French Skin Care

It's no secret that France has some of the world's best skin care products. Everyone from fashion magazines to beauty bloggers rave about French skin care and before I even set a foot in Paris I knew I had to try as many products as I could during my year abroad.  Before I share my recommendations I would like to make it clear that I am not a dermatologist. The products I will be talking about worked for me, but they may not work on you. Another disclaimer, I have oily/acne prone skin so if you have dry skin then these things are probably not going to work on your skin because they will most likely make your skin dryer. Now that you've heard the disclaimers let's get to the skin care products!


Cleanance gel nettoyant- Transitioning from dry weather a humid climate caused my oily skin to go crazy! It was producing more oil than ever and that led to me breaking out excessively around my jaw. This gentle cleanser cleared my skin completely which I know it sounds kind of like a contradiction especially when you're talking about something that's meant to treat acne. What makes this cleanser special is that it's soapless so it won't irritate or dry out your skin. The last thing you want in a cleanser is for it to make your skin dry so your oil glands can produce even more oil! This cleanser will help regulate the oil produced by your skin plus leave your skin feeling fresh.

Cleanance emulsion lotion- This is part of the cleanance line which is meant for acne, or Avène likes to call it peaux jeunes à  problèmes. This lotion has a gel consistency similar to the Clinique's Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel, if you've ever tried it. I know many who have oily skin think that they don't need to moisturize because they think that using a moisturizer will make their skin even oilier but that's not true- you just need to find a moisturizer that will work for your skin. This one will help control the oil production, as well as mattify your skin.

Cleanance lotion purifiante- This is not your basic toner! You shake the bottle to mix the fluids which will help once again to control the oil that your skin makes. Unlike many toners on the market, the main ingredient in this toner is not alcohol which can make your skin dry out. Just like the cleanser, the toner will make your skin feel clean and refreshed. Use this with a cotton pad after cleansing your skin.

Crème 50+- I had used Avène sunblocks prior to coming to France because it's a brand that was recommended by my dermatologist in Tijuana so I knew I had to buy another Avène sunblock while I was in Paris. This one works particularly well for oily skin because it's meant to be for sensible skin and oily/acne prone skin is sensitive by definition. This sunblock is light and blends into the skin flawlessly. Avène has a great line of sunblocks and there's one to suit every skin type and lifestyle. If you're into tinted moisturizers and aren't too fussy about makeup, then the tinted version would probably be worth trying.


Déodorant Anti-Transpirant Efficacité 48h- One thing you'll notice if you go on the market for deodorants in France is that most of their deodorants come in aerosol form. I've always used a regular stick deodorant so I was intrigued to try the aerosol deodorants when I saw them in pharmacies. This one didn't perform any magic tricks but it did live up to its 48h claim (I unfortunately got to test that out when I forgot to pack a deodorant for my trip to Budapest). This deodorant won't irritate your skin, does not have an odor, and won't transfer to your clothes.
You can also try the Vichy 24 Hour Deodorant Spray (Google Affiliate Ad) or Vichy 48 Hour Deodorant/Anti-Perspirant Roll-on - Xtra Strength (Google Affiliate Ad).

Dermablend fond de teint correcteur et Dermablend fond de teint stick crème- If you're on the search for a foundation that will cover EVERYTHING then you've found it in the Dermablend line. The Dermablend foundations come in two forms- liquid and stick. Both are high coverage and thick, so if you're a tinted moisturizer girl you won't like the way these will just sit on your skin. If you struggle with hyper pigmentation, acne marks, or anything like that, this foundation will cover those imperfections with ease. You will have to be really careful with the liquid version because you honestly need the tiniest amount. If you put on too much it will look cakey so take that as a warning. The same thing goes for the stick foundation. Less is definitely more! I've been using the stick foundation as my concealer and its been working great as that. Both of these foundations might not be suitable on dry skin, I know the liquid dries to a matte finish which helps those with oily skin but it would most likely cling to dry patches if you have dry skin.


Créaline H2O peaux sensibles- If you follow the beauty blogger world then you've most likely have heard them rave about Bioderma créaline makeup remover. This makeup remover is by far the best one I've come across. It takes off everything including my waterproof mascara and it doesn't leave my face feeling oily, nor does it clog my pores. This makeup remover leaves your skin feeling refreshed and it literally dissolves makeup and impurities. I think it really lives up to the hype and I can see why this is a highly recommended products. This is the version for sensible skin but I know there's one specifically for oily skin on the market as well.

Gel douche Atoderm- I bought this after going through regular sized body wash like crazy. It comes in a huge bottle that will last you MONTHS! This body wash is again for sensitive skin, and it doesn't have odor or parabens which is a big thing in France. Just like the Avène cleanser, this one is also soapless so it won't be harsh on your skin. This body wash did a great job of not breaking me out in my chest area which is by far the most sensitive/body acne prone area in my body so if you occasionally get body acne this would be a good buy.

La Roche-Posay

Toleriane Fluide Dermo-Nettoyant- This product is intended for dry sensitive skin but it works fine with oily skin. I would use this after removing my makeup to remove any excess makeup that somehow survived Bioderma's Créaline. This is a very gentle cleanser, its not meant to foam up or anything. It's meant to be used with a cotton pad and can be rinsed out or not.

Where to buy:
If you're in France then you're in luck because you can walk into any French pharmacy or Parashop and you'll find these products. City Pharma has a lot of deals and discounts on skin care products so it's worth checking out. There's one in Saint-Germain-Des-Prés and another one outside the Tolbiac metro stop.

If you're in the U.S. Rite Aid now carries Vichy and La Roche-Posay but the prices are incredibly inflated. All the brands also have U.S. sites so you can find out info and locations there. I also know that French skin products are available in some Mexican pharmacies so you could also try looking there.

I'm thinking of doing another post like this but it'll about makeup so if you enjoyed this just let me know and I'll get started on it. Hope you enjoyed this break from hearing about school and other more serious topics.

Bonne journée !


  1. I've not tried Avene before but I've heard great things. Bioderma and Vichy are awesome brands. I use the cleansing water too and seriously, I don't know how I ever lived without it. Must've been nice to be able to purchase those so easily ;)

    Speaking of French brands, is the brand MaqPro (Le Maquillage Professionel) big there? I just purchased one of their little palettes and I love it.

    1. Same here. The cleansing water is the best thing ever. I need to see if I can easily find it in Tijuana because I don't want to order it on Amazon when I finish my last bottle.

      Mmm... I never heard of that brand. I don't know if its a make up artist brand and that's why I haven't heard it but I know that the Sephora and department stores had almost all the same brands as they do here with some minor exceptions like Bourjouis that would be sold both in drugstores as well as higher end stores.

  2. Laura, thank you for posting this! I'll definitely have to check out some of these products next time I'm in my local pharmacie. I would love to see a post about any makeup recommendations you may have, if you're so inclined! :-)

    1. You're welcome, I hope the products work on you. Ok, I'll start working on a makeup post real soon! :)