You didn’t get lost, and you are still on my Kbeauty blog. I feel I need to start by explaining why I am doing this little infidelity to Asian skincare as I decided to write a bit about French skincare. As you may know, I am half-french and, since I can remember, I have been spending a lot of time in France. So naturally, I grew up surrounded by French skincare and it became somehow part of me. So even today, despite my passionate love for Asian skincare, I still keep some French essentials close by. I have been using the products I will review in this post since years. As I currently don’t live in France anymore (Note: I live in Washington DC), I usually buy them in batches on the internet or while in France for holidays. I can’t possibly take the risk of running out of them. I do not use them of course every single day, as I am already very absorbed by my multi-step Asian skincare routine. But I find it comforting to know they are somewhere in the house in case I need them, which actually happens quite frequently.
What I like in French skincare, is that many of the products have a multitasking use. French women, although they love taking care of their faces and bodies, are not that much into elaborated skincare routines. They usually prefer their products simple, multitasking and as close to nature as possible. The products I will review here, won’t come as a surprise for you if you have been researching French skincare a bit already. Yes, they are classics. And as for all classics, they are beloved by many for a reason.
The ‘Huile prodigieuse’ is arguably the most known French drugstore product. It is immensely popular in France, and widely known by beauty gurus all over the world. This magical product that has recently celebrated its 25th birthday, is still a cult product and an absolute beauty hit. Periodically, different skincare companies have launched similar products, but nothing can compare to the Nuxe oil, and all the other products are inevitably seen as worse imitations.
Nuxe “Huile Prodigieuse” is a so called dry oil, meaning that once applied, it gives a dry finish on your skin and is not oily or sticky. This product is composed of six Precious Plant Oils (Macadamia, Hazelnut, Borage, Almond, Camellia and St. John’s Wort) that have amazing nourishing, hydrating and softening properties, it is also rich in Vitamin E. This dry oil is a truly multi-purpose product. Not only can it be applied on the face, body and hair but also used as a bath oil, make-up remover, after sun cooler, massage oil etc. The different ways to use this product are really almost endless. I personally, use it mainly on my hair ends, face and as an after-sun balm. A part of the smooth sensation it provides, its smell is really addictive. Nuxe has even launched a perfume smelling like this oil (I bought it…) as this smell alone is a good enough reason to run into a store and buy this product. This smell is the perfect combination of sensuality, sweetness and elegance and has a very relaxing effect. And if you want something a bit extra, you can try the Nuxe ‘Huile Prodigieuse Or” with tiny shimmering mineral particles, it will give you a beautiful goddess-like glow.
If you are into multi-purpose skincare products, then you also can’t miss the Lait-Crème concentré from Embryolisse. Its super-simple formula and low price, makes it an all-time favorite of many French women since the 1950s. Supposedly this product has won the hearts of professional make-up artists and models, as it can be used as a gentle and effective primer. I usually use this product as an ’emergency balm’. Whenever I feel my face is irritated, either by the sun, a product or my harsh treatment, I apply a generous amount of this cream – et voilà! I also really like the consistency of this product, somewhere between a face milk and a cream as well as its soft and light smell.
I need to admit with a bit of shame, that in my teenage past, whenever I really couldn’t fit a lot of products in a bag for a short trip, this was the only product I was taking. It can easily act as a make-up remover, face moisturizer, body balm and hand cream all-in-one. This cream has an equal amount of fierce lovers that of disappointed enemies, proving once again that not all products work for all skins. So if you want to just give it a try, and decide in which camp you will be, look for the small tube (1 oz.) to test it out.
Now this guy here leads the pack! This is seriously the best dry shampoo I have ever tried, and this is not because I am biased towards French cosmetics. The Klorane shampooing sec is extra gentle yet so efficient! It contains oat milk that has soothing and protective properties. Klorane has actually a whole shampooing line with oat milk for extra delicate hair. Klorane uses all kinds of plants and flowers and mostly specialize in haircare. I love this brand for many of their other haircare products, but this dry shampoo is their total hit and flagship product.
I am blond, so I don’t mind the slightly white cast it remotely leaves on you hair (on the contrary, I love it as it makes me lighter!), but for dark hair it could potentially be an issue. This dry shampoo also adds tons of volume (and this is coming from someone cursed with extra thin hair), and extends the life of blow-outs. As a bonus, it is sulfate, paraben and sodium chloride free.
Another Nuxe product in my list, as I need to mention this very gratifying honey lip balm. If you hate shiny balms, love honey and look for a close to nature product then this balm is for you. It is very moisturizing for the lips, while super discreet and non shiny (it can be used by men that hate shiny balms such as my fiancé). The texture of this balm is very thick and soft, but in cold weather you may find it a tiny bit challenging to apply (it melts once on your lips). And have I mentioned the delicious honey smell of this lip balm? The only risk I see is that you will want to eat this balm rather than just let it deeply moisturize your lips.
This is probably the only product I never buy in a single unit, but rather in a batch of two or three. Why? Because I need this product constantly in my life. The Créaline H2O, designed for sensitive skin, is just the perfect toner/ make-up remover I have ever tried. It can fight alone a super strong and waterproof make-up – or be combined with Asian double cleansing. It is very gentle on the eyes area, and I in particular, have been struggling with allergic reactions to many eye make-up removers. I also sometimes use in the mornings as an alternative to an Asian water-based cleanser (even though I have found a new love recently in this department – a review coming soon!). Créaline H2O is a dermatological micellar water, which you do not rinse, that does a great job in soothing and clearing up irritated skin. This product exists in various sizes ranging from a baby size of 100 ml to 500 ml. Be aware that in some English-speaking countries this whole Bioderma product line has been re-branded ‘Sensibio”, but as far as I know it is the exact same formula/ product.
Do you have any other favorite french beauty buys? Share your love in comments.