By Sophia Hussain
Salut les filles!
We all know that the French ladies have a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’, and much of that is down to their beauty secrets.
Many tourists have cottoned on to this, and when they visit Paris, they go through the shelves of the city’s wonderful pharmacies to uncover hidden beauty gems.
Although the best organic and natural beauty brands in France are indeed found in pharmacies, many are infiltrating mainstream beauty shops abroad, and debuting in niche chic boutiques, but you can buy many online now, too.
Here, I’ve curated my top 10 niche eco-beauty picks. None of these brands is never tested on animals, of course, and they are all certified organic, and have won an award of some kind. So now, let me give you the lowdown, from Absolution to Zao, on the French beauty brands I love!
This “creative apothecary” brand allows skincare enthusiasts to select a bespoke regimen. Their “made to measure” concept offers various crèmes and serums for you mix to personalize based on your individual skincare needs, as each product contains a unique blend of organic ingredients. Absolution’s minimalist-style white bottles are housed in artistically designed black and white recyclable boxes, created with eco-friendly vegetable ink too. Being a socially conscious brand, 2% from every product purchased is donated to CARE France, a non-profit dedicated to fighting worldwide poverty.
2. Bio Beauté
Organic fruits are not only touted as being healthier to eat, but they are also nature’s beauty treatment for healthy glowing skin. A sister line created by the popular French skincare brand NUXE, Bio-Beauté, is an organic skincare and cosmetics collection that is infused with active fruit extracts. These juicy oils are derived from the pulp and pits of the fruit that are naturally rich in skin nourishing antioxidants.
Essential oils are the perfect euphoric aromatic experience, and are infused into every skin, body and hair care product. Hailing from Saint Rémy De Provence, there is of course a vast array of fragrant essential oils leaving you spoilt for choice. Catering to a tech-savvy market, they have even created an electric diffuser designed as a USB key which diffuses an aromatic scent which may distract you from using your computer for work. Florame also has a fair trade relationship with Madagascar to help fund schools and provide irrigation systems for rural farming communities.
A spa brand that has its own “Naturo-Esthétique” beauty institutes worldwide, using their unique collection of botanical skincare and cosmetics. PHYT’S concept of “beauty is synonymous with pleasure” is reflected in their holistic approach to balancing beauty with health. Well, getting an indulgent spa beauty ritual is a pleasure in itself! The brand advocates biodiversity by only using sustainable botanical ingredients where the ecosystem will never be compromised.
This eco-chic beauty brand offers a sleek collection of pretty cosmetics. Each cosmetic is assigned an inspirational slogan, in place of the product and hue name – eyeshadow is called “We Breathe”. A vegan-friendly brand that only uses natural pigments derivedfrom vegetables and minerals, Studio 78 offers a natural and ecological make-up range, for protecting the skin and respecting the environment.
An avant-garde professional makeup brand created by an industry legend from Valence, in the South of France. SLA Paris offers a pro Bio Collection line proving that being eco is glam. This stunning organic cosmetics collection offers brilliant skin-friendly cosmetics and a nourishing lip collection in pigmented hues. Where possible, all ingredients are sourced from fair trade, and the environmentally packaging is refillable and recyclable too.
A Parisian beauty house with Hungarian roots – Patyka is also Hungarian for “apothecary”. Boasting two innovative product lines: “Absolis” is the holistic sophisticated range of daily beauty care products dedicated to enhancing the well being (including indulgent body washes), and “Biokaliftin” is the exclusive range with an ultra high concentration of active substances and botanical extracts to help women age gracefully. These potent-scented products will definitely create an escape from reality.
Beekeeping led to the creation of this sweet brand. Based in the Ardèche region of France, their first product was the iconic hexagonal soap made with honey from their bee-hives. But honey is not the only natural ingredient found in their expansive skincare collection. Being an eco-conscious brand, The Melvita Foundation was established for their commitment to protect nature, the bees, and their ecosystem, through the promotion of organic farming initiatives.
This back to beauty basics collection offers neutral-hued cosmetics designed to enhance the natural beauty of every fabulous skintone. One of the few organic beauty brands that offers a comprehensive collection of lipsticks to compliment every natural lip-tone hue. Classy minimalism and vegan-friendly too, celebrate your individual beauty with UNE.
10. ZAO Makeup
Respect for nature inspired this sustainable brand. The name is derived from a combination of “Zen” and “Tao” – Asian philosophies that are connected to respecting nature. Zao is a sustainable cosmetic brand due to their refillable packing concept where once your product has hit pan, you can replace it with a new hue if you desire. The package that houses each cosmetic is made from eco-friendly sustainable bamboo, a concept that was inspired by a bamboo pen and pencil set gifted by the founder’s friend. The youthful brand offers trendy hues to appeal to women of every skintone. Each cosmetic is also housed in a cute reuseable natural cotton pouch for your on-the-go beauty routine.