4th June 2015

#MyFrenchPharmacy – Emma’s Picks

Emma's French Pharmacy Picks

Re-Branded Signature (Emma) copy

“To celebrate up to 1/3rd off all French pharmacy products this month, the Escentual team are revealing their can’t-live-without skincare in the #MyFrenchPharmacy series. Share your picks with us on Twitter and Instagram!”

Excuse my flair for the dramatic, but sometimes it feels as though my skin lurches from one emergency to the next. From the time my forehead was so sore and tight that no skincare seemed to quench it, to the random, painful breakouts on my cheeks – it just can’t seem to make its mind up!

It’s mostly down to my severe dehydration, which brings with it a cacophony of symptoms; I struggle with dullness, ‘thinness’, rough texture and flaky patches pretty consistently, plus semi-regular blemishes with a severely dry nose and forehead thrown in for good measure. Phew. To suit this array of concerns my regimen is normally in a state of flux, and I make regular, small tweaks to suit. There are some mainstays in my collection, though, and they’re what I call my ‘SOS treatments’ – fail-safe, dependable products that always just work, no matter how my skin’s behaving.

So for the first of our #MyFrenchPharmacy posts, I’m letting you in on my ultimate skincare stalwarts – may they keep your routine together in times of crisis as they do mine…

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Vichy Idealia Life Serum and Nuxe Nuxellence Eclat


1) Vichy Idealia Life Serum

I feel as though Vichy Idealia Life Serum, £20.66* was made for me. Crafted for those with overstressed, unbalanced skin with a cocktail of concerns, this global treatment tackles dullness, dry patches, uneven skin and oiliness in one fell swoop. It suits my mid-twenties, city dweller skin down to the ground, restoring calm and comfort while addressing most of my major skin concerns. It even has a mild exfoliating effect on the skin, which makes my foundation sit flawlessly. Add to the mix radiance-enhancing pearlescent particles, a lightweight serum-crème texture, sleek pink packaging and a gorgeous tea aroma, and you’ve got the one product I could never, ever be without.

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2) Nuxe Nuxellence Eclat

The crème de la crème of Nuxe’s skincare range is Nuxellence Eclat, £31.33*, a power-packed formula that boasts 10 (yes, 10!) patents. Its raison d’etre is to recharge cellular function and repair mitochondrial DNA, while detoxing the skin and ensuring all of your other products work at optimum efficiency. Aside from the obvious repairing and protecting benefits, I love Nuxellence because it’s high performance skincare at its easiest – I cleanse and tone, and then apply this straight afterwards in place of a separate serum and moisturiser. It’s the perfect amount of moisture and care for my skin, and it really improves its clarity. My skin just looks so much healthier.


Eau Thermale Avene Soothing Moisture Mask and Bioderma Sensibio Eye


3) Avene Soothing Moisture Mask

You know those days when your skin just needs as much moisture as possible? This is the product to turn to. The Avene Soothing Moisture Mask, £8.62 is a straight-up thirst quencher, with a mid-weight texture that is substantial enough to leave a fine layer on the skin, but light enough that it doesn’t feel heavy. The high concentration of Avene’s famous thermal spring water makes up the bulk of the composition, while a blend of oils ensure that skin is deeply comforted. I apply this in a generous layer and leave on for about 30 minutes, and then I wipe away the excess with a cotton pad rather than washing it away to leave my skin looking plump and dewy.


4) Bioderma Sensibio Eye Contour Gel

There are two things that I look out for when I choose my eye care: I want to know if it’s gentle enough for contact lens wearers, and whether it’s substantial enough to tackle my crepey, dehydrated eye area. The Sensibio Eye Contour Gel, £9.46* excels on both counts.  If you don’t have any specific anti-dark circle or anti-ageing concerns, then Sensibio Eye is a wonderful all-rounder – I rely on this gel-crème to infuse deep hydration in the morning (pop it in the fridge the night before for an ultra-cooling treat), as it plumps the area with generous moisture that lasts for most of the day. It’s the perfect choice for those just starting out with eye care products.


Darphin The Revitalizing Oil


5) Darphin The Revitalizing Oil

And to finish, a new addition to my skincare regime. I’m obsessed with oils at the moment; they’re working wonders by refining the texture of my skin and making the roughness far more manageable. One of my favourites is the Darphin The Revitalizing Oil, £16.00*, a beautiful product that can actually be used anywhere on the body, including your hair. I use this overnight in lieu of moisturiser, and I add a few drops to my foundation in the mornings to achieve dewy finish (the sort that’s almost impossible to achieve for dehydrated skin types!). It’s crafted with raspberry seed oil, rosehip oil, apricot kernel oil, argan oil and jojoba seed oil, which not only have a lovely semi-dry texture, they also smell incredible.


Shop French Pharmacy skincare with up to 1/3rd at Escentual

*Price after discount throughout June 2015.


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  • Amy

    I’m incredibly torn between this serum from Vichy and their Aqualia Thermal Serum, I’m unsure which would benefit me the best as they both sound great for dehydrated skin.

    • escentual

      Hi Amy!

      If dehydration is your main concern, I’d go with the Aqualia Thermal serum – it’s optimised to really quench your skin with lasting hydration, which’ll in turn have an overall effect on the clarity and comfort of your skin.

      Idealia Life Serum is more of an all-rounder for those who burn the candle at both ends, working to lightly exfoliate skin, brighten and even everything out. I’d go for this one once your dehydration has abated a little bit and you’d like a great maintenance product!

      Emma x

      • Amy

        Thank you Emma, I’m going to have to try and pick that up soon, it sounds like such a great product to me. Thank you for sharing the difference between the two, I really appreciate that.

  • This is so so helpful! I’m putting the Vichy Life serum in my basket because I love Vichy and the serum sounds right up my street!

    • escentual

      Hi Sandra,

      So glad to hear it! The Life Serum is my absolute favourite. If you have any questions or anything else you’d love us to talk about, give us a tweet over at #AskEscentual!

      Emma x