Ah Paris, my home for so many years and the city of my ancestors (my genealogy traces back to three generations of Parisians). To say that I love the City of Lights would be an understatement.
One of my guilty pleasures is shopping at the Para-pharmacy. These French drugstores are treasure troves stockpiled with top-notch, no nonsense creams, lotions, balms, sunscreen and heavenly perfumed soaps. Next to the now-ubiquitous brands like Caudalie, Nuxe, LaRoche Posay, T. LeClerc, Vichy, Embryolisse (lauded by every blogger worth his/her name in print) etc. you can find lesser known, no frill skin and health care products at very affordable prices. Luckily I visit Paris several times a year for business and pleasure which allows me to stock up regularly on my beauty products and discover new must haves.
First up, AMILAB:
I purchased the Baume a Levres (Lip Balm) and the Lait Corporel Peaux Normales et Seches (Body Lotion for Normal and Dry Skin). Both are terrific and at 3 resp. 9 € a bargain!!
- The lip balm has quickly become one of my favorites. It is very hydrating (I use it at night) with a light orange scent. A runner-up but not a substitute for my all time favorite Brew lip balm (read my review) from Skincando.
- The body lotion for dry skin is non-greasy, absorbs quickly and leaves my skin soft to the touch. This is an effective moisturizer and a great everyday lotion.
Amilab products can be found in most para-pharmacies f.ex. www.matroussapara.com or www.amazon.com (US customers)
Next, ROGE CAVAILLES:
I have rarely used traditional bar soap as I suffer from dry and hyper-sensitive skin prone to dehydration and irritation until I discovered Rogé Cavaillès Savon Surgras Extra Doux Amande Verte (Extra mild Green Almond Surgras Soap by Rogé-Cavaillès for sensitive skin)
“Specially formulated for washing sensitive and delicate skin while respecting the cutaneous integrity. Rogé Cavaillès is the historical brand for body hygiene. Acknowledged leader for more than 80 years, the brand has dedicated its expertise and seriousness to the quality of its products, for the care of sensitive skin.”
The scent is pleasant and not overpowering, my skin felt surprisingly soft and moist without the usual tightness. Well worth 4 € (very inexpensive compared to Kiehl's (a skincare company I am very fond of) and much more luxurious than US drugstore brands Eucerin or Aveeno.
Available at most para-pharmacies throughout France f.ex. www.lecomptoirsante.com
US customers: a limited range of Cavaillès products can be found on Amazon
Last but certainly not least, URIAGE:
I am a regular thermal water user regardless of the weather (within reason of course, I don't spray my face with water in sub-zero temperatures but limit the use to the indoors).
Having hypersensitive, Rosacea-prone skin means anything and everything can irritate my epidermis (too hot, too cold, too dry, etc.). Thermal water, in most cases, has a calming effect.
I have used for years La Roche-Posay, Avene and Vichy sprays to mixed results (some leave a film on my skin, others might dry it out) but when the cute French pharmacist recommended Uriage Eau Thermale pour Peaux Sensibles especially formulated for someone like me who also suffers from various allergies I immediately put it to the test. To my surprise, Uriage water calmed my Rosacea-induced flare-ups within minutes without leaving a sticky residue. It also helped me avoid major embarrassment when I suffered from a sudden sneezing attack in the middle of the cosmetics floor at Les Galeries Lafayette. Call me a convert, from now on only Uriage thermal spray will do.
From the Uriage website:
"For 20 years, Uriage Thermal Water has been packaged at the source to offer you its many benefits, every day!
Uriage Thermal Water is packaged at the source, in a clean room environment; with no added preservatives or fragrance, it fully retains its natural wealth and original purity.
Uriage Thermal Water is a skincare water for daily use, a powerful cure treatment of trace elements and minerals, a source of radiance for your skin.
A treatment water to moisturize
This is the only thermal spa water with moisturizing benefits, thanks to its high concentration in minerals similar to the skin’s NMF (Natural Moisturizing Factors).
A treatment water to relieve
Redness, irritation, diaper rash, minor surgical procedures, itching, sunburn, razor burn for men.
A treatment water to protect
With its anti-free radical power.
A treatment water to soften
Its filmogenic property leaves the skin soft and velvety-smooth.
A treatment water to improve makeup wear
In the morning and at any time of the day!"
6,20 € for 300 ml at www.monguidesante.com
US Customers can buy it at www.omorfiashop.com