French pharmacy skincare products have long been lauded as the ‘ne plus ultra,’ or absolute best, for good reason, says Dr. Engelman. “French skincare brands have rich origin stories and a deep heritage. Many have been in the business of beauty long before the U.S. was even declared a sovereign nation.” French skincare is tried-and-true, adds Dr. Marchbein. “They’re not trendy or social media-driven.”
French skincare is famous for quality ingredients, gentle formulations, and ultra-emollient textures that are designed to promote a healthy skin barrier. This is why many of the cult-favorites (like Biafine, Cicalfate+, and Homeoplasmine) are thick balms and ointments. “These excellent moisturizers tend to be creamier, heavier, and more occlusive, as opposed to lightweight skincare formulas in the U.S.,” says Dr. Marchbein.