7 French Brands In India Your Skin Will Love

Ever wonder what makes French skincare so timeless and coveted? Here's a little tête-à-tête with French skincare

Published On Mar 27, 2024 | Updated On Mar 27, 2024


How many times have we seen skincare gurus and dermatologists rave about French skincare on their trips abroad while visiting French pharmacies leaving us pining? Well, tons! So, we’re glad to report that many of these beloved skincare brands from France have now made their way to India. 

Now, French women are known for their simple but effective skincare routines that focus on hydration, and refreshing their features. And it’s safe to say that in the Indian beauty market, after K-beauty, French skincare has garnered quite the spot in the skincare lover’s heart. 


But why has this happened? Dr Kiran Sethi, MD – skin and Aesthetic specialist, founder of Isya Aesthetics and author of Skin Sense, says, “French pharmacy skincare especially, is known for its purity and its simplicity. You are avoiding unnecessary frills, unnecessary expense, but you will get gentle protective cleansing, great moisturisation and good sun-care. It’s especially lovely for sensitive and dry skin.” She further adds, “Also, given it is supported by French models and worldwide actresses whose skin look gorgeous, their endorsements add extraordinary value.” 

We try and understand the French skincare phenomenon some more. 

  • The French skincare routine uses a minimalist approach. It emphasises no-nonsense skincare steps and uses a few effective products – their favourites being Micellar water, beauty elixirs, gentle cleansers, sunscreen. 
  • French skincare is about maintaining healthy skin and enhancing your features but still looking like yourself as opposed to adopting fleeting trends like ‘glass skin’, ‘dolphin skin’, etc. 
  • It’s about the long haul – long-term care for your skin with consistent routines, rather than quick results. 
  • It focuses on natural ingredients and high-quality products. 
  • Years and years of extensive research and development goes into creating products and they have a good track record of effective results, with studies to back. 


(Pronounced: em-brio-leese

Every makeup artist worth his or her salt swears by the Embryolisse cream that comes in a tube and loves using this as a base to prep and hydrate before makeup application. Established by a Parisian dermatologist in 1950, Embryolisse’s first product was this very same Lait-Crème Concentré that everyone loves even today. In fact, in France, it’s treated as a French beauty secret passed on from mother to daughter. The brand recently launched in India and besides bringing the all-time favourite cream, it has also introduced the Eau de Beaute Rosamelis, a multipurpose facial spray. 

Bestselling product: Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré 

(Pronounced: ko-dah-lee

While this is a relatively newer French skincare brand, it has made quite a mark in the beauty and skincare world. Caudalie founders Mathilde and Bertrand Thomas launched the brand in 1995 by developing three products containing stabilized grape-seed polyphenols with anti-aging properties. Even today, it focuses on paraben-free skincare, with active ingredients from the vine. The brand offers some of the best skincare with indulgent products tackling issues like acne, pigmentation, dullness, fine lines and wrinkles and more. 

Bestselling products: Caudalie Beauty Elixir, Vinoperfect Radiance Serum Complexion Correcting 

(Pronounced: uh-ven)

Best known for infusing their products with thermal spring water, Avène is not new to the Indian market, yet skincare enthusiasts continue to reach for some of their best ranges like Cleanance (anti-acne), Cicalfate + (sensitive, irritated skin), Hydrance (hydration) and more. It’s much-loved bestseller, the Avène Thermal Spring Water Spray is naturally soothing, softening and an anti-irritant. It works to soothe dry skin, refresh oily skin and calm redness or inflammation. The brand also offers high to very high SPF sunscreens including spray-on ones, which are fan favourites. 

Bestselling product: Avène Thermal Spring Water Spray 

(Pronounced: bye-o-der-ma

 Another French skincare brand that is a favourite in India already is Bioderma. In fact, some of its products like the Atoderm Creme Ultra are even recommended by dermatologists. Its iconic all-in-one makeup removing and cleansing water Sensibio H2O Micellar Water is extremely popular with celebrities and makeup artists around the world, and is said to be often used backstage for runway shows because of its efficacy. The brand offers skincare in categories like the Sensibio range for sensitive skin, the Sebium range for combination to oily skin, Atoderm for normal to dry skin, and PigmentBio for hyperpigmented skin. It also offers the Photoderm sun protection range with a tinted sunscreen as well. 

Bestselling products: Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water, Bioderma Atoderm Creme Ultra 

(Pronounced: you-ree-aaj

Uriage teamed up with Nykaa to enter the Indian market just last year. It is known for its advanced dermatological research and high-performance skincare formulations. Uriage combines the power of thermal water with cutting-edge science to address a wide range of skincare concerns. Some of its most popular ranges available in India for now include: Xémose, soothing and emollient skincare products for very dry and atopy-prone skin; Bariéderm, soothing and protective products for weakened skin, and Bariésun for sun protection and to fight against photo-ageing. 

Bestselling products: Uriage Bariederm-Cica Daily Gel-Cream; Uriage Bariederm-Cica Daily Serum 

(Pronounced: bee-o-lo-jeek ray-sher-sh

While this renowned skincare brand is only available at select skin clinics in India so far, it has undoubtedly caught the fancy of many in India recently. The premium French skincare brand, founded in the late 1970s, employs a clinical approach to personalised cosmetic treatment, with pure, concentrated, almost raw products, complex formulas. BR’s iconic Lotion P50 is known for being effective against pigmentation but has also left users divided on the odour of the product. Maybe try it for yourself and see? 

Bestselling product: Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 

(Pronounced: lox-ee-tahn

A favourite with many who enjoy indulgent and fragrant skin and bath products, L’Occitane with its iconic yellow colour continues to woo skincare fans. You can pick from its bestseller lavender, almond, rose, verbena and other aromatic ranges. The brand also offers some of the best serums and facial oils, as well as fragrances and a dedicated men’s range too. In India, it also runs a successful recycling program called Big Little Things. In partnership with a social enterprise, Saahas Zero Waste, one can recycle their empties at select L’Occitane boutiques across India. 

Bestselling products: L'Occitane Immortelle Reset Serum, L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil

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