This Is What French Women Do Every Day and Why You Should Too

BY Catherine D’Aragon · September 23, 2016

French women have a certain je ne sais quoi, and it isn’t just because of their effortless approach to fashion and beauty. Known for their “everything in moderation, including moderation” philosophy, skin care plays a major role in achieving the overall sense of chic that French women are famous for.

In France, women learn to care for their skin early on in life, choosing prevention over perfection. They realize that women can be beautiful at every phase of life and would rather age gracefully than get caught up in attaining unrealistic ideals. Their number-one beauty secret? Skin care that helps them look natural and age-appropriate. Follow their lead and you, too, can go au naturel!

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1. Make Skin Care a Priority

French skin care relies heavily on natural ingredients, such as mineral-rich waters and plant extracts, but effectiveness is equally as important. French women take their skin care very seriously, which is obvious in the seemingly endless array of products sold in the pharmacies that are found on virtually every street corner. In France, the appearance of the skin is seen as a reflection of overall health. They consider the products they use on their skin to be the foundation of beauty—and as important as the foods they eat. French women are also extremely discerning, and they won’t settle for products or ingredients that don’t work. The secrets to shopping for skin care like a French woman is reviewing ingredient lists and looking for high concentrations of active ingredients. Keep an eye out for clinical results and stick to products that are recommended by experts.

Recommended product: Vichy Idéalia Life Serum, Vichy LiftActiv Serum 10

2. Rethink Cleansing

Did you realize that the water that comes out of your sink could be derailing all of your skin care efforts? The mineral deposits in hard tap water can dehydrate your skin, which is why French women turn to waterless micellar cleansers and milky wipe-off cleansers to sidestep this side effect. But fret not if you choose not to go the rinseless route. A post-cleansing spritz of the right thermal water can infuse your skin with the minerals it needs and counteract the downsides of tap water while brightening, hydrating and soothing your skin.

Recommended products: Vichy Thermal Spa Water, Pureté Thermale 3-in-1 One Step Micellar Solution

3. Enjoy the Process

Even if your budget doesn’t allow for regular spa days, you can treat yourself (and your skin) every morning and night. Beyond effective ingredients and formulations, soothing scents and luxurious textures make skin care a pleasurable, elegant ritual that you won’t want to miss. French women understand the benefits of facial massage, and the proper application techniques can eliminate puffiness, increase circulation, provide a healthy glow and help counteract the effects of gravity over time.

4. Make Time for a Weekly Mask

You deserve to be pampered, and you can use the time you take for yourself to benefit your skin. French women regularly use masks as part of their skin care routines. These treatments help repair, calm and soften the skin, and an overnight mask is the best way to get all the benefits of this extra nourishment without the extra time. Simply apply at bedtime and wake up to radiant, rejuvenated skin!

Recommended product: Vichy Aqualia Thermal Night Spa

5. Focus on Consistency, Not Intensity

Most French mothers pass along their skin care routines to their daughters at an early age. In contrast, many Americans jump to extreme measures (like chemical peels, microdermabrasion, laser treatments and injections) at the first signs of aging.

To avoid the need for aggressive treatments and procedures, women in France commit to a daily routine that’s right for their unique skin. They seek the advice of a doctor, pharmacist or beauty advisor who can recommend a daily cleansing and moisturizing regimen that will deliver optimal results—and address specific concerns with concentrated serums and other treatments. These experts help you avoid extreme measures and achieve your skin care goals!

Recommended product: Vichy Aqualia Thermal Dynamic Hydration Power Serum

Catherine D’Aragon

With years of experience working across skincare, haircare and makeup brands, Catherine D’Aragon has become an expert in beauty trends. Currently based in New York, New York, Catherine enjoys international travel, exp... Read More >