I’ve never been able to resist the allure of the French pharmacy. I pop in for headache pills or a tick and flea treatment (for the dog, I should point out) and half an hour later emerge with a bag full of beauty “finds”. Caudalie, La Roche-Posay and Vichy are among the better-known French brands offering quality products at reasonable prices. But the real fun is discovering lesser-known beauty ranges, of which the average French pharmacy offers rich pickings.
One of my best recent discoveries is the organic brand Melvita, which offers a full gamut of beauty products ranging from Rose Floral Water (£14) and the bestselling Cleansing Milk (£16) to the excellent Arnica Oil (£16) for muscle aches.
My favourite products, however, are the shower creams and gels – particularly the Extra-Rich Shower Cream with avocado (£11) and the Invigorating Shower Gel with ginger (£10) – and the huge range of plant-based face and body oils.
The good news for those who live in the UK is that the brand, which was founded by French beekeeper and biologist Bernard Chevilliat in 1983, launched a UK website earlier this year, so now you don’t even have to go foraging in French pharmacies to find it.