French Pharmacy Skincare Essentials

This month, have had a third off ALL of their French Pharmacy brands. I meant to bring this up before, but kept forgetting, so I thought I’d do a quick run-through of my favourite and most-used French Pharmacy products. On the whole, brands found at the Pharmacie in France are affordable and simply packaged yet provide brilliant skincare for even the most specialist needs. Oily skin that’s also sensitive, acne-prone skin that’s severely dehydrated on the surface, skin that’s been compromised by over-exfoliation or a particularly harsh chemical peel.. There’s usually an answer for just about every skin complaint.

1. Cicaplast Skin Recovery Accelerator – September price £8.58. Accelerates the healing process (so perfect after a peel or other chemical exfoliation) whilst providing some antibacterial protection. Brilliant for severely chapped lips, I find, as an overnight treatment and on minor burns and scrapes. If my face is a little raw after a beauty shoot (makeup on and off all day) then this is one of my most trusted aftercare products. I apply it in a thin layer just as I would a moisturiser and it hasn’t ever given me spots or made my face greasy. Yet. Get it here.

2) Vichy Normaderm – September price, £9.90. A glycolic-based light moisturiser that can be used day and night to resurface and plump the skin. Collagen production is stimulated, skin is smoother and on top of all of this, Normaderm is designed for blemish-prone skin. I really like this one. It doesn’t pack so much of a punch as Liquid Gold, I don’t think, but I rather like that you can use it morning and night and every day. Make sure you wear an SPF in the daytime. Get it here.

3) Klorane Eye Makeup Remover – September price £4. Simply one of the best gentle eye makeup removers that I have tried. For four quid. It’s a no-brainer. Get it here.

4) Avene TriAcneal Cream – September price £15.32. Another effective exfoliant and anti-blemish cream with a smoothing, clarifying effect. I find the texture to be a lot thicker than the Vichy, which means that I use a lot more, so it does work out to be more expensive. I’m not sure which has the greater Glycolic content or at what pHs they work at, but I find both to be equally effective. Get it here.

5) NUXE Honey Lip Balm – September price £6.27. Just bloody gorgeous, that’s all I can say. Non-sticky, non-glossy, has an almost matte finish and smells out of this world. The heavy glass pot and chic styling always makes me think that this should be a lot more expensive than it actually is, but with a third off it’s a steal! Get it here.

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  1. Jools
    September 25, 2012 / 7:31 am

    Funnily enough, I placed an order with Escentual yesterday for more of my favourite La Roche Posay Redermic-UV moisturiser. This is fantastic for er … shall we say slightly more mature skin ….. It contains quite a high proportion of vitamin C, which has a toning and brightening effect and stimulates collagen production. With spf 20, I found this was all I needed during the summer to protect my face. I noticed that there is also an eye cream in the same range so have ordered that aswell – at these prices it would be rude not to!

    • RuthCrilly
      September 25, 2012 / 8:23 pm

      Ooooh! I LOVE an antioxidant. I may have to look into this one! x

  2. Syd
    September 25, 2012 / 8:32 am

    Hi Ruth. I would like to start on anti ageing day and night creams. I’ve turned 33 in September and thought its about time I started. Would you please suggest something from the French brands you’ve mentioned? I have combination skin prone to breakouts.
    Also can I use the Vichy Normaderm on days I don’t use Liquid gold or will that be too much glycolic going on? Thank you.

    • RuthCrilly
      September 25, 2012 / 8:24 pm

      See Jools above – that one sounds amazing! Something antioxidanty in the morning and then LG at night, perhaps the LG serum on the off nights. Would be perfect. x

      • Syd
        September 30, 2012 / 10:11 pm


    • Jools
      September 26, 2012 / 4:10 pm

      The LRP Redermic range comes in different skin types. Mine is for sensitive skin but there’s one for oily and one for dry skin too. I also use the physiological micellar water in the mornings. That’s also fab. x

      • Syd
        September 30, 2012 / 10:11 pm

        Thanks Jools. Will give that a go.

  3. September 25, 2012 / 12:19 pm

    Well you’ve done it again…hitting the pocket book, but I think I really need the Cicoplast Skin… and the Nuxe lip balm.  I’m seriously considering the Avene.  I’m thrilled that between Dermstore and Amazon I can get these products in the US, though not the great prices. (Dermstore does give a 10% discount regularly, however.)  Thanks

    • RuthCrilly
      September 25, 2012 / 8:23 pm

      Amazon seems great for skincare in the US! x

  4. Michael
    September 25, 2012 / 5:00 pm

    Just ordered a few things, thanks for the heads up. Quick question, I just got the Alpha h renew skin set with trial bottles. Bargain for about £40 you get six decent sized testers. I already use liquid gold three times a week, I’m worried if using so many aha products will end up doing more harm than good. Any advice?

