Out of All of the French Skincare Brands, This One Is by Far the Most Underrated

When it comes to French skincare, I’m all in. Any product that promises to give that naturally radiant, smooth-as-butter, signature French complexion goes straight in my basket. And the truth is, while so many skincare products fail to live up to my (albeit exceptionally high) expectations, French brands just seem to get it right every single time.

My skin is sensitive but prone to congestion and excess oil on my T-zone, and trying to find products that strike a healthy balance between purifying and non-aggressive has always been tough. For years, I have relied on French skincare brands such as La Roche-Posay and Bioderma to keep my skin from either breaking out in blackheads or breaking out in red irritation. With help from La Roche-Posay’s expert-approved Toleriane range and Bioderma’s Sébium, I have always managed to keep things in check.

But not so long ago, I realised that in all of my attempts to keep my skin from flaring up, it had lost its glow. It was clear and even, sure, but it lacked a certain je ne sais quoi. I needed some form of lightweight hydration to inject some life back into my tired complexion, so I started phasing in different moisturisers and serums. While some turned my skin red and sore, most broke me out. Until I remembered an old classic from, you guessed it, another French skincare brand.

In the depths of my cupboard, I pulled out a long-forgotten bottle of Vichy Minéral 89 Serum (£25). Lightweight, cooling and jam-packed with hyaluronic acid and thermal water, it truly does deliver that glowing, French-girl complexion that us sensitive-skinned people dream of every time we apply our skincare. And this got me thinking, why don’t I champion Vichy products in the same way I do its fellow French pharmacy brands?

And I think the truth is that whereas other French skincare heroes in my cabinet cater to congestion (and therefore offer up visually dramatic results), Vichy is the more modest, quiet underdog. Formulated with the brand’s signature thermal spa water that’s rich in minerals and antioxidants, Vichy products as a whole are healing, soothing, refreshing and, most importantly, radiance-boosting.

But that’s not to say that it doesn’t offer up some hard-hitters, too. Take for instance its Normaderm range, which helps to tackle blemishes with minimal irritation, and let us not forget about the famous Dermablend, a high-coverage makeup line with the ability to camouflage even the most intense of rosacea flare-ups.

So yes, since falling back in love with my hero Vichy products, I think it’s fair for me to conclude by saying that, frankly, Vichy deserves a little more credit. It might not be the most commonly recommended brand by dermatologists and it definitely doesn’t make any miracle claims, but if you ask me, it’s the closest thing to French-girl skin in a bottle that I’ve ever found.

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With 89% thermal water that is full of skin-loving minerals and a hefty dose of hyaluronic acid too, this lightweight serum is my secret to healthy, glowing skin.

Whenever skin needs a little more of a helping hand, this sheet mask version of the cult Minéral 89 Serum packs one hell of a plumping, hydrating punch.

Formulated with 40% Vichy mineralising thermal water, this broad-spectrum SPF is great for sensitive skin types and absorbs super quickly. It also contains beta carotene to help enhance your natural tan.

This SPF formula is similar to the Enhanced Tan formula in that the bulk of it is made up of thermal water, but instead of beta carotene, it's formulated with hyaluronic acid for ultimate hydration.

As someone who experiences angry spots all too often, this hardworking treatment is a real lifeline. With sulphur, glycolic acid and niacinamide, not only does it help to minimise the appearance of blemishes, but it deals with unsightly pores too.

Unlike other clay cleansers, this stuff turns into a deeply cleansing foam when you massage it into skin. With 10% clay and 0.5% salicylic acid, it is great for oilier, congestion-prone complexions.

Vitamin C ampoules have been commonplace in the offering of some higher-end brands for some time, but these highly potent capsules from Vichy are a great affordable option. Designed to protect the stability of the antioxidant ingredients inside, these ampoules are easy to use and have serious radiance-boosting results.

Ideal for sensitive skin that is also prone to dryness, this fuss-free cream works to hydrate and plump without that all-too-familiar skin-suffocating feeling.

If, like me, you struggle to find hydrating eye creams that don’t irritate the delicate skin around your eyes, this lightweight serum could be just what you need.

For those who suffer skin concerns like pigmentation, rosacea, blemishes and dark circles, Dermablend is a range you should have on your radar. The formula feels light but contains so much pigment that the coverage is genuinely next-level.

Ideal for people who struggle with dark under-eye circles (me) and also if you are prone to spot scarring, this concealer can’t be beaten.

Again, you might be more familiar with seeing products like this come from much more luxurious brands. However, the formula of these colour correctors gives such competitors a run for their money.

As if I didn’t find Vichy moisturisers glow-giving enough, this new addition has light-reflecting properties for round-the-clock luminosity. Plus, alongside hyaluronic acid, it also contains powerhouse ingredient squalane to keep the skin barrier in check.

For hot summer days, nothing beats this cooling mist.  

I’m a sucker for a lip balm, and this particular formula is a joy to use. Housed in a simple wind-up bullet, this non-greasy balm is one on my handbag must-haves.

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