Visiting the legendary Parisian pharmacy will make your swoon.
Much belatedly, considering I was in Paris in October, here is my French pharmacy/City Pharma haul. Given than it's been over two months now, I've had time to test these products pretty thoroughly so consider this a haul and a review after months of trial.
City Pharma has had its praises sung by the likes of Lisa Eldridge and Caroline Hirons for being a well stocked pharmacy at affordable prices. That being said, it gets easily crowded in there thanks to its popularity, so be advised that depending on the time of day it can be a downright claustrophobic experience. On the other hand, the pharmacy employees are there to help and give recommendations, so always greet them with a polite hello and thanks as you leave.
Worth noting for Americans, there are definitely a few Caudalie products that, even with the USD-Euro exchange rate, end up being cheaper to buy in France than in America.
I purchased the following and here are my thoughts:
Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum- This is a pretty well regarded serum, and I have noticed that when I remember to use it regularly at night, my has been looking a fraction more radiant and perkier. The packaging comes with an eyedropper dispenser and it sinks into the skin pretty well.
Caudalie Vinoperfect Cell Repair Night Cream- I've had this for two months and only realized the other night it has glycolic acid in it. This is a rich night cream meant to help brighten skin overnight and I do think in conjunction with the Vinoperfect Serum it does help a little bit if you stick with it regularly. However, if Caudalie is something not always in your price range, Nip + Fab had a glycolic range that might perform similarly at a more affordable price.
Caudalie Beauty Elixir- There is nothing I love more to spray on my face after a plane ride than this stuff. I use it often for spritz toning, or for setting makeup, or when I feel like my face just needs a little pick me up. I love the smell. I love this stuff. I've heard Pixi Glow Mist might be a comparable dupe, and I might test that out for a future post, but for now, this is my go to workhorse spritz.
Caudalie Hand Cream- This was actually quite affordable and an "impulse rack" buy. It's a decent hand cream, but nothing exceptional.
La Roche Posay Effaclar H Mattifying Lotion- I've been testing this out of my T-Zone and I think it does a decent job keeping oil in check without being too drying. I use it under primer or foundation, and I think if you have oily or combination skin, it's a good product to check out, however, I haven't see the Effaclar H range offered in the US yet.
La Roche Posay Serozinc Spray- I've seen so many people swear by this stuff for helping to treat acne, scrapes, irritation, etc. etc. I've been using it when I have spots, bumps, etc. at the toning stage to help move things along, but it also seems to work well as a toner for oilier skin so if I'm having a really combination skin day, this seems to help a teeny bit. I do think when I've had some breakouts in the past few months and reached for this, that it did help spots run their course faster and be less irritated.
Nuxe Creme Fraiche De Beaute 24 Hour Hydration- On the tube I have, the English suggested its soothing and mattifying, so it seems to work similar to the Effaclar H, except a little more moisturizing. It has a slightly herbal smell but I think sensitive or combination skin that leans towards dry but a bit shiny in the T Zone would benefit from this.
Nuxe Bio Beaute Deodorant- This is an aluminum-free deodorant, and....it's okay. I don't quite love it because I feel like at the end of the day it can kind of smell like sweaty thyme leaves.
Kloraine Dry Shampoo- Batiste is my favorite dry shampoo, but this stuff is really close. It sprays well, isn't too drying, and doesn't turn to utter crap like the Tresseme ones I've used.
Kneipp Bath Salt- I've always liked Kneipp as bath aromatics go, and these made a quite nice eucalyptus/minty/herbal bath in my hotel room to help sooth my aching feet. I wish I could find Kneipp in stores easier here, but they do some very lovely bath salts and oils, and one especially for colds that is really great when you're stuffed up and feeling icky.
Overall, I was happy with my purchases with the exception of the deodorant and think the praise for French pharmacies are well deserved.