Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré


To borrow a phrase from Karlie Kloss, “Embryolisse is where it’s at.” Since its inception in 1950, the French-pharmacy staple has become, for many beauty insiders, the gold standard for soothing, no-frills face moisturizers. Widely reported as Jane Birkin's cream of choice, Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré  has been used as everything from a cleanser, makeup remover, foundation-mixing agent,  primer, and a hair texturizer. After spotting it in Top Shelf after Top Shelf, we couldn't help but connect the dots and make some room for a tube on our own medicine-cabinet shelves. We dig it. But don't take our word for it:

Gaia Repossi confessed that her beauty routine consists of "just washing my face at night, and putting on lots of [Embryolisse], and that’s it." She added, "My skin gets really irritated by chemicals and perfumes, and this is the best one really." (Paraben-free Embryolisse claims to be scented with "the perfume of childhood," which we will translate as 'mostly unscented with subtle floral undertones.') Karlie KlossJulia Restoin Roitfeld, Bianca Dueñas, and Rumi Neely also count it in their daily rituals—Neely described the texture as "good for day" and "not super heavy." The moisturizer works to retain water in the skin, leaving you with a smooth surface that's incredibly soft. Lindsay Wixon and Karlie can be found using the lotion during fashion week, while Caroline IssaHarley Viera-Newton, and Charlotte Ronson turn to it when their skin becomes very dry, especially in the winter. Parisian beauty editor Lili Barbery-Coulon relies on Embryolisse when her skin is too oily, "because, for me, it's light." While we will do most anything to align ourselves with Jane Birkin, we love Embryolisse the most because the fast-absorbing formula feels like you're wearing nothing at all.

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  • msenesac

    I bought a bunch of this when I went to Paris last year and ended up not liking it because I thought it was WAY too heavy.

  • beeswaxnoneofyour

    This one definitely isn't for oily skin - but if you are dry/normal then it would be great. I have oily skin and while it didn't break me out, I found it heavier than I'd like, even for a night cream. Also the smell is like Anais Anais lite - lilies all the way, which also put me off a bit. Not sure if they make a unscented version. I prefer Avene cicalfate, LRP Toleriane or Biafine emulsion for French pharmacy creams! (for night use)

    • Marcela Napoleone

      Anais Anais lite is the EXACT description of the smell!! (Which I like). I like Biafine as well but I find the scent too metallic, too industrial.. I always feel a bit creeped out after using it!

  • Definitely Pauline

    I use a lot of french pharmacy products but never tried this one. I'm definitely going to buy it next :)

  • Janine

    I love it. Bought a ton at the Makeup Show this past month. And the herbal spray which is delicious. I could swim in it, it smells so yummy. The cream is good for under/over eyes as well. It won't irritate. -Janine

    • http://anothermagpie.tumblr.com/ magpie

      True speak! Unless you get it IN your eye, in which case, failbears.

  • http://thefoxandtheknife.com/ The Fox + The Knife

    I'm glad you did a feature on Embryolisse. It is a great product but it's definitely for dry skin. I have used it for a year but switched because it was too heavy for my normal skin. Some really great moisturizers from French brands for normal/oily skin that I can recommend: Crème de Beauté Light by Nuxe and Hydrance Légère by Avene.


  • http://twitter.com/Occhineri23 Suzanne

    I love this! I have combination skin and don't find it to be heavy at all, though a little goes a long way.

  • nicolecontrol

    I used to absolutely adore Embryolisse as a moisturizer. But then I discovered over time that my complexion was getting really congested looking. Not really active breakouts, but that it seemed to have lots of little bumps under the surface. Not sure how to describe that. Anyway, over time I found out that I just can't handle mineral oil. I had to stop using Shu Uemura oil cleanser for the same reason. Some people are fine with mineral oil, and more power to them. But for me, it just made my skin look like crap after a while. Here is a link to a site that talks about the ingredients in depth. Very informative. http://promakeupstore.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/read-the-label-embryolisse-lait-creme-concentree-fluide/

    • Dounia

      Thank you ! I have combination skin and it gave me the exact same thing when I used it last summer, after I read rave reviews on ITG. At first, I thought they were blakchead (ew) but no, they were weird bumps under the surface. I think Embryolisse should only be recommended for normal/dry skins.

      • Karolin

        Jup, same here. Had been craving to try this for months and bought it in Paris full of anticipation, but it ended up breaking me out badly. My pores were clogged and I got inflamed pimples on my cheeks and nose.

        • Francoise Hovivian

          Same experience for me. Combination skin, but after 3 weeks of use my skin started feeling like it had a "film" on it all the time, like it was not breathing properly. I started seeing a couple of pimples and that's when I stopped. This is a great product, I am sure, just not for combination and oily skins.

          • Cat

            I bought this last week. Within one day I had a lump on my forehead. Day two and inflamed cyst on my cheek bone and day three a pimple on my chin. I desperately want to love this stuff. It looks amazing under foundation, it's not too heavy but my skin just can't handle it. It makes me so blue. On the plus side, my boyfriend's dry skin is now glowing thanks to this stuff. It works for some- just not for me.

          • Deemy

            Same here, broke me out like crazy. I did love their micellair water :)

  • Marsi

    Yeah, I love this stuff, too.

  • Serena

    If I buy this in the US, will it be different than what is sold in France?

    • http://twitter.com/Occhineri23 Suzanne

      Unlike the one you can buy in France, the US version has parabens. A friend bought mine in Paris, and I'm hesitant to get one here.

    • nicolecontrol

      No, it's the same. I used to get it off of Amazon when I was using it.

