These Are The Skincare Products Worth Traveling To France For

February 6, 2018

Bon voyage!

A generation ago the saying went “nothing is ever free.” While that’s still largely true, “nothing is ever effortless” better suits today’s beauty industry.

We spend hours perfecting beauty routines and cosmetic techniques to achieve what some guy on a computer has created in Photoshop. We want to amaze onlookers with a “flawless” complexion, but also appear “natural.” And so we search for multitasking, highly-concentrated products that promise impossible results. It’s a whole lot of effort to make us look effortless.

At the center, is the ever idolized French girl aesthetic. She’s naturally gorgeous with a classic wardrobe, suggesting she rolled out of bed looking casually seductive. How many hours does it take to look effortlessly French, I wonder?

Not to crush any dreams here, but I don’t buy into the effortlessly gorgeous French girl myth. And yet, I’m in love with skincare products from France. 

These brands are actually good and don’t over-promise. You won’t douse yourself in mineral water and emerge as a 1950s Brigitte Bardot, but you’ll simplify and soften the ingredients you put on your face, noting an increasing glow and dewiness to your complexion with each continued use.

Take these products that really deliver when it comes to results, as an excuse to buy yourself a plane ticket to France, right now…

1. NUXE, Huile Prodigious Dry Oil


This is a cult favorite in France and increasingly outside of the country. For the dehydrated gal, NUXE dry oil is a multi purpose moisturizer for your hair, face, and body. Considering how much extra weight toiletries add to your bags when you travel, this single bottle is a easy choice for cutting back on the number of products cluttering up your cosmetic bag. Reach for this oil whenever the humidity gets to your hair or when you need to supercharge your moisturizer.

2. Avene, Mineral Ultra Light Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion

It’s ridiculously difficult to find a sunscreen for my face. The formulas are either too thick, oily, irritating, or have that ‘sunscreen’ smell. The latter I can live with for an afternoon on the beach, but not in the office. Avene is available at every single pharmacy in France. Their products are mineral water based, ideal for sensitive skin, and I’m yet to meet one lotion with a stench reminding me of salt and seaweed.

3. Melvita, Cleansing Milk with Organic Honey

Melvita’s roots go back to beekeeping. While not every product contains honey, everything is certified organic. This cleanser is worth it because it’s strong enough to remove makeup, but also extremely gentle to avoid stripping your skin of the moisture it naturally produces. I’m also a fan of Melvita’s initiatives protect bees so they can keep working their environmental magic.

4. Votre Vu, Les Sorbet Frozen Serum
VotreVu-Frozen serum-France

What a name. It sounds so good you could eat it. I mean, frozen sorbet serum? It’s basically dessert. I’m not yet willing to say it’s better than cake, but during the warm summer months you’re going to want to apply this all over. To use, pour the serum into the push-up applicator, store in the freezer in between uses and get ready to see the effects from the anti-aging marine ingredients.

5. Caudalie, Beauty Elixir
Caudalie-Beauty Elixir-French

Caudalie has captured a cult following so there are good chances you don’t have to fly too far for this game changer. The brand was created by vineyard owners in Bordeaux who decided to create a skincare range using active ingredients found in grapes and natural mineral water. Otherwise known as the most divinely French beginnings. The result for this beauty elixir is a refreshing spritz that tones skin and sets your makeup.

6. Absolution, La Crème de Santé
Absolution-la creme de sante-France

For high end, natural, organic formulas that are definitely worth traveling for, allow me to introduce you to Absolution. Everything about the brand down to the graphic and recycled packaging is beautiful and well thought out. The same for this moisturizing treatment which seeks the perfect balance for your skin with prebiotics. They also make lovely cosmetics that you will want to test out when you pop by one of their Paris shops.

7. Bioderma, Sensibio H2O

There was only one original micellar water that started the obsession and it was Bioderma. Today there are a couple of variations better suited to different skin needs, but Sensibio H20 was the original. It’s famously known for effectively removing makeup while being surprisingly gentle to the skin, and I’ve got to say, it never disappoints. In this case, Bioderma deserves all the credit and craze it receives.

8. Vichy, Mineral 89
Vichy-Mineral 89-French

Similar to Avene in its popularity and reliability, Vichy is everywhere in France. Incredibly, this moisturizing serum only has 11 ingredients. Even my daily dinners have more than that, but this is not to say that it’s a simple or mediocre serum. This gel formula has a high concentration of minerals, absorbs quickly like water, strengthens the skin barrier, and provides 24 hour hydration.

Images via armenyl.com and pexels.com.

Comment: What are your favorite international skincare products?

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