What to Buy at CityPharma in Paris

June 11, 2024

What to Buy at Citypharma Paris

As the founder of En Route to Rêverie and a self-proclaimed Francophile, I don’t think any trip to Paris is complete without a stop to a French pharmacy to stock up on beauty products.

Going to CityPharma in Paris in particular is truly a favorite past time as it is a mecca for discounted French beauty products. Don’t miss it on your next trip to Paris and be sure to look out for the majority of the brands mentioned in this post!

They also offer a variety of products that are exclusive to France and you won’t find in the U.S. so definitely worth exploring each and every aisle at this Saint Germain spot. This post is kept up to date with my favorites. 

What to Buy at CityPharma in Paris

CityPharama is located at 26 Rue du Four in the 6ème arrondissement of Paris, often referred to as Saint-Germain-Des-Prés. It is beloved not only for its selection of beauty products spanning the entire first floor of this three story pharmacy, but also because it offers the most attractive prices on French beauty brands.

That being said, I will admit that the selection can be a bit overwhelming. So to help you navigate the experience, I’ve put together a little handy check list of some of my favorite products for you to grab while you’re shopping. 

If you plan to spend quite a bit, be sure to bring your passport so you can get the proper paperwork for your VAT refund.

And don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations! The staff that work at Citypharma, several of whom speak English, are so knowledgable. And if you tell them what you’re looking for and about your skin type, they should be able to offer up some great suggestions for you to add to your cart and try when you get home.

Lastly, if you don’t feel comfortable speaking French and are looking for particular products, I think it is helpful to have photos on your phone to help guide the staff to source what you’re hoping to purchase. Or you can type up a list or show them this blog post, too!

And if you need further guidance on the best brands to shop, don’t miss my Best French Skincare Brands post.

Without further delay, here are some of the best French beauty products I think are worth picking up when shopping at Citypharma. 

Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré

This nourishing face cream protects against free radicals and will leave your skin feeling calm, soft, smooth & comfortable. French makeup artists swear by this cream and always have it on their kits. Its also loved by many a celebrity and I love that it works so seamlessly under makeup.

I buy this product in the mini size as it is great for travel since it is part moisturizer, part makeup primer.

La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Balm B5

La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Balm B5

La Roche Posay reigns supreme over French pharmacies for good reason. This line is beloved in particular by those with sensitive skin.

I personally love their Cicaplast line – especially the Balm B5. It’s like a fancy aquaphor for your face but more wearable. It’ll repair your skin barrier and help it recover from any irritation.

They’ve expanded the line of the Cicaplast Balm now so you’ll find loads of styles and forms. I have a mini to always travel with now which I love. But skip the spray – I don’t think it is as effective or easy to apply.

What to Buy at CityPharma in Paris

NUXE Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Purpose Dry Oil

The OG French oil I ever bought and loved. You can use this elixir full of essential oils 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 this oil and how quickly it absorbs. French women love to add a few drops to their body lotion as well.

Christophe Robin Purifying Sea Salt Scalp Scrub

Christophe Robin Purifying Sea Salt Scalp Scrub

My scalp cleanser of choice – I use this as my shampoo and I always, always restock it when I am at Citypharma.

Christophe Robin is a famous celebrity colorist and this product put him on the map.

The scrub feels like a spa treatment to use and detoxifies your scalp from any product build up or irritation. I’ve gone through more tubs of this stuff than I can count over the last ten years! It’s an Allure Best of Beauty award winner and I am always stockpiling the minis for travel as I can’t be without this stuff!

Cauadlie Beauty Elixir

Cauadlie Beauty Elixir

Beloved by makeup artists for being so multi-purpose, you’ll find women using the Caudalie Beauty Elixir all over France and it is always stocked on the shelves of Citypharma – readily available in both travel sized and full sized.

As a setting spray, as a way to refresh makeup, as a therapeutic ritual –  you name it, this spray is one of my holy grail skincare products and I prefer to buy it in the travel size so I can have one on me when I am on the go. It is great for travel days in particular as it’ll help refresh dry skin.

In general, I love the Caudalie selection at CityPharma and you’ll find several SKUs that aren’t available in the U.S. which is fun! 

Related: Caudalie Skincare Review

What to Buy at Citypharma in Paris

Bioderma – Sensibio – H2O Micellar Water

Sensibio H2O is the best selling cleansing and makeup removing micellar water that first made micellar waters popular as makeup removers. It removes impurities and makeup super gently. It’s in so many bathrooms around France and I prefer it to the U.S. brands that sell something similar.

At CityPharma you’ll find a plethora of products from the Bioderma brand that feature their micellar water – makeup wipes, cleansing milks, eye makeup remover and more.

What to Buy at CityPharma - A313

A313

This Vitamin A cream is beloved by French women for its ability to serve as a retinol for plumping fine lines and makes skin look fresh. 

This product is going to be found behind the cashier’s counter though so be sure to ask for it as you check out.

I didn’t love it as I found it quite sticky but it is worth trying if you’re curious!

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk

My favorite dry shampoo for nearly five years. This does such a good job of soaking up oil, giving hair texture and volume at the root. It’s not overly fragrant or powder-y, either.

I buy full sizes and the mini travel sizes whenever I visit the pharmacy in France.

Avene Thermal Spring Water

This spray soothes and softens skin and is amazing for those with sensitive skin. It’ll provide antioxidant protection and overall I just find it so comforting to apply. Pro tip: buy the minis to have in your purse and carry on. The mist is particularly lovely to spray on hot days!

I always have the minis on hand in my purse in the summer as it is a life saver when waiting for the subway on a hot day!

Erborian BB Creme Review I wit & whimsy

Erborian BB Cream

The very best BB Cream that I am obsessed with and always stock up on at Citypharma because the price can’t be beat. They also have mini sizes at the pharmacy which I love for travel. And they have a BB Eye Cream which is so good for dark circles under the eyes! It isn’t carried in the U.S. so worth grabbing while in Paris.

While you’re shopping the brand, don’t miss their CC Red Correct cream as well. 

SPF

The SPF in France I find to be superior to those sold in the U.S. so I am always testing new ones. I like the ones from Caudalie, LaRoche Posay and Avene. 

Biafine Cream

This emulsion cream is excellent on scrapes, cuts and for burn care. Apply it after any sun burns and you’ll be glad you did!

Homeoplasmine

Another great do-it-all kind of balm. I like to use it on cuts and scrapes and as an intense lip balm before bed.

. . .

Don’t miss more of the best French skin care products I love as well if you’re looking for more inspiration.

There are of course plenty of places to shop for beauty products that I send to En Route to Rêverie clients heading to Paris. We also have connections with personal shopping appointments in Paris if that’s of interest and are connected to a variety of the best luxury stores in Paris.

Want to step inside Citypharma with me further? Check out this TikTok video.

Find this post helpful? Let me know in the comments below!

Heading to Paris? Book En Route to Rêverie with me and get customized recommendations based on your travel preferences to make your next trip to Paris the best one yet.

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comments +

  1. Zeba says:

    I wish I had this when I was in Paris last April! I had to pick up some cortisone cream for my daughter’s skin irritation, and when I walked into the pharmacy near our hotel, it was mobbed with women buying skincare products! I didn’t have time to do too much browsing, but will save this list for next time!

  2. Susan Dunlop says:

    Thank you for this list!

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