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5 Amazing French Beauty Brands You Can Buy In India


Great skin the French way is a few clicks away!

It’s no secret that the French have their sh*t figured out – whether it’s food, fashion, or cosmetics, they know what they’re talking about! This is the home of the Michelin star, the Breton stripe and Ines de la Fressange, after all, not to mention some of the best beauty brands in the world.

Speaking of beauty, the French are the queens of fuss-free regimes that place the focus squarely on great skin, and French pharmacies are the renowned the world over for their simple yet effective beauty brands – which, granted, may not look too fancy, but are unrivalled when it comes to results.

You don’t need to travel all the way to Paris to get your hands on some French beauty goodies, however, because some of the best ones now retail in India!

Here’s a rundown of some of my favourites.


You’ve likely already heard the stories about Bioderma’s star product, the Crealine (now renamed to Sensibio) – it can be found on pretty much any model or makeup artist’s kit, and famous makeup artists like Pat McGrath apparently stockpile this stuff during each trip to Paris. Why? It’s a near-magical cleanser that looks and feels like water but removes even the most heavy-duty makeup with one swipe – and is incredibly kind to sensitive skin, too! Get your hands on some now and forget about tugging at your eyes to get that mascara off every night forever.

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If you have oily, blemished skin with clogged pores, look no further than LRP’s Effaclar Duo – it’s a beautifully light moisturizer that works like magic to clear up blemishes, reduce the size of your pores and give you the clear, clear skin of your dreams. I reach for this every time I feel my skin acting up and it always does the trick – sometimes overnight!

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a heavy duty sunscreen that’s still light on the skin, you can’t go wrong with the Anthelios sunscreen. It’ll provide broad spectrum coverage (so important for keeping fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots at bay) and won’t leave your skin covered in a greasy oil slick, either. Win!

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Problem skin-havers, this one’s for you again! As someone who’s dealt with plenty of zits, blackheads and general blemishes, I know that after you’ve cleared you’re the active ones up with La Roche Posay’s Effaclar Duo, you’ll want to get rid of the scars, and fast.

The best product I’ve ever found for this is Avene’s TriAcneal, which contains retinol and glycolic acid to gently exfoliate your skin while lightening those acne scars right up. This one is always in my arsenal, and I use it even once the scars have faded because I love how clear and bright it makes my skin look in the long run.

There’s pretty much nothing Avene makes that I haven’t tried and loved, and I promise they aren’t paying me to say this! If I had to pick another product from all my favourites, it’d be the Cleanance Gel – it’s a gentle cleanser that gets rid of oil and sebum without stripping your skin dry and is perfect for the summer.

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OK, so I’m cheating a little bit with this one because even though Nuxe isn’t in India yet (although one can dream), you can have their products shipped to you via a great little British website called FeelUnique. It’ll take about 21 days to be delivered, but these two are absolutely worth the wait.

First up – who here hasn’t always wanted glowing, soft, ever so slightly shimmery, gorgeous-smelling skin? That’s what Nuxe’s famous dry oil, Huile Prodigieuse, will give you with its mix of macadamia, hazelnut and camellia oils that can be used as a leave-in treatment for dry, damaged hair or to add a bit of sheen to your cheekbones, arms, legs, and just about any piece of skin you want in the spotlight. And it smells divine, trust.

Oh, and if you’re in the market for the absolute best lip balm in the world, please try Nuxe’s Reve de Miel lip balm – or baume levres, if you want to be French. They claim to have tested it under Arctic conditions where it held up well among explorers or some such and while I can’t claim to have ever been to the North Pole, I can tell you that it’s the one thing that always works when my lips are painfully chapped and dry so… there’s that.

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Like Avene, Vichy’s product line is based on its own thermal spring water, which makes it another great brand for skin that needs a little extra love (which, as far as I’m concerned, is all skin).  For nights when you’re feeling particularly lazy, you can’t go wrong with their 3-in-1 Cleanser, which cleanses, tones and removes eye makeup in one quick swipe and will leave your skin super soft.

I’ve always been a bit iffy about products that label themselves ‘whitening’, because I’m of the opinion that what most people really want is ‘brighter’ skin – as in, skin that glows, regardless of colour.

I overlooked the term when I tried Vichy’s Meta Whitening Essence and I’m glad I did, because it got rid of a couple of annoying sun spots that had previous proven impervious to everything else – and in about a week, I noticed that my skin looked brighter, as well, like I’d been getting lots of sleep and drinking tons of green juice (neither of which are things I do). 

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