When it comes to skincare, the French don't need any pretty packaging, fancy fragrances or celebrity endorsements (the celebs come flocking off their own accord); instead they rely on high quality ingredients and extensive scientific research to create highly effective formulas that have secured most French pharmacy skincare brands a cult status.
Although French pharmaceutical skincare brands have been big news for a while, it's taken me four years of beauty blogging to finally overhaul my entire day-to-day skincare routine a la Francaise, and boy is my skin thanking me for it. Here are the four products that J'adore...
CAUDALIE MAKE-UP REMOVING CLEANSING OIL*
Caudalie's new generation cleansing oil is a two-in-one make-up remover and luxurious facial cleanser that works in two stages: applied to dry skin, the silky oil loosens and dissolves make-up, and upon contact with water, the oil transforms into a milky cleanser that nourishes and refreshes the skin.
Caudalie's Make-Up Removing Cleansing Oil eliminates the need to use two products as it really is highly effective at both tasks. It's all-natural formula contains sunflower oil and castor oil, that melts away even stubborn waterproof make-up in seconds, and grape-seed oil and sweet almond oil that are full of antioxidants, fatty acids and vitamins that care for and rejuvinate the skin. The sweet almond oil leaves a delicate, sweet scent that smells pleasantly like marzipan.
NUXE EAU DE MOUSSE MICELLAIRE
A foam cleanser is my favourite type of cleanser, and one made from rose petals has got to be heaven sent. The Nuxe Micellar Foam Cleanser luxuriously lathers up and, unlike some foam cleansers that have a bad rep for being drying, is soap-free, instead relying on micellar particles to cleanse without drying the skin. The micellar particles act like magnets to draw dirt and impurities out of the skin, leaving it feeling perfectly cleansed and toned. I've also found this cleanser works well with my Clarisonic facial brush, as it spreads out across the skin and reaches every contour of the face.
Infused with rose petals, the formula is calming and soothing to the skin, and as rose petals are a natural astringent, the cleanser also tones the skin, tightening the pores and leaving a smooth and refreshed complexion.
AVENE EAU THERMALE SPRING WATER*Avène Thermal Spring Water, bottled it's source at the Sainte-Odile Spring in Avène, France, is the magic ingredient to all of Avène's cult skincare range, so it's no surprise that the pure mineral water facial spray is one of it's hero products.
The multi-tasking spray can be used after cleansing, as a make-up setting spray, as a refreshing facial spritz during or after excersise or on a hot day, or just as an extra hit of hydration when you need a little pick me up.
EMBRYOLISSE LAIT-CREME CONCENTREThe hero product from Embryolisse is adored by endless A-listers - Karlie Kloss, Scarlett Johansson, Elle Macpherson, Gwyneth Paltrow... the list goes on... and has been hailed a must-have in any make-up artists kit.
A rich yet lightweight, silky smooth cream that absorbs instantly and deeply hydrates, leaving skin radiant, supple and plumped. It's also a great anti-ageing cream, as it helps to maintain and rebuild the natrual hydrolipidic film that our skin produces to protect itself.
Within a week or so of applying twice a day, it was as though somebody had lit a candle within my skin - my complexion is glowing, and (despite the cold winds outside and dry heat inside at this time of year) my skin feels smooth and the cream's velvety texture acts as a perfect base for foundation to grip on to.
I have literally stock piled on this stuff as I can't run the risk of running out. If there's one thing you ever try on my recommendation, please make sure it's this.
£20 from Boots