The UK may have the ‘English Rose’ but when it comes to perfect skin, the French know their stuff. And it shows!
If you’ve ever been on holiday to France and popped into a chemist, you might know what we mean – shelf after shelf of luxury French skincare products for the same price as a bottle of shampoo. Which makes the restrictions on flying with liquids even MORE unfair.
Many French women are taught about skincare from an early age. They stay out of the sun, always cleanse, tone and moisturise and apply eye cream religiously. Having a set routine for your skincare makes things easy and means you’ll stick to it, even on those nights you’ve had a few too many gin and tonics.
So, if your current routine consists of no more than a packet of wipes and a splash of cold water, it’s time to learn beauty tips the French way. Here are 5 steps to French-fresh skin…
- Use micellar water to remove eye makeup
Micellar water is a very gentle formula that removes any kind of makeup in a few quick swipes, but it’s particularly good for eye makeup. Applied to a cotton wool pad, it dissolves mascara and shadow without the need for rubbing – perfect for the delicate eye area.
Micellar waters are widely available in France and luckily, they’ve now arrived here in the UK too!
- Embrace oils
If you have oily skin, adding more oil to it may seem like the worst thing you can do… but it’s not! By stripping skin of its natural oils with harsh, alcohol-based cleansers, you’re only encouraging it to produce more. The skin needs oil to be balanced and healthy so if you take it away, more appears in its place and skin remains shiny. Not a good look.
To get glowing skin, use a light facial oil after your evening cleanse (before moisturiser) to replenish your skin – we promise you won’t wake up looking like an oil slick!
- Use a flannel
Forget foaming cleansers, vibrating brushes and grainy exfoliators – you just need a flannel. Flannels naturally exfoliate the skin without scratching the surface, they wipe away all traces of makeup and are gentle yet effective – no wonder babies love them!
To get the most from your flannel, do a ‘hot cloth cleanse’ – apply a cream or balm cleanser to a dry face, soak your flannel in hot water and wipe away the cleanser.
- Make sure your moisturiser has SPF
We’re not blessed with great weather here in the UK, but those grey skies don’t mean we’re protected from the sun. You might wear an SPF when the sun’s shining but to really shield your skin, you need one every day.
That doesn’t mean slathering a heavy, white cream on over your perfectly-applied makeup, though – many moisturisers and even some foundations contain enough SPF to protect you on cloudy days when you’re not sitting out in the sun. Just check the label before you buy and try to go for SPF 20+.
If you are sitting out in the sun (lucky you!), use a full SPF all over and reapply every few hours.
- Sleep on it
According to L’Oreal research, UK women recognise lack of sleep as their number 1 beauty enemy – ahead of pollution, hormonal changes and stress. And scientists have confirmed that fatigue can leave skin weaker and more vulnerable to age faster.
But when you’re juggling deadlines, that never-ending to-do list and young children, getting more beauty sleep isn’t an easy skincare solution. So instead focus on making the most of the sleep that you do get by investing in a good sleeping cream that will nurture your skin in the ‘Golden Hours’ – the 3 hours of sleep between 11pm and 2am that are believed to be the most important for your skin’s regeneration. A decent collection of comfy bedding helps too!
Images courtesy of L’Oreal and Garnier