This £9 French cleanser has sold out five times since its UK launch

French pharmacy culture has become huge for beauty insiders. And while many products have over the years made their way to UK shores, it wasn’t until this February that we finally saw the release of one that we’ve all been pining for: Collosol.

If you’ve not heard of Collosol, that’s probably because until recently it was one of France’s best kept beauty secrets. In fact, if you’d ever made your way into a Parisian pharmacy to to score a bottle of the stuff, you’d probably have had to ask the shop assistants to find you one ‘in the back’.

Collosol Eau de Lait, from £9.50, The French Pharmacy Co.

Earlier this year, however, Collosol became available to buy online from The French Pharmacy Co., and proved to be an absolute gamechanger. In fact, the product proved to be so popular with British customers that we’ve caused it to sell out five times in a row.

So what is all the fuss really about? Well, Collosol is – put simply – a water/milk cleanser that removes make-up gently, cleanses the skin and moisturises thoroughly. It comes in three sizes, and even the largest (at 400ml) will only set you back £20 (you can also buy 100ml for £9.50 and 250ml for £14.50).

The formula dates back to the 1950s, when it was created by a French pharmacist for actresses who wanted to cleanse their skin thoroughly after performances. It has since become a cult classic, particularly in Paris where mothers have passed on the secret formula to their daughters.

And it’s not only chic Parisienne women and beauty editors who can’t get enough of the stuff. The late Chanel Creative Director Karl Lagerfeld was known to bathe in Collosol, sometimes using a whole bottle a day.

‘My bathtub is very big, so I use a full bottle of Collosol every day,’ he once admitted. ‘The maids pour it in crystal bottles so I don’t have the plastic out.’

Well, if it’s good enough for Karl…

Feature by Rebecca Fearn