Want to Know the French Girl Secrets to Glowing Skin? Start With These Cult Products

La vie en glowy skin.

By Langa Chinyoka

We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

The French Girl aesthetic has built up a universal allure. She’s effortlessly sensual and always chic. Who doesn’t want to be her? The French evoke a seductive mythos that’s become a mainstay in popular culture. I mean, hello— there’s a reason Emily in Paris exists. And in the beauty-obsessed community, achieving the minimal French Girl look is a coveted ideal. Though their skincare secrets may remain overseas, the French’s pharmacy-based skincare routine is actually attainable. Especially if you know the best French skincare brands—and how to find them stateside.

Here’s the secret: French beauty is disarmingly simple. French skincare brands are lauded for their simplicity and effectiveness. Meanwhile, in the U.S., I’m emotionally scarred from the St. Ives scrubs and Clean & Clear cleansers of my youth. Don’t get me wrong, U.S. pharmacies have some gems too, but it seems you can’t go wrong with French skincare brands.

Featured image by Belathée Photography.

Diana Ryu skincare products_french skincare brands
Image by Michelle Nash

Whenever I travel abroad, I make it my mission to return home with a haul of new-to-me products. My tretinoin is from Mexico. My favorite oil cleanser is from England. And my hoard of French skincare products is my holy grail. From micellar water to your favorite face mist and serum, French skincare brands and products are worth the hype. And luckily, these cult-favorites are becoming increasingly available all around the world.

Read on to discover the treasures hidden in French pharmacies, the best French skincare brands, and the products you should be stocking up on, stat.

Megan Roup doing hair in mirror_french skincare brands
Image by Michelle Nash

Why is French skincare so good?

The main tenant of French skincare brands is their simplicity. In general, French formulas use fewer but better ingredients. And the fewer ingredients a product has, the better it absorbs into your skin.

Packed with good, hydrating ingredients, French skincare prioritizes skin health. Instead of compromising your skin barrier or loading up packages with filler ingredients, they’re not interested in gimmicks or trends. It’s about what’s effective and guaranteed to give you glowing skin.

What’s the secret behind French women’s perfect skin?

French skincare brands adhere to the French’s more minimal approach to, well, living! French women prioritize ease. Keep it simple and embrace your imperfections—and be sure to focus on hydration!

From rich creams to refreshing mists, French girls opt for a skincare routine that complements their equally simple makeup looks. In other words, you want to preserve your skin so you can simply paint on some rouge and head out the door.

While it’s a far cry from the curated Clean Girl look, French pharmacy skincare has a similar ethos: Take care of yourself so you can look like yourself. There’s no hiding behind layers of cosmetics here. But with the transformative, time-reversing powers of some of the best French skincare brands, why would you?

Melissa Medvedich supernal skincare_french skincare brands
Image by Tom Medvedich

The Best Places To Buy French Skincare Brands Online

Luckily, you don’t have to fly to Paris to get your hands on the best French skincare brands. (Though, if you’re in need of a reason to take the trip, by all means, book your ticket!) Some brands ship directly to you, or you can shop your favorites at your go-to makeup stores and even your local drugstores.

You can find French skincare brands at:

  • Amazon
  • Ulta
  • Sephora
  • Revolve
  • Dermstore
  • CVS
  • Walgreens
  • Walmart
  • Target
Sanetra Logno applying skincare
Image by Michelle Nash

Our Favorite French Skincare Brands

La Roche-Posay

Perhaps one of the most coveted French pharmacy products is the dermatologist-approved La Roche-Posay. Think of it as the French version of CeraVe. These essential formulations are worthy of a place in your daily routine. They’re effective solutions to any skincare condition, from acne and blemishes to daily care—all without irritating sensitive skin. And yes, their viral sunscreen is worth the hype.

La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baum

Slather this calming balm all over your face before bed to lock in moisture, heal your skin barrier, and even hydrate your hands and body.


The gentle products at Bioderma blend biology with dermatology to support your skin on a cellular level. Their cult-classsic micellar water is miles above any American makeup remover.

Bioderma Sensibio Micellar Water

Nothing beats this gentle but unrivalled micellar water. It’s the ultimate makeup remover, without the harmful fragrances and filler ingredients.


Dedicated to skin health, especially for anti-aging purposes, Vichy Laboratories makes innovative, science-backed, and dermatologist-certified products. Their formulas come from years of studying the effects of lifestyle, environmental, and hormonal-induced changes on your skin. So whatever your skincare concern, they have a product that’s guaranteed to solve it.

Vichy Mineral 89 Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum

Hyaluronic acid hydrates, plumps, and fortifies the skin in this must-have serum. It’s a glass of water for your face.


