As a self proclaimed Francophile (I think I was born French in another life), I have been infusing French culture and French products into my daily life for decades. One of the categories I have been most drawn to is French beauty and French skincare in particular. Formulations in the E.U are often more highly regulated so they feature feel-good formulas and they come from very science-backed French skincare brands.
20 Best French Skincare Brands
France is considered the birthplace of dermatology and French skincare has always prioritized using botanical ingredients – long before it became popular or trendy to do so.
The French are low maintenance when it comes to makeup, but they absolutely believe in using a regimented, albeit often low maintenance but effective skincare routine.
I have tried so many of the top French skincare brands in my years spent traveling to France and today I am sharing those I consider the best. Plus, I’m sharing the French skincare products with cult status and the bestselling products from the lines.
Caudalie has been my most-used French skincare brand for years. I use their products as part of both my morning and my nighttime skincare routine. I love that the range has something for all skin types and they harness a lot of natural ingredients so they are gentle yet effective. You can read all about my favorite products in my Caudalie Skincare Review. And absolutely don’t miss their Pore Detox Mask and cult favorite Cauadlie Beauty Elixir.
2. La Roche Posay
La Roche Posay is one of the most famous French skincare brands – largely due to being recommended by dermatologists worldwide. The brand’s mission is to provide a better life for those with sensitive skin. As such, their line is fragrance-free, paraben-free and beloved by sensitive skin types. If you’ve ever been into a French pharmacy, you’ll see how this brand dominates the shelves.
In addition to making some pretty incredible sunscreens, the La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Balm B5 has gone viral many times over because it works so well to repair your skin barrier. If your skin is in need of major TLC, you’ll love the brand’s Cicaplast line.
Embryolisse dates back to 1950, when a Paris hospital dermatologist specializing in skin diseases created the legendary Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré. It has since sold millions worldwide. It leaves skin feeling calm, soft, smooth & comfortable. French makeup artists swear by this cream and always have it on their kits.
The range now includes great body care products, cleansers and I love the Artist’s Secret line which features primers and other radiance-boosting products that work well alongside makeup.
The Nuxe brand is famous for its multi-purpose NUXE Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Purpose Dry Oil. You can use this all over your body, on your hair, on your cuticles – really anywhere you’d like some healthy looking shine. I love that there’s no shimmer to the OG oil but you can also get one with some glow if that’s your vibe. Pro tip? French women love to add a few drops of this oil to their body lotion as well.
Also don’t miss their Rose Micellar Water. It is so gentle and smells amazing.
5. Violette FR
Developed by one of France’s leading makeup artists, this namesake label offers both skincare and color cosmetics. Violette FR is all about fun makeup and nourishing skincare that preps the skin for makeup. The Boum Boum Milk is amazing for sensitized skin.
I was first introduced to Erborian through their BB Cream which is a holy grail, use every day product for me. The brand uses Korean ingredients but is owned by French skincare brand L’Occitane. In addition to their tinted products and color correcting products they also have a variety of cleansers and masks.
Typology is a newer French skincare brand that is all about customized solutions. Before ordering online they will have you take a quiz about your skin so they can provide the right regimen. The line is naturally active, sustainable, vegan, and made in France.
Vichy is a brand rooted in helping protect skin from pollution. Vichy Laboratoires was founded in 1931 by Dr Haller, the first medical practitioner to lay the foundations of French dermo-cosmetics making the link between health and beauty. It is heavily recommended by dermatologists in France and the brand is owned by L’Oreal.
My favorite product from the line is the Vichy Double Glow Peel Mask.
Darphin is such a luxurious French skincare brand to use if you love oils for your skin the way I do. Created by Pierre Darphin at his Darphin Skin Institute in Paris, he focused on the preservation of skin health through the precise release of potent botanical actives.
The Intral Inner Youth Rescue Serum is amazing if you experience redness and I also love their Aromatic Purifying Balm Overnight Mask which majorly helps purify congested skin.
The Avène brand harnesses the power of thermal spring water and their Eau Thermale face mist is often in the purses of French girls. This unique thermal water spray is bottled directly at the source and packaged in a sterile environment for guaranteed purity. Its composition has been clinically shown to soothe, soften and calm sensitive skin. I love this on hot summer days or in winter when my skin feels over exposed to cold air.
