Blame it on genetics! If harsh weather conditions and pollution can affect your skin type, the true culprits are none others than your ancestors. Oily, dry, sensitive, or combination skin, experts count four main skin types – other than normal – that define our largest organ’s appearance and varying needs. Essential for a balanced, radiant, and healthy complexion, a good grasp of your skin type is cosmetics 101 in the beauty world. Get your skin type down, arm yourself with the right products, and you’ll be on your way to have the beautiful skin you deserve.
To get you started, we present you with 17 must-have, cult formulas – the beauty industry goes crazy for – that line the shelves of French drugstores, aka the French pharmacy. So say hello to our French pharmacy heroes for oily, dry, sensitive, and combination skin, and bid adieu to dull skin!
No stranger to bloating sheets or mattifying powders, your skin shines, yet not quite for the right reasons. Get that lustrous skin and banish oily shine with these four formulas.
1. Bioderma Sébium H2O
France’s fave cleanser made just for oily skin. Bioderma’s Fluidactiv patented Sebo-correcting complex regulates sebum to keep pores from clogging and clears up skin. Enriched with zinc and copper to purify skin and limit sebaceous secretion, this cleanser will balance skin and leave it ready to get to the crux of your skincare routine.
I have used Bioderma for years to remove foundation and eye shadows. It’s my favorite. No burden to the skin. – Anonymous
2. Avène Cleanance Mat Mattifying Toner
Avène famed thermal spring water does it again in this toning formula that soothes, softens, and calms skin. Monolaurin, a fatty acid, fights bacteria and reduces excess oil, zinc soothes irritation and redness, while Avène thermal water soaks up skin with minerals essential to cells function. Add to your morning routine to purify, mattify skin, and tighten pores without stinging or irritating.
I really, really like this toner! I have been using it faithfully and my face is looking good. – Missy.
3. Bioderma Sébium Mat Control
Shine be gone! Watch as your pores tighten and skin clears up with the power of zinc and vitamin B6. Keratolytic active ingredients and astringent help refine skin texture, while Bioderma’s patented Fluidactiv complex does away with blemishes, regulates sebum, and prevents pores from clogging.
This moisturizer is excellent for controlling oil and leaves your face feeling smooth and clean. – Anonymous
4. Caudalie Instant Detox Mask
You go to a 10-minute mask to banish oily skin. Pink clay puts its superpowers at work in this formula that purifies skin and treats free radical damage. The clay draws out impurities and toxins to leave skin refined. Pores are tightened for an even complexion.
This lightweight mask does everything I want to do in just about 10 or 15 minutes, which is perfect when you don’t want to do a full spa treatment, just a quick refresher to reset and balance your skin. – Anonymous
Itchy, flaky, rough, and overall uncomfortable? You’ve got dry skin. Assuage your symptoms and bring skin back to health with these four French pharmacy heroes.
5. Bioderma Hydrabio H2O
Dry skin beloved micellar water. Its micelles are similar to the phospholipids of skin cell membranes and naturally help rebuild skin hydrolipid film. Bioderma’s patented Aquagenium complex helps retrain skin to activate its natural moisturizing capacities and retain the water its need for balance. Finally, a cleanser that restores softness, comfort, and radiance in the most delicate skin!
It’s no wonder Bioderma has a cult following. This product is proof! A must have for your collection! – Anonymous
6. Filorga Scrub and Mask
A dual action 10-minute treatment that first act as a scrub to gently shed the dead outer layers of skin with an exfoliating enzyme. Once the scrubbing is done, the texture transforms into a soothing mousse whose bubbles infuse pure oxygen into skin cells to rejuvenate and revive dull skin. As an added bonus, the hyaluronic acid plumps skin and provides anti-aging benefits. Brighter and more youthful complexion anyone?
I have used many masks, but this one is the best so far. After two weeks I can see a difference, the skin is very smooth, pores refined and any pesky clogging has disappeared! – Anonymous
7. Embryolisse Moisturizing Cream with Orange
Embryolisse pays homage to France’s treasured apiculture and the goodness of its products with this moisturizer packed with beeswax and vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant.
Beeswax’s anti-inflammatory properties encourage the healing of wounds and protect skin by helping form a barrier between the skin and the environment. Also rich in vitamin C and orange oil, this cream diminishes hyperpigmentation and protects collagen and elastin fibers.
This is my absolute favorite moisturizer. A great product for my skin, love it! -Anonymous
8. Caudalie Moisturizing Mask
Your rescue mask for dry, irritated skin. Caudalie’s patented Vinolevure soothes redness and irritation, hyaluronic acid delivers quenching hydration, while grape seed oil and olive squalene deeply nourish, moisturize, protect skin’s barrier, and prevent further dehydration. Remove excess mask after 15 minutes or leave on through the night for a deeply nourishing treatment.
