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Our top pick? Avene's Hydrance Light Hydrating Emulsion

Moisturizer, the backbone of *every* skincare routine, no matter how minimalist or complex. And yet, if we're being honest with ourselves, it always feels like the trickiest thing to find the perfect one of; nothing ever quite seems to tick all of the boxes. It goes without saying that there are genuinely countless options to choose from, though, so really we think it just comes down to an extreme case of choice paralysis. So, allow us to narrow your focus towards the crème de la crème of moisturizers (pun very much intended): French pharmacy moisturizers.

French skincare is a haven for all skin types due to its famously gentle and simplistic approach. Regardless of having normal, dry, sensitive, oily or problematic skin, the uncomplicated formulas on offer from the best French skincare brands provide effortless solutions for achieving that coveted radiant, healthy glow without breaking the bank.

Deciding which one is best for you depends entirely on your goals, skin type and skin concerns. Our top 10 picks narrow down the best French moisturizer based on each of these factors. Enjoy!

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Hydrance Light Hydrating Emulsion by Avene, the best French moisturizer.

#1 — Hydrance Light Hydrating Emulsion by Avene

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

A lightweight moisturizer in the form of an emulsion.

What makes it special? This absolute gem of a moisturizer has a non-sticky, oil-absorbing, lightweight texture that leaves your skin feeling soft, supple and radiant all day long. Its custom 'Cohederm' complex guarantees 24-hour hydration & soothing relief by locking in micro-reservoirs of Avene Thermal Spring Water deep beneath the skin's surface, releasing quenching bursts of hydration over time.

Which skin types? Normal to combination sensitive skin.

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Toleriane Double Repair Moisturizer by La Roche Posay, the best French moisturizing cream.

#2 — Toleriane Double Repair Moisturizer by La Roche Posay

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

A prebiotic infused moisturizing cream.

What makes it special? Formulated with a high concentration of La Roche-Posay prebiotic thermal water and a trio of delightful moisture barrier replenishing ingredients, this dermatologist-tested moisturizer immediately comforts and hydrates your skin from the very first application. In theory, its lightweight cream texture absorbs as easily into the skin as its Avene counterpart, but please be aware that there are several reports of pilling, leading us to deduce that this product would best suit those with naturally smooth skin. Check out our Avene vs La Roche Posay brand comparison for a more in-depth review!

Which skin types? All skin types, including the most sensitive.

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Vinoperfect Dark Spot Glycolic Night Cream by Caudalie, the best French night cream.

#3 — Vinoperfect Dark Spot Glycolic Night Cream by Caudalie

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

A clarifying and correcting night cream.

What makes it special? This cult-favorite French night cream is suitable for all women looking to prevent or reduce their dark spots, whatever their cause: sun, acne, age, or pregnancy. It acts as a gentle peel during the night, revealing fresh and luminous skin in the morning. Night after night, dark spots are visibly reduced, the skin's texture is smoothed and the complexion is evened. It has a fresh, subtle fragrance, combining green notes of bergamot, sweet orange, mandarin and lemonwood.

Which skin types? All skin types.

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Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer by Laura Mercier, the best French tinted moisturizer.

#4 — Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer by Laura Mercier

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

The best French tinted moisturizer.

What makes it special? This multitasking blend of skincare and makeup blurs imperfections with a sheer hint of coverage, improving your skin over time thanks to its hydrating complex and antioxidant infusion, not to mention a broad spectrum SPF30 sunblock! All in one! Check out our best French BB Cream article to learn more about tinted moisturizers and beauty balms.

Which skin types? Every skin type! Especially oily, sensitive, or acne prone.

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Collagen Face Moisturizer by L'Oreal, the best anti-ageing French moisturizer.

#5 — Collagen Face Moisturizer by L'Oreal

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

The best anti-ageing French moisturizer.

