The French pharmacy is different, it’s not like others. For me, visiting the French pharmacy is more about browsing and shopping than it is about the medicinal. There is a behind the counter section that is jam packed with medications that could cure any ailment and there are myriads of other more interesting products on show. The French love a pharmacy as much as they love a hairdresser, a pâtisserie and a boulangerie.
There are always long queues at our local pharmacy… much chat goes on about what is new, what works and how. Body products are big business in France and there are plenty of ‘flavoursome’ tonics, pills and gels that promise the world… well, at least a newer slimmer, less ragged you…There are always promotions which need to be shared… the buy-this-and-get-the-other-one-free kind of deals that we expect in a department store not the family run pharmacy… and then there are the freebies, échantillons, with every purchase… I can’t remember a visit to the pharmacy when I haven’t come away with a bag full of product samples… and I have lost count of the beach bags and umbrellas that have come home after a stock up. They even call up from time to time and offer a free beauty treatment or a maquillage…This generosity is only one of the reasons the French pharmacy is on my ‘go to’ list when in France.
The pharmacy is a strange and unusual ‘tourist’ destination to suggest when visiting such a beautiful country as France, but I can tell you that the girlfriends I have taken there have never come away empty handed… Travel is about the whole picture… and while it’s no Notre Dame… it’s a whole lot of fun… I would say it’s more of an attraction to the females but that’s not to say that there aren’t loads of goodies for the boys to preen themselves with.
What sends me dashing to the pharmacy? It is the lesser known beauty brands that I look for… They are not the brands that I was familiar with before coming to France but they have certainly become some of my favourites now… A certain hand cream, a body oil for summer, one type of cleanser… an oil for the bath… small things that have become part of my routines, that I have grown fond of and that I wouldn’t want to be without.
The French Pharmacy List
La Roche Posay Sunscreen… my Parisian friend introduced me to La Roche Posay products… she swears by the sunscreen and now, so do I … she also told me about
La Roche Posay Lipikar Bath Oil… marvellous for sensitive skins and those times when perfumed products are out… She recommends this range for anyone who has a delicate skin
Darphin by Darphin Cleansing Milk… This is the best cleanser I have ever tried
Avene Eau Thermale Spring Water... a delicate mist for the face… ideal for the handbag
Avene Cold Cream Hand Cream… a non greasy treatment for the hands and nails that is small enough to carry at all times
Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Body Oil… this is my summer saviour
and for the evening
and for the evening
Nuxe Huile with Shimmer... this gives skin a gorgeous glow as well as keeping it dewy
Caudalie Scrub... for smooth skin ‘sun bathing ready’
and when I am swimming most days and don’t want to use my Shu Uemura shampoo and conditioner for every wash… I alternate with the Klorane products… They are not a substitute or as effective but they are less expensive and mild enough for every day shampooing.
This is not as good as a visit to the real thing … but it’s as close as I can take you today… xv