by bellab

This post is dedicated to my friend Clem. First off, because she’s French and really into her skincare. And secondly, because when I bumped into her a few days ago she told me, in the nicest possible way, that I don’t blog very often. Sometimes it takes a straight-talking Parisian to get a little action around here….

So I present to her, and you, a new brand from across the channel. Etat Pur. From the same skincare stable as Institut Esthederm (the BEST spfs along with La Roche Posay Anthelios, of course) and Bioderma, it launched online in the UK on monday.

The concept is simple but so, so clever. I can’t believe it’s never been done before. The expansive range of 80 products is split into two lines. The first, A+, is a ‘library’ of pure active ingredients ‘at their scientifically proven most effective doses’. That is, the ingredients that address specific skin concerns like pigmentation marks, spots, wrinkles, redness, dehydration… The list goes on. In fact the ‘concerns’ are so specific they’re split into families. For instance *consults press bumph* in the ageing family there are no less than 10 actives on offer from coenzyme Q10 for wrinkle prevention, to Acmella for expression lines and Soy Isoflavones for the effects of menopausal (ie hormonal) related ageing. The idea being that you can select the specific active, or actives, for your needs and get it at the exact dosage for the greatest benefits to your skin. No extra chemicals or filling agents required. Just pure, effective ingredients in a handy little dropper bottle. Simple eh?

So, that’s the actives. Now comes the B+ range of ‘biomimetic’ (in affinity with the skin’s own natural chemistry) products which are suitable for all skin types. The range allows you to select your preference of texture and formulation. In cleansing alone you can choose from a refreshing micellar water right through to a detoxifying (wash off) cleansing foam. Moisturisers are ranked in levels from 1 to 5 (from a light oil-free lotion to an ultra nourishing balm) so you can pick according to how dry your skin is and what kind of texture you like. All products are free of silicones and parabens. Oh and there’s body products too. Think of these like the bread and butter for skin, delivering essential daily nutrients and moisture to the upper layers, and the A+ actives as the more serious bunch who penetrate deep into the skin to tackle deeper-rooted problems.

But the absolute best part is the price. Nothing in this vast range costs more than £19 with prices starting from just £5. But it’s really not a bargain basement brand, the quality is as good, probably better if you consider the pedigree of the lab, than comparable brands . The makers insist they’re able to keep prices low due to the fact they have no stores (bar one concept one in Paris) – all distribution is via the website. If they were available in say, department stores, the prices would easily be double. There’s no celebrity endorsement to bank roll, no shop floor staff to pay. Even the packaging is ethical and economically sound (they eschew all secondary packaging ie pointless boxes for bottles to sit in). They are even planting a shed load of trees to operate with carbon neutral status! The only potential downfall I can see is that with so many products available, the average customer, lets say my mum for instance, might feel overwhelmed and confused by what she actually needs. Words like hyaluronic and salicylic don’t mean an awful lot to her. Luckily there’s a nifty skin analysis tool online which works out a unique, personalised prescription of both A+ and B+ products depending on your skincare woes. My my, is there anything these clever French folk haven’t thought of?

*French roof tops courtesy of