Ah la belle France, to which we owe so much of life’s pleasures; beautifully crafted clothes, delicious wines, flaky croissants and of course, beauty products. To be specific: highly affordable drugstore beauty products. French women are known to get most of their beauty products from drugstores like Monoprix and City Pharma, because a) it is cheap and b) they actually work. In fact, doctors and dermatologists even prescribe products one can easily find at the local pharmacies. We speak to 10 French women and find out what their can’t-live-without drugstore beauty buys are; and don’t worry, you won’t need a plane ticket as they are all available in Singapore or online.

 

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water  

“I was very happy to find this in Singapore after I moved from France as I have been using this for years and I don’t think I could live without it! I use it as a make up remover at night and in the mornings, I use it instead of washing my face with a cleanser. It is much more humid in Singapore than in France and my face becomes oilier faster – this ensures I remove all the dirt so my pores don’t get clogged” – Marianne, 32

Available at all major pharmacies.

 

Avène Thermal Spring Water Spray

“The women in my family have been using this for as long as I remember, as I actually am from Avène! The thermal waters there are said to have healing properties so I use this for everything, from soothing sunburn to keeping my face moisturised in winter. I always keep a bottle in my purse, especially in winter where you are constantly alternating between dry indoor heating and dry outdoor winds. In the summer, I use it to refresh my face throughout the day and I notice it helps to set my make up if I spray it right after applying. I imagine that would be very useful in Singapore!” – Clara, 35

Available at all major pharmacies.

 

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Sunscreen

“My grandmother taught me the most important step in your skincare routine should be protecting it from the sun, and I guess that is why she has such fabulous skin even at 80! I have used this particular sunscreen for as long as I remember because I love the texture. It is non-greasy and absorbs very quickly, and it also offers UVA and UVB protection. I have yet to find another sunscreen that I like as much!” – Emilie, 25

Available at all major pharmacies.

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Caudalíe Beauty Elixir

“I am 55 this year but I am always complimented on having skin that looks much younger than my age, and I think it is because of my Caudalíe Beauty Elixir. I have been using it for many years now and it has helped to tighten my pores and it gives my skin a glow that no other product has managed to, and I’ve tried so many! I use it every morning before make up and at night before I go to sleep. My daughter puts hers in a spray bottle and uses it as a refresher throughout the day” – Sivie, 55

Available at all Sephora.

 

Avène Cicalfate Repair Cream

“Every French household will have a tube of this at home, and even my dermatologist recommended it. This stuff is magic, and I use it for everything! I treat minor cuts, burns, patches of dry skin (in winter) and even for popped pimples and it has never disappointed me. It is suitable for sensitive skin so my friends who have babies use it to treat diaper rash too.” – Virginie, 34

Available at all major pharmacies.

 

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Body Oil

“I use this Nuxe oil for literally everything; as a post-shaving moisturiser, a leave-in hair treatment, under my sunblock when I go tanning for a beautiful glow and even as a perfume sometimes because it smells so wonderful. I have very dry skin, even in summer, and this helps to keep my skin soft. The trick is to apply it immediately after showering when your pores are still open so it gets absorbs faster and doesn’t feel sticky!” – Marion, 31

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Klorane Dry Shampoo

“I challenge you to find one French woman who doesn’t use this or has never tried Klorane Dry Shampoo in her life. It is very popular in France and when I was still working there, my colleagues would all have a bottle in their handbag or in their desk. This is apparently one of the original dry shampoos and I love it because it does not contain so many ingredients compared to other brands. It is great for cleansing oily hair and giving it more volume. In the summer when it is slightly more humid, my hair can get limp very fast so this is helpful, and in winter when I don’t want to wash my hair, I can’t live without this!” – Caroline, 40

 

Le Petit Marseillais Lait Body Wash

“Almost every home I have been to has a product of Le Petit Marseiliais as it is one of the oldest soap manufacturers in France. I especially love this body wash as it is very hydrating and I can really feel the difference in winter.” – Barbara, 28

 

Lierec Tonique Eclat

“This is a wonderful toner that I have used for as long as I can remember. I have very sensitive skin but this toner by Lierac does not irritate it as it is alcohol-free, which I think is very important when it comes to skincare! It also contains vitamins that give my skin a very nice glow even in winter, which is truly amazing. I highly recommend it!” – Eve, 33

 

Bioderma Hydrabio Gel-Crème

“This moisturiser is THE best! It is very hydrating (the formula apparently teaches your skin to moisturise itself), but the texture is so light that you barely feel like you have anything on. It is too light for my skin in winter but it is perfect for summer. My skin can get quite oily in the summer months, plus I am a very active person who enjoys doing things outdoors but this has never made me breakout as it also contains salicylic acid. I love this product so much that I have decided if I ever leave France, one of the criteria of the new country would be that is has this readily available!” – Ophelie, 26

Available at all major pharmacies.

 

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