The French Pharmacy Haul

My excitement for my last visit to Paris was headlined firstly by the fact that a trip to the hot chocolate lovers heaven, Angelina’s was on the cards. The second reason for all my squealing? The pharmacies. Shops piled high to the rafters with skincare, spotted by the bright green cross outside their doors occur as frequently on your travels as a coffee shop chain does in the UK. I counted at least one on every street in central. Dreamy, right? Skincare just doesn’t have the same clout over here as it does to our sÅ“urs françaises, they go crazy for the stuff as was confirmed by a rather sardine-like visit to the much talked about City Pharma on Rue du Four. All the usual suspect French skincare faves frequented the aisles but with a much cheaper price tag than the other haunts; here’s what I lugged back to UK shores…

Lets not beat around the bush here, Bioderma Crealine H20. Go hard or go home was my mantra, and go home I did – armed with over a litre of the stuff, all for under £15. Two big bertha bottles and a mini for my travels. The jury always gets divided whenever this product crops up, but I’ve been using it on a nightly basis to get off the grime for well over a year now and I’m still addicted to the stuff. The Clarins Instant Eye Makeup Remover beats it hands down at lid makeup and waterproof mascara removal, so I just sweep the Bioderma over to rid my face of foundation. Quick tip – it’s worth shopping around as some of the pharmacies were robbing you of almost £20 per bottle. Naughty.

Next up is a Caroline Hirons assisted purchase, La Roche Posay Serozinc. It’s a zinc sulphate solution, which is known for its astringent and sebo-regulating properties so is best suited to oily gals. I’ve been utilising it as a toning step, but the blurb on the bottle suggests uses ranging from soothing razor burn to nappy rash, intriguing right? Unfortunately it’s not yet stocked in the L.R.P UK range, so I’ll experiment some more and get back to ya as to whether it’s worth booking a trip to Paris to source it yourself. Another La Roche Posay offering made it into the bag, but this time something on the other end of the skincare solution spectrum, Cicaplast. This moisturising gel-like texture is formulated for regenerating irritated post surgery skins, now I don’t tick that box but… I was in a rush and needed something to bring it up to €30. I’m secretly hoping that this last minute addition will help to sort out my pesky post-spot dry patches that seem to be becoming an all too regular occurrence.

So that’s all the overseas imports for now, but in a related snippet it seems retailers over here are finally tuning in to our French skincare prayers. My beady eyes caught a peak of Bioderma on the shelves of Zest, Broadwick Street at the weekend and my virtual shopping list is growing per pageclick over at Escentual, where there’s 33% off all French brands for the whole of March, and they now stock Bioderma too. I think now might be a good time to hide my bank card…


  • The Cicaplast is such a great product, you can use it on any dry patch you may have after a pimple or around the nose before you apply the foundation, and it works amazingly well! It saved me a lot of times within the winter cold.

  • Katie Fawcett

    I’m still obsessed with my bioderma, it’s the bees knees! I’m definitely wanting to try more la Roche Posay products because I love the effaclar duo so much. I’m contemplating a trip to Paris later this year mainly for the pharmacies!

    Katie xo

  • Hannah Cagney Lace

    I’m so glad Bioderma is making it’s way to the English shores, I love the Crealine H20 for days when I can’t be bothered to use my Eve Lom cleanser…

    I may have just placed an order on Escentual, oops!Hannah 

  • Charlotte Hoedemakers

    I have always wanted to try the Serozinc, it sounds incredible and definitely perfect for my skin type. I’ve just ran out of my Clarins toner so I think that will be my next purchase! Ah the baby Bioderma is so cute, and the Cicaplast gel seems like something really handy to have for those dry-skinned days. My skin gets irritated really quickly! 


  • Gillian

    I have been wanting to try Bioderma for the longest time. So glad it has finally come to the UK 🙂

    Gillian from Glam Up Everyday x

  • Anna Blush

    I’m so jealous of your trip to Paris! I hope you had the most amazing time! Just reading this post about French skin care got me excited! Haha

  • the other day I was visiting London & was passing by that small pharmacy on Soho.I remembered it, as Lily posted a pic of you in it once on her Twitter:-) Made me wish Id bump into you two in there…haha

  • I saw a clip of you shopping at City Pharma in Lily’s vlog of your 2-day Paris travel, and I must say, I am jeaaaaaaaalous! What an amazing drugstore!

  • Claudia Stenhouse

    I really want to try bioderma. I can’t justify the price though 🙁 xx

  • OfficialSarah

    Oh my effing good – love even more that I will be in London in March. Already checked out their prices online and I can already tell that I better leave lots of space in my suitcase BEFORE coming to London – because I will need it.

    Thanks so much for all the advice about all the beauty spots I have to hit. Counting down the days.


  • Ml Hauken

    I’m definitely buying me some Bioderma when I’m going to London in May.. Oh May come to me, you’re so far away

  • Maddy Cane

    Looks like you got some lovely stuff, got me lusting after a french pharmacy! xxx

  • Katie Harness

    Everywhere I go in Barcelona they have one bottle of Bioderma for 20 euros! What a rip off. I will have to wait to go visit the in-laws in December to get some 🙁

  • Vikkielora

    I hope you had a great time! I desperately want to try bioderma but I think I need to get use out of my old ones first.. so jealous of your trip :)

  • I’m going to Paris for a day next month, for the first time! I can’t wait to pop into one of their pharmacies! Have you tried the Lancome bi facil? would you say the Clarins eye makeup remover is better?

