French Skincare Products

When I was 21, I spent a semester in Paris. Every day, I’d see women in the French capital going about their day with a touch of makeup and beautiful dewy skin. And boy, did my self-esteem take a hit.

My skin was S U F F E R I N G from breakouts. So I did some research on top-rated French drugstore beauty products and got them from the nearby pharmacie.

Because the French’s beauty philosophy is “less is more”, their skincare routine is often kept simple: cleanser, toner, moisturiser, sunscreen. The products are also usually free of alcohol, parabens, fragrance.

Thankfully, my skin cleared, and this list of products is what worked for my sensitive, oily, acne-prone skin.

Makeup removers

From left to right:

1. Bioderma Crealine H20 Micelle Water 250ml

This lightweight formula is a 10/10 buy. The micellar water was effective at removing makeup, gentle on my sensitive skin, and didn’t strip it of natural oils.

Singapore’s price: S$28.90 from Watsons
France’s price: €15.49 (~S$24.17) for 2 bottles from City Pharma
Save: S$16.82

2. La Roche Posay Respectissime Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover 125ml

When wearing heavier makeup, I’d use this remover instead. It removes even the most waterproof mascara without having to do much rubbing.

Singapore’s price: S$36.90 from Guardian
France’s price: €10.98 (~S$17.14) from Parapharmazen
Save: S$19.76

Facial cleansers

From left to right:

3. Vichy Normaderm Deep Cleansing Gel 200ml

It’s not a good habit to go to bed without properly removing makeup, but sometimes, I use this oil- and soap-free formula when I’m too tired or lazy. The product contains salicylic acid and glycolic acid which does exfoliate skin.

Singapore’s price: S$29 from Guardian
France’s price: €8.90 (~S$13.89) from Parapharmazen
Save: S$20.10

4. Eau Thermale Avene Cleanance Soapless Cleanser 200ml

I liked this cleanser as it mattifies oily skin after washing and you can use it on your body too. It’s also soap-free so it’s gentle on sensitive skin.

Singapore’s price: S$30.50 from Watsons
France’s price: €7.75 (~S$12.09) from Pharmacie Lafayette de Paris for 300ml
Save: S$18.41


From left to right:

5. Caudalie Beauty Elixir 100ml

This half-water, half-tonic combination tightens the appearances of pores. The combination of rose, peppermint, orange blossom, and grape pulp extracts smells hella good and brightens and evens skin tone.

Singapore’s price: S$22 from Sephora
France’s price: €10 (~S$15.61) from Caudalie or most pharmacies
Save: S$6.39

6. Avène Thermal Spring Water Spray 300ml

The purified water heals contains natural minerals which calms redness and hydrates skin. If you work in an air-conditioned office, spritz the mist to keep your skin moisturised without having to re-do your makeup.

Singapore’s price: S$29.90 for a pack of two from Guardian
France’s price: €6.90 (~S$10.77) from Parapharmazen
Save: S$4.18

Moisturisers/Facial oils

From left to right:

7. Embryolisse Lait Crème Concentre 75ml

The rich cream is fast-drying and not overwhelmingly thick, and is extremely hydrating. Sometimes, I’d mix some into my foundation for a dewy glow. You can also double the cream as a makeup remover and cleansing lotion.

Singapore’s price: unavailable in stores, S$28 from Shopee
France’s price: €14.95 (~S$23.33) from Pharmacie Lafayette de Paris
Save: S$4.67

8. Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse 100ml

At night, I use this dry oil to make sure my skin has sufficient moisture and prevent it from overreacting and getting more pimples. The product contains tsubaki oil, sweet almond oil, camellia oil, borage oil and macadamia oil which will also soften skin.

Singapore’s price: available at selected Sephora, Guardian, Watsons outlets, S$52 from Lookfantastic
France’s price: €21.49 (~S$33.54) from City Pharma
Save: S$18.46


9. La Roche Posay Anthelios XL, Ultra-light, SPF 50+ Sunscreen 50ml

This fragrance-free formula applies easy and has a non-greasy finish. For someone who wears makeup daily, it was important that the sunscreen I used didn’t add a lighten my face

Singapore’s price: S$46.90 from Guardian
France’s price: €10.27 (~S$16.01) from Parapharmazen
Save: S$30.89

French Beauty Products

If you’re heading to the City of Lights, know most skin care items can be picked up at une pharmacie. I got most of my stuff at the popular Citypharma at 26 Rue du Four.

This particular Citypharma stocks many brands, has alright customer service, and is conveniently located in the heart of the city. You’ll want to go early because products do tend to sell out fast.

What I took away from the French spirit of beauty is not to worry about getting the occasional zit because “flaws make you more interesting to look at.” So focus on taking care of yourself and have a mental glow up when practicing skincare. In time, good complexion will follow.

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Cover image: Source