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French Pharmacies: The 5 Tried And True Products You Need To Buy


what to buy in a French pharmacyThis article was written by The Zillennial Zine’s summer editorial intern Grier Calagione. Find her on Instagram at @g_fac. If you would like to share an article with The Zillennial, send us an email at

French Pharmacies have become the sanctuary of the skincare community. TikTok has rallied around the Parisian approach to skincare and the pharmacies of France are taking the world by storm. The French skincare culture does not focus on hiding blemishes and imperfections like the American culture. Instead, they focus on using natural ingredients to nourish and care for the skin. But there’s an overwhelming number of options, I spent the last 4 months in Paris trying out all of TikTok highly recommended products so you don’t have to. Here is what to buy in a French pharmacy and where to find these products in the States.

Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Purpose Dry Oil by Nuxe

I have to start my list with this cult classic, the Nuxe Dry Oil. This perfumed oil can be used on the hair, body and cuticles. The hydrating formula leaves behind the perfect summer glow, but also a beautifully light and floral scent. There are many different options with this product including a wide range of scents and the famous shimmer oil. After testing the various options, I decided to bring only two back to the States with me: the Shimmering Dry Oil Huile Prodigieuse and the classic Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Purpose Dry Oil. I found that the classic dry oil is perfect for everyday glow and the shimmer oil is the perfect summer skincare accessory.

Honey Balm by Nuxe

What to buy in a French pharmacy


Nuxe is receiving two rounds of props from me today, their Honey lip care oil, Rêve de Miel, has become my favorite lip product of all time. The formula leaves the lips feeling incredibly soft and moisturized, with no sticky aftermath. The key ingredient here is lavender honey from Provence, France, the high-quality honey provides unparalleled nourishment. I love to use this balm before and after applying my lip combo, first to add moisture and then to add shine. When I heard about this oil I knew I needed it, but it flew off the pharmacy shelves. Here in the US, it’s even harder to find, your best bet would be to order directly from the Nuxe website.

Vinoperfect by Caudalie

what to buy in a french pharmacy


I’d heard people rave about the Vinoperfect serum well before my arrival in France, but the price tag always scared me off. At French pharmacies, this serum costs around $45 (a much better bargain than the $82 Sephora price in the US). I struggled with acne as a high schooler and have been left with the scars to prove it until I found this serum. It lightens dark spots, scarring and evens out the skin tone. The benefits of Vitamin C serums are well known, but they can also do more harm than good with exposure to the sun. What I love most about the Vinoperfect is its non-photosensitive properties, meaning I can apply it morning and night for a consistent result. If you have tried this product and are pleased with the results, I also highly recommend testing the Vinoperfect 10-Minute Peeling Mask. I thought that this product would never match the hype behind it, but my expectations were blown out of the water.

Cicaplast Baume B5 by La Roche-Posay


I tried a handful of La Roche Posay while abroad and the standout product was the TikTok famous B5 moisturizer. This product went viral for its multifunctional use as a makeup primer as it leaves a beautiful sheen on the skin. Originally developed for rashes, burns and blisters, this product is deeply soothing and moisturizing. I use it as the final step of my skincare routine to wake up with a healthy glow.

A313 Cream


It would not be a French pharmacy guide without the mention of A313 Cream. This is an over-the-counter vitamin A cream that parallels the benefits of prescription retinol. It increases collagen production and helps to reduce hyperpigmentation. Even though it is not retinol, it should be treated as one when doing your routine. This means it should not be used alongside Vitamin C (like the Vinoperfect) and you’ll have to abide by limited sun exposure. If you suffer from scarring and dark marks, this is the perfect dermatological tool.

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Whether you are trying to achieve the messy French girl aesthetic or the Hailey Bieber glazed donut look, these clean and trusted products can help you get there. I always struggled with my skin and religiously studied all the products I needed to get upon arrival in Paris. After months of trial and error, these are the products you should buy at a French pharmacy. If it feels as though you’ve tried every product under the sun with no results, maybe it’s time for your skin to take a French holiday.

Trying to figure out what to buy in a French pharmacy? What products would you recommend? Let us know in the comments below!

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