  • Alice

    Only moisturizer that does it for me. Period

  • Katherine

    I'll have to check it out, even though I have oily skin. Maybe there is something that gets equal the amount of raves but not as heavy? I love french products, because they always seems to work better.



    • Kattttt

      They do several versions - one for oily skin, one for dry, this one. As far as I've heard and read, none of them has much to offer other than being a good base for makeup.

  • Lily

    ITG, unrelated to this post, but could you guys do a trial/post on YULI skincare? I've heard the best things and I would love to hear your thoughts!

    • Mina

      I love Yuli!

      • Lara

        Me too?

    • md

      yuli is fabulous - you should definitely order some of their products in trial size. a little pricey but worth it! panacea elixir, liquid courage and modern alchemist are personal favs.

  • ariannaalexis

    Whenever I'm in Paris I always stock up on this amazing creme!

  • http://anothermagpie.tumblr.com/ magpie

    PSA: Just don't use too much! And massage in well. That's the trick for all you ladies who worry it'll be too heavy. No more than a pea-sized amount if you're oily; don't worry, it spreads really well.

    I have combo skin that for years was so oily, anything above a gel moisturizer broke me out. Switched to this stuff in desperation one summer in Paris (okay, and also because GOOP recommended it) and life has never been the same.

    It's also about as safe as a face product can get without being 100% shea butter etc. See here. http://promakeupstore.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/read-the-label-embryolisse-lait-creme-concentree-fluide/

  • ITGNick

    Nope, the newest version isn't: http://www.embryolisseusa.com/products

    • Suzanne

      That's not a new version; it's the French version. The only thing "new" is that you can order it in the US (if you want to pay high shipping). The one available on Amazon still has lots of parabens.

  • Béatrice

    I never tried ths cream, but heard positive stuff about it !

  • Christina Chan

    Will definitely try it now that I know it is good for oily skin! xxx

  • Nina R.

    "Paraffinum liquidum" is cosmetic grade mineral oil. "Parabens" are preservatives which are believed to be potentially carcinogenic.- they are 2 completely different things.

    • Mina

      I am aware of that. I mean that it is funny they proudly advertise paraben-free when their second ingredient is crap - which it is.

  • Megatrawni

    I'm too scared to put mineral oil on my face! I'm sure it would be great for body skin though! I know Pixiwoo loves it!


  • http://restlessblonde.blogspot

    I definately have to try this!

  • beeswaxnoneofyour

    I've never found that, but I also have un-naturally oily skin (uncorrectable hormone issue). It's probably good for normal oily skins ladies to note though.

  • Poulette

    Is this one of those beauty urban legends that has us salivating because it used to be impossible to buy outside of France? Will it lose its allure now that its available on amazon?

    • http://anothermagpie.tumblr.com/ magpie

      It's been available on Amazon for at least two years, and some boutique merchandisers carried it in the States even before that. So, I'd say, no. :)

  • http://twitter.com/Kharina Kharina SternerJones

    There are 2 versions of Embryolisse, the one with mineral oil in it, and the one without so you need to check. I believe the older recipe contains the mineral oil, but am not sure. I can understand why this is popular with MUA's it moisturises and plumps like mad and creates a lovely base for makeup. But, personally I wouldn't let that stuff touch my face unless it has dropped to several minus degrees in the winter with wind and snow - it's too rich for everyday use (I've got combo skin).

  • Guest

    Yep. This stuff is the shizz. I first discovered it while living in France, and now bring it back by the bagful every time I go. BTW: when you go to France, forget the big department stores and head straight to the pharmacie for your beauty needs. You will find an endless stream of absolutely amazing products. Nothing at all like what you get at Target or CVS here.

  • Sasha

    and that's not all! I had a red spot for years on my nose and since i started using Embryolisse it's gone! this is a miracle worker!

  • Vittoria

    I've always been intrigued by this cream, but have you read the ingredients? Paraffinum liquidum at second place! it's like putting Nivea blue cream on your face...it might be super mosturinzing at first, but it's just so bad for your skin!

  • alicake

    This cream is basically liquid paraffin. It helps the skin maintain a moisture barrier, but it's a petrochemical product and NOT what I want to put on my skin. I feel much better about cycling through different natural oils like pure organic argan oil or the lovely smelling mix in Leonor Greyl's Magnolia Oil.

  • Julie Royal

    C'est vrai que ce produit est excellent, particulièrement quand on voyage beaucoup.


  • bolly

    Converted. Been using it as a night cream the last couple days and its amazing. Going to get the lighter version and use it as a body lotion.

  • Janet Lee

    Sam from Pixiwoo loves this, she uses it in several of her makeup tutorials

  • Rachael

    It's just a basic moisturizer and does what it's supposed to do. It doesn't have antioxidants or retinol or anything so there isn't anything much else to say

  • Rachael

    People who want a fairly simple barrier former that doesn't irritate their skin? The stearates in it would clog my pores personally, but there's nothing inherently wrong with mineral oil or emulsifiers and most products discussed on this site contain parabens.

  • Jessy

    I just got my second tube a couple of weeks ago and I'm enjoying it. I love how supple it leaves my skin. Usually I put it on right after washing, while my skin is still a bit damp and it just drinks it. It has no fragrance so it's no irritating at all. Definitely, one of my favorite winter skin creams.

  • Rosie

    i just bought a tube from urban outfitters that is paraben free

  • Talia

    I generally use Avene or La Roche Posey hydrating face creams (very light), would Embryolisse be a good substitute?


Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentrè