Why is everyone on TikTok suddenly obsessed with French pharmacies?

With Eurosummer well underway, these staples of the French high street have become a viral hit with tourists

Liv Kelly
Written by
Liv Kelly
Contributing Writer
Pharmacy in Nice, France
Photograph: Shutterstock

Bakeries, art galleries, bookshops and wine bars are perhaps what most of us associate with a stroll through a quaint French town. However, pharmacies are another common feature, with hundreds being located within walking distance from popular tourist areas, and over 21,000 across France in total. 

These staples of the French high street are the latest viral trend on Tiktok — the hashtag #frenchpharmacy has an astonishing 131 million views, and the trend sees no signs of slowing down. 

@glowwithava Replying to @the.nail.tripper first stop always! stocking up on my favs 🇫🇷🇫🇷 i may go back for more… #frenchpharmacy #frenchpharmacyhaul #frenchpharmacymusthaves #frenchskincare #frenchbeauty #avainparis #europeansunscreen #pharmacyhaul ♬ original sound - AVA

The French pharmacy fascination is primarily driven by American tourists, who are pleasantly surprised to discover popular skincare brands and beauty essentials are cheaper and easier to come by. Beauty influencers are leading the trend, filming videos that highlight all the brands not so readily available in the US, and also generally gawping at the array of French wellness products. 

@glowwithava posted a video exclaiming her joy at finding La Roche Posay and Caudalie suncreams, and @emiliekiser described one pharmacy as ‘heaven.’

Even the green neon signs have been broadcasted on the platform, and hilariously, have been paired with psychedelic music to match the flashing lights. 

French pharmacies have long been known as havens for skincare, beauty and health, as well as a cornerstone of the community for many locals. Pharmacie du Cerf in Strasbourg, considered the oldest in France, allegedly dates back to the 13th century. 

Citypharma in Saint Germain des Pres is considered one of the best in Paris, according to My French Life, and is also one of the most famous thanks to its bargain prices and abundance of products. 

One Parisian, Mounir Khedja, told BFM, a French TV channel, that ‘French para-pharmacies have always offered quality products and product diversity.

‘The ‘French para-pharmacy’ has always been recognised, but I think consumer habits have changed a lot.’

It seems the humble French pharmacy has become a new staple of Eurosummer. Let’s just hope they sell some water, eh?

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