9 French Skincare Brands You Need To Know About

(AD) If the world wasn’t still upside down I would currently be packing to go to France on holiday. With my mum living on the continent my recent memories of summer holidays are long sunny days in rural France. We spend most of the day eating, relaxing and playing in the pool as my children’s skin grows darker (despite factor 50) and their hair lighter. There isn’t much need to go beyond the gates, but every year I make sure to visit the shops. 

I love French shops. It’s not just that the air conditioning can provide a much needed break from the relentless heat, but these pretty average shops in the UK become a treasure trove of new finds in France. From the range of sweets in supermarchés to the beauty products in Pharmacies, I always leave space in my suitcase for the return journey. 

A selection of sample size skincare and beauty products from French companies including well known brands and hidden gems
Lots of amazing French skincare products to try

French Beauty and Skincare Ranges In The UK

Some of the beauty ranges are available in UK shops, but often the selection is limited and the price inflated. The combination of Brexit and COVID-19 appears to have limited the offering in UK shops even further and when I recently tried to buy a replacement of a product I had run out of recently I discovered that the company no longer distributes that part of it’s range in the UK. So I turned to the internet, but found the postage cost (from Europe) was pretty painful. I eventually found an online shop which sells many French beauty products with normal UK postage prices.  I got that little tingle of excitement I get when heading into French shops and I started to explore what else I could get from the comfort of my own home.

There are so many brilliant French skincare ranges. What are some of your favourites?  I’m not talking about L’Oréal, Givenchy, Lancôme or the other huge brands you see EVERYWHERE, but the hidden gems that you can imagine chic Parisian women applying to their face before a day browsing along the Champs-Élysées and sitting in a pavement café sipping a Perrier. They might be common knowledge amongst French women, but how many of these have you tried?


I am a big fan of Bioderma for their Micellar Water, but they have lots of other interesting products which will fix all kinds of skin problems to improve skin health. Their children’s range (ABCDerm) is brilliant too and their Péri-oral  cream is one of our essential products (my middle daughter often excessively licks her lips making around her mouth red and sore which this cream quickly clears up).


Avene make skincare products containing thermal spring water naturally enriched in minerals and gentle on sensitive skin. The Avène Cicalfate+  Restorative Skin Cream is particularly popular for calming skin irritations and can be used by adults and infants.


This brand is recommended by makeup artists and dermatologists due to their high quality products which are gentle on skin. Their original product and intensive moisturiser Lait-Crème Concentré is particularly popular and can be used as: primer, moisturiser, make up remover, hydrating mask and more. 

La Roche-Posay

Created specifically for people with sensitive skin La Roche-Posay use minimal ingredients and have products for particularly problem skins. Like Avène the products contain natural thermal water known for it’s soothing properties. Numerous clinical trials and work with dermatologists have demonstrated the effectiveness of their products. The Effaclar Duo+ face cream is perhaps its most famous product helping to combat oily blemish prone skin in adults and teens.  


The key ingredient in Caudalie is grapeseed extract which is believed to be an effective anti-aging treatment. The products have natural ingredients which are gentle on both skin and the environment. The Beauty Elixir is a particular cult favourite.


Probably the most well known range in the UK from this list, Clarins deserve a mention for their ever popular Beauty Flash Balm and Double Serum. The brand creates innovative skincare products from plant enriched formulas. They use over 250 natural plant extracts in their products which have all been carefully chosen to be as (or more) effective than artificial chemicals. There is a reason this luxury brand is so popular, the products work.


The centre of the French perfume industry can be found in Provence so it’s no surprise that this skincare range from the region was started when the founder began selling essential oils. All the products smell amazing and their shower gels and soaps are particularly popular.


Another French skincare range using the power of thermal spa water, the volcanic mineralising water which was known to the Romans is the main active ingredient in Vichy skincare products. The company was founded by a doctor and they take a modern and scientific approach to product development using technology and the latest research with strong ethical principles. They have products suitable for all skin types.


Essential oils are at the heart of this skincare brand. Using concentrated active plant oils Decléor take powerful natural ingredients to make innovative skin care blended by expert aromatherapists.

Are there any other hidden gem French skincare products you know of? Comment below and let me know.

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