Beauty: Five of the best... French skincare
Years ago, whenever I would hear of someone going to France, I'd give them a shopping list of beauty products. Why? Because French people believe in good skincare, and thus their indigenous brands use high-quality ingredients backed up by extensive research, and yet somehow manage to keep the products affordable.
Now, thankfully, the best of France's skincare brands are widely available in Ireland. Choosing my top five proved difficult because there are so many I love, and use daily. I could have chosen three products from Avène alone, but finally stumped for their Cleanance Expert as it's a game-changer for someone prone to breakouts. A week in, and your skin will be transformed. It's also worth trying the brand's Micellar Lotion Cleanser, which a colleague, described to me as the best discovery of her adult life. High praise indeed.
Such is my dependency on La Roche-Posay's Baume B5 for my own skin woes and my daughter's occasional eczema flair-ups, that the prospect of it ever being discontinued fills me with dread. No matter how dry your skin is, this will soften it and relieve any itchiness.
On a pampering night, I love nothing more than to slather my body in Roger & Gallet's Huile Sublime. I also apply it to dry hair, sleep on it, and wash it out the next morning to reveal softer, shinier hair. If am going out bare-legged, I apply it to my shins too for a glossy finish.
Nuxe's equally amazing Huile Prodigieuse works in the exact same way.
Caudalie is a beautiful, natural, French brand that uses grapevine in its products. Its beauty elixir is probably its most famous product, but its radiance serum is my favourite as it gives renewed glow to the skin.
Embryolisse's Lait-crème Concentre, an iconic product in French skincare, is loved by a heap of celebs and top make-up artists for its skin benefits and 24-hour moisturising properties. Great as a primer and also great for healing post-shaving irritation. Of all the five products mentioned, this is the least widely available, which is why I tend to buy it online.
Cicaplast Baume B5 €12.50, La Roche-Posay, available in selected pharmacies nationwide. In a word: amazing. I use it on my face, my body and my child when dryness or irritation takes hold.
Radiance Serum €49.95, Caudalie, available at Arnotts, Dublin. A cult product, this corrects dark spots, blemish marks and other skin concerns whilst brightening the complexion and giving it an injection of health.
Lait-Creme Concentre, €27.50, Embryolisse, available in selected retailers nationwide and from feelunique.com. A rich moisturiser designed for dry, sensitive skin, or skin that's in need of a pick-me-up. French women swear by it as a make-up primer too.
Cleanance Expert, €19, Avène, available in selected pharmacies nationwide. A new discovery, and one that I don't plan on now ever being without, as it has considerably changed my complexion. Spots are gone. Blemish marks reduced.
Huile Sublime, €26.50, Roger & Gallet, available nationwide. A highly effective, multi-use dry oil that smells divine and leaves the skin and hair feeling soft and looking healthy.