What makes it special? As we age, collagen and moisture levels diminish, our skin loses its natural balance, and wrinkles form. The L'Oréal Paris Collagen Moisture Filler Cream delivers intense hydration to the skin and helps to visibly smooth wrinkles over time. Overnight, it instantly restores the skin's cushion and bounce. Within one week of use, skin feels smoother and plumper, and in just four weeks, wrinkles appear filled in and smoothed.

Which skin types? All skin types.

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Bienfait Multi-Vital Moisturizer SPF30 by Lancome, the best French moisturizer with SPF.

#6 — Bienfait Multi-Vital Moisturizer SPF30 by Lancome

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

A potent, 24-hour antioxidant and vitamin enriched lightweight moisturizer.

What makes it special? With antioxidant Vitamin E, Vitamin CG, and Vitamin B5, this ultralight face moisturizer nourishes your skin and leaves it feeling silky smooth and touchably soft. Providing up to 24-hours of hydration, it is ideal for all skin types, from normal to dry, and oily to sensitive. Furthermore, it doubles up as a broad-spectrum sunscreen (UVA-UVB radiation protection) and helps fight visible skin irritations caused by environmental aggressors. Check out our best French sunscreen post for more delightful products containing SPF!

Which skin types? All skin types.

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Hydra Essentiel Cream by Clarins, the best luxury French moisturizer.

#7 — Hydra Essentiel Cream by Clarins

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

A luxurious hydrating moisturizer.

What makes it special? With Clarins' Hydra Essentiel cream, your skin's critical capacity to retain water is restored, leaving your skin feeling instantly quenched, fresh, comfortable, radiant, and plump. It's secret? Organic, medicinal kalanchoe extract, a powerful natural hydration activator that boosts the skin's hyaluronic acid production. The product is fairly strongly fragranced, but the scent is nothing short of divine, and I personally *love* how the freshness of it perks me up in the morning.

Which skin types? Normal to dry skin.

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Face Moisturizing Hydra Vegetal by Yves Rocher, the best botanical French moisturizer.

#8 — Face Moisturizing Hydra Vegetal by Yves Rocher

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

A hydrating French moisturizer with natural ingredients.

What makes it special? A prime example of Yves Rocher's botanical-inspired skincare, the best-selling Face Moisturizing Hydra Vegetal saturates the skin with intense hydration thanks to the natural water storing properties of the Edulis plant. It provides non-stop, 48-hour nourishment & hydration leaving your skin velvety smooth to the touch as well as fresh and bright.

Which skin types? Normal to combination or dry.

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Aqua Reotier Ultra Thirst-Quenching Cream by L'Occitane, the best comforting French face cream.

#9 — Aqua Reotier Ultra Thirst-Quenching Cream by L'Occitane

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

A fresh and comforting French face cream.

What makes it special? Enriched with hydrating hyaluronic acid and calcium-rich Réotier water known for its properties to help skin maintain its hydration barrier and retain moisture, this melting fresh cream hydrates the skin while comforting it. Its velvety, light texture combines the refreshing thirst-quenching benefits of a gel with the softening and smoothing properties of a cream. Its formula acts like a magnet to hold-in moisture and drenches the skin all day long. Replenished and radiant, skin is visibly plumped, silky, refreshed and hydrated after just four weeks of use.

Which skin types? All skin types, especially dryer skin types.

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Lait-Creme Concentre by Embryolisse, the celebrity-favorite French moisturizer.

#10 — Lait-Creme Concentre by Embryolisse

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

A 5-in-1 celebrity-loved face cream.

What makes it special? Celebrities, makeup artists and dermatologists all over the world swear by this brand. To quote Karlie Kloss, an American supermodel: "Embryolisse is where it's at." The Lait-Creme Concentre is their flagship product which boasts an impressive 5-in-1 multitasking ability. Not only does it excel as a moisturizer, but it also excels as a primer, makeup remover, hydrating mask AND an aftershave. It's plain to see why it is rated so highly by celebrities and makeup artists alike as a fantastic timesaver, especially when the results are undeniably stunning.

Which skin types? All skin types, including the most sensitive.

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