View Your Skin Care Routine Like The French

French women value having beautiful skin and put a big emphasis on using the best skin care products. It is rather obvious due to how many facial salons there are, not only in the big city of Paris, but also the small villages around the country. They practically have as many skin care salons as we in the United States have nail salons. Monthly facials are a regular part of a woman’s life in France. In the U.S. we are so busy with our lives that we do not take the time to relax and care for ourselves with a nice pampering facial. Balancing our life and caring for your skin with natural and organic top of the line skin care products is a must to keep your skin youthful and glowing.

“Prevention is the key to beautiful skin”

Following a good home care routine is very important to the French. They know that how they care for their skin today paves the road for the future health of their skin. They religiously care for their skin at home and practice good skin care habits, washing their face every morning and evening using gentle botanically based/filled cleansers, toners, serums, moisturizers and face oils.

“Skin care lasts a lifetime, while makeup lasts a day”

American women tend to see skin care from a clinical point of view, while French women often consider their time with their skin care a pleasurable ritual that plays a part in their day. The French philosophy on beauty is simply to make looking great and aging well a part of their daily life. They do that by pampering their skin with the most beneficial ingredients Mother Nature has to offer. French women see their skin care as an investment in themselves and will buy more skin care products than makeup. The philosophy is that skin care lasts a lifetime, while makeup lasts a day.

French women take it seriously:

 French women in general take their skin care regimen seriously from an early age. This gives them a huge upper hand when it comes to aging and they are serious about every step in their skin care routine from milky luxurious cleansers instead of soap and gels and toners for balancing the PH of their skin so the products penetrate and work optimally, serums to get nutrients into the deeper layers with their smaller molecules and moisturizers and face oils to deposit moisture, hydrate and heal the skin, not to mention masques and scrubs to remove the old dead cells, tighten pores and reveal the new plump young cells. So instead of waiting for aging to begin and then fighting it with potentially irritating and dangerous ingredients that put your skin into overdrive in a damaging way, they employ a routine that slows and softens the effects of aging long before they begin. Just remember it is never ever too late to start your preventive, skin changing routine. Now is the perfect time to begin!

Go Natural... but what does that mean?

 I am a strong advocate of natural skin care and beauty products. French skin care lines use many more natural botanicals and essential oils than those in the U.S. They are also gentler. American’s have an unfortunate perception that a beauty product only works if you can feel it working. Due in part to this perception, many American skin care companies pack their products with harsh, inactive ingredients that do little more than cause irritated skin. Just remember chemicals with smaller molecules can enter the blood stream through your skin and thus your systems and organs. The average woman applies 200 chemicals through cosmetics and skin care products alone during the course of the day. I think you will agree that is a very high number!

So for “Une Belle Peau”, Beautiful Skin:

For the French, part of preventive skin care is eating whole foods. Your skin is an organ – you’re largest in fact – and everything you eat and drink affects it. Fresh organic vegetables and unprocessed foods help your skin stay clear and healthy. So for “Une Belle Peau”, beautiful skin, stick to whole foods, lots of vegetables and plenty of water for happy, glowing skin!  

French skin care facials…

French skin care is a way of life and as such weekly to monthly facials are a must for every woman, this can take time and money so an in home facial can be just as cleansing. Exfoliators and masques can remove dead skin cells, moisten, plump and make your skin glow, plus shrink pores, even out skin tones and allow better absorption of skin products.

“Five major steps in a French woman’s daily skin care routine

 These include cleansing your skin, toning it, using the best natural face serums, moisturizers and face oils to nourish it, nightly regimens with an anti-aging serum and weekly to monthly facials which you can do in your own home or in a natural, botanical product salon.

Skin cleansing, first things first!

 Cleansing of the facial skin should be at the top of every skin care routine. For Europeans and most notably the French, cleansing of the skin begins with special crème and milk cleansers. French skin care rejects old fashion bar soap and is even skeptical of liquid facial cleansers which can strip, damage and cause dry flaky skin on the face. Facial cleansers should be gentle enough to use several times a day even on the most sensitive skin.

The importance of skin toning…a thousand times yes!

The reason why French skin care routine places significant emphasis on toners is because these products can balance out the PH level (potential hydrogen) of your skin which allows the skins PH to stay around 5.5 or a little lower which in turn helps the skin to maintain and retain the skin’s fatty protective layer and moisture. This is a big YES and exactly what our skin needs to absorb all those good nutrients and look dewy fresh! Once the skin is cleansed it is patted dry and a facial toner is applied after about a minute. This ensures that the skin is clean and dry which maximizes absorption of the toner. If there is any oil or dirt left on the skin the toner will take care of it. Now the skin is primed to absorb the nutrients in the serums and moisturizers.

Facial serums…smaller molecules equal deeper penetration.

The use of anti-aging serum products is not unique to French women but their skin care routine dictates a more regular utilization than other cultures. Skin needs to repair after a day of exposure to the damaging harsh elements in the environment. Due to their thinner consistency and smaller molecules they also penetrate the skin deeper and are packed with a higher percentage of patent ingredients.   

Instead of a nightly routine involving heavy night time crèmes French skin care directs you to cleanse once more with a gentle crème or milk cleanser, tone your skin and wait a few minutes to ensure your PH balance is properly set. Only after that should the anti-aging serum be applied by itself or you can add a crème after the serum for more moisture if needed right before bed.

Skin moisturizing…

The moisturizing might mean using specially made oils instead of facial crèmes. Aromatic and therapeutic face oils are a favorite way for French women to moisturize their skin. This is because oils are lighter and are more easily absorbed into the skin. Crèmes and sunscreens are also used in French skin care. Specialized oils and crèmes can quickly address dry flaky skin feeding it with nutrients to balance it. Using them daily keeps the skin calm, moist and plump thus minimizing inflammation, fine lines, and wrinkles.  We need fatty acids in our daily diets to keep our bodies healthy and we need the same fatty acids and lipids to keep our skin healthy.

Face oil, dewy skin for days!

 If you are looking to have healthier, younger looking skin without exposure to harsh chemicals, toxins, treatments or pharmaceutical ingredients then by adding face oils to your skin care routine you can actually transform your skin to a balanced, dewy, glowing, younger looking you.

When you apply the face oil it is absorbed into the epidermis (top layer of the skin) where it quickly improves and re-stabilizes the lipid barrier function. This oil can actually penetrate close to the collagen level because of the small molecules, and helps restore plump skin and diminish or eliminate some of the fine wrinkles.  

Apply your face oil in place of your moisturizer or layered with the moisturizer first then face oil. 

Natural facial masques, Oui!

Using a natural hydrating facial masque one to two times per week can bring back a youthful look and glow to your skin. It revitalizes, brightens, de-stresses your skin and aids in cell renewal. Plus, it just makes all your other skin care products work that much better!

The Dermatology Review, Renee Rouleau