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The Ultimate Guide to French Pharmacies

As I return from yet another pilgrimage to Paris, I find myself in a state of ecstasy and exhaustion. The exhaustion is primarily due to the fact that I think Norwegian Air hired some kind of soul-crushing hobgoblin to curse me and either never let me on the plane or off of it. Plot twist: this is purgatory. The ecstasy, however, is due to the fact that I did some damage at the Pharmacie and restocked my entire routine. That almost makes up for the purgatory. Almost.

So, what does one buy when at a Pharmacie? It’s important to consider what you actually cannot purchase in the States and the prices of what you can. Donc, on y va:

Bioderma

Hot take, but leave the makeup removers in France. Most of Bioderma’s micellar waters are readily available in the US for about the same price (if not cheaper). I did run out of makeup wipes while I was there, so I had to pick up the Bioderma ones, but TBH you can get them for under $10 in the US as opposed to around 10 Euros there. Some products you should consider aside from their makeup removers when popping into the pharma: Crealine Gel Moussant, the Anti-Rougeurs BB Cream (currently unavailable in the US–believe me I checked), and their deodorant. Because France is not a complete trash fire that wants us dead, their products are far cleaner and safe for skin, so your best bet is stocking up on deodorant if you want to stop putting aluminum in your pits.

Embryolisse

Fuck it uppppp. Buy their products in France always. Everything is usually a good $5-7 cheaper. My favorites include the ever-iconic Lait-Crème Concentré, their Lait-Crème Fluide is one of my holy grail winter cleansers (although it's technically not a cleanser, but I use it as a first-cleanse makeup remover): it’s gentle, moisturizing and effective (FYI you will need to check your bag in order to smuggle through). If you’re a freak like me, I also love their Cils Booster, which is kind of a non-sequitur of a product but at the end of the day, who really cares?

Caudalie

Ok, so let me paint you a word picture. A young woman falls in love with a serum through word of mouth, but it's sold out everywhere in the States, and is also $50. So I bought a round trip ticket just to buy this. JK. I did go back to Paris and find the Caudalie Vinopure Serum for only $30 in the local pharma. I've been using it for about a week and it's truly worth the hype. I had a couple zits from living on Brie, Côte du Rhône and gluten for a week, but this zapped everything and lightened the scars. Caudalie is so much cheaper in France, so please do yourself a favor and save your hard-earned money. Honorable mentions to the Detox Mask, Beauty Elixir, cleansing oil, moisturizing mask.

Homeoplasmine

Just buy it, it doesn’t matter where honestly. They have it on Amazon for $14, and it’s about 10 Euros at the pharma, but either way, you deserve this. Homeo’s US counterpart is Aquaphor, but my issue with Aquaphor is that it doesn’t have staying power. I put it on and it’s gone in 2 seconds and I don’t feel any better about my life. Homeo stays on and you feel her lasting effects. Personally, I use it on my lips 24/7 and under my eyes when I fly so I don’t exit the plane looking like the crypt keeper. You can thank me later.

This is merely what I restocked, but I can go for days with these recommendations so I’ll stop here, but @ me in the comments or on Instagram if you want more. Also, please comment below if you have a favorite I should grab on my next trip this spring. Sharing is caring, guys.

À bientôt!

Amelia


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