Every couple of months, those of us who love skincare get very excited… yep, it’s time for the Escentual French pharmacy sale! Amazing products with up to 1/3 off – what’s not to love? I’ve picked my favourite products below, to save you wading through pages and giving up in frustration. Don’t say I never give you anything!
The Escentual French pharmacy sale is pretty vast and if you are feeling lost I’ve split my recommendations into some helpful sections, so you can just skip to the area that you want to focus on. All of the below products are ones I’ve personally used and loved (some of them for years and years) so they are all suitable for my sensitive, rosacea skin. But they’re also flipping great products for those with ‘normal’ skin too! Let’s jump in…
BASIC SKIN CARE
- I love mini sets like these as they help people like me try products without the fear that I’ll waste a huge bottle if my skin reacts. The La Roche-Posay Toleriane 3-Step System Sensitive Skin Kit contains a mini bottle of the cream cleanser, the water spray, and the wonderful moisturiser. I really love the Toleriane range and have spoken about it a few times on the blog. This is a great travel set as well, perfect for your upcoming holidays.
- I’ve talked about the Avène Tolérance Extrême range a lot on the blog as I am so impressed by it. Every product in the range contains less than eight ingredients (which is BANANAS), no preservatives, no fragrance, so it’s great for those of us with reactive skin. The range includes the cleansing lotion, emulsion (the moisturiser to choose if you’re oily), and cream (the one to choose if you’re dry/normal).
- The Nuxe Rêve De Miel Honey Lip Balm is a cult product and I flipping love it. So much so that a pot has lived by my bed for years (…not the same pot, that would be gross). It’s thick, matte and unlike any other lip balm I’ve used – but it’s what saves my lips after using very matte lipstick day after day.
- You may have heard me talking about chemical exfoliants which sound terrifying but are actually genius. If you have sensitive skin then traditional physical exfoliants (like the one directly below) can sometimes be too harsh. But the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Astringent Micro-Exfoliant is a water-like lotion that you apply to a cotton pad and sweep across your face like you would with a toner. But it includes beta-lipohydroxy acid (LHA – a form of salicylic acid that’s more suitable for sensitive skin). Acids sound like the last thing you’d want to put on your face, but imagine it like the skincare version of those little fish that nibble away at the dead skin on your feet! It removes dead skin and unclogs pores, helping to smooth and clarify the skin. It’s a little stingy near the eyes but I’ve never had an issue with my rosacea flaring up.
- If you prefer your exfoliators to have a little more oomph, I really like the La Roche-Posay Ultra-Fine Scrub. I have to be very gentle using it as – although the grains in the gel are very fine – anything abrasive on the skin can make rosacea/sensitive skin very unhappy, so just take it easy!
- I discovered this last summer and I’m pretty sure it is witchcraft: the Avène Akerat 10 lotion is designed to treat keratosis pilaris, also known as ‘chicken skin’, the horrible red bumps that appear on the backs of arms and sometimes on thighs. It’s intensely moisturising and leaves a little bit of a layer, so I apply it at night. I’ve even got my mum and grandma addicted to it!
- This product is brilliant, but it really comes into its own in the summer. I keep a huge can of the Avène Thermale Spring Water spray in the fridge and a small bottle in my handbag. As soon as I feel a flare up coming on, or my skin feels warm or itchy, I can just spritz this and it feels instantly better. If someone had told me 15 years ago that a water spray would completely change my skincare, I would’ve laughed in their face… but it’s true!
- La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 – those who’ve followed my blog for a while will know about my love for this product. I get horrible patches of dermatitis around my hairline, temples and eyebrows and this is the only thing that will blitz them instantly. It’s quite thick so I don’t wear it under make up, but overnight it is a revelation. If you suffer with intense dry skin then I really, really cannot recommend this enough.
- I have three face mask recommendations for you, all of which are wonderful and it’s just preference that would dictate which one you choose. If you like a traditional fairly thick cream mask that is very moisturising then the La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense Masque is for you. If you prefer a very lightweight milky hydrating mask then you’ll love the Avène Tolérance Extrême Mask. When my skin is feeling warm and prickly, I reach for the Vichy Quenching Mineral Mask. It’s a clear mask that feels, and looks, like jelly and it really cooling. All three are great!
- La Roche-Posay Redermic [R] UV SPF 30 – This is recommended by Sali Hughes, so you should already be sold! It’s a great product for those wanting to ‘get into’ retinol, something which has actually been proven to treat the signs of ageing. This product also contains SPF 30 which is wonderful news, as usually retinol can only be used at night as it can make the skin more vulnerable to damage from the sun. It sits very well under make up and doesn’t aggravate my sensitive skin, all while targeting fine lines, pigmentation and uneven skin tone. It’s a marvel.
- It is so, so hard to find anti-ageing products that also soothe sensitive skin, so the launch of this range was a big deal. You can read my review of them HERE, but if you’re just here for product names I’d recommend the Avène PhysioLift Smoothing Regenerating Night Balm, Wrinkle Filler, and the Day Smoothing Emulsion.
- The Vichy Slow Âge Fluid is a relatively new discovery for me, but I like it enough for it to feature in my skincare for the past two months! It’s a lightweight moisturiser that contains SPF 25, anti-UV protection, and anti-oxidants. So it offers hydration, protection from the sun (although I would use a separate SPF as well!), and over time will help with the appearance of pigmentation and large pores.
- I am so picky when it comes to SPF – it needs to be lightweight so my skin doesn’t feel claggy and suffocated, it needs to be kind to my sensitive skin, it can’t leave a white cast on my face, and it can’t be so greasy that I can’t put make up on top of it. Which is why I love the La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Ultra Light Fluid SPF 50 – it ticks every one of those boxes!
- La Roche-Posay Toleriane Teint Fluid Foundation – This is a very high coverage foundation with SPF 25. You can see my full video review of it HERE, showing how well it covers my rosacea.
- Vichy Dermablend Setting Powder – if you’re looking for a loose powder to set your make up (something I can’t do without!) then this one is brilliant. Plus, it comes in a HUGE pot so it’ll last ages.
MISC… (I love the word ‘misc’)
- The Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Purpose Dry Oil Spray is another product that I’ve been recommending for years. Not only does it smell amazing and feel really luxurious, but my favourite thing about it is that it can be used all over the body so it’s great for taking away on holiday: it can be used on the arms and legs to give a beautiful glow, to the ends of your hair to smooth fly-aways and split ends, on your cuticles to smooth them out… it’s just amazing.
Phew! That was a lot of products. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments below, if you want other recommendations or tips on how to use the products above – I didn’t want to ramble too much! Do you think you’ll be picking up a bargain in the Escentual French pharmacy sale?
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