When I first arrived in Paris, I continued using a skin care oil from the United States rather than find a replacement in France. Unfortunately, during the return trip from a vacation in Turkey, the bottle cap came loose and all the oil leaked out. I was devastated since it would take quite a while to re-order (from California). The girlfriend I had traveled with made the comment, “But Jeanne, here you are living in one of the most stylish and beauty conscious cities in the world. Surely you can find great skin care products right here in Paris!” Good point. Easy but expensive came first. I quickly found some creams and lotions at a swank skin care salon. Later, while doing research for my shopping guide, “Best Buys and Bargains in Paris,” I discovered Plantaderm. Plantaderm is hidden in a courtyard, so you have to know it’s there; it’s off the beaten track, so you have to make a special trip. It’s worth it. Just go through the courtyard and turn left into this secret, “in the know,” space. While I was researching Best Buy Shopping Tours, I managed to interview the owner, an ex-pharmacist, who had noticed that many beauty products had formulas that didn’t contain much of anything. Determined to do better, he took some classes and proceeded to whip up his own formulas in the kitchen sink (or something to that effect). They sold so well in his pharmacy that he went into the beauty formula business–selling to name brands such as Christian Dior. The Plantaderm store is truly an outlet store, with very low prices, and I have been extremely happy with the skin care products. All the ingredients are natural, from vegetable or marine sources. Now they’ve even gotten into marketing and promotion. Last time, I cashed in the “points” I had accumulated on other purchases, plus a special offer I’d received in the mail. In return, I got a free bottle of “lait corporel,” a nice body lotion (sometimes I find it a bit thick, so I just add water). I also received a free tube of baume au karaté, worth 15E90, terrific for cuticles. I got the idea from a time I was in the store, and a woman marched back through the door just to buy a tube of baume polyvitaminé. She had sampled the baume on her nails and then left the store. It was while walking down the street that she noticed the effect (both baumes kind of melt into your cuticles). She was so impressed that she walked right back into the store to buy a tube. Another great product is the nail hardener, sold in the store for 1E80. I actually checked out the marque (which I promised never to reveal) that has bought the formula, and found that the price in the department store, for the same thing, was 15E. Now that’s what I call a bargain! And I swear (scout’s honor) that the Biosérum aux liposomes (contour des yeux) eliminates wrinkles under your eyes. I don’t know about you, but in the morning I wake up with bags and wrinkles that, during wee hours, have sprouted like plant roots. I apply the biosérum and away they go. Finished. Poof. No kidding. The skin care system at Plantaderm starts with cleansing your face using a “lait.” Theirs is really nice because it not only effectively removes make up, including mascara, but also rinses off with water. (To simply wash your face, you can also use a non-soap cleanser/shower gel such as Atoderm Moussant found in any parapharmacie.) You then wipe your face with a “lotion” applied on a cotton pad, apply a biosérum around your eyes and another over your entire face. Finish off with a “crème” to seal it all in. And voilà. All these products are tops at Plantaderm – and you can’t beat the price! Plantaderm58 rue du Faubourg Poissonnière, 10th arrondissementMetro: PoissonnièreOpen Tuesday to Saturday, noon to 6:30 (closed in August) Jeanne Feldman, author of Best Buys and Bargains in Paris, now leads private “Best Buy” shopping tours. She has lived in France since 1991 and specializes in intercultural communication between the U.S. and France. Jeanne’s website is:
Previous Article Around and About in Paris: The Saint-Ouen Flea Market
Next Article Donation of Pepin