    • RuthCrilly
      September 25, 2012 / 8:22 pm

      What else are you using apart from the LG? What’s in the other bottles? x

      • Michael
        September 25, 2012 / 8:30 pm

        The kit came with, triple action cleanser, balancing moisturiser 10% (which I only use on nights I don’t use LG) day moisturiser with SPF and the “use twice weekly” products of, clay mask, smoothing mask, exfoliating scrub (12%). Thanks for your help. X

        • RuthCrilly
          September 25, 2012 / 8:42 pm

          Hmmm. That IS a lot of AHA isn’t it! I would say that the mask twice a week, scrub twice a week and LG 2/3 times a week is a lot. Throw the glycolic balancing moisturiser in too and you’re pretty much having AHA in everything! Are you using them all at once? How does your skin feel?

          • Michael
            September 25, 2012 / 8:52 pm

            Yea I thought that to be honest, it does seem like overkill. I haven’t actually started to use them yet, I thought I’d seek your advice before I do. I do have oil and problematic skin in general, it’s been made much better over the past few years by some research and spending. My main problem is I suffer with little blogged pores, I don’t really get spots as such, just little white heads that pop up in the night or sometimes even during the day and that’s what I’m trying to get a hold of but I do think its a fine line between doing and doing too much.

          • RuthCrilly
            September 25, 2012 / 10:40 pm

            So maybe start off with the LG every other night, the moisturiser in-between. Use the SPF for morning though make sure you really cleanse it off properly at the end of the day as I find that SPF can break me out! See how you get on then you could gradually introduce the mask once a week or so…though if you’re always using an AHA overnight I’d say that was too much… Perhaps twice a week use a regular, light moisturiser and use the mask beforehand? x

          • Michael
            September 25, 2012 / 11:33 pm

            Thanks very much for the advice. I’ll see how I get on and use less if I notice anything weird going on ha. Thanks again.

  5. September 26, 2012 / 6:38 am

    I used the Normaderm Cream, too. It feels very gentle and smooth on the skin but I have changed my routinen to Avene Clean-Ac Soothing Moisturizer and the Avene Thermal Spring Water with drops of Rosehip Oil (Pai Skincare) as a kind of Serum before applying the moisturizer . My skin is much better in colour and health.

  6. September 26, 2012 / 11:20 am

    Klorane Eye Makeup Remover good for waterproof mascara?

    • RuthCrilly
      September 27, 2012 / 12:42 pm

      Mmmmmm, not really. It has a go, but the Lancome or Clinique ones are best for waterproof I find! xx

  7. Beautyrx1
    September 27, 2012 / 2:34 am

    I’ve never tried these products but would like to order 3 just to check them out. If you could only choose three, what would they bee?

    • RuthCrilly
      September 27, 2012 / 12:43 pm

      Cicaplast, Normaderm, Klorane x

  8. Natalie
    September 29, 2012 / 2:42 pm

    Couldn’t help but smile when I was browsing Escentual’s sale for some new treats, and thought I’d pop over to AMR, as I know bits you’ve recommended before have been perfect.. lo and behold, you’ve listed the top picks of the sale! God bless you Ruth! x

  9. Asli
    October 2, 2012 / 9:16 pm

    I’ve been really interested in the Klorane makeup remover, but I also almost exclusively wear waterproof mascara. Is it effective enough to take off waterproof mascara easily and without irritation? Thanks Ruth!

  10. jade
    October 10, 2012 / 5:27 pm

    I would really like to recommend a product called Eucerin Dermo purifyer. I have been using the toner in conjunction with my Daily skincare routine of Manuka Dr api clear range. The Eucerine toner is what iv been using, i suffer from breakouts, this seriously helps calm my skin down and its very gentle I highly recommend this product!

  11. Sophie
    May 14, 2014 / 5:47 pm

    After your recommendation I bought the Vichy Normaderm, which I really like. But, when I used it it smelt quite strongly of alcohol. The ingredients list Alcohol Denat as the 2nd ingredient. Now, I also read Caroline’s blog, who is not keen on any alcohol, especially not so high up in the list! What are your feelings towards it? Also are moisturisers with glycolic acid in fine to use after a glycolic toner?

    • May 14, 2014 / 6:38 pm

      Hmm. Well, it depends. It’s actually quite a good little vehicle for things like Glycolic (which is what the Normaderm has) and in some cases, it’s OK. I think. Liquid Gold has it right up there as a main ingredient too – it helps to kind of deliver the alcohol into the skin. The benefits of the ingredient it’s delivering sort of outweigh the negatives… Or so I have been told when I’ve grilled the science folk… xx

  12. melissa
    May 30, 2014 / 1:49 am

    Hi Ruth, can you please write a post about your favorite places in Paris for a SPA day, getting facials, massages, etc. Obviously besides de high end beauty houses. I am really looking forward to this information since I’ve lived here for quite some time now but haven’t gotten around to it. My favorite french beauty products are Kerastase and Klorane for my hair and for my skin La Roche Posay. I loved this post and I love your blog. Thank you for all the tips you give us. They are amazing!

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