sephora shower gel pods | this city life
All things bright and beauty,  Life,  Travel

French pharmacy products: beauty treats from Paris

For our first wedding anniversary, we treated ourselves to a little Parisian break. It was quite cold and we were both suffering from the beginnings of flu (how romantic it is to be married!), but we didn’t let that stop us from having a wonderful time.

My lovely husband surprised me with First Class tickets, making sure our #Pariversary started as we meant to go on. I had one little detour in mind though – sniffing out some of my favourite French pharmacy products.

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la roche posay serozinc | this city life

LA ROCHE-POSAY SEROZINC // £8.50 for 150ml
Every time I popped into Boots I’d look for this famous beauty treat, but to no avail. It’s a facial mist toner known for calming irritated and blemish-prone skin – i.e. my skin all day, every day.

I searched high and low in Citypharma for it too but it wasn’t there! On the last day of our trip to Paris I finally found it in the local supermarket – phew. A friend had told me that pretty much all of the local shops in France have a mini pharmacie inside, where you can find some of the most popular products, so I couldn’t believe my luck when I spotted Serozinc for €7 each (that’s about £5). I bought two, of course.

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french pharmacy products | this city life

I’m probably going to get into trouble for saying that Paris was my idea so I could get Bioderma and other French pharmacy products for cheap, but what the heck. My first grab off the Citypharma shelves was a double pack of their Crealine (now known as Sensibio) micellar water/cleanser. It’s seriously mild with a really gentle formula, making it perfect for irritated skin.

My eyes are super sensitive so most cleansers cause them to flare up and water, but Bioderma works a treat. I use it to cleanse leftover makeup that face wipes or my Clarisonic hasn’t managed to budge – especially that pesky waterproof mascara!

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french pharmacy products | this city life

BIAFINE EMULSION // £12.99 for 186g
HOMEOPLASMINE CREAM // £15.90 for 2 x 40g

Two amazing creams that I had to make sure I didn’t leave Paris without. I’m really prone to sunburn, being quite fair. It doesn’t matter where I go – the Maldives or Margate – I get burnt. I spent most of our honeymoon in Sri Lanka tending to some quite bad burns on my chest (damn you reflective swimming pool) and I really wish I’d had Biafine to sort it out. It soothes, heals and protects sunburnt skin, preventing scarring and improving the healing process. It’s going in my suitcase for the next holiday for sure.

Homeoplasmine has a few tricks up its sleeve too. It’s great as a balm for cracked winter-sore lips and doubles up as a primer before makeup. You only need the teeniest bit to do wonders, and its secret weapon is the ability to mattify lipsticks. If you don’t want to splash out on velvet lippies, Homeoplasmine helps you make your own at home. Magic!

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avene lip balm | this city life

Avene is my favourite skincare brand out there. I use their Hydrance Optimale Hydrating Serum and Light Moisturiser with Protective UV SPF20 every single day. So when I spotted the cold cream lip balms at the Citypharma counter, I just had to pop them in my basket too. I hadn’t noticed them in Boots, where I normally stock up on Avene, so I figured if I missed out I’d probably never see them again.

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A little Sephora treat too…

Since Sephora don’t have a store in the UK, nor offer cheap enough shipping for me to order from their US website, every time I walk past a shop in Europe I have to go in. It always ends up with me splashing most of my spending money on beauty treats – oops. Here’s what I picked up in Paris.

glitter polish remover

EXPRESS NAIL POLISH REMOVER // Hands down the best glitter polish remover out there. It dries out your skin a little bit but it’s really quick at removing pesky glitter nail polish – probably the most annoying beauty product to get off!

sephora shower gel pods | this city life

SHOWER GEL PODS // I popped a few of these in my basket while queuing and I’m too precious about them to use one yet! They’re handy little pods full of scented shower gel, perfect for travelling (8ml each). I grabbed peony, green tea, monoi, cotton, coconut and strawberry.

sephora beauty | this city life

CHANEL ROUGE NOIR POLISH // I’m going to wear this all winter
NARS ‘ORGASM’ BLUSHER // I had to buy that infamous name – and the colour’s perfect too!

Charley is a professional copywriter and tea-lover currently living in Leeds. She writes about city living and city travel (with a few cats thrown in).

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