Here is a list of where to shop in Paris for skin care and beauty products. I have added a few cosmetics boutiques for those who want to shop for makeup. France is justifiably famous for its skin care products because French women spend a lot of time and money caring for their skin. The ethos here is: take care of your skin so you don’t have to wear so much makeup to cover it.
(1) Etat Pur: If you are looking for a simple skin care routine that is effective and doesn’t break your bank account, check out Etat Pur, a French skincare line developed by Bioderma/Institut Esthederm, the same company that is responsible for the amazing Crealine micellar cleansing water, a favorite among fashionistas, models and beauty fanatics around the world. They sell cleansers, moisturizers and “actives” (a single concentrated ingredient housed in a small air-tight vial which is designed to address a particular skin problem) at prices ranging from 6 Euros to 25 Euros. The concept store is on 24 rue du Regard (75006 Paris, Metro: St-Placide).
(2) Clarins: Famous French skin care brand that has been around for decades; luxurious, effective cleansers, moisturisers, serums and body oils. Clarins has a boutique and spa close to Le Bon Marche on 10 rue de Babylone.
(3) By Terry: Founded by Terry de Gunzburg, this boutique sells her skin care and makeup products including cult beauty items, Baume de Rose and Touch-Expert Advanced corrector. 36 passage Vero-Dodat, 75001 Paris.
(4) Detaille: Founded in 1905 by comtesse de Presle, who asked a chemist friend to develop a face cream that ameliorated the dryness that came from driving her windshield-less car. The result: Baume Automobile, which is still sold at the shop.
(5) Aesop: Australian skin care company founded in 1987, they opened several shops in Paris where they sell their popular facial oils and creams. 20 rue Bonaparte, 75006 Paris.
(6) Makeup For Ever: Founded by makeup artist, Dany Sanz, this brand is a favourite among women and makeup artists who are are looking for high quality foundations, primers, and powders. The boutique has a makeup school, too. 5, rue des Francs-Bourgeois, 75004 Paris.
(7) Maison de Natura Brasil: This is one of the few places outside Brazil where you can buy their wonderful products (face creams, body lotion, shower gels, fragrances). 2 place Michel Debre, 75006 Paris.
(8) Melvita: French organic skin care and fragrance company with products for hair, face and body. 96 rue de Rennes, 75006 Paris.
(9) Florame: Certified organic skin care products such as natural oils, moisturisers and fragrances from Provence and other regions. 8 rue Dupuytren, 75006 Paris.
(10) City Pharmacie: This is the place to go if you want to stock up on French beauty products (Embryolisse, Caudalie, Nuxe, Bioderma, Avene, Vichy, and more) at deeply discounted prices, sometimes more than 50 percent off. Tourists arrive with empty suitcases and load them up. It’s always crowded, but the best time to go is early morning. 26 rue du Four, 75006 Paris.
UPDATE 3 July 2014: I discovered this newly opened boutique called Buly 1803 on 6, rue Bonaparte in the St. Germain district. Buly 1805 is a vintage beauty store and perfumer which sells heavenly soaps, perfumes, incense, home fragrances and creams in an atmospheric store that evokes the 1800s. It’s a must-see for anyone who is looking for something unique as a gift or for oneself.