Here are 15 affordable French skincare brands you definitely need to know about! French skincare brands are renowned for their no-nonsense approach to beauty, their simplicity, and effectiveness. Indeed, French skincare formulas use fewer but better ingredients which means that they are better absorbed into your skin.
And that is probably why some of these products have continuously been backstage favorites at the likes of fashion week, with both makeup artists and hair stylists swearing by them! So whether you’re just beginning your journey into the realm of French skincare or you’re just looking for something new to add to your skincare routine, below is my round-up of the best French skincare brands on the market.
For more skincare brands, check out the 25 cult-favorite French pharmacy brands you need to know about.
Nuxe is a French skincare brand founded by Aliza Jabès and a pioneer in natural-origin cosmetology. Each skin care product is formulated and manufactured in France to meet pharmaceutical quality requirements and combines the marvels of nature with the prowess of science while awakening the senses.
In 1991, Aliza Jabès created the legendary Huile Prodigieuse® which has become an iconic beauty product and the leading oil available in pharmacies.
Nuxe’s cult-favorite products:
- Huile Prodigieuse®
- Ultra-nourishing Lip Balm, Rêve de Miel
- Super Serum , The universal anti-aging concentrate
Caudalie was born in the vineyards of Bordeaux in 1995, where founders Mathilde and Bertrand Thomas discovered and patented grape seeds, the most powerful antioxidants in nature. Pioneer of clean and natural skincare, the brand develops highly effective formulas backed by innovative patents, always formulated with over 95% natural ingredients, free of harmful and skin-irritating ingredients.
Caudalie’s cult-favorite products:
- Premier Cru Skin Barrier Rich Moisturizer with Bio-Ceramides
- Resveratrol-lift Instant Firming Retinol Alternative Serum
- Vinoperfect Radiance Dark Spot Serum Vitamin C Alternative
- Beauty Elixir Face Mist
L’Occitane was created in 1976 by Olivier Baussan in Provence in the south of France. Utilizing essential oils and natural ingredients indigenous to the area like lavender, lemon verbena, and olive oil, L’Occitane creates unique products with the fresh bounties of each season’s harvest and the soothing, moisturizing properties of rich shea butter.
L’Occitane’s cult-favorite products:
- Cleansing And Softening Refillable Shower Oil With Almond Oil
- Almond Smoothing and Beautifying Milk Concentrate
- Hand Cream Lavender
- Almond Smoothing and Beautifying Supple Skin Oil
Avène is probably one of the most popular French pharmacy skincare brands! Originating from the South of France, Avène is a skincare line designed to care for sensitive skin by unlocking the power of thermal spring water —a pure rain mixed with sea spray rich in mineral salts from the Cévennes Mountains in Avène.
Focused on transformative soothing and efficacy healing, all Avène’s products are backed by science, and they’re clinically proven to target several skin concerns, including acne, aging, dehydration, itchiness, redness, and eczema.
Avène’s cult-favorite products:
- Tolerance Control Soothing Skin Recovery Cream
- Cicalfate+ Restorative Protective Cream
- Avène Thermal Spring Water
- A-Oxitive Antioxidant Defense Serum
5. La Roche-Posay
Created by a pharmacist in 1975, this cult French pharmacy skincare brand is recommended by dermatologists worldwide! La Roche-Posay offers a unique range of daily skincare formulated with its exclusive Selenium-rich water, also used at its Thermal Center, due to its antioxidant and soothing properties.
La Roche-Posay’s cult-favorite products:
- Cicaplast Baume B5
- Effaclar Duo Acne Treatment
- Anthelios Mineral Tinted Ultra Light Face Sunscreen SPF50
- Hyalu B5 Pure Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum
- Pure Vitamin C Face Serum with Salicylic Acid
I’m sure you probably have heard of Bioderma, especially through their cult-favorite makeup remover: Bioderma Sensibio Micellar Water. The brand’s expert knowledge of the skin’s natural mechanisms has led to the creation of some of the most sought-after skincare items on the market.
No matter if you have oily, dry, or sensitive skin, Bioderma’s eclectic range of products is formulated specifically to care for each skin type so that your skin’s unique needs are taken care of.
Bioderma’s cult-favorite products:
Vichy was founded in 1931 by Dr. Haller, the first medical practitioner to lay the foundations of French dermo-cosmetics. Since then, Vichy has been a brand grounded in science, recommended by dermatologists, with dermatological expertise that has been committed to one mission: the quest for skin health.
