7 Weird French pharmacy products worth a look

Written by Diane on. Posted in France, on life in France

weird french pharmacy products

French pharmacy beauty products are incredibly trendy, and by now, you’ve undoubtedly seen beauty articles touting the benefits of top French beauty brands. From Klorane dry shampoo to Nuxe to Bioderma, French pharmacies are a treasure trove of interesting products just waiting to be discovered. Many of the French pharmacy products you’ve heard of are popular for a reason — they’re great.

But what about less popular French pharmacy products? Maybe ones that you’d even consider weird?

Here are the weirdest French pharmacy products I’ve come across. But hey, they’re all in the name of beauty and health.

GO!

7 Weird French pharmacy products worth a look

Lots of things seem weird and different if you’ve never experienced them before. Then with time, new ways of seeing things grow on you and what once seemed strange becomes the norm. And then there are truly weird things, like some of these weird French pharmacy products. Of course, weird is a subjective term and I use it with love. 😉

Try ’em at at your own risk….

Oscillococcinum

OK, the name is what’s weird about this one. Or maybe if you’re not into homeopathic remedies, the whole concept may seem a little wonky. Say it with me: Osss-Cee-Lo-Cocks-In-Um. It can be taken as a flu preventative or when you already feel the flu coming on. Just open a tube and let the little sugar pellets inside dissolve under your tongue. Does Oscillococcinum work? Who knows, but I gladly fork over my money for this popular cult-like French product if there’s any hope it might help me to avoid the flu. Homeopathy is picking up steam in the USA and many Boiron products are available at places like Trader Joe’s (as if you need another reason to love them).

Shampoo au lait d’ânesse (donkey milk)

Donkey milk is all the rage these days. From moisturizing soaps to shampoos to makeup remover and more, cows just aren’t cool anymore. It’s all about the donkey. And let’s not forget about donkey milk sleeping masks.

L’huile de foie de requin  (shark liver oil)

shark liver oil french pharmacy

I don’t know about you but shark liver oil doesn’t rank high on my French pharmacy shopping list. It certainly is interesting, though.

Differences between pharmacies in the USA and France >>

Oenobiol Sun Capsules

While not very popular in the USA, pre-vacation capsules like the ones pictured above are commonplace in France. These capsules by Oenobiol help get your skin ready for the sun and ensure that a nice, luminous tan is in your future. There’s a whole market of tanning vitamin products with different formulations all aimed at helping you to look your best while in the sun.

Homeodent Anise Toothpaste

Looking for a fancy toothpaste? This anise-flavored toothpaste is for you then. Forget regular old mint, this more exotic flavor made for sensitive gums might just be what you’ve been waiting for. Try it and let me know if it’s worth the money. Licorice toothpaste doesn’t tempt me. At all.

Solid shampoo

solide shampoo canele

OK, this one is more cute than weird because this vegan shampoo product is shaped like a canelé, a popular French pastry from Bordeaux. Every time you “wash” your hair, think of biting into something sweet. If dry shampoo is mainstream now, maybe this sort of thing will be one day too. It’s handmade and apparently lasts as long as two bottles of shampoo. Apply to wet hair, massage, rinse and voilà!

Huile de serpent (snake oil, yes really)

snake oil french pharmacy

Yes, friends, I’m going to leave you with snake oil. Literal snake oil. Mixed with vegetable and essential oils, this snake oil is used on your hair and has fortifying, regenerative properties. It’s also suitable for all hair types. Ever used snake oil on your hair? Me neither.

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If you’re interested in browsing further and just seeing what kinds of things are out there, a fantastic French pharmacy online is La Grande Pharmacie Bailly linked here.

Would you try any of these weird French pharmacy products? What are your French pharmacy favorites?


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Comments (14)

  • Taste of France

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    I’m partial to Avène skincare products, sold only at the pharmacy.
    Thanks for the tip about solid shampoo. I just bought one at Lush, but since we don’t have a Lush nearby, a pharmacy option is great. Plus it looks adorable.
    Taste of France recently posted…Eating Seasonal Produce: WinterMy Profile

    Reply

    • Diane

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      Hi there, you can buy Lush online. Do you feel like solid shampoo gets the job done just as well as liquid shampoo? And what about conditioner? I’ve never tried it!

      Reply

    • Diane

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      Yup, great brand!

      Reply

  • Gwyneth Perrier

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    Oscillococcinum has been in the USA for a long time. A boyfriend of mine (25 years ago) used to swear by it. I recently discovered “Coldcalm” by Boiron and it really does work! I wonder what it might be called in France…?

    That “Shampooing Solide” makes me feel hungry, ha ha ha!

    Reply

    • Diane

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      Yup, I feel like the US has a bunch of homeopathic products but they’re not endorsed and used as much as they are in France. Oscillo is front and center at all the pharmacies now here and quite mainstream but Americans may grab something else off the shelf first. If it works, it works! I will have to see what Coldcalm is all about

      Reply

      • Gwyneth Perrier

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        Right – homeopathy is still so controversial in the US, but it’s all over the place in Brazil, and my friend in Germany said that it’s very common there, too. I just took Coldcalm yesterday, and I feel great today. 🙂

        Reply

  • fiona

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    What!…… no suppositories? Can’t say I’ve seen any of these before but would try the donkey milk shampoo if the price was right.

    Reply

    • Diane

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      Well, I figured they were commonplace enough in the USA. Even though I’ve never used them, people are familiar with them. Are they popular in the UK?

      Reply

      • fiona

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        No not at all. Didn’t realize they were used so much in the States. Can’t say I remember seeing any, during the many times I went there. I do remember however, seeing an abundance of fragranced douches in every drugstore. Wtf! Haven’t seen those in France!

        Reply

        • Diane

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          Well, I wouldn’t say suppositories are popular but they are known. People are more likely to grab Ex-Lax for constipation than suppositories, in my opinion. But people know what they are. Definitely more frequently used in France.

          Reply

  • Keith Van Sickle

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    Vaseline. I use it for dry skin and have to go to a pharmacy in France to buy it. It’s a normal product in the US. But it’s always uncomfortable to buy in France because it is known there primarily as a sex aid!

    Reply

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