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French Pharmacy Skincare Essentials

This month, Escentual.com 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.

© 2016 A Model Recommends®: all opinions are my own and any sponsored or paid posts will always be very clearly marked. I accept press samples and receive product and services to review as part of my job. Outward links to retailers will usually be affiliate links. Please see here for full "about" section and disclaimer.  A Model Recommends and Ruth Crilly are registered trademarks.


  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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?

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

      • 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

        • 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?

          • 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.

          • 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

          • 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. 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. Klorane Eye Makeup Remover good for waterproof mascara?

  7. 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?

  8. 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. 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. 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!

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