Recommendations for moisturizers for an eczema sufferer in Paris?
July 14, 2009 2:54 AM   Subscribe

I have super-sensitive skin which is accustomed to a hot, humid climate, and I'm now in France, running out of moisturizer. I'm looking for recommendations for face and body moisturizers which I can acquire in Paris.

Some background: I was diagnosed with eczema several years ago while living in the UK, and my skin has been really sensitive ever since. Now, I use Cetaphil cleanser morning and night, and aqueous cream for dry bits around my mouth, and on my lips. I've had a reaction to literally every lip balm I've tried since my first eczema reaction, and aqueous cream is the only thing that doesn't cause a reaction on my lips. Aqueous cream isn't ideal as a moisturizer - it causes whiteheads, and doesn't really absorb well, but I'd rather that than feeling dry and itchy.

I'm on holiday in Paris now and am running out of aqueous cream... I bought some Eucerin body lotion, which I had a reaction to. I'd really appreciate any recommendations for moisturizers for my ridiculously sensitive skin. Thanks!
posted by Athelthral to Health & Fitness (11 answers total)
Aqueous cream should be available from most pharmacies in Paris. My french is incredibly rusty, but you could try asking for 'crème aqueuse' (pronounced something like 'krem a-kwers').
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 3:01 AM on July 14, 2009

Try to find a magasin diététique -- they don't only carry food, most will have a good selection of non-allergenic moisturizers and could help you find one for your needs (if they speak English or you speak French). I have very sensitive skin too, and use moisturizers made by the brand Weleda (their site has a store locator), which almost all have jojoba oil as a main ingredient. Some Monoprix supermarkets carry Weleda as well. In the magasins diététiques you can also usually find pure oils; I use pure jojoba oil for my face, it's wonderful.
posted by fraula at 3:03 AM on July 14, 2009

If you're in a hotel, this is a perfect task for the concierge to help you with.

Paris is the land of L'Oreal, Chanel, Yves Rocher, Groupe Clarins and L'Occitane. You should be able to get better skin care products, in a wider selection, than anywhere else on the planet.
posted by rokusan at 3:11 AM on July 14, 2009

You should be able to get better skin care products, in a wider selection, than anywhere else on the planet.

No, no no. As one of Athelthral's fellow eczema sufferers, I can tell you you're way off the mark there. 'Better' is not about expensive brands, it's about simple, non-scented products with a very short ingredient list. Aqueous cream, for example, is dirt-cheap and comes in giant tubs. L'Oreal and Chanel are not relevant at all.

Weleda stuff can be ok, though. You might also have success with Neutrogena products, which I've also seen in Paris.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 4:01 AM on July 14, 2009

Here's a list of British pharmacies in Paris. I've been to the British and American Pharmacy near Opéra (tel. 01 42 65 88 29) and although I don't specifically remember seeing moisturizers, they did have a lot of British products that I haven't seen elsewhere in France.

I'm sure that most of the pharmacies on that list would be able to help you find what you need.
posted by cimton at 4:38 AM on July 14, 2009

The French brand Avene has products for excema and sensitive skin. I don't have either condition though so can't personally vouch for them.
posted by sarahw at 5:19 AM on July 14, 2009

You can find this cream in most pharmacies. It fits the bill for le morte de bea arthur's requirements perfectly. You can find a pharmacie that's open today here.
posted by stereo at 5:45 AM on July 14, 2009

I use La Roche-Posay Toleriane, which seems to agree well with my ultra sensitive skin, and according to Amazon it's good for eczema sufferers as well. I'm sure it's available in France.
posted by telegraph at 6:14 AM on July 14, 2009

'Better' is not about expensive brands, it's about simple, non-scented products...

Okay, I can be wrong. I'm definitely no allergist.

It seemed right to me because every woman I know always wants me to bring back cremes and lotions from France, and they always have very specific lists. Not perfumes, just... well to me it seems like hand lotion. But maybe it's not for the hypallergenic.

I didn't mean to advocate expensive "brands", though I can see how it reads that way. I only meant to remind that France is the center of the Entire Lotion Universe, so there must be whatever you want there somewhere.

I still say this is what concierges are for, though. Why waste your holiday on errands?
posted by rokusan at 6:20 AM on July 14, 2009

Go to a pharmacie and get a Bioderma product (you have to ask the pharmacist for it). It is skin care stuff made in Lyon, France.

I had the Cicabio cream in a tiny tube and it made eczema disappear (I had a tiny patch on my nose from glasses, rubbed it on for two days, *poof* no more eczema). I poked around on their website and saw the Atoderm cream which also seems like it would work (and is in a bigger tube) but have not had the chance to experiment with it because I'm in America now, where French skin products are hard to come by.

Also, if your French is good, talk to a pharmacist about this and they might be able to recommend stuff.
posted by mustcatchmooseandsquirrel at 6:39 AM on July 14, 2009

Thanks for all the responses! I'll look into La Roche Posay and Bioderma. Sadly, I've had a reaction to Weleda products before. Thanks again!
posted by Athelthral at 12:39 AM on July 15, 2009

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