French Kiss

If you’ve read my International Beauty column on The Penny Rose for any length of time, you’ll know that I have what could be termed an ‘addiction’ to lip balm. I’ll estimate that I’ve tried hundreds of different brands in my adult life (you know, after I graduated from watermelon flavored lip smackers), but it’s the rare product that actually wins a coveted place in my purse.

While I find many balms are actually drying instead of hydrating, leave an unbecoming white residue on one’s lips, or have that annoying over-the-top pepperminty tingle, others are so perfect that before you’ve even left the store, you’re already thinking about how to replenish your supply. 

On a recent assignment in Bordeaux, I spotted my lovely interpreter and guide (of course she was lovely … she’s French!) applying lip balm from a very oddly shaped container. Imagine a mini stick of deodorant.

“What is that?” I couldn’t help asking.

“It’s Noviderm Boréade R soothing lip balm stick,” she said in her charmingly accented English. “It’s really soothing. I have sensitive skin and my doctor recommended it.”

I have sensitive skin too, so I was immediately sold. Once I learned that it is all natural and the main ingredient is peptides of quinoa (I love quinoa), I insisted that we embark to the nearest pharmacy right away.

After a few tries, we hit on a store that carried the brand. I snapped up one tube in order to give it the 24-hour test before I bought more. Turns out that was a serious mistake. I love the stuff, and every single subsequent pharmacy I went to didn’t carry it! Fortunately, I found an online source, and though international shipping is steep, at least I don’t live in panic that I won’t be able to replace my favorite new lip treat.

Find Noviderm Boréade R here, or in select pharmacies on your next trip to France.

Leslie Patrick is an international journalist and the author of the monthly column, "International Beauty Report."