When it comes to French Pharmacy, there are loads of absolute icons that are loved by beauty experts and novices alike – from Embryolisse’s cult classic Lait-Creme Concentre to Avene’s award-winning Thermale Spring Water. And although I have a lot of love and respect for these French Pharmacy showstoppers, there are also a whole host of exciting new launches that deserve their share of the attention.
As one of the Beauty Team members here at Escentual, I’m lucky enough to try lots of new releases from the most well-loved French Pharmacy brands. So, this edit is dedicated to five of my top French Pharmacy recommendations of the moment. And you never know, they might just be the icons of the future…
1. The Must-Have For Little Ones
The New Launch: Mustela Arnica & Calendula Bio Gel
Why You Need To Know About It: As any parent or guardian will know, kids often have little tumbles or minor bumps as they’re beginning to explore the world for themselves. And that’s where Mustela’s arnica gel comes into play; it’s been created to soothe and comfort minor bumps caused by small blows, shocks and falls.
The formula is almost as natural as can be, which is something lots of parents will love. With just eight ingredients, the 97% natural, no-nasties vegan formula is packed with arnica and organic calendula to soothe skin and reduce feelings of discomfort. The hydrating formula is perfect for those moments when little ones get hot and bothered after they’ve had a minor bump, too; it continues to comfort skin, thanks to its cooling and refreshing gel texture that isn’t at all sticky, greasy or heavy.
Although the natural formula is impressive enough, we’re always impressed by just how well thought out all Mustela products are – from the formula to the packaging – and this gel is no different; it’s held in an airless pump bottle that can be used single-handedly (and even upside down, thanks to its 360° design), so you can easily and quickly apply the gel to the affected area. This clever, airless pump design also helps to limit the risk of product contamination and reduces waste.
2. The SPF100 Sunscreen
The New Launch: Eucerin Actinic Control MD Fluid SPF100
Why You Need To Know About It: Eucerin’s Actinic Control SPF100 takes your skin health very seriously. More than just your average sunscreen, the first thing that instantly stands out has to be the fact that it’s an SPF100 formula; here in the UK, we don’t often see sunscreens with this high an SPF rating. The main reason for this is that Eucerin’s Control MD Fluid prioritises skin health; it’s been specially created to guard against UV-induced DNA damage to keratinocytes. If you’re unfamiliar with keratinocytes, they’re the primary type of cell found in the top layer of skin, and sadly, UV damage can cause actinic keratosis, the most common pre-cancer on the skin, if skin isn’t properly protected using sun cream.
This facial sunscreen has been created to help prevent actinic keratosis and non-melanoma skin cancer (which can sometimes develop following actinic keratosis), so you and your skin can be happy and healthy.
Although this formula definitely has skin health as its top priority, I love the fact that it still has a light fluid texture that you can comfortably wear throughout the day.
3. The Eco-Conscious Shampoo
The New Launch: Klorane Mango Shampoo Bar for Dry Hair
Why You Need To Know About It: If you’re a Klorane fan and you have dry hair, then the chances are that you’ll already be familiar with their famous Mango collection. As someone with dry, wavey and frizz-prone hair, I’m loyal to this range myself – shampoo, conditioner and leave-in conditioner included! So, the shampoo bar certainly had a lot to live up to. And with an eco-conscious take on the original, I certainly think it meets all expectations, while offering you a more environmentally-friendly formula.
The vegan shampoo bar boasts an 86% natural, biodegradable formula that centres around nutrient-rich mango butter to deeply nourish and condition tresses as you cleanse. As it washes and refreshes your hair, the shampoo bar offers a boost of hydration to dry hair for supple, healthy and bouncy tresses. And let’s not forget the sweet tropical mango fragrance; there’s no need for fans of the original shampoo to miss out on that mouthwateringly juicy scent after all!
4. The Sunscreen For Everyone
The New Launch: Avene Sun Care Intense Protect SPF50+
Why You Need To Know About It: Avene’s Intense Protect SPF50+ is perhaps one of the most inclusive sunscreens I’ve tried. It’s suitable for so many people; in fact, it’s suitable for use on babies from 6 months old and can even be used by pregnant women too. Plus, it has a light, non-tinted fair shade (as opposed to a white hue) so that it blends in to suit all skin tones. And it’s even suitable for use on previously injured skin.
But what about the formula itself? The star of the show has to be the Triasorb™ filter. Created after 20 years of Pierre Fabre research, this broad-spectrum sun filter is the first sun filter to be inspired by melanin’s natural photoprotective power. But that’s not all; it’s also the first organic sun filter with the ability to absorb and reflect UVB, short UVA and long UVA rays, as well as high-energy visible blue light.
And if you’re a fan of Avene’s iconic water, the good news is that you’ll get a hit of this natural thermal water from this sunscreen; the SPF features a shot of Avene#s soothing, anti-irritating active to leave skin soft and comfortable.
Although I could rave about what this sunscreen does for your skin all day long, I also have to mention the fact that it’s incredibly respectful to the natural world; Intense Protect features ocean-friendly filters that respect marine biodiversity.
5. The Skin-Repairing Serum
The New Launch: Uriage Bariederm-Cica Daily Serum
Why You Need To Know About It: Sometimes, skin needs a little bit more care and attention than usual, especially when it’s fragile or damaged, and Uriage’s Bariederm-Cica Serum has been designed for just those moments.
The lightweight liquid serum helps to strengthen and repair fragile complexions for skin that looks and feels much healthier; we’re talking everything from a renewed radiance to the easing of redness.
The 96% natural origin formula centres around a 10.5% Thermal-Biotic Complex; this blends their iconic thermal water (which is one of my French Pharmacy staples) with prebiotic inulin to offer a unique rebalancing action on the skin.
The ultra-soothing serum deeply moisturises the complexion to promote a healthy, regenerated and even complexion. Oh – and it also helps to stimulate skin repair to prevent signs of ageing.
I also just love how fresh, dewy and glowy my skin looked when I tried this; it definitely had a healthy, natural-looking radiance, all thanks to the blend of Uriage water and hyaluronic acid found in the daily serum.