If there is one place we can magically teleport – no, it's not under the Eiffel tower- it's directly into a French pharmacy. You often hear about these magical places stocking not only medicine but also shelves of fragranced soaps and beautifully packaged skincare and dermo-cosmetics. In celebration of Bastille day – a national holiday for France to celebrate their love for their country, we are spilling our love for French Pharmacies.
There's a special charm of a French Pharmacy. French pharmacies are independently owned. Unlike our major chains like Priceline, each French pharmacy is owned by an individual and truly feels like your local family chemist.
To be able to own or work in a pharmacy you need to be trained in Pharmacology, the minimum being- préparateur en pharmacie, which is equivalent to a bachelor’s degree. You won’t find any teenage Christmas casual working at the register. All the staff are highly trained to help you with your health problems. More to love, bigger pharmacies have full-time dieticians to prescribe you a dedicated diet plan with advice on which vitamins and supplements to take!
You will be shocked to know that the French handle their health issues differently! For us it’s easy to stop by at Coles to check out with painkillers and be on our humble way. But French pharmacies put a lot of care in health! You can’t buy medicine at French supermarkets, only pharmacies, some pharmacies may even keep your typical over-the-counter medication behind the counter which you will need to ask and explain what it’s for. That means you can’t discreetly checkout with a box of laxatives. But there is a reason for this! After understanding your needs, they may prescribe you with something that is relatively better for you.
Medicine is free for French people when they have a doctor’s prescription! However, don’t be alarmed if you have fallen ill on your trip, medicine is generally still quite affordable for tourists. Pharmacies can even prescribe you medication on the spot for general colds and tummy upsets, saving you a trip to the doctor!
French Pharmacy carry a lot of natural and organic skincare lines which has created the stigma of French skincare being honest and trustworthy. They contain shorter ingredient lists or contain a high percent of ingredients of natural origins. A popular type of skincare is dermo-cosmetics which are specially formulated skincare prescribed by dermatologists and nurses to resolve common skincare issues like Atopy or sensitive skin. Brands like Bioderma, Uriage, Avene and La Roche Posay are the biggest dermo-cosmetics skincare lines.
For all your health store junkies, brace yourself. You might hyperventilate when you see that French pharmacies carry a huge range of herbal teas with many different benefits, from fluid retention, to jet lag remedy; they have it all in a comforting warm cuppa! They also carry an extensive range of homeopathy solutions and dietary snacks. You can even purchase contact lenses without prescription! So if you ever lose a contact lens down the drain on one of your French trips, just head to our local French pharmacy to pick up a box. Just make sure you know your specs!
That’s it, this explains why French pharmacies are the adult equivalent to kids in a candy store. Stores brimming with mountain high of skincare promotional packs, affordable prices, exceptional quality skincare, and medicated advice on hand. La Pharmacie, je t’aime!!
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