The French Pharmacy:
Clean and Nontoxic Edition
We’ve discovered many of our favorite beauty essentials in French pharmacies over the years. Of course, as we’ve cleaned up our beauty routines, our favorites have changed (indeed, we wrote a French pharmacy roundup back in the early days*, and exactly one of the products in it meets our standards for clean today). But our love affair with French beauty remains as passionate as ever. From a skin-energizing rose body oil and a fantastically soothing miracle balm to a shampoo bar for the shiniest, smoothest hair ever, our French-pharmacy-inspired obsessions are all clean and nontoxic—and best en classe.
1. Face Spritz
This soothing water spray for irritated skin is also good as a quick refresher on a hot day. Many makeup artists we know swear by it for helping to set makeup.
Avène Eau Thermale Spray
2. Makeup Remover
This gentle makeup remover smells like roses and removes even waterproof mascara, intense eyeliner, or the brightest lip without a hitch. The formula is infused with powerful botanicals to soothe and moisturize the delicate eye area—and using it is pure pleasure.
Chantecaille Rose Eye Makeup Remover
This skin-brightening gel-serum combines active ingredients (including resveratrol, the antioxidant of The French Paradox fame) found in wine with salicylic acid, rose water, and essential oils. It hydrates, brightens, and evens skin, leaving it smooth, refined, and glowy. The serum feels refreshing and sinks right in, and the dewy finish works beautifully under makeup or on its own.
Caudalie Vinopure Skin Perfecting Serum
4. Face Oil
Vetiver, geranium, and French lavender combine into a restorative treat for skin that’s part luxurious face oil, part aromatherapy treatment. Smoothing the golden liquid over our face feels amazing—skin is instantly soothed and moisturized—and it just smells so good.
Darphin Vetiver Aromatic Care Oil
This solid shampoo bar from French hair-coloring legend Christophe Robin leaves your hair naturally soft and shiny. Made with aloe vera, natural glycerin, and castor oil, the hydrating formula lathers beautifully, gently cleansing the hair and scalp. It’s absolutely brilliant for travel (you can use it on your body, too), smells fantastic, and is the ultimate in no-waste packaging.
Christophe Robin Hydrating Shampoo Bar with Aloe Vera
Christophe Robin, $22
6. Body Oil
This gorgeously scented body oil combines the extracts of four roses with moisturizing oils like tamanu, andiroba, moringa, and borage seed to hydrate and soothe skin. It sinks in on contact, leaving behind smooth, silky skin and a subtle, spectacular scent.
Chantecaille Rose de Mai Body Oil
7. Beauty Ointment
This skin-energizing balm works magic on chapped skin and lips. It’s swirled with sweet almond and Brazil nut oils, as well as zinc magnesium, so it’s ultrasoothing and an incredible bedside-drawer essential.
Herve Herau La Pommade
Herve Herau, $106
8. Matte Moisturizer
Designed to help balance blemish-prone skin, this gorgeous cream is as clarifying as it is hydrating. It sinks in effortlessly, mattifies beautifully, and feels light and airy as it refines pores.
Patyka Paris Tea Tree Face Cream
Patyka Paris, $60
9. Primer + Skin Care in One
Smoothed onto skin morning and night, this lightweight moisturizer gently hydrates as it leaves skin fresh and clean-looking, with no shine. It’s great for those with oilier skin types—the combination of rose water, grape polyphenols, and a potent blend of skin-calming essential oils gently exfoliates to smooth away imperfections as it hydrates. Natural silica powders subtly mattify skin, so it looks great on its own or under makeup.
Caudalie Vinopure Skin Perfecting Mattifying Fluid
10. Body Scrub
Subtly scented and exquisitely textured, this skin-perfecting, certified-organic scrub leaves your skin smoothed, softened, totally exfoliated, and utterly indulged. Pure Atlantic sea salt and sugar mix with rich shea and coconut butters, along with gorgeous rose and vervain essential oils for a simple yet supremely feminine daily body treatment.
French Girl Rose Sea Polish
11. Lip Balm
We first discovered this brilliant balm at Colette in Paris and fell in love instantly. Shea butter and beeswax combine with the brand’s intoxicating signature scent—jasmine and neroli—to hydrate and leave lips with a subtle shine.
Rodin Olio Lusso Lip Balm
12. Rescue Balm
This works for all the little dings the world throws at us—we use it for the odd dry patch, as lip and cuticle balm, and in a pinch, to smooth flyaways, shape eyebrows, and add a glossy flourish to lids. Très French.
Doctor Rogers Restore Healing Balm
Doctor Rogers, $30
*Here’s our original French Pharmacy product story from back in the day.