10 Icons For 10 Years Of French Pharmacy

10 French Pharmacy Skincare Icons

After reflecting on 10 years as the trusted stockist of your favorite French Pharmacy brands, it felt right to re-highlight 10 cult classics and your next future favourite in this dedicated edit. Every French skincare addict should either know about, currently use or be about to try…

1. The Iconic Cleanser

Bioderma Sensibio H2O

Why it’s an icon:

• It’s a backstage essential for top makeup artists during fashion shows.

• Named as a Vogue beauty hero in 2021.

• Loved by beauty bloggers worldwide.

• Crealine paved the way for the micellar water trend to a non-French Pharmacy customer/

Why it’s special:

Unlike the other red top micellar water available in your local supermarket, Sensibio removes 99% of makeup in one swipe. The micelle technology inside, which removes dirt and makeup are formulated with a pH to match your skin’s pH level. This micellar cleanser won’t make your skin feel tight, dry or itchy. It’s super gentle and helps your skin to rebuild it’s natural protective layer with every use.

Shop Now: Bioderma Sensibio H2O

2. The Cult Water Spray

Avene Thermale Spring Water Spray
Why it’s an icon:

• The coveted secret of the healing benefits of the water after a government decree was issued in France declaring the water to be of public interest.

• Cult following developed from skincare fans using the water to wash their face with.

• The water helped skin feel softer, more soothed and better protected

Why it’s unique:
Back in 1743, a hydrotherapy centre was developed to treat people with dermatosis and skin complaints. Years later, the water ended up being exported to America to help treat the victims of the Great Chicago Fire, and that’s when the secret was out.

Avene thermal water is truly unique. Its low mineral content (a 2:1 ratio of magnesium to calcium) is ideal for sensitive skin, and the high level of silicates means it’s got an extremely soft texture.

Shop Now: Avene Thermale Spring Water Spray


3. The Must-Have Multi-Purpose Moisturiser

Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré
Why it’s an icon:

• Coined by beauty editors as one of the best multi-purpose moisturisers available.

• Makeup artists hail it as one of the best primers for long-lasting makeup.

Why it’s an icon:

Beauty lovers have discovered at least 6 different ways to use Embryolisse, that’s how it gained cult-status across the world as a holy grail French Pharmacy product. Even though it’s been around since 1950, still to this day, the blue and white swirls can be seen trending all over social media, particularly TicTok. You can experience its moisturising and plumping abilities by using it as:

  1. A face mask
  2. A day cream
  3. A night cream
  4. A makeup primer
  5. A cleanser (best for dry, sensitive skin)
  6. Mixed with foundation to create a tinted moisturiser

Shop Now: Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre

4. The In-Demand Dry Shampoo

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk SprayWhy it’s an icon:

• It was the first ever dry shampoo created (in 1971), way before Batiste!

• Beauty enthusiasts love its natural oat formula because it doesn’t make your scalp itch.

• 1 is sold every 11 seconds across the world today.

• Most awarded dry shampoo ever!

Why it’s unique:

Klorane’s plant-based dry shampoo is kinder to the scalp than others. Oat milk is gentle and doesn’t irritate an itchy scalp. Over 4 decades of research is behind making sure this formulation is kind to your hair and the environment. A short supply chain of 29 miles gives 100% traceability from the field to the mist.

Shop Now: Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk


5. The Supreme Sunscreen

La Roche-Posay Anthelios UVMUNE 400 Invisible Fluid SPF50+Why it’s an icon:

• Recommended by dermatologists worldwide.

• Viral on all social platforms due to its weightless texture and high protection.

Why it’s unique:

The thin, untraceable texture of Anthelios Invisible Fluid is why this sunscreen flies out of stock. What’s special is its filter, MEXORYL400 – it’s a scientific break through as it protects even the most sensitive skin from very high UVA UVB rays in particularly long UVA rays, previously no other sun filter was able to block ultra-long UVA rays efficiently from 380 nm, which alone accounts for 30% of UV – clever! You’ll only find it in La Roche-Posay sun care, for now…

Shop Now: La Roche-Posay Anthelios UVMUNE 400 SPF50+


6. The Significant Serum

Vichy Mineral 89 SerumWhy it’s an icon:

• Recommended by dermatologists worldwide.

• First water-like French serum of its kind.

• Approved formula by the British skin foundation.

• Clinically proved to hydrate, plump and repair.

Why it’s unique:

This serum gets its boosting benefits from Vichy Volcanic Mineralising Water. As the water trickles down the volcanos in the South of France, it collects skin-replenishing minerals, 15 to be exact, to help your skin protect itself from environmental damage, such as pollution.

Shop Now: Vichy Mineral 89

7. The Best-Selling Balm

Eucerin Aquaphor Soothing Skin BalmWhy it’s an icon:

• A healing ointment used globally since 1925

• Makeup artist used it to highlight Meghan Markle’s skin on her wedding day.

• Beyoncé and Charlize Theron are rumoured to use it.

• Earned the nickname, ‘the duct tape of Dermatology’ – for being essential product.

Why it’s unique:

Yes, it’s the most famous French Pharmacy skincare based highlighter, but the real appeal lies in its formula. It locks in moisture, creates a protective layer on the skin – no germs are getting in, but it still allows moisture and oxygen through for faster healing. The formula is commonly known as semi-occlusive.

Shop Now: Eucerin Aquaphor

8. The Best Blemish Buster

PAYOT Pâte Grise L'Originale Purifying Care 15mlWhy it’s an icon:

• A best kept French Pharmacy skincare secret since 1947.

• Families in France would pass Pate Grise from generation to generation.

• One is sold every 5 minute worldwide.

Why it’s unique:

Pate Grise L’Original was created by Dr Nadia Payot over 75 years ago, using the best available ingredients in France to cure minor breakouts. Its minimalist formula has stood the testament of time, even as skincare technology advances. The mix of purifiers and emollients means your skin won’t feel dry or tight when using it too.

Shop Now: Payot Pate Grise

9. The Iconic Isotonic Water

Uriage Eau Thermale Water Spray
Why it’s an icon:

• Loved by the romans over 2000 years ago, and still a global skincare staple to this day.

• Has the highest mineral content out of all the thermal water sprays.

Why it’s special?
Uriage Thermale Water is the most concentrated thermal water spray for of them all. Its pH level matches the pH level of our tears, so it’s extra gentle and very replenishing. It includes trace chemicals and mineral salts that soothe, moisturise, and restore the skin. As it flows through the rocks in the heart of the Alps, the water is rich in natural minerals and trace elements. It’s kind of like lucazade, but for your face and body.

Shop Now: Uriage Thermal Water

10. The Trusted Toner

Gallinee Face Vinegar
Why it’s an icon:

• Coveted toner inspired by the historical beauty secret: apple cider vinegar.

• Loved for its gentle multi-purpose benefits on the face and body.

•Keeping skin smooth.

• Hydrating skin.

• Refining texture.

Why it’s Unique:
In Roman times, apple cider was used commonly used as toner. Reports also state Cleopatra used it as a cleanser too. Gallinee have upgraded this historical beauty favourite to make it more suitable for sensitive skin, and respectful of your skin’s microbiome.

The liquid toner only contains ingredients that will benefit the clarity and brightness of your skin. Their unique hibiscus-infused apple cider formula is filled with billions of kind-to-skin bacteria (postbiotic and prebiotic complex) that’s 96% natural – you won’t get anything else like it.

Shop Now: Gallinee Face Vinegar

Meet Gallinee: The World’s First Flora-Friendly Beauty Brand


Discover More:

French Pharmacy Guide To Sensitive Skin

6 New French Pharmacy Releases For July