I’m going to save you the preamble of why we love French women and just cut to the chase: they do everything so effortlessly. And, as if their flair for style wasn’t enough, they also know how to look after their skin well. Mais bien sûr. I’ve read plenty of pieces over the years about how French women do everything they can to ensure their skin is as glowing as possible. They don’t wear too much makeup and they invest in anti-ageing skincare much earlier than us across the channel. But is that true? I decided to get in touch with four French women who I admire and ask them what’s really behind great skin. Keep scrolling for everything you need to know.
“French girls are really interested in skincare, and it starts early. In terms of starting anti-ageing products in your 20s, it all depends on your skin, but why not? The product that all French women use religiously, however, is moisturiser. I swear by Tata Harper, BioEffect and Esthederm.”
“My mother always told me—ever since I was young—to always hydrate and nourish my skin. To drink lots of water to keep my skin plump and shiny.”
“I don’t really use anti-ageing products. Usually, I just wash my face and I protect my skin from the UV and pollution in the morning. Then at night, I apply Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair. It’s my go-to product. I feel like French women are becoming more and more careful about the products they are using and they really try to find the best products for their skin type and then they stick to it! Ultimately, the best thing for your skin is to sleep well and try to disconnect a bit.”
“French beauty is about a ‘natural’ look, so less makeup, but better ‘glowing’ skin. French women definitely have a skin-first approach. My mum taught me a skincare routine when I was about 12 (so incredibly early). She would have creams and creams in her cupboard and I now have the same. I am very happy to spend on creams vs other categories like makeup where I am much more cautious. My grandfather was a dermatologist (skincare is definitely part of my family!), and as a child, we would play with all the samples he would get from brands like Avène or La Roche Posay, which have since developed from pharmacy brands into household beauty brands, so yes, I would say that anti-ageing is definitely part of French culture. Also, beauty is much less about being perfect but more about wellness and about being healthy. This is why you have older iconic actresses who are part of French popular culture, like Isabelle Huppert or Catherine Deneuve. I remove my makeup every evening and wear an SPF every day. Good skin starts with good skin hygiene.”