Friday, July 27, 2012

French Pharmacie Spotlight: La Roche-Posay

One of the most common questions I’m e-mailed or tweeted pertains to French pharmacie products. Though the sudden increased interest seems to correspond to Lisa Eldridge’s video about her French skin care favorites, I’ve noticed a steady growing interest since my own first experience in a French pharmacy several years ago. Despite the many buzzed about products that are becoming more widely available, I notice that the information that I would want to know as a first time visitor is not widely available. Searching for items that my favorite bloggers have purchased is interesting, but what about specific skin types? And what about readers who cannot speak French? How will they navigate the many different ranges within a larger brand?

 The aim of this series is to focus on a specific line—in this case La Roche-Posay—to discuss the various regimens and must have items available within each, and which products are must haves (in my humble opinion). After carefully considering how I'll write this series, I also want to make it clear that every French Pharmacie Spotlight post is open for questions. While I'm no dermatologist, I have spent more than my fair share of time browsing in scores of Parisian pharmacies. 

(Top to bottom): La Roche-Posay Cicaplast, Hydraphase Intense, Ceralip, Lipikar

Highly regarded, no-frills La Roche-Posay is affordable and can be found in just about every vanity cabinet in France. What makes this brand so popular is also what can make it so difficult to understand for those of us used to flashy marketing: skin concerns are met with gimmick free, straightforward ranges. But what do terms like Lipikar really mean, and who is it meant for? You don't have to be a French speaker to understand the basics of the range, though it can be difficult to keep all the products straight! 

Acne Prone and Oily Skin
Perhaps the most well known range in the United States, products in the Effaclar range aim to reduce the production of oil fight breakouts, clear clogged pores and reduce the appearance of imperfections. 

Dry and Dehydrated Skin
Nutritic, Hydraphase and Lipikar 
Like many French skin care brands, La Roche-Posay offers a wealth of products to treat dry skin. Tightness, chapped and rough skin are all treated by Nutritic and Lipikar both of which are aimed at boosting nutrients and lipids in the skin. Hydraphase, on the other hand, is aimed at delivering hydration to dehydrated skin unable to hold moisture.

Reactive and Redness Prone Skin 
Toleriane, Rosaliac and Lipikar
La Roche-Posay treats reactive and redness (eczema and psoriasis) prone skin with many of the same products that repair dryness and sensitivity. Rosaliac helps reduce the inflammation that causes redness of the skin, and Toleriane works to reduce overall signs of reactivity.

Ageing Skin
Active C, Derm AOX and Redermic
La Roche-Posay's ageing regime aims to fight wrinkles (obviously), improve the firmness of the skin and help boost radiance. Though my focus at this point is primarily hydration and prevention, I've read wonderful reviews of these items.

It's worth noting that all of the above ranges come with Anthelios Sunscreens aimed at protecting your skin type from the sun's harmful rays. 

(Left to right): La Roche-Posay Anthelios, Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel, Effaclar Duo, Cicaplast, Hydraphase Intense, Ceralip, Lipikar  

To keep it short as concise as possible, here are the must have La Roche-Posay products in my household.

Mr. Cheeky loves Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel an invigorating oil reducing wash, Effaclar Duo and Effaclar K to reduce his acne and redness. For my part, I quite literally couldn't live without Cicaplast a (designed for plastic surgery) reparative treatment that soothes the skin and makes a magnificent makeup primer, Lipikar Surgras and Ceralip among others. 

(Left to right): La Roche Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel, Effaclar Duo 

What are your La Roche-Posay favorites?