6 French drugstore “cult” beauty faves (you can buy here)

Waiting for City Pharma in Paris to open. This is THE place to shop for skincare and other drugstore items.

If all goes as planned, we’ll be spending a few days in Paris at the end of next month. 🤞 One stop I ALWAYS make is City Pharma in the 6th arrondissement. They stock an amazing selection of beauty products and the Sales Associates are very knowledgable and helpful. Not to mention, they often have the best prices in town. (Above: waiting for the store to open. I always try to get there early, as it can get VERY crowded later in the day.)

French drugstore skincare favorites

There are a few items I usually stock up on, but as it’s been over two years since our last visit, I’ve had to hunt down some sources of my favorite French drugstore beauty products online. I thought I’d share my top 6 with you.

6 French drugstore skincare favorites that you can buy here.

What are your favorite drugstore beauty products?

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  1. When I was last in France (2019) I stocked up on Caudalie products. We can get them here, but they were actually a better price.

  2. The Bioderma micellar water is the best. I have sensitive skin and eyes and this is the only one I can use to remove makeup without getting irritation. I order it online from Dermstore and you can even get a 3.34-ounce size that’s good for travel. There are a lot of U.S. drugstore copycats, using Bioderma’s colors so the bottles look the same, but don’t be fooled. This one gets top reviews for a good reason.

  3. Now that I live in Portugal, much of this is readily available at local pharmacies. As Susan said above, Caudalie at excellent prices (and some very good gift sets, which is a great way to try new products).

  4. Every one of these products is easily available in Canada at Shoppers Drug Mart or Pharmaprix stores.Just an FYI for any Americans travelling here. Yes they also have the smaller bottles of Bioderma micellar water ( although Vichy’s Pureté Thermal micellar water is a far superior product but $$) Larger Shoppers Drug Mart stores have excellent selections of all of the above manufacturer’s products and more. I don’t work for them, I just wouldn’t waste valuable real estate in my luggage for products I can easily purchase at home. The price is not really that much different and Shoppers always has lots of free samples ( just ask) and if you collect Optimum points you can use them to knock the price down!

    1. Thanks, but that’s not always the case in the US. So for those who don’t have access to Canadian pharmacies, or who don’t live somewhere near a large pharmacy chain, I’m offering some online recommendations & resources.

    2. I was about to say the same thing. And Shoppers has a good website for on-line ordering too! US dollars go a LONG way here in Canada too, so your prices will be great 🙂

    3. The one closest to me (a short walk) also has excellent advisers. And they always stock dark grey brow pencils (black is too harsh at un certain âge; brown looks red on dark hair gone grey with almost black streaks). I don’t wear or use a lot of cosmetics but do have a few pet products,

      I hope you have a lovely trip and that it isn’t cancelled by a “new wave”.

    4. I bought the Bioderma micellar water in a big bottle at Costco. I buy Avēne and Nuxe at my neighborhood Shoppers Drug Mart. Best of all, the free Optimum card accrues points, and regular-priced items are 20% off weekly on seniors’ days, for members 55 and up.

      Americans making a trip to Canada can find great products at Shoppers, and take advantage of currency exchange rates in your favour.I don’t work there, either.

    5. YES! Shoppers Drug Mart has so many fabulous products and it looks as though for once Canadian readers have the advantage. I get tired of reading blog after blog after blog…..from many bloggers that only feature items that can be purchased in the USA from companies that will not ship to Canada….makes me want to quit reading blogs sometimes. There are many readers on here who are Canadian and it is nice that once in a LONG while we read about something we can actually buy. Shoppers also carries two other French brands La Roche-Posay and Filorga.

    6. Ainsi, not particularly for cosmetics, but do you shop at Simons? I find their home brands good value for the quality – I have no commerical interest in that Québec firm and have never written or translated for them.

  5. I am a fan of Donna Karan Cashmere Mist products…eau de toilette, deodorant, body cream.
    The deodorant is absolutely the best, keeping me feeling fresh for hours. I have had compliments
    ever since my first purchase of the eau de toilette, that the scent suits me and how light it is.
    Here in BC, I can find it at The Bay, and Shoppers Drug. I have a little travel set coming by Canada Post soon for my upcoming trip to London and the southwest of England.There are always specials for Christmas.

    Lise Watier ,a Canadian brand of cosmetics , is great for day and night skin care and lipsticks, as well as lip and eye liners.
    Jane Iredale is my brand for mineral based powder, blush and lip care, however these are available at an esthetician, or online, so not exactly a drug store find.

  6. Costco has been selling the Bioderma – the extra large size with the top that you just press the cleansing pad down on (can’t think of the name for that type!). I’ve been stocking up – and I’ve even seen it on sale for a great price. It’s not always there so when I find it I buy several bottles – expiration dates are super long.

  7. I actually have found the La Roche-Posay micellar water to be more gentle than bio Derma which I used for years. I get it at Walgreens and buy it on the senior day
    ( anyone over 60) for 20% off. They have several other French brands as well.

    1. I just turned sixty, and saw that offer from Walgreens! I think it’s once a month? It makes me want to start a list, and shop once a month for the products I like to keep on hand. Might as well benefit from reaching that age milestone!

    2. Oh, I just turned 60, I will have to remember to look for “senior” discounts. Thanks for mentioning! 🙂 My skin has suddenly take a big step in the dryness direction..and am really having to change my lotions and potions.

  8. Most of the items listed (5 out of the 6) are available in major nearby pharmacies (Shoppers Drug Mart and London Drugs).

  9. I have used all of these products and while I liked them in the past, I don’t use them anymore b/c they are not cruelty free. Too bad.

  10. We hope to go to Europe, probably Paris, next year so I do appreciate your tips. Have a wonderful time! Meanwhile we are heading to San Francisco on Friday and then a drive down the coast to visit with my sisters in LA. We are stopping in Carmel and I appreciated your clothing tips.

  11. Was just in Portugal and made a trip to the local pharmacy to do the same type of shopping! I got three products from Avene including the facial mist which I also love using on flights.

  12. I love that little pharmacie in Paris too, usually with a big security guard at the door, too funny. As a Canadian I do shop at Shoppers for those products but I find they are cheaper in France, sometimes there’s a great sale on too – and much more fun!
    We have moved our Oct 1 trip to Paris to April 2022, my husband just couldn’t get past the possibility that one of us would test positive on the required covid test to get home, and then what would we do?

    Susan, have you applied for your French health card?

      1. There are many (mostly younger) people from France in my neighbourhood, and it is historically La Petite Italie, so there is a good supply of European skin and cosmetic products here, for men and women. I refuse to buy any US products that impose outrageous shipping fees atop the unfavourable currency exchange.

        Susan, can you apply for a French health card? I thought you had to be an EU citizen or permanent resident. I had an Italian health card, but I was a full-time (adult) student with a research scholarship from an Italian ministry.

        1. The French health certification is (I believe) for non-EU visitors to provide vaccination status and is required to enter the country.

          1. Yes, that is called the Pass or Passeport sanitaire. When I hear the term “health card”, I think it refers to the card certifying medical coverage, mostly for citizens and residents, as well as foreign students for example. The card one shows at a hospital or doctor’s office.

  13. So jealous and at the same time so happy for you and your upcoming trip to Paris! Have some extra fun for me! Travel safe! 🙂