Natural ingredients come together to create skincare “from the vine.” Their use of polyphenol-rich vine and grape extracts creates a unique line of products that are trusted and loved worldwide.

Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum

This must-have, anti-aging serum is 62 times more potent than vitamin C (!!). This powerhouse product addresses any hyperpigmentation or dullness.

Catherine McCord skincare
Image by Teal Thomsen


Chantecaille is an elegant, luxury brand changing the skincare industry from within. Their pure, floral-based ingredients work in harmony with your skin’s functions to help heal and protect it naturally.

Chantecaille Lip Potion

This whipped lip balm heals chapped lips and adds a subtle sheen. Its hydrating lip conditioner contains sweet almond oil and shea butter to deeply moisturize.


Darphin products are an experience. Their handmade, plant-based formulations are designed to release their potency as they make contact with the skin. What’s more, the brand’s focus on Kinesio massage treatments promotes circulation and holistic health. So add some massage techniques to your skincare routine.

Darphin Intral Inner Youth Rescue Serum

This youth serum is a highly potent rescue tool that turns back the clock on tired skin with its micro-water technology and exclusive Calm Complex.


Drench your skin with Avène’s ultra-hydrating offerings. The enriched, hydrating products are made to soothe sensitive or overworked skin.

Avène Thermal Spring Water

The ultimate hydrating mist. It’s a soothing, softening bottle of thermal spring water that soothes and moisturizes your skin.


While the Huile Prodigieuse Dry Oil is Nuxe’s standout product, their luxe line of rich, nourishing products will infuse your body with vitamins and natural ingredients.

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Dry Oil

This quick-drying oil activates all the senses. The vitamin-infused formula has a unique, lightweight texture that gives your skin a luxe sheen. Its light smell is invigorating, calming, and offers the ultimate luxurious experience.

Laboratoires Embryolisse

Formulated by dermatologists to intensely hydrate the skin, Laboratoires Embryolisse is a favroite of makeup artists to quickly give you a boost of lightweight, fast-absorbing moisture.

Laboratoires Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré

This lightweight vitamin and antioxidant-enriched moisturizer is ideal for dry skin. It glides on smooth and absorbs fast for the perfect base layer.

Biologique Recherche

Skincare lovers know this high-end, French luxury must-have. Their unique, signature offerings will rescue your skin from environmental damage, with endless options and variations tailored to your specific skin type and concerns.

Lotion P50

This exfoliating toner is unlike anything else on the market. Anyone who has tried it swears by it. Pro Tip: Research the different variations to personalize the product to your needs.

Liana Levi applying skincare_french skincare brands
Image courtesy of Liana Levi

Laboratoires La Prairie

This unique luxury brand harnesses the power of Swiss caviar and its exclusive Cellular Complex to nourish and protect the skin from aging and damaging environmental influences.

Laboratoires La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Cream

If you’re on the hunt for intense, luxe hydration and the ultimate indulgence, look no further. This product may come with a hefty price tag, but for caviar-infused, anti-aging effectiveness, you can’t get any better.

Marie Veronique

If you’re a clean beauty junkie, look no further. Marie Veronique Nadeau is a chemist who founded her namesake brand to create a clean and effective solution for her rosacea. The innovative brand was one of the first to formulate a non-nano zinc oxide SPF.

Marie Veronique Soothing B3 Serum

Marie Veronique Soothing B3 Serum helps calm the skin with 10% niacinamide and moisturizes with potent humectants for a dewy glow

Typology Paris

This brand is an Instagram favorite for its alluring, minimalist packaging. And the products are worth the hype. Think of it as France’s answer to The Ordinary, an ingredient-focused brand that tailors to specific skin issues and concerns.

Typology Tinted Serum

Vitamin C, squalane, and aloe vera make this a nourishing, light-coverage serum that takes center stage in your low-maintenance French Girl routine.


Simple, vegan skincare brand Seasonly makes elevated and environmentally conscious products. The clean French beauty products are perfect for acne-prone skin.

Seasonly Night Repair Oil

This botanical concentrate contains 14 super ingredients that nourish, repair, and firm the skin. The relaxing oil is the perfect end to your wind-down routine.

Officine Universelle Buly 1803

My personal favorite French beauty brand, Buly 1803 is a one-stop-shop for everything beauty, skincare, and fragrance—they even have the largest selection of combs in the world! The brand combines natural ingredients, ancient recipes, and contemporary technology to create the ultimate skincare experience.

Officine Universelle Buly 1803 Cold Pressed Rosehip Oil

Choose from a vast array of cold-pressed oils and fine, pure powders. My favorite is the classic rosehip oil, for a rich oil with healing and firming properties that reduce wrinkles, stretch marks, and scars.