I never meant to cheat on all of my old favorite beauty products from the states! But I had no choice. When we moved abroad to Spain and I eventually ran out of my regular supply, I knew it would be ridiculous to wait nine months for our return trip back home before replenishing!
Imagine – on top of countless other “expat” things I needed to adjust to and make decisions about, now I had to tackle everyday personal stuff. Like, what face wash to use and which eye cream would work best? It’s like starting over in a new relationship, for pete’s sake!
But forcing myself to try new brands and venture outside the box actually proved to be fun…and beneficial!! I’ve learned so much and now recognize the massive gap between other products back home and the pharmacy’grade ones here.
Sure you have all the big department store countertop brands like Clinique, Chanel and Estee Lauder with fancy price tags and glossy ads in newsstand magazines.
But trading in my beloved staples from the states has allowed me to try some of the best European beauty brands out there. And the funniest part? I don’t picture myself ever switching back.
Maybe if you come from Europe, a few of these names are familiar but others not as much. As an American, they were mostly foreign to me. And their local identity and popularity is what makes them so special!
Pharmacy Grade Beauty Products
One word. Pharmacies!
Huh? Pharmacies are for only prescriptions and medicine. In the U.S., yes!
But here in Europe, some of the best skincare brands in the world have emerged from the science behind pharmacies. These labels developed from pharmacists that loved studying the impact of natural ingredients on the skin. When they witnessed near miraculous results, they knew they were onto something big!
And a brand was born.
The pharmacists that work selling these beauty products? Imagine having your own personal esthetician just standing behind the counter waiting to answer all of your skincare questions! It’s a beautiful and extremely smart business concept!
Which explains why many European countries such as Spain, France and Italy have maintained this “science meets consumer” approach to selling skincare.
But if you aren’t from this part of the globe, don’t fret! Many of these products can also be purchased online and shipped worldwide.
7 European Beauty Brands to Fall in Love With
Created in Seville in the south of Spain, these products boast high concentration with raw materials and efficiency testing (just check the impressive ingredients label!). In the past, I never would have considered washing my face with an oil cleanser – until trying gh.’s Natural Oil Cleanser. It’s AMAZING, girls, and leaves my skin feeling super hydrated but not…oily!
My Personal Favorite: gh. Natural Oil Cleanser
This label began in a small village, Avene, in the south of France and has such a neat story. A farmer’s horse developed a rare skin disease. After discovering a natural thermal spring nearby and drinking from it, the horse’s coat was radiant and shiny. The skin disease cured. And so the birth of this brand began!
My Personal Favorite: Avene PhysioLift Serum
A similar background as Avene, the origin of this brand starts with water. The natural thermal spring water discovered in La Roche Posay, France had remarkable results when consumed. (Are we seeing a trend here, guys?! Talk about the modern day fountain of youth products.) La Roche Posay products are best known for their high content of Selenium, a rare and powerful antioxidant. Since 1975, the thermal water is used as a key ingredient in product development.
My Personal Favorite: La Roche-Posay Substaine Serum Visible Density & Volume Replenishing Corrector
A brand inspired by love and innovation in the vineyards of countryside France, it’s founders discovered the effectiveness of grape seed polyphenols on skin. And so the birth of three initial products was born. That was more than 25 years ago! Their Night Infusion Cream is like liquid gold for the face!
My Personal Favorite: Caudalie Instant Detox Mask
Natural extracts, high concentrates and organic formulas are the characteristics behind this brand, founded by pharmacists in Spain. After traditional skincare treatments were ineffective in helping to cure rosacea, the founders started investigating and researching.
My Personal Favorite: 5Punto5 Combination Skin Set
Founded in Barcelona by a family of pharmacists/chemists, their legendary formula was developed by combining Proteoglycans and pure Vitamin C to regenerate skin cells. Today the brand consists of more than 70 products based on the scientific formulas of its founders.
My Personal Favorite: MartiDerm Day & Night Eye Creams
For more than 80 years, Vichy has prided itself on the use of special mineralizing water in all of their products. Vichy water is obtained from volcanoes in the protected region of Auvergne, France and contains more than 15 minerals and vitamins essential for skin vitality. The brand also dedicates itself to sustainable business practices, with a focus on protecting the environment.
My Personal Favorite: Vichy LiftActiv Hyalu Face Mask
So ladies, if you’re getting bored with the same face products or your skin just isn’t looking its best, take a risk! Try venturing outside the box and jumping on board with the European approach to pharmacy grade skincare.
I’ve pulled a few of my favorite European beauty products onto the below Amazon store, so it’s easy for you to learn and shop.
I’m happy to answer any questions or put you in touch with a personal friend and beauty maven who happens to be a pioneer in the pharmacy industry. Just hollar!