French pharmacy beauty products take things to a more luxurious level than your average drugstore cosmetics. The lightweight lotions and gentle cleansers are a more affordable alternative to higher-end skincare, while still being effective. If you’re traveling to Paris, you can generally feel better about the cosmetics you buy, since the European Union regulates personal care products much more closely than the FDA in the US. Even so, it’s smart to give the ingredient list in any product — French or not — a look over to make sure it doesn’t include any potentially-dangerous chemicals.
I did just that on a recent trip to Paris. I cross-referenced some of my favorite French pharmacy brands with the Environmental Working Group (EWG)’s Skin Deep Database and found that there are plenty that get a safe rating of 1 or 2. Even better, many of them are available to buy on Amazon in the US. Below are my favorite nontoxic French pharmacy products you can buy online.
La Roche-Posay Redermic C Pure Vitamin C Eye Cream (2 on EWG): vitamin C has been shown to reduce wrinkles and other signs of aging. Use this sensitive cream to address crow’s feet and dark under-eye circles.
La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense Eyes (2 on EWG): this cream uses hyaluronic acid to help soothe skin and diminish the bags under your eyes.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Anti-Aging Primer with Sunscreen SPF 50 (2 on EWG): the matte finish on this primer will smooth your skin and reduce the signs of wrinkles and pores.
Avene Soothing Eye Contour Cream (2 on EWG): this promises to wake up your tired face by reducing puffiness under your eyes.
Bioderma Sensibio H2O (1 on EWG): a French pharmacy staple, this micellar water will effectively remove makeup while respecting the skin’s hydrolipidic film. Apply it to a cotton pad and then wipe away the makeup and dirt.
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermo Cleanser and Makeup Remover (1 on EWG): gently removes even waterproof makeup and has glycerin to help moisturize.
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Purifying Foaming Cream (1 on EWG): you can get a rich, gentle later with a small amount of product.
Klorane Floral Water Makeup Remover with Soothing Cornflower (1 on EWG): a 3-in-1 micellar cleanser, toner, and eye makeup remover and also alcohol-free.
Klorane Floral Gel Eye Makeup Remover, Waterproof (2 on EWG): sensitive for the eye area, but will still remove waterproof makeup.
Avene Skin Recovery Cream (2 on EWG): will rebalance sensitive skin and is non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic, paraben-free, preservative-free, fragrance-free, and coloring agent-free.
Avene Thermal Spring Water (1 on EWG): give yourself a spritz of this before you leave the house or in the middle of a long day to soothe, soften, and calm your skin. It might just be water, but beauty professionals swear by this.
Ellis Faas Creamy Lips-101 Blood Red (1 on EWG self report): a highly-pigmented, moisturizing gloss for a bold lip.
RODIN by RECINE Olio Lusso Luxury Hair Oil (1 on EWG): this blend of eight essential oils can be applied after the shower before drying (2 drops), added to your conditioner (about eight drops) or used as a styling agent (2 drops).