View Your Skin Care Routine Like The French

Women in France value having beautiful skin. They emphasize using the best skin care products available because skin care is very important to them. The abundance of many facial salons, not only in the big city of Paris, but also in small villages around the country shows how important skin care is. There are about as many skin care salons in France as there are nail salons in the United States. Monthly facials are a regular part of a woman’s life in France. In the U.S. we are so busy with our lives and always have excuses to not take the time to relax and care for ourselves with a nice pampering facial because we think it is unnecessary. Balancing your life and caring for your skin with natural and organic 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 women in France. They know that how they care for their skin today paves the way for the future health of their skin. They care for their skin at home religiously and practice daily habits of good skin care. They wash 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 their skin care from a clinical point of view, while French women often consider their skin care a pleasurable ritual that plays a part in each day. American women many times wait for a skin disorder to force them to take better care of their skin. 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. Their philosophy is that skin care lasts a lifetime, while makeup lasts a day. Makeup is sometimes formulated to cover up skin problems rather than fixing the problem. Without the problem areas, not as much makeup is needed for cover up – not something cosmetic companies want to deal with.

French women take it seriously:

 French women in general take their skin care regimen seriously even from an early age. This gives them a huge upper hand when it comes to skin aging and they are serious about every step in their skin care routine. Treatments such as milky luxurious cleansers instead of soaps and gels and toners for balancing the PH of their skin so the products penetrate and work optimally. They also use serums to get nutrients into the deeper layers of their skin with their smaller molecules. Also used commonly are moisturizers and face oils that deposit moisture, hydrate and heal the skin. Also commonly used are masques and scrubs that remove old dead cells, tighten pores and reveal the new plump young cells. So instead of waiting for aging to take its toll and then fighting it with potentially irritating and dangerous ingredients that put their skin into overdrive in a damaging way, they employ a routine that slows and softens the effects of aging long before they begin. Always 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 on your skin. Americans have an unfortunate perception that a beauty product only works if they 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 – your 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”, or “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 regular weekly to monthly facials are a must for every woman. This care can take time and money, so an in-home facial can be just as cleansing without the exorbitant cost. Exfoliators and masques can remove dead skin cells, moisten, plump and make your skin glow. They also shrink pores, even out skin tones and allow better absorption of quality skin products.

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

 These major areas of attention are 1) cleansing the skin, 2) toning the skin, 3) using the best natural face serums, moisturizers and face oils to nourish the skin, 4) nightly regimens with an anti-aging serum and 5) weekly to monthly facials which can be done in your own home, or in a natural, botanical product salon if you prefer.

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 fashioned bar soap and is even skeptical of liquid facial cleansers that can strip, damage and cause dry flaky skin on the face. These facial cleansers should be gentle enough to use several times a day even on the most sensitive skin.

Next: 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 skin’s 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.

Next: 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 the serum products 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.

Next: Skin moisturizing…

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!