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theorange Feb 10th, 2011 09:36 AM

Paris: skincare questions from a first-time visitor.
Hi everyone! I'm looking forward to my first visit to Paris, this coming May, and I am hoping to ask a few (probably silly) questions. If you have any suggestions, they would be very welcome!

1. We'll be staying in a studio apartment instead of a hotel, and we'll need to get our own soap and shampoo. I'm trying to cut down on what I'll need to bring, but I have sensitive skin and I try to use scent-free or hypoallergenic products. (I'm not picky about brand.) If I can buy it instead of pack it, I'd prefer that. Can anyone recommend body soap, shampoo or conditioner that would be commonly available, and might fit the bill for delicate skin?

2. Where's the best place to buy soap, shampoo and skincare products? Mostly I get these from stores like CVS and Rite Aid, but I'm not sure whether or not French pharmacies also offer products of this type. We'll be staying in the 7th arrondissement, so if there's a specific store you recommend, please let me know.

3. Laundry detergent! Again, I'll need something that's best for sensitive skin, preferably scent-free, and that will work in a washer-dryer combo machine. Are there any brands that might be best?

Thanks for any help you can offer- I'm really excited about our trip, and I want to make sure I don't spend that time itching! Like I said, I'll pack soap and things if I have to, but I'd like to know more about French brands. :)

sassy_cat Feb 10th, 2011 09:58 AM

Monoprix will have everything you need

If you don't speak the language then I recommend you write down the French words for hypoallergenic, unperfumed, etc which are more important than specific brands.

Regarding the washer-dryer combo, I think all brands sold in Paris will work (they tend to produce fewer suds than brands you might be used to using at home).

Finally, I have sensitive skin and prefer to pack my own stuff rather than shop for it on vacation ... I do shop but not for laundry detergent ;)

Therese Feb 10th, 2011 10:06 AM

Agree, Monoprix great one stop shopping for all the stuff you'd normally find at CVS.

For really, really sensitive skin you might want to try Avene. They've got a line called Tolerance Extreme that's specifically designed for the extra itchy like you and me, and it's easier to find in France than it is here in the U.S. Look at cosmetic stores like Marionnaud and also at some pharmacies (which in France tend to sell high end cosmetics and body treatments as well as medicines).

denisea Feb 10th, 2011 10:11 AM

Monoprix...definitely; the average neighborhood pharmacy can be quite expensive for those things, so avoid if possible.

One recommendation to take with you...I think it is Olay brand but it is available at drugstores here is the throwaway face cleansers that are like cloths that get all foamy when you get them wet...cleanser included and no need for a wash cloth. They are very flat so they take up no room and you avoid extra laundry (or in some small hotels they don't have washcloths).

Cathinjoetown Feb 10th, 2011 10:17 AM

My husband uses Saforelle products--liquid soap and the skin cream. I like the skin cream as well but both products have worked wonders for his highly sensitive skin. It's available at pharmacies of which there is one on almost every corner in Paris.

Cathinjoetown Feb 10th, 2011 10:19 AM

Laundry detergent--look for Le Chat sensitive. Be sure the box says "sensitive".

theorange Feb 10th, 2011 10:19 AM

That's helpful! I am looking at Monoprix's products online, and they look like exactly what I'll need.

I usually feel the same way- I don't like to be trying new (and potentially irritating) things most of the time. But that suitcase weight limit is pretty daunting! I will probably bring my own body soap, since that tends to be my biggest problem area.

Thanks again!

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