Vichy’s cult-favorite products:
- Minéral 89 Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum
- LiftActiv Supreme Firming Anti-Aging Face Moisturizer
- LiftActiv Vitamin C Serum
Embryolisse has developed real expertise in dermo-cosmetic care. This French pharmacy skincare brand has the unique particularity of being approved by dermatologists, as well as chemists and make-up professionals.
Featuring botanical extracts of shea butter, plant oils, and vitamins, each formula is designed to strengthen and support the skin’s natural reparative and protective functions.
Embryolisse’s cult-favorite products:
Typology is an affordable clean and vegan French skincare brand with a focus on simplified formulas and transparency. Often referred to as the French The Ordinary, Typology’s formulas are simple, considered, and effective. All formulations are 100% French (their partner laboratories are in Bergerac, Aix en Provence, and Compiègne).
Typology’s cult-favorite products:
- Purifying Night Serum Botanical Blend With Peony
- Radiance Serum with 11% Vitamin C
- 9-Ingredient Face Moisturizer
- Purifying moisturizer with 4% Zinc PCA + Bamboo Extract
- Targeted Blemish Serum with 2% Salicylic Acid + 1% Zinc
After French influencer and entrepreneur Mathilde Lacombe (@mathildelacombe) had been suffering from rosacea for years and had placed a lot of hope in creams for relief, a visit to a nutritionist became a life changer. Her skin appeared problem-free thanks to a change in diet and the use of specific supplements.
Together with François Morrier, with whom she has been working successfully in the beauty industry for 7 years, she launched the Parisian skincare brand in 2018. Aime combines cosmetic products and food supplements based on probiotics to target several skin concerns such as acne, rosacea, and dehydration.
Aime’s cult-favorite products:
- French Glow (Redness and sensitivity)
- Pure Glow (oily skin types and digestive problems)
- Hair & Scalp Boost
Gallinée was created in 2014 by Marie, a French Doctor in Pharmacy with 15 years of experience and who has worked for innovative skincare brands. After discovering how a prebiotic and probiotic diet could improve her symptoms of gluten intolerance, Marie had a Eureka moment: What if we applied the same science to skin? She wrote a thesis on the benefits of harnessing good bacteria and then she created Gallinée.
Gallinée’s cult-favorite products:
SVR is a French skincare brand created in 1962 by a couple of visionary pharmacists, Simone and Robert Véret. They both believed that it was possible to formulate skincare products with extremely high concentrations of active ingredients without affecting skin tolerance. As a result, they launched a world-recognized skincare brand with unrivaled effectiveness and tolerance.
SVR’s cult-favorite products:
Erborian is a Korean-French skincare brand founded in 2007 that combines innovative K-Beauty with French luxury to create skincare products filled with natural ingredients. Fan-favorite Erborian products include the BB Crème, CC Crème, and Centella Cleansing Balm & Cleansing Gel which are designed to help you get that perfect “no-makeup” makeup look.
Inspired by the simplicity and efficacy of French pharmacy skincare products, Doré is a beauty brand founded by the French writer and style icon Garance Doré and her business partner of the last six years, Emily Yeston. Doré is a line of simple, clean, and effective products (without harsh, sensitizing ingredients) all made in France, allowing for a gentle repair and hydration of the skin.
Doré’s cult-favorite products:
15. Oh My Cream Skincare
Oh My Cream is the best beauty store in Paris that focuses on clean and natural beauty products. The label offers a curated selection of affordable beauty products based on products’ ingredients and efficiency. They have also their own brand: Oh My Cream Skincare; a range of expertly-formulated skincare basics, to help you build a regime for beautiful and healthy skin. All of their products are made in France.
Oh My Cream Skincare’s cult-favorite products:
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Leonce Chenal is a modern lifestyle platform created and curated by a French woman for lovers of everything French. What started in 2018 as an online space to share French beauty tips has since evolved into a destination for fashion, beauty, and the French art de vivre.
Hello, Leonce, Are the products listed by which one is the best?
Bonjour Julie, thank you very much for your comment! All the products listed in this article are cult-favorites, the best product depends on what you’re looking for 🙂 But if I had to choose only 5 products it will be Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse®, Avène Cicalfate+ Restorative Protective Cream, Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentré, Bioderma Sensibio Micellar Water, Caudalie Beauty Elixir Face Mist.
Hi Leonce, thank you for your amazing blog! Could you also make a post about a Parisian/French morning routine? This would be great!
Bonjour Leila, thank you very much for your comment and your kind words <3 Yes, of course! I've added this blog post idea to my to-do list and I will try to write an article about it 🙂