7 Favorite French Moisturizers

by olivia hoffman
Photo by © Caudalie

Any beauty aficionado knows that the French reign supreme in skincare brands, and the cosmetics mecca is none other than the standard French pharmacy. Renowned for their natural appearance, French women’s (and men’s!) flawless skin is thanks to the fact that they need not travel far to get the best in dermatologist prescribed products right off the shelf.

For those around the world who do not have the pharmacie’s glowing green cross on their street corner, you are still in luck. Many of the brands stocked in the French medical stores are now accessible online to be shipped to your door.


In the dead of winter, we are painfully aware of the fact that our skin is in need of extra moisture. To help combat the heightened dryness of the season, we have rounded up our 7 favorite tried-and-true moisturizers from the most trusted brands in French skincare.

Typology: 9-ingredient Face Moisturizer

For lightweight hydration on all skin types


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Exactly as its name suggests, this lightweight moisturizer is composed of just 9 simple, essential ingredients. Suitable for any type of skin, this non-greasy lotion is an ideal product for daily hydration and nourishment.

Like all of Typology’s products, we love the paired-back nature of the pure and basic composition as well as the eco-friendly, recycled packaging. There is a reason this B-Corp Certified brand is taking the French skincare world by storm!

SVR: [HYALU]Biotic Regenerating Plumping Gel

For plumping and smoothing dehydrated and sensitive skin


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Protecting the skin with a base combination of three essential ingredients – pasteurized probiotics, stabilized vitamin C, and hyaluronic acid – the [HYALU] Biotic Gel visibly plumps skin and smooths the appearance of fine lines in dehydrated skin.

This French Pharmacy dermatological skincare brand was created in the 1960s by French pharmacists and is still prescribed by doctors today. Each product lists the exact results of its tests on users, enforcing the brand’s reliability on the pharmacy shelves.

Caudalie: Premier Cru Anti-Aging Cream Moisturizer

For improving skin elasticity and firmness


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Playing off the brand’s inextricable connection with ingredients derived from French vineyards, the Premier Cru collection is one of Caudalie’s best and most prestigious products. This Anti-Aging Cream moisturizer is clinically shown to improve visible elasticity, radiance and firmness while diminishing wrinkles and dark spots.

Caudalie’s unique story has its roots in Bordeaux, where the brand’s founders discovered the powerful antioxidants and healing powers derived from grape seeds. Using her parent’s estate to test out the land’s resources, the simple skincare products from the vines grew into one of the most popular natural beauty brands in France.

Clinique: Moisture Surge

For hydration and sun protection


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Formulated with stabilizing hydration ingredients as well as SPF 28 protection, the Clinique Moisture Surge cream enforces UV ray protection while also providing a smooth base for makeup application. Penetrating deep into the skin, the product both attracts moisture and retains it.

A beauty cabinet staple, Clinique products have been using safe and natural products with rigorous allergy testing since its beginnings. Trusted by women around the world, the brand also holds itself to high standards of sustainability and safety.

Clarins: Multi-Active Anti-Aging Day Glowing Skin Moisturizer

For targeting fine lines and wrinkles


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Fighting the effects of daytime stress, the multi-tasking daily moisturizer lends a boost of radiance to tired skin. The cream’s Teasel extract targets fine lines and helps protect skin from pollution, leading to a more radiant looking face.

A staple in French cosmetics since 1954, Clarins was launched with the idea that happiness is inextricably linked to beauty. Remaining faithful to this philosophy, the brand develops every product with women’s needs at its core.

Avène: Hydrance Rich Hydrating Cream

For soothing dehydration and restoring natural moisture


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Lining French pharmacy shelves with an array of dermatologist-recommended products, this Avène moisturizer stands as one of the best. The creamy formula soothes tightness and discomfort from dehydration and helps prevent water from evaporating from the skin, restoring the face’s natural moisture reservoir.

Avène gets its name from the small village in southwest France where thermal spring water was utilized for its soothing and calming properties. Dating back to the late 18th century, the brand has leveraged its dermatological heritage to help heal sensitive skin in pharmacies all around France.

La Mer: The Moisturizing Soft Cream

For healing moisture and reversing age signs


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Renowned for being one of the most luxurious skincare brands, La Mer’s signature moisturizer is a silky-soft cream that helps reverse and resist visible signs of age using their patented Miracle Broth formula.

Using a highly researched and tested combination of natural ingredients from the sea, La Mer’s innovative and transformative products have launched the brand into a cult favorite in the French skincare world.

Read next: 7 Favorite French Perfumes

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