I first discovered the French pharmacy allure through Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP. But ever since discovering this world of what seemed to be not only excellent quality but affordable beauty products, I was intrigued. I’m not one to obsess over beauty products. I have a few brands I love, I keep things simple and love organic products.
But as we now travel full-time, I was bound to run out and need to restock at some point. Now I could have actually found the products I usually use along the way, but I thought it would be a good opportunity to try some new products out. It just so happened that Paris was a perfect time for a stock up.
So thus began the French pharmacy haul. Ok, I didn’t buy that much but I stocked up on moisturiser and cleanser, switched out a couple of products for one, and added some new products.
Which French Pharmacy In Paris?
Very quickly you will realise that City Pharma is by far the most recommended French pharmacy for both amount of stock and price.
Mon – Fri 8.30am – 8pm | Sat 9am – 8pm
Another good one (but smaller and a little more expensive) with less crowds is Pharmacie Monge.
74 Rue Monge, 75005 Paris
Mon – Fri 8am – 11pm | Sat 8.30am – 11pm | Sunday (see calendar on website as times change)
French Pharmacy Products – My Shopping List
Here’s what I bought and why, and what I think after using them for almost a year now.
French Pharmacy Cleanser
I couldn’t go past what is probably the most recommended French pharmacy product, Bioderma Crealine H2O Micellaire Cleanser. This is like a make-up remover/cleanser in one, that you apply with cotton pads and wipe on the face rather than rinsing off with water. They also come in little 100ml bottles which is super useful when packing carry-on only.
Verdict: I like this product a lot and I love having a cleanser option that I can do easily out of the shower. But I also love having a cleanser option I can do in the shower. Ultimately, at home I would like a combination of both, travelling I’m happy with just having one option.
Price: 2.49 Euro each (I got two)
French Pharmacy Moisturiser
When researching what the best French pharmacy beauty products were, I started to get overwhelmed. It seems everybody has an opinion. But after a bit of searching I realised I was forgetting the number one thing I love in beauty products… to be organic. So I was so happy to find the Caudalie brand, whose products are certified organic.
I first bought Caudalie Premieres Vendanges moisturising cream in Paris, which I love. It goes on nicely, its great for daily wear and smells nice. It reminds me a little of the moisturising cream I usually use.
Price: 13.80 Euro (40ml)
I also bought another moisturiser, Embryolisse lait-crème concentré as it had some great reviews. As it’s a little thicker and creamier I use it at night. I like this moisturiser, I’d buy it again but I don’t know if I have a need to buy it again. I’m really happy with my Caudalie moisturiser for day use, and I don’t think this is a specialised night cream, so I probably don’t have a need for it. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it, I just feel especially for travel, I don’t need more than one moisturiser and I prefer Caudalie.
Price: 6.15 Euro (30ml)
Having said that, I also bought another Caudalie moisturiser, Caudalie Vinosource moisturizing sorbet, just to get me through the rest of the year. It’s for sensitive skin, which I have. I love this one too, and can’t quite pick a winner between the two Caudalie moisturisers I’ve tried.
Price: Around 18 Euro at a Pharmacy in Nice (40ml)
I bought the Klorane Oatmeal Dry Shampoo (aerosol free). I had tried dry shampoo, half-heartedly in the past. At home, I would just prefer to wash my hair if it needed washing, so didn’t really see the need. But now that we’re travelling and moving and most days you’re out and about doing something, I was washing my hair more and more. My hair unfortunately gets oily pretty quickly, so I thought this could let me get another day out of my hair in between washes.
Verdict: I love it. Although the results are not as good as washing and blow-drying my hair, it really does make your hair more presentable for another day. And the effects do last all day/night. Another bonus is it seems to add volume to your hair as well.
Price: 6.99 Euro (50 grams)
Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse is an oil product that you can use on your skin and hair. I thought I could use it as a body moisturiser and as treatment/pre hair-drying, thus getting rid of two products and replacing with one. Always a good things when packing light.
Verdict: I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this product. I like that it replaces two products but I think I prefer what I usually use on my hair than this. Having said that, it smells great, it’s nice on the skin and it does do more than one thing so it’s something I would buy again.
Price: 16.99 Euro (1ooml)
We bought the Bioderma Photoderm Max SPF 50+ sunscreen.
Verdict: We’re really happy with it, it goes on really nicely and doesn’t feel sticky or shiny.
Price: 12.74 Euro (400ml)
I bought the Caudalie lip conditioner.
Verdict: Its really soft, smells good and my lips feel moisturised. One of my favourite lip balms/conditioners.
Price: 2.99 Euro (4.5grams)
Total Cost: 66.34 Euro at City Pharma (including some cotton wipes) + around 19 Euro at a Pharmacy in Nice. So thats around 96 AUD + 27 AUD, a total of $123 AUD. I thought this was an excellent price and compared to what I usually buy, this would normally buy me two products.
Did My French Pharmacy Haul Live Up To The Hype?
The idea of spending hours in a pharmacy searching for beauty products doesn’t normally excite me at all. But surprisingly I found this actually really fun. It was hectic, crazy busy, so many people. But the pharmacy was really well organised, the prices were fantastic, and there were so many local French women in there buying their products that you feel like there’s got to be something to this whole French pharmacy thing. Can I say it was like a cultural experience?
So I was happy with the experience, and I’m happy with all of the products I bought. Would I buy them all again? All except one, and thats only because I don’t need multiple types of the same product. I like to keep things simple and organic and I already have some products I regularly use that I love. I will say that I have since bought more Caudalie moisturiser online (yet another type) and love that too, and have been using Caudalie products for almost a year now. And all the other products I’m still using except one. So my French Pharmacy haul turned out to be not only a fun experience but introduced me to some great French beauty products.
Whilst I normally don’t write about beauty products, I genuinely feel like this added to my experience in Paris. Call me strange but there’s something about doing a normal activity in a different place that I love. One of my favourite things to do anywhere I go is go to the supermarket. The same thing done differently everywhere. So if you need or want to buy any beauty products in Paris I would recommend this experience to see a different side of Paris other than the usual things to do.