When we first moved to the UK (2000, how time flies…), I remember I would take any opportunity of a trip to France to import back all my beauty basics: face and body cream, shampoo, medication, you name it… Then at some stage the balance must have shifted because every summer, I now find myself packing of full suitcase of UK-bought products for our 2-month exodus to France. I actually now buy stuff from both sides of the Channel, so I thought it would be a good idea to summarise my best beauty basics, English and French .
- My best UK beauty finds have been for nails . I suffered from recurrent nail fungus at each of my pregnancy and absolutely nothing cured it until I found out about Tea Tree Oil – it’s cheap, available at any chemist and a daily application over a few months does the trick. But apparently the one you buy in France does not work (according to my aunt who asked for a specific import last week), I don’t know why. And for stronger, smoother nails, I have been using for ages and gifting my friends with the Equisetum and Lemon nail strengthener from Verde (a tiny shop in Clapham but you can order on line) – this one too travelled to my aunt last week!
- For the body , my eldest has been suffering from eczema since a toddler and her uber-competent, uber-nice dermatologist recommended a very basic cream which has been working wonder: Diprobase cream emollien t. She applies it morning and evening and it is just incredible! We buy it by half-litre bottles (x10 usually), which can’t be found in France but are now available on Amazon Prime – what cannot you find there I wonder?.. Another moisturiser I swear buy, but for myself this time, is Bio Oil – women usually discover it for pregnancy as it is recommended to prevent stretch marks; but I find it wonderful for dry skin. Vaseline petroleum jelly is another super-moisturising product, good for dry feet, hands and lips but very very greasy.
- For the feet , I have never found anything as efficient as the Neutrogena foot cream to sort out dry feet– it used to be really hard to find in the UK before but not anymore, hurrah! For foot corns caused by fancy shoes (no comment), I use Carnation corn caps . And for foot verruca, the only thing which has every worked for is the Pommade Cochon – yes it does require months of application, no I don’t know how to get it delivered to the UK, but worth the effort as the verruca never returns!
- For hair , I recently started a whole new routine to fight split ends so I’ve done extensive research. My first conclusion is that professional products cost a fraction of what you find in supermarkets and are readily available on Amazon , so if you like a shampoo you’d better buy it under this format – I bought 1.5L of this one and it is super-efficient for dry hair; but I’m sure you can find the same format for your hair type. My second conclusion is that everything you see at your hairdresser can be bought from Amazon now – so after having this costly but incredibly efficient treatment done at my hairdresser, I decided to invest in the massive bottles (1 + 2) and do it myself at home every other week! I however continue importing from France the Furterer hair products, they are exceptionally efficient for many hair conditions – I use this mask at each shampoo.
To be fair I use zillions of other things – Caudalie products for myself and Mr WembleyWonderful, La Roche Posay creams for my pre-teenager girls, etc… But the ones summarised above are the very basic ones which have been amazingly efficient. Do share yours too please!