If you're heading to Paris anytime soon, please head to CityPharma in St Germain. It is a pharmacy but the entire ground floor is dedicated to French skincare, bodycare, hair products and toiletries. The layout is almost like a supermarket or library - tall shelves full of products with very narrow aisles (don't come here if you've got a wheely case with you). I didn't take any photos of the store as I was in a bit of a rush and the store is BUSY (above image from google street view).
So why trek all the way to CityPharma when there's a pharmacy on almost every street in Paris? Because it's cheaper than normal pharmacies by about 20%, and you can pretty much find any French pharmacy skincare brand here.
Below are what I picked up from CityPharma:
Nuxe Rêve de Miel Lip Balm €6.90 - I LOVE this lip balm. No mineral oil. Does not dry out your lips eventually like other lip balms. Strangely does not smell like honey - it smells like citrus zest.
Homeoplasmine €2.70 (small tube) - Vaseline based ointment with ingredients to help with wound healing and inflamed skin. Some people may not like it as it contains petroleum jelly but I find it really useful for dry flaky nose from colds and dry lips. For Homeoplasmine you have to go upstairs to the actual pharmacy section. Queue up in the very long "sans ordonnance" (no prescription) line.
Decléor Aroma Pureté Matt Finish Skin Fluid €19.90 - been using it for the last few days as my day moisturiser. Smells wonderful. Leaves a very matte and smooth finish (from silicone though). I have combination/oily skin and I have tried a lot of different day moisturisers to keep my face from going shiny. I like this so far except for one thing - the dispensing pump can't be twisted to close, you have to use the special plastic cap included if you want to travel with this.
Klorane Volumising Shampoo with Almond Milk €6.80 - CityPharma did not stock Leonor Greyl but I did spot this in the hair care section. My hair is very thin and flat, and I have tried a lot of volumising shampoos - this didn't give me big hair but my hair definitely did not look limp at the end of the day. Doesn't have a strong fragrance. Does have SLS though.
Mavala Extra Mild Nail Polish Remover €5.90 - Had high hopes for this but it's just ok (admittedly I have only used it once, opinion might change)
Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oak Milk €7.80 - Yes this is readily available in London but it was cheaper in CityPharma. My dry shampoo of choice.
Sanoflore 24H Sans Concession Deodorant €6.50 - 99% natural, no aluminium salt, no parabens, does not leave white mark on your clothes. Smells herbally.
Nuxe Rêve de Miel Hand Cream €7.90 (special 2 for €9.99) - Lesson learnt - check the shelves carefully. After I bought a single tube I discovered there was a special value pack. Moisturising but not heavy or oily. Fragrance is a little strong though.
So there's my French pharmacy haul. No Bioderma as I still have lots, but I did see them at CityPharma for €15.90 for two 500ml bottles. No Avibon (retinol cream) in any pharmacy - lady tried to explain why to me but I had no idea what she was talking about as my French is terrible.
I'm going back to Paris again in April, so please let me know if there's anything else I should try (I've already had a couple of suggestions - thanks!).
CityPharma is on the corner of Rue du Four and Rue Bonaparte - you can't miss it.
p.s. The Eiffel Tower photo holder is from one of those cheesy souvenir shops for about €6. I like the pop of colour