When people ask me which French stores I miss the most, it can sound weird but I spontaneously reply the pharmacy! And I'm not kidding...
If you're planning to travel to France, a pharmacy is a must-go (and I know I'm not the only addict here). You'll be more than surprised. Nothing to do with our regular CVS, Walgreens or Rite-Aid. A French pharmacy is a little paradise where you can always find great treasures. Not talking about your doctor's prescriptions, you need to look at all other products that are available "over the counter". And as a mum of 2 little blondies aged 3.5 and 1.5, my favorites are definitely the baby-care products.
So here are my TOP 3 FRENCH BABY-CARE PRODUCTS:
The Mitosyl: THE cream to heal any diaper rash. It's a classic for all French moms that has been in every nursery and diaper bag for more than 70 years. Made with cod liver oil (rich in vitamins A and D) and zinc oxide, its strange smell might surprise you but don't worry, you'll get used to it. It has strong absorbent and astringent properties, which confers a protective and soothing action on any irritated skin and it's white texture can easily be wiped of your hands with a baby wipe. Super efficient, it's available in different sizes and also comes as wipes (perfect on the go). You must try it!
The Liniment Oléo-calcaire: this more and more famous secret is a must-have in your diaper change kit! Coming from south of France, this fantastic and 100% natural product is made of olive oil and limewater (calcium solution). To be applied with a cotton or by itself, it doesn't need to be rinsed. It's a perfect alternative to baby wipes which contain chemicals and are not environment friendly. Beyond diaper change, it can also be used as a moisturizer (body and face) and a make-up remover. It can apparently be easily homemade but I must tell you I never tried...Also available in single doses.
The Sérum Physiologique: also called "le sérum phy" it is a simple saline solution (equivalent of the famous "Simply Saline" product) but it's single dose format makes it really special. It is another must-have for your daily baby care. With a cotton, you use it to clean baby's eyes, ears and nose. When your baby gets a cold (and please don't tell me it never happens!), it's really important to efficiently blow his nose and this product works perfectly to avoid ear infections and bronchiolitis as much as possible. Your baby needs to lay down on his back and you should turn his head to the side. Put paper tissus under his cheek. Pour a dose of serum phy in the upper nostril and the liquid should come out from the bottom one. Your baby won't like it but keep calm and resist. Remind it's for his best! Wipe his nose, turn your baby's head to the other and repeat this operation with the other nostril. Super convenient to carry everywhere with it's compact size, it's also a great product for adults.
Here is a short French video that will show you the nose-blowing process (it will help you practicing your French :).
So if you're not planning a trip to France soon, remember to ask your family or relatives who might be going to bring you back these products as a perfect French souvenir!