1. Avibon Vitamin Pommade (Anti-Aging Skincare)
This rich vitamin A and D mask gives you the power of retinol without the redness or peeling that comes with it. It has an interesting ointment-like consistency that might take some getting used to as you smear it on your face, but It does smell lovely. Buy it here for $39.
2. Avene Cleanance Gel Soapless Cleanser
This stuff is great for blemish-prone skin (read: BACNE) and comes in a very pretty bottle that doesn’t highlight your ravaging acne issues. Get it here for $20.
3. Le Roche-Posay’s Anthelios Sunscreen Line
This stuff is the most effective and cosmetically elegant sunscreen you can buy. It just melts effortlessly into your skin, leaving a very smooth finish that makes a great primer for your foundation. (Disclaimer: I own it, I love it.) Get it from Amazon for $24.
4. Bioderma Crealine H2O (Micellar Makeup remover)
It’s extremely gentle, removes every trace of makeup, softens your skin, and does not dry you out. It also works as a magical clear-skin-producing toner. Great for nights when you just want to be lazy and swipe your makeup off without having to actually wash your face at the sink. Get it here.
5. Nuxe’s Reve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm with Honey and Precious Oils
This insanely lush lip balm can be used as an overnight treatment. Beware that it’s more goopy than silky, but on the bright side, the smell is a lovely grapefruit and honey — mmmm. Get it here for $16.
6. Nuxe Huile Prodigeuse (Dry Oil Spray)
This fresh and light-smelling product leaves your skin ever-so-soft and silky. You can use the multi-tasking product on your hair, body, and skin. It also comes in a glittery gold variation for SEXY DATE NIGHT skin, or perhaps just a subtle nod to your teen body glitter days. Get it here.
7. La Roche-Posay’s Serozinc (Toner)
This simple three-ingredient spray-on toner for acne-prone skin is meant to be applied right before or right as you know you’re breaking out. It can also go anywhere that you’re feeling irritation, like razor burn or a nasty rash. The natural anti-bacterial properties keeps redness at bay while purifying inflamed skin. Buy it here.
8. Homeoplasmine (Emollient)
This is kind of like the way less boring French equivalent of Aquaphor or Vaseline and is frequently used by makeup artists as lip ointment. Get it here.
9. Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre 24 Hour Miracle Cream
It’s a moisturizer that also moonlights as a makeup-removing cleansing cream, an after-shave cream, a makeup primer, a mask, and a cleansing lotion for babies and children. It has a light, fluffy texture that is gentle enough for sensitive skin and will hydrate even the driest skin during wintertime. Get it here.
10. Vichy Purete Thermale Purifying Foaming Water
For anyone who needs a nice thick foam in order to feel like their face is properly cleansed, this Vichy cleanser creates an incredibly soft lather that will leave your face feeling refreshed. It’s alcohol and soap-free, and does a great job removing makeup. If you’re sensitive to perfumes though, you might want to steer clear of this one. Get it here.
11. La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 (Skin Repairing Balm)
This velvety balm effectively moisturizes and goes on so smoothly that it can also be used as a foundation primer. What’s actually incredible, though, is how this product works on flaky and acne-prone skin — it protects and moisturizes without clogging pores while aiding in scar recovery. Read this epic blog post if you don’t believe me. Get it from Amazon for $21.
12. Avene Thermal Spring Water
Dubbed “Magic Water in a Can,” no one really knows exactly what it does. It’s been purported to set makeup, replace moisturizers, reduce redness, heal scabs, clear up acne…the list goes on. Just keep in mind that the only ingredient is water. Buy it here and read a long, long list of reviews over at Makeupalley.
13. Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk
This top-rated dry shampoo cleanses, volumizes and adds shine. The scent is pleasant and flowery (like many French skincare products) without being overpowering. Get it here.
14. Biafineact Ointment
The active ingredient in this ointment is Trolamine (used to make salicylic acid), which will aid in cell turnover, especially in any areas that require exfoliation and healing. Use for burns, severely dry skin, and facial peel aftermath. Available here.
15. Sanoflore 24H Sans Concession Déodorant Roll-On
This natural deodorant uses ESSENTIAL OILS to kill bacteria, and contains no aluminum salts, parabens, or alcohol. It also will leave you smelling like a freshly picked cotton flower. It’s not readily available here, so you’ll have to buy it off a weird website in French.
16. Vichy Normaderm 3-in-1 Cleanser, Exfoliant, and Mask
If you have acne-prone skin, this clay-based product will magically suck the impurities out of your skin. Can be used as a cleanser or a quick 5-minutes mask. It also contains salicylic acid and glycolic acid for exfoliating, and it does not contain parabens, alcohol, or oil. Get it here.
17. Denblan Whitening Toothpaste
This toothpaste contains natural enzymatic ingredients like pineapple, papaya, and lichen, and claims to whiten even the most stubborn of stains. Unfortunately, it might be the priciest toothpaste you ever buy at $22 from Beauty.com.
So why French beauty products?
Now that many of these products can be found stateside at a drugstore near you, they offer the high-end quality of department store and Sephora brands at a lower price. They also might be safer because the EU has much stricter rules when it comes to the ingredients commonly used in makeup and skincare. Controversial chemicals like parabens, phthatales, sodium laureth sulfate, and petroleum are highly regulated and closely controlled. As always, do your research and read the reviews available online as well as ingredient lists if you have any allergies or sensitivities.
Bonus: these products will look very pretty and exotic sitting on your makeup counter or the rim of your bathtub.