The French Skincare Routines Women Swear By

​French women are known for their effortless style and beauty. It often feels like they wake up looking flawless. All they need is to swipe on some clear gloss, pop on a beret, and they're street style ready within a minute. The truth is: it all starts with a great beauty routine.

If you've ever wondered how Parisian women keep their dewy glow and get that clean face chic look, take a peek at the tips below. Women of different ages who have all lived in Paris share a few of their favorite French beauty routines suggestions. You may be surprised at just how simple it is to get that Parisian beauty look. Keep in mind that everyone's skin care needs are different, but you're likely to find something with that special je ne se quoi to try!

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Britta Uschkamp by Valerie Dray

Britta Uschkamp, 40, is a Digital Communications Manager & Lingerie Designer who grew up in Germany and has resided in Paris since 2004. For her gorgeous skin, her first French beauty routine tip: hydrate! "I love mineral water, especially Vichy St-Yorre, it has a lovely salty taste and lots of minerals in it", she says. In addition, her beauty routine consists of basic steps to a great life like exercise, and feeling happy.

And one skin care step she highly suggests is to skip sugary and highly processed foods. "I have been trying this 'zero sugar' thing for one and a half months now and it makes me much more dynamic and comfortable in my skin. Basically, I am not having anything with added sugar in it... So far, I am not missing a thing, so I will continue until I really want to eat some cake", she states.

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Skin Refreshment


Another kind of water is just as popular when it comes to French skincare. Sensibio H2O by Bioderma is one of the most popular French drugstore beauty products. Specifically designed for sensitive skin but a great option for most any skin type, it combats redness and dehydration which leads to tightness and fragility of the skin while removing makeup and dirt.

According to its site, this micellar water is also a winning product because "its fatty acid esters, the constituent elements of micelles, are similar to the phospholipids of the skin cell membranes and naturally help rebuild the skin's hydrolipidic film." In essence, that scientific talk means you can use this popular French item to refresh your skin's appearance and feel. This is especially important because tap water can be filled with all sorts of impurities. Frequent Paris visitors know that the city's hard water means cleansing your face isn't always so great for your skin. A dab of this and a swipe of a cotton ball is all you need to say ooh la la again!

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Minimal Makeup and Moisturizer

Jenny R
Credit: Jenny Rieu by Portrait Madame

Jenny Rieu, is an actress and model is originally from France and now resides in Los Angeles, CA. Though she says she has dealt with mild breakouts for much of her adult life, she noted that skincare has always been a top step in her beauty routine. Interestingly, she added that most of the women in her family "choose not to wear make up on the daily basis, I mean really nothing", she stresses.

She sees the positive effects of wearing less makeup, saying that her mother and aunt "look fairly young and their skin is quite beautiful. None of them use any skin care products of any sort, besides a moisturizer. My mum is almost 60 years old and she just started getting facials, isn't that something?!" 

For moisturizer, Rieu and many Parisian women suggests La Roche-Posay. This company has many types of moisturizer from which to choose, so you can find the formula that best suits your needs. One of the key ingredients is the selenium-rich thermal spring water that the brand sources in heart of France, in the town of La Roche-Posay, naturally. This has been used as a key ingredient in their skin care formulas in 1975.

It's the rare mineral salts and trace elements that sooth the skin and provide antioxidant skincare properties (and highly regarded by beauty scientists for decades).

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Sun Protection

Viva la Peau

Hydration and moisturizer are French beauty routine musts. And so is protection! Every French girl knows about the importance of sunscreen. In fact, many French women choose sunscreen as the only product they apply each morning. But for someone with oily skin it’s difficult to find a sunscreen that will moisturize without leaving a greasy film on the skin. According to  Victoria Roshchyna Monzon, the founder of Viva La Peau, Viva La Peau Oil-Free Protective moisturizer SPF 30 does the job. 

"Peau" translates to "skin" in English, and though the product is made in USA, it's inspired by the French approach to beauty. Roshchyna says that the basics are what really matter, and "we truly believe that our sunscreen is the only cream you really need for a day." Protecting skin and keeping it hydrated is just the start. This formula contains 10 antioxidants which calm skin. Adds Roshchyna, "We think that our little black jar, just like a little black dress - works on any occasion!"

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Cleanse and Tone

Wencillia Querbel

24 year old blogger and writer, Wencillia Querbel, is originally from France and now resides in Quebec. She stresses the importance of sleep, lots of water, and clean skin. To keep her skin sparkling she reaches for Decléor Aroma Cleanse cleansing mousse and Neroli serum, echoing the remarks other French women that "they keep my skin hydrated all winter." 

She's also been known to use the Clarins Gentle Refiner which exfoliates away dull, flaky surface cells while tightening pores. And she swears by the Christian Lénart Rose water which she uses as a toner to refresh her skin during hot summer months. It's paraban free and made in France, and can usually be bought for under $10 USD. 

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Keep it Natural

L'Officine Universelle Buly

If there's one thing about nailing the French beauty routine, it's to keep it simple and natural. The folks at L'Officine Universelle Buly know this to be true. This cult Parisian apothecary dates back more than 100 years and focuses on natural beauty, and have dedicated an entire book to the topic with their newest release An Atlas of Natural Beauty

To educate yourself, dive in to this beautifully illustrated, in-depth guide to the past and present uses of 80 natural botanicals. The book describes the best kept French beauty secrets, tips, and even recipes for naturally radiant skin. 

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