I spent every Summer in France as a teenager, so it was lovely to be able to rediscover some of my old haunts, particularly down the aisles of the nearest Super U. My first stop wasn’t for skincare, but haircare. My obsession with Dop shampoos has been a long-lasting inexpensive love affair which my poor Mother has to tend to every-time she returns to France in the Summer with a shopping list longer than her own!
This time around I decided to treat my dry hair to some of their more moisturising shampoos in the shape of their Argan-oil and Shea Butter-enriched formulas. Ignore the 2-in-1 labels, I never actually use these without a separate conditioner. The bottle on the left is their original formula, I find that all of these shampoos are less stripping than many of their UK counterparts, plus the 400ml bottles last forever! I paid around £1.40 per bottle.
For conditioning, I picked up two Le Petit Marseillais products, one enriched with Shea and Argan, and one with Shea and Honey. Both have been made for dry, frizzy hair-types and cost around £2 / £3.50 respectively. All of the above I bought at Super U, our local French supermarket.
Next, I moved on to the pharmacies. Outside of Paris, there’s less choice in the brands available and they tend to vary from pharmacy to pharmacy. Our local supermarket has it’s own rather wonderful para-pharmacy attached so I didn’t have to venture too far but I still couldn’t get my hands on any Embryolisse (I wasn’t surprised, I’ve never been able to in the past outside of major cities), or more disappointingly, Avibon – of which I was told they are currently experiencing a nationwide shortage!
I did, however, manage to pick up a tube of Homeplasmine which Mr. L uses on his lips when they’re cracked. It’s a great alternative for anyone who dislikes the feeling of balms as it doesn’t feel remotely claggy or heavy with more of a matte texture. It’s also great for sore, post-sniffles noses, and cuts and bruises and is priced at around £3.75 for a small tube. My final pharmaceutical purchase was for Leila and is something I always get Mum to pick up for me in lieu of Calpol! Doliprane is France’s generic kid’s paracetamol and dosage is measured by the child’s weight rather than their age, making it far more effective (in my opinion) at bringing down fevers. It costs around £2 a bottle.
I bullied myself into trying some new skincare products, desperate though I was to stock up on the old faithfuls. I’m quite proud of myself that I didn’t come back with more than this! My skin is still pretty dry and the change of water/travelling has made it quite finickity. You may notice a bit of a Zinc theme running through my choices, blame my Dad… he’s a bit of a skincare tart (thanks to his eczema not vanity!) and led me in the direction of these tantalising treats. What a great Dad I have!
I opted for a full set of skincare from makeup removal to cleansing, toning and moisturising. I’m currently undergoing another round of IPL for facial hair removal, so tailoring my choices for irritated skin seemed like a good idea.
I went for: Uriage Anti Irritation Cleansing Gel (approx. £7.50), Bioderma Atoderm PO Zinc Ultra Soothing Creme (just under £10.00), a supermarket cheapie micellaire for eye-makeup removal in the shape of Mixa Eau Nettoyante Apaisante (£3.00), and La Roche Posay’s Serozinc which I’m hoping will provide additional cooling/calming after my lasering (£5.00).
As if I could forget the chocolate (or the wine, but that’s a whole other post!)
The French seem to have a greater appreciation for salty caramel chocolate than we do in the UK. Crunchy, smooth, chewy, silky… all textures are catered for… I reined myself in a little but could have returned with far more than what you see above!
What do you think of my buys? Anything you’d like to try for yourself?