  • I’ve heard a lot of great things about the Serozinc recently which makes the fact that I was expecting a delivery of it from some visiting French relatives until they text to say they’d forgotten it all the more devastating. Perhaps a bit dramatic but I’m a sucker for a hyped product x Becky


    AMAZING post!love it. Would love if you could check out my blog!Talisa from BEMSA

  • Confettirush

    i love the new look!!!! <3

  • Anon_fashion

    Really would love to go to Pairs, just for the french pharmacys! Bioderma needs to be in my life, can’t wait until it hits the UK!

    A little bit Uniquex

  • Mel

     I am French and living in London and “J’adore ton blog” ( trans: I love your blog). xxx

  • Jessica TeBeest

    Just spent an exorbitant amount of money on Escentual…oops..

  • katherine.parkes

    could not live without Bioderma! X

  • Lewbruner

    Looks like I need to justify a trip to Paris just for the goods! Bioderma cost $40 and up via amazon. What a fun trip you had!

  • yanksgurl613

    oooooo I really want to try bioderma! great haul! xx. gigi. food and beauty blogger @

  • Beauty Addict

    Good thing Bioderma is coming to the UK then.

  • Lydia_

    Ooh good work! When in Paris… It’d be rude not to 😉 x

  • Beautyandtheb

    I agree that bioderma is far better for removing face make-up than for the eyes, I’m always left with panda eyes when I use it! 

    B xxx

  • bioderma, cost about $18 per bottle in Canada, and that isn’t even for the full size bottle. I adore the stuff, but I also found neostrata to have a micellar water

  • Loren Scutt

    decided to try nivea instead of bioderma today (budget option) as i’ve been going steady with bioderma for over 2 years, and have probably used 20+ bottles of the stuff (do not want to do that math right now), and might i say what a mistake. wish we could get those bigger bottles in canada. 
    ps- love your blog. i found it about a week ago and am obsessed!

  • You managed to stay quite restrained! I would have been buying everything in sight like some sort of English, skin care deprived maniac! Oh how I long to go to the French pharmacies!
    Eleanor x

  • Oh That Kimberley

    I might need to do a quick trip up to see my fmaily in Belgium soon, everyone keeps talking about Bioderma and Effaclar lately! Thankfully Belgium also has french skincare too!

    Kimberley  xx

  • Beth Louise

    I really need the Bioderma! Heard so much about it!!
    love your blog 🙂 

  • Abbey Rosete

    Is bioderma really that good? I heard so much about it and I want to give it a try!



    cicaplast is also great for dry lips, elbows etc. i do find it a little greesy to use on old spots. the risk is that the inflammation comes back.

  • Maya

    I love Bioderma and have been using it religiously for over a year. Quite easy to get hold of it here in Italy, in pharmacies and supermarkets, I just bought (again) my 500ml bottle for € 16.

  • Elinor Minett

    Can you believe that I live in Belgium and have nly been to Paris once? I’m might be going back this summer though which is exciting! The skincare is apparently a lot cheaper and I could do with updating my stock! After reading this I think I might buy bioderma, it sounds really good.

  • Annie ikr

    I cant find Bioderma ANYWHERE in Holland. Anyone know where to get it, or if I can get it at all in the Netherlands? Used to lie in Norway and I bought it there and used it always but  I cant find it anywhere here and its so frustrating! Anyone? 🙂

    x Annie /

    • maddie_1459

      I’ve done a blogpost on where you can find all these products for an insanely good price!
      Check it out at:

  • Hi Annie, I’m Dutch and unfortunately I have never seen it here.. I’ve bought mine in Spain and also  in Belgium (in Liege). It’s amazing stuff and I love it as a toner and also to remove mascara (any regular mascara, not waterproof!). Good luck finding it.


    • dullsunshine

      where in spain did you find it?

  • It’s like one of those t-shirts. “I went to a French pharmacy and all I bought was Bioderma!” It’s not even organic – at least Caudalie’s is organic and smells much better. What about Nuxe, Filorga, Vichy, Avene?….there are so many amazing French brands…shame you didn’t take the opportunity to try something else out. Bioderma is so over. Other micellaire waters work exactly the same (and are available in Boots)

    Just sayin’

  • daisy meadow

    Aaah I love Serozinc, although I never go to France so buy from the UK instead. A blogger bought from a french site (farmaline I believe?) and got slapped with a £30 customs charge! I wouldn’t risk it! I’ve reviewed it on my blog and have the UK seller on there if you want read, google Daisy Meadow Serozinc xx

  • Georgia Jackson

    Hi I’m going to Paris in Sept and am desperate to buy a load of Bioderma. Where did you get those two bottles so cheaply? Can anyone recommend a pharmacy in central Paris where the stuff is sold at a reasonable price?

    • lauren

      Try to find a “PARASHOP”. Those have the cheapest prices !

      2 bottles of 500mL should be around 15 euros max !

  • I’m in Paris visiting now and this post totally helped me!