an arsenal full of great products that will make your BFF jealous. Brands like La Roche Posay, Nuxe, Avene and more are just the beginning.

What are my top French pharmacy beauty products?

Read on!

For this post, I’m focusing mainly on French pharmacy beauty products for the body and not cosmetics. What makes these pharmacy products awesome? Uh, the fact that they’re French? Duh! All I know is that tons of women swear by them.

Here are the top French pharmacy beauty products, in no particular order. These products are just the tip of the iceberg:

Avibon vitamin A anti aging cream


Ever since Gwyneth Paltrow raved about Avibon anti-aging cream on her blog, this has become the most sought after French beauty product around. This vitamin A cream is actually used to prevent scars from forming but off-label, it apparently erases wrinkles and works for stretch marks too. Vaseline-like in consistency with a light rose scent, this is what every beauty addict in the know stocks up on when in France.

French pharmacy Arnican

Arnican Pocket Roll-on for Coups, Bosses, Bleus

This little gem heals bruises and other minor skin traumas with just a few swipes of the rollerball. If you’re prone to walking into tables and whacking your legs on stuff, this product is small enough to be kept on you at all times. Made with arnica, it’s a summer must-have since no one likes bruised legs in skirts. Just how fast does it help you heal? You could make two identical bruises on your leg and apply Arnican to only one to find out or you could just take my word for it.

Biafine Biafine and Biafine ACT

These two products are used for burns and other superficial skin wounds including sunburn and after radiation therapy. Biafine ACT is the less concentrated product and can be used to soothe chapped skin and lips as well.

Bioderma Crealine H2O

Bioderma Crealine H2O Cleanser

Bioderma Crealine H2O skin cleanser feels like water on the skin and can be applied on cotton rounds to remove makeup and clean your face. Completely gentle and suitable for even sensitive skin, it’s no wonder this stuff is a behind the scenes favorite on the Paris runways. Tom and I both use it.

Oenobiol French Tanning Pills

Oenobiol Tanning Skin-Prep pills

French women stock up on these Oenobiol tanning pills before they jet off on summer vacation. Not popular at all in the U.S., these types of pills fly off the shelves in French pharmacies during the summer months. These vitamin-based pills help prep your skin for long days on the beach and are meant to be taken before, during and after your summer vacay. While they don’t actually change your skin’s color, they do apparently help boost the appearance of your tan naturally. As an American, the concept of taking a tanning pill seems odd. Why don’t you bypass them entirely and sit under a beach umbrella. Rock your ghostly white look like me.

Roger & Gallet French soap

Roger & Gallet perfumed soaps

These perfectly packaged soaps from Roger & Gallet come in a variety of scents like sandalwood, rose and vanilla and create a luxurious lather. They function great as soaps but also look cute as decorative soaps to put out in your bathroom when company comes over. The triple milled, cauldron-created bars that are wrapped in paper will infuse your bathroom with a little bit of France. Who doesn’t want that?

Where can you buy these products? Ebay and Amazon are good places to start and in the U.S., the New York City-based New London Pharmacy has a nice selection.

What are your favorite French pharmacy products?

Disclosure: All of these French pharmacy product picks are my own and were purchased by me. I was not compensated in any way for writing about them.
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Comments (3)

  • Claire


    These look great! I can’t wait to try them all when I get to France in the fall! Except for the tanning pills. I’m with you under that beach umbrella. Something tells me I’m going to have to take out stock in Arnican pocket roll-on, I’ll probably single-handedly keep them in business until the day I die.


    • Diane


      Yup, heard of them. Will check the line out next time I’m at the pharmacy. Thanks!


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