For years beauty lovers have stalked French pharmacies and returned to the UK with a stash of French skincare in their suitcase - been there, done that. Much to my delight, an increasing number of these highly acclaimed products are now available in the UK. Today I thought I’d share the lowdown on three of my favourites, why I love them and where you can get hold of them without jetting to Paris.
Darphin Intral Toner £18.83 here
This soothing and calming toner with chamomile is specifically targeted at sensitive skins. It smells beautiful - like roses, though it isn’t. It should probably be applied with a cotton wool pad, but not wanting to waste a drop, I just pour it into my palm and splash/press onto my face before moisturising. I find this particularly soothing when my skin feels stressed or during occasional bouts of rosacea, though I really don’t need an excuse to use it every day. It came highly recommended by Caroline Hirons when my rosacea began.
La Roche Posay Serozinc £8.55 here
La Roche Posay Serozinc has received much love by beauty bloggers and it’s one of those products that you need to try for yourself to understand its benefits. I bought my first bottle in France last year and was gutted when it ran out, so was over the moon to hear that it now has an official UK stockist, Farmaline. This is a spray toner with zinc sulphate to soothe minor skin irritations. I use this slightly differently than the Darphin Intral, though I guess their roles overlap slightly. It’s antibacterial, so works well on minor breakouts or irritated skin, which for me are often the result of testing too many products (beauty bloggeritus). It just feels lovely and is so quick and easy to use.
Bioderma Sensibio H20 £4.50-£9.99 here
A long term favourite, Bioderma is one of my most repurchased beauty products. In the past I’ve picked it up on eBay or in bulk while in France, but it’s now quite widely available in the UK. I often use this as a first step cleanser to remove make-up, but it’s also my go-to eye make-up remover. It’s so gentle, yet literally removes make-up in one swipe, with no tugging or rubbing at the skin. It’s a make-up artist and model favourite for good reason. NB I do not recommend using this as your only daily cleanser: it’s great, but does not deep clean pores like a proper cleanser.
I really think every woman could benefit from these products in her skincare stash. We all have days when our skin feels in need of soothing and late nights when a quick and easy cleanse is a godsend.
Let me know your thoughts if you have tried these products - and please leave your French skincare recs below!