I really love this mask! I have dry skin and I actually used it as a night mask and I woke up with really soft, hydrated, and clear skin! This is a great product. – Anonymous
Allergens, the environment, and again genetics are likely what cause your skin to flush, fiercely react to some ingredients, and sting or burn after using the, ahem, wrong products. These gentle solutions are just what you wished for. Say ahhhh…
9. Bioderma Sensibio H2O
The answer to sensitive skin cleansing woes. The micelles of this no-rinse micellar water, which mimic skin cell membranes’ phospholipids, work hard to gently remove impurities and clear up irritated skin, while vitamin E helps nourish and protect skin for an instant feeling of freshness.
Bioderma is a magical formula! It’s great for sensitive skin and leaves your face feeling smooth and hydrated. My new makeup remover love! – Bec
10. Topicrem Gentle Scrub
Scrubbing the ultra-sensitive way! This soap-free gel is enriched with jojoba beads to gently remove dead skin cells all while smoothing and refining skin texture. The formula leaves skin clear and soft, ready to absorb the next products from your skincare routine.
My scrub of choice. It smells great and gently exfoliates! – Anonymous
11. Esthederm Calming Biomimetic Cream
The most gentle way to care for your skin. Developed for highly sensitive skin, the moisturizing cream restores and balances the skin defense. Esthederm’s Sense System regulates factors that cause irritation, the TCS time control helps slow down premature signs of aging, while the Cellular Water helps optimize skin cell environment. Calmed and comforted, your skin appears rested, relaxed, and soothed.
This cream is amazing. It has totally calmed my aggravated skin. Since using the Biomimetic cream, my skin has been the calmest and freshest looking it has ever been. -Scarlett
12. Bioderma Sensibio Mask
The moisturizing agents in this intense and soothing mask provide lasting comfort and restructure skin barrier, while Bioderma’s patented Toléridine complex treats inflammation to instantly soothe feelings of tightness and redness. Increase your skin tolerance threshold with this gentle mask, and bring it back to feeling soft and calm.
My skin is super sensitive and flakes due to three prescription acne creams that I use day and night. I wasn’t expecting life-changing results but this mask is the most effective one I’ve tried so far. A must have. – Andrea
An oily T-zone with dry cheeks is your biggest clue. Combination skin, these formulas will bring back the balance and radiance you’ve been looking for.
13. Jowaé Purifying Cleansing Gel
A special treat for combination skin, this cleanser purifies skin and removes excess sebum with Jowaé’s patented antioxidants Lumiphenols — derived from a succulent plant native to the mountains of southern Europe — and sacred lotus, known for its purifying and restoring properties. Skin is left clean, bright, and balanced, ready to start off the day or get some good regenerating sleep.
I’m sold on this product! Beautiful texture and smells wonderful. I washed my face with it and the result was a very soft skin! I love it! – Amandine
14. Caudalie Grape Water Harvest
Caudalie’s own version of hydrating water turned cult favorite. Extracted from grapes of the Bordeaux region, the mist provides immediate hydration. The power combo of mineral salts and active plant ingredients strengthen skin barrier function and makes the skin more resilient over time. Spritz as a toner, to set your makeup or any time throughout the day to refresh and hydrate skin.
I will never go a day without spraying it on my face first, perfecting fluid! – Estrella
15. Topicrem Light Ultra-Moisturizing Cream
The light, nongreasy milky cream is sure to work wonders on mixed skin. Enriched with urea, which keeps skin young, supple, and soft, and glycerin, a moisturizing powerhouse, this formula acts as a moisture protector and nourishes skin just right. T-zone or cheeks, skin feels soft and soothed.
It’s true that this cream is very moisturizing and leaves the skin very soft after application and it lasts for hours. – Anonymous
16. Bio-Beauté Vitamin-Rich Detox Mask with Orange Water
The active three-step formula goes from gel to oil and a milky emulsion to free skin from impurities and revitalize radiance. The organic leaf extract and sesame oil calm inflammation and fight microbes, while the essential oils of orange, lemon, and mandarin restore the luster of the dull skin – and it’s all natural.
I love it! It was exactly as described and right away my skin felt and looked better and any breakouts were completely cleared up in the next day or two. – Suz
And last but not least, a gem for all skin types to end your morning and evening routine on a high note:
17. Jowaé Hydrating Water Mist
You’ll want to pack it in your purse and spritz all day long. Jowaé’s own version of France’s famed hydrating water delivers its patented antioxidants Lumiphenols and sakura blossom water (cherry blossom), another source of antioxidants known for its soothing properties. It’s beauty in a can!
I love this mist! I use it every morning after my shower and get dressed while it moisturizes my face. The smell is absolutely divine! I recommend. – Lily
About The Author:
Amy Luna has worked as a freelance writer since 2015. She has written for several high-authority sites. Amy can research and write in a variety of topics, healthcare is her practice and passion. She enjoys cooking, yoga, and napping, also educating readers on how to live healthier and happier lives.