Escentual French Pharmacy Brand Haul

Whenever we go to France, I spend quite a lot of my time trying to sneak into the pharmacies, to see if I can stock up on any new skincare products. I generally have a very small window of time to do this before Alex starts huffing and puffing and it’s always a bit of a mission because 1) I don’t speak the language well enough to know what exactly I’m actually looking at and 2) I’m always wondering if it would be cheaper to purchase it online in the UK.

Since we last went to Paris I’ve become a lot more aware of the popular French skincare brands, which means things should be a bit quicker and easier when we head there again this Summer. Alex will be pleased! However, if I’m totally honest, I feel like nothing seems to be working for me at the moment – even those recommended and raved-about products that every other blogger seems to swear by. I mean, I’m in my mid-thirties and my skin is definitely worse than it has ever been. What’s that about? Sad times.

When I was on a mission to change my routine the other week, I decided to head over to Escentual, as they have had up to a third off French Pharmacy brands throughout the the whole of March. I managed to fill up my basket pretty quickly (never a problem) and soon after checkout, this little lot was delivered to my door…

French Pharmacy Brands

Klorane Nettle Shampoo

I got into a nasty habit of washing my hair daily quite a long time ago and I’m not quite sure how it happened, but now many years down the line my hair gets greasy after 24 hours and near impossible to ignore if I’m heading out. Since I’ve been working from home I’ve reduced the washes to as few as I can, but it’s still not great. The  Klorane Nettle Shampoo is aimed at oil control, so I’m going to give it a shot and see if there are any improvements.

Unfortunately, it does contain Sodium laureth sulfate, which is something I’ve been trying to avoid, but I might rotate this with other shampoos and hope for the best. I’m thinking that maybe it contains a little less SLS, as it doesn’t seem to foam as easily as a lot of other shampoos I’ve used in the past… Can’t be sure though. No science expert here!

Avene Cold Cream

The Avene Cold Cream is a fair bit lighter to apply than the La Roche-Posay Lipikar Lait that I’ve been using for the winter months. It seems to have good reviews, and the large bottles always last quite some time. One thing that has annoyed me with the consistency of the Lipikar Lait is that I can’t actually get any out via the pump (due to the thicker consistency) now it is running low. I think I’m going to try and transfer it to a smaller pot and use it as my travel cream and stick with the Avene for daily use.

The Cicaplast hand cream is absolutely amazing and I’ll definitely be gifting a few of theses sometime soon. Not much else to say about that really… As good as hand cream gets!


I definitely only bought the La Roche-Posay Thermal Water because it was a cute mini can and was only a few pounds. I’m not convinced I really need it, but if we get a heatwave sometime soon then I’m sure I’ll be more than happy that I’ve got it!

I’ve been tempted to try the Caudalie Beauty Elixir quite a few times, but never quite made the purchase due to it’s hefty price tag. Not being something that I class as ‘essential skincare’, I decided to leave it until now. Anyway, I snuck this one into my order and will give it go to see how I get on with it. It does smell lovely and fresh and claims to boosts radiance, minimizes pore size as well as set make-up – All of which I need help with!

Vichy Dermablend

Annoyingly, all of the products that I invested a little more money in have ran out all at once. I’ve absolutely loved using my Clarins Multi-Active Night Youth Recovery Cream, but didn’t really want to spend as much on my night cream this time round. I thought I’d test out the  La Roche-Posay’s Nutritic Intense Riche, and at £11 for 50ml it has definitely been worth the change. I wouldn’t say it’s as good as the Clarins, but at this price point I’d say it’s worth the purchase.

I decided to buy Vichy’s Dermablend Setting Powder for use in the warmer months. The reviews for this are good and I actually quite liked it the way it sat on my skin when I used it for the first time last weekend. I’m looking forward to testing it out more when my skin has decided to repair itself.

Nuxe Lip Balm

Yup, another lip balm to add to my collection!  This Nuxe balm is a greatly talked-about product amongst bloggers. I don’t know if I would have ever got round to paying full price for this because I’ve still got a ton of balms to get through, but I’m not one to miss out on a good offer! It’s a nice balm – smells more like lemon than honey, but is nourishing and I like the little pot. Sold!

Do you have any French Pharmacy favourites / recommendations? I’d love to hear them.

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