The house of Chanel of course needs to introduction but did you know they have an amazing beauty line inclusive of skincare and makeup? The La Crème Main hand cream that nourishes, protects and brightens skin on the hands has a cult following and an instantly recognizable egg-shaped package. It is often sold out as a result.
L’Occitane got its start in the markets of France’s Provence region. At 23 years old, Olivier Baussan began distilling rosemary essential oil to sell locally. He expanded his production from oils into soaps to creams. The brand has grown by utilizing the best of Mother Nature’s offerings in France including almond trees, lavender and Immortelle flowers.
People love their hand creams and soaps but I’m a personal fan of the anti-aging Immortelle line including their Immortelle Divine Face Cream Moisturizer and the Immortelle Overnight Reset Oil-in-Serum.
Run by a famed French family, Clarins touts using over 250 natural plant extracts in its formulas. All are carefully selected for their effectiveness and are delivered in an optimal formula to reveal the beauty of every woman. Each ingredient is sourced with the utmost care for the environment to protect our planet’s biodiversity.
The Double Serum Light Texture Firming & Smoothing Anti-Aging Concentrate has been a bestseller for the brand for over a decade and the Lip Oil is also a fan favorite. My personal favorite? The V-Facial Instant Depuffing Face Mask. It works wonders when you’re feeling puffy (so much so I was kind of shocked!) And I love to use it in tandem with my NuFace contour facial device.
The Bioderma brand is best known for its bestselling Bioderma – Sensibio – H2O Micellar Water. It is credited with making micellar waters popular as makeup removers. It removes impurities and makeup super gently. You will find it in so many bathrooms around France and I personally prefer it to the U.S. brands that sell something similar.
I also can recommend the Bioderma Lip Balm. It’s soft and creamy and majorly helps hydrate and sooth chapped lips.
15. Sisley Paris
Sisley Paris is an independent French luxury cosmetic, skin care, hair care, and perfume company who focuses on ingredients derived from plants. They specialize in anti-aging skincare in particular.
The Black Rose Face Mask is a much raved about product from the brand and I also think the Sisley Paris Under Eye Concealer featuring skincare ingredients is great for masking dark circles and signs of fatigue.
16. Biologique Recherche
You likely have heard about this famed biological skincare line. They have over 30 years of experience in developing powerful and effective skincare and the line is very rooted in active, clinical ingredients. If you’re ever in Paris, I highly recommend you get a facial at one of their spas on the Left Bank or Right Bank. They can do a skin analysis to customize your treatment and make curated product recommendations you can purchase following.
The brand is not heavily distributed and usually is done through only in Spas.
Chantecaille started as a luxury makeup brand and has expanded into skincare. Sylvie Chantecaille launched her eponymous company with her daughter Olivia in 1998 aiming to make more high-end natural beauty products powered by high concentrations of pure botanicals.
When it comes to skincare, the brand is beloved for their Sheer Glow Rose Face Tint, the Bio Lifting Mask+ Smoothing Mask and the Just Skin Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 15.
18. Buly 1803
One of the oldest French beauty brands, Officine Universelle Buly was established in 1803 as a Parisian apothecary. The brand offers a range of luxury creams, perfumes and personal care items. Their stores in Paris are beautiful if you ever have the chance to visit them!
Filorga is a premium anti-aging skin care brand originally founded in France in 1978. French women love their sheet masks and their other face masks as well. You’ll find it at French pharmacies and in the U.S. it is available on Amazon and Dermstore. The Hydra-Filler Super Hydrating Sheet Mask is a personal favorite of mine for when I am traveling as it helps combat dehydrated skin.
The Glytone brand is a long time favorite of mine because my skin loves glycolic acid which this range utilizes as their hero ingredient across products. I love the Glytone Rejuvenating Mini Peel Gel in particular. It features 10.8% glycolic acid to resurface and leaves your skin super smooth and glowy.
The brand is also well known for their Exfoliating Body Lotion which boasts loads of five star reviews. And the Glytone Exfoliating Body Wash is also good.
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Have you tried any of these beauty products or these skincare lines? I’d love to hear any of your favorites in the Comments below!