Beauty products from the best shopping spots around the world

From French pharmacies to top notch Japanese oils, wherever you’re heading, a brilliant beauty buy ensures you look gorgeous on your travels. Ruth Styles rounds up the best global beauty hotspots

For skincare: France

From Dior to Decléor, France is famous for its beauty brands - and its citizens’ dedication to the art of staying gorgeous. But while Chanel and co are available at home and abroad, its pharmacies are a cornucopia of hard-to-find but utterly brilliant beauty treats. Caudalie, a natural brand based on grapes and vine blossom, is one of the best and offers everything from ultra-gentle cleansers to nourishing moisturisers. For suncare, try La Roche-Posay – the Anthelios Melt-in Cream SPF50 offers top notch protection and doubles as a moisturiser. Finally, don’t leave without stocking up on Bioderma’s Crealine Eau Micellaire. Loved by make-up artists and models, the unscented make-up remover gets rid of every trace of make-up in just a few swipes and doesn’t irritate sensitive skin.

CaudalieNatural skin products from Caudalie
Caudalie Paris

For naturals: Johannesburg

Despite producing most of the ingredients – shea butter and argan oil among them – Africa’s beauty output is seriously underrated. That, however, is about to change thanks to a new brand on the block: Africology. Launched by holistic therapist Renchia Droganis, it makes use of South Africa’s indigenous fauna and is produced by a Fairtrade collective. But ethical and eco credentials aside, what really sets it apart is the fact it not only works; it works brilliantly. Particularly good is the uplifting Rose Geranium and Frankincense body balm, while the Marula-based Conditioning Body Oil is a treat that’s not to be missed.

For affordable luxury: Cairo

Egypt might not be the obvious choice for a spot of shopping but that was before Nefertari turned up. Named for the famously beautiful Egyptian queen, the all-natural brand has two Cairo branches, one in Heliopolis and one in Zamalek. Both stock a mixture of skin and body care plus a small range of Egyptian cotton towels and woven raffia slippers but the real winner is the wonderful Vanilla Body Cream. Coming in at an ultra reasonable £90EGP (£9.50) per pot, it won’t break the bank, lasts forever and does a job good enough to make Nivea jealous. Also worth checking out is the Neroli Foot Balm, which like the body cream, lasts forever and smells good enough to eat.

DiorSnowDiorSnow can brighten any pale complexion

For high tech beauty: Japan

Always ahead of the pack when it comes to technology, it’s no surprise that Japanese beauty boutiques offer some of the most advanced cosmetics around. Along with some excellent local brands, you can also pick up a brilliant buy from one of the big international brands, most of whom launch new products in Japan first. Try the DiorSnow range, which offers specially formulated, brightening skincare for pale complexions, and local favourite Kanebo’s incredible anti-ageing range, Sensai. Also worth checking out are Shiseido and Shu Uemura – the latter for its pioneering cleansing oils and the former for its rainbow of ultra wearable cosmetics.

For fragrance: Dubai

Qurashi BespokeQurashi Bespoke from the Mall of the Emirates
Abdul Samad Al Qurashi

Whether it’s Jo Malone or Jennifer Lopez, Dubai is a mecca for fragrance and everything is tax free. But the UAE’s second city has more to offer than blockbuster perfumes. Along with Middle Eastern brands such as Oman’s Amouage, Dubai is also where you’ll find ultra-luxe limited editions by Tom Ford, Juliette Has A Gun and By Killian, as well as dedicated perfumeries in all the major malls. Mall of the Emirates alone boasts 12 different fragrance outlets, including local perfume emporium, Areej, and bespoke perfumers, Abdul Samad Al Qurashi. Also worth checking out is Wafi Mall’s Khan el Saboun – a Lebanese shop selling handmade Arabic Jasmine soaps that pack a powerfully perfumed punch.

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.