At a glance
Introducing 3 new skincare products from the French pharmacy! I give you my thoughts about these 3 products.
This summer, after two years of pandemic and other lockdowns, tourism is back in full swing! And among the beauty addicts who travel, the popular place to be, if I believe what I see on social media, are the French pharmacies! So I thought it was a good time to introduce you to 3 products that I recently discovered when I traveled to France this Spring. They’re not (yet?) on the French pharmacy must-haves list of all the influencers on TikTok. You saw these here first! 😉
I promise I won’t mention Biafine (I’ve already talked about this strange trend in a previous Memo!), nor Embryolisse, Colossol cleansing milk etc. All these outdated products are a hit with beauty addicts who raid drugstores and proudly show off their haul online. This is especially funny since many French consumers consider these same products to be rather outdated.
But today, let’s stay in 2022, with modern products, if you will! The ability of beauty addicts around the world to praise French pharmacy products from the last century will always entertain me… (again, check my post on Biafine for the reference 😉 )
Because when I traveled to France last spring, I could hang out in pharmacies and look at some of the newest releases, or brands I hadn’t had a chance to try yet. And I brought back a lot of great products (and some not so good, c’est la vie!).
I’ve been testing some of them for several months now, and I thought it was the right time to share with you my favorites from the batch 🙂.
So here are 3 of my recent skincare discoveries in the French pharmacy!
Bioderma Sensibio H2O Eye:
In the Bioderma Sensibio H2O family, it would probably be the little brother of the famous micellar water!
Launched last spring in France, the Sensibio H2O Eyes micellar makeup remover is specifically designed for the sensitive areas around the eyes and lips. It is a dual-phase formula, with an effective oil phase to remove waterproof makeup, which is great but usually for me, it mostly means that the product leaves a very unpleasant greasy residue after use. I used to wear contact lenses and this type of product that leaves a greasy film on the eyes was my worst nightmare!
But, the brand precisely designed the product to avoid this issue. Indeed, the watery phase is formulated with micellar technology specific to the Sensibio range and it composes 70% of the total formula. As a matter of fact, it allows to reduce the oil phase to 30% for an effective product, pleasant to use but especially with a non greasy finish after use. The formula also contains panthenol, for a much appreciated soothing effect on this sensitive area.
Reminder, what are micelles and micellar water?
In a micellar water, the formula contains cleansing ingredients that are also called “surfactants”.
These surfactants have a very interesting feature: their structure allows them to combine water and oil! They have a hydrophilic (= water loving) head and a long lipophilic (= oil loving) tail. When immersed in water, they form spherical structures called micelles.
Surfactants take this spherical position because, given their nature, this is how they are most “comfortable”. Their head is turned towards the water in which they have been immersed, and their tails, which do not like water, are all grouped together at the heart of the sphere.
And these micelles will “capture” in their lipophilic center the impurities and other dirt, because these last ones are in general composed of fatty compounds.
By passing a cotton soaked with micellar water on the skin, the external dirt (makeup, pollution particles…) and the impurities related to the natural functioning of the skin (sweat, sebum, desquamation…) are ” trapped” in the heart of the micelles and eliminated gently on the cotton pad. The micelles are a bit like “dirt magnets“, in a way😉.
Coming back to the Sensibio H2O Eyes, I don’t use eye and lip makeup remover every day because I already have a cleansing oil or balm in my evening routine, and this type of product is very effective for removing everything at once. But I also pluck my own eyebrows with tweezers pretty regularly, and I like to do that before I clean my face. I prefer to do it on a makeup-free area, it’s just easier.
You can see why it’s interesting for me to find a product that does the job without leaving a greasy residue. Greasy eyelids would not make my job easier for this plucking step 😉.
After I shake the product up to mix the two phases well, I apply it to a cotton pad and let the product sit for a few seconds on the area I want to remove makeup from. I then swipe the cotton pad without rubbing to remove the makeup. If I have a lot of makeup on, and with very resistant products, I have to repeat this operation two or three times in a row. But in general, I don’t need it, it’s an effective makeup remover!
It’s also super gentle, non-irritating, doesn’t sting my eyes… In short, it ticks all my boxes!
La Roche Posay Cicaplast Spray B5:
This is the perfect example of a product I bought on the spur of the moment, without knowing exactly how I was going to use it, and that turned out to be really useful when the opportunity arose!
I’ve already mentioned it in several posts lately, but spending the summer in Dubai really makes my skin suffer. The heat and humidity, plus the non stop air conditioning… Add to that a medical treatment that didn’t help either. As a result, some days, I found myself with small red blotches and irritation pimples on my face and neck. My first instinct was to slather on Cicaplast balm from La Roche Posay (or Cicalfate from Avène, which I also always have around), but for the time of year and my combination skin, these options are quite greasy.
So I remembered that I had this Cicaplast spray somewhere and that it would be interesting to put it to the test for this type of situation!
Because the La Roche Posay Cicaplast Spray B5 is precisely designed for the treatment of skin irritations. It repairs the skin barrier function when it is damaged thanks to the madecassoside it contains. And it also has soothing properties thanks to Panthenol (or vitamin B5) concentrated here at 5% for an immediate soothing. It is therefore an excellent product to speed up skin healing.
I already talked about the Cicaplast serum in the same range which is not yet available anywhere outside Asia, but if you have the spray available in your country, don’t miss it, it’s also a very nice product!
The spray is not really a fine mist, I have to warn you, it’s a thick liquid that I prefer to spray into my hand to apply it like a milky essence. It doesn’t leave my skin greasy at all. I can use it morning and/or night with no issue.
I have a feeling that this product will become a must-have in my bathroom. It’s the perfect SOS product if you don’t feel like using an excessively rich balm!
Dermina Hydralina Lip Balm*:
*: gifted by the brand.
I don’t know about you, but lip balms rarely work for me if I have really dry lips. They are comfortable for 10 minutes max and then I usually have to reapply. I often prefer lip balms in jars, or even overnight lip masks, which are even more repairing and nourishing (but less convenient to carry around, that’s for sure!).
But there’s one lip balm that made me change my mind lately!
A few months ago, the brand Dermina was kind enough to send me some of their products to try. And in the parcel was their Hydralina Lip Balm. The brand is relatively recent (2005), and even if it is French designed and manufactured, it was first sold in Asia. Moreover, you can feel it a little in its philosophy, as it is very focused on the protection of sensitized skin, particularly by pollution and various environmental stressors.
Regarding their lip balm, it’s part of the Hydralina range, which focuses mainly on hydration. It’s a pretty conventional formula, with shea butter, avocado oil to nourish, but also mineral oils, various waxes… Good point, it’s fragrance-free, which I prefer for this type of products. But in short, I would say it’s a classic lip balm formula.
And yet, it works like a charm! It’s nicely emollient and cushiony without being too greasy or sticky, and it coats the lips nicely so that it provides long-lasting protection. I don’t have to reapply it every five minutes and it really keeps my lips from drying out during the day.
I’m going to stock up, because clearly, I think I’ve found my favorite lip balm from the pharmacy!
And you, have you made any cool discoveries in pharmacies recently? What are your favorites at the moment? 😉