No one else does romance like the French, and with the month of love upon us, we can’t help but imagine ourselves transported to the City of Lights. While French men have long gained the reputation of being true romantics, French women are also revered for their au naturel looks and minimalist approach to beauty.
French women live by the philosophy of staying true to yourself. Rather than scramble to cover imperfections, they enhance what makes them naturally beautiful. That’s why instead of resorting to aggressive measures to fight aging or layering products to hide flaws, French women would rather take a preventative approach to skin care, with young girls often inheriting beauty tips from their mothers. To them, skin care is not only a beauty routine—it’s ingrained in their lifestyle and an important factor in what they eat, drink and do.
Going beyond cleansing, toning and moisturizing, French women follow a meticulous beauty regimen to achieve the “effortless beauty” they are known for. Most important in that routine is keeping the skin hydrated by drinking lots of water and taking it a step further by spritzing thermal spring water and using it to cleanse, calm and nourish the skin to avoid the drying effect of tap water. They are also big lovers of face masks, making it a point to pamper their skin at least once a week.
Exfoliation is also key in keeping skin radiant and young-looking, and the French do it the gentler way with gommage, a cream or paste—formulated with enzymes that extract dead skin cells—applied to the face and body and allowed to dry before it’s gently massaged off, giving skin the benefits of exfoliation without the rough feeling of regular exfoliants. When it comes to makeup, French women prefer a dewy and no-fuss look, often skipping thick foundation and taking extra care to minimize blemishes and sun damage by religiously applying sunscreen and choosing skin care products with the right SPF even during the cold months.
Ready to embrace the French gal’s beauty philosophy? Here’s a list of the top beauty brands that will help you achieve that certain je ne sais quoi of a true femme française!
One of the leading brands in Europe, Vichy has made a name for itself with its cutting-edge skin care line, medical-based research and breakthrough technology. Its diverse product lines, all featuring Vichy Thermal Spring Water recognized by the French Academy of Medicine for its soothing and fortifying properties, are formulated for every skin type and need.
Developed after centuries of research by the historical Avène Hydrotherapy Center (built in 1743), Avène’s Eau Thermale skin care line is formulated with water drawn from the famed Sainte Odile spring. Infused with the therapeutic properties of its thermal water—officially recognized by the French Academy of Medicine in 1874—Avène’s products boast of skin rejuvenating and soothing formulations.
A pioneering aromatherapy-based skin care brand, Decleor’s skin care solutions are guided by the principles of holism and balance, fusing nature’s potency with science and innovation and resulting in a line of 100% pure and active essential oils that address a variety of skin needs.
Following founder Terry de Gunzburg’s vision of providing beauty solutions for all women, whether skin care novices or beauty gurus, BY TERRY’s skin care range offers innovative, high-performing products that are simple and easy-to-use at the same time.
With its clinically tested formulas, highly concentrated ingredients and healing, antioxidant-rich thermal spring water, La Roche-Posay’s skin care products have become the top choice of dermatologists worldwide when it comes to skin care and treatment. Its range of products is clinically proven to have high efficacy yet gentle and safe enough for daily use.
Highly concentrated formula, proven natural ingredients and truly luxurious packaging are what make Lierac Paris’ targeted skin care products highly effective in treating different skin conditions and improving complexion.
Harnessing the natural healing and nourishing properties of nutrient-rich botanical extracts, Embryolisse’s skin care products put emphasis on simple and natural formulations that complement the skin’s innate restorative and protective capabilities.
Matis Paris takes great pride in its commitment to quality and innovation in creating the perfect skin care line that addresses the unique skin needs of every woman and man. As a result, Matis Paris has become one of the most trusted name in skin care in spas and salons all over the world.
One of the pioneering brands who introduced herbal hair care products in the market, Klorane is dedicated to developing nature-based, highly effective yet safe and gentle formulas that nourish all hair types and repair damage.
With its promise to deliver salon-quality results, Leonor Greyl’s premium hair care products are formulated with nourishing and restorative ingredients that keep hair healthy, strong and luxurious.
Cutting-edge solutions backed by extensive research, clinical tests and innovative technology have launched Filorga into the premier anti-aging brand it is today. Its MEDI-COSMETIQUE® line boasts of NCTF® (New Cellular Treatment Factor), a breakthrough anti-aging complex.
A staple in many of the top salons around the world, including its own, Guinot skin care products are lauded for their nourishing, reparative benefits available for all skin conditions, types and ages.