Hey guys! I hope you all had great weeks & are preparing for even better weekends. Today I’m going to share with you Part I of my French lifestyle inspired skincare routine. I’m always getting questions from friends about how to achieve that fresh-faced glowing skin that all French women have seemed to perfected down to a tee; so for today, I thought we should start out with the basics: skincare and routines!
When I first arrived in France 2 years ago, one of the things I almost immediately started doing (and still do) was wear less makeup. After being immersed within French culture through both my studies and my personal life, I’ve found that one of the largest differences between the states and France is a woman’s outlook on her skin and appearance.
Perhaps it’s contributed to the immensely difference approaches to skin care, or maybe it has something to do with the higher cost of makeup. Whatever it may be, one thing is for sure, the French focus more on their skincare and then makeup second.
Over the last year I’ve drastically changed my approach to my skincare. I’ve not only changed my diet to include more water, fruits, and whole grains; but I’ve also invested time and money into the routine and products that go on my skin. Because of these changes to my skin care approach, I’ve found that I don’t “need” makeup to hide my skin, but rather utilize it to enhance it’s natural beauty.
Being in Paris, I have direct access to some of the best skincare brands for a fraction of their USA costs. I’ve added more steps into my routine to include toners, serums, and oils; as well as invested in a Foreo facial scrubbing brush and higher end products that have a bigger payoff.
Here are some of my can’t live without products that are a part of my daily routine.
Most days I will use Bioderma Micellaire Cleansing Water. The water here in Paris is really harsh on the skin, and if you have even slightly sensitive skin, washing with the tap water here everyday can really damage it. It’s no secret here that Bioderma makes the best micellaire water. I have tried out a bunch of different kinds but I keep coming back to this one. It doesn’t leave a weird film on my skin & a huge selling point for me is that it doesn’t irritate my eyes (which I’ve found a lot of micellaires can do). I pick mine up from Citypharma Du Four Bonaparte in Paris. They sell them in a pack of two for a steal of a price.
When I feel my skin is in need of a deep cleansing, or if I’m prepping for a mask, I love using my FOREO brush with Nuxe Comforting Cleansing Milk or Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser (SOS Glossier I need you to ship to France so I can restock!). It’s super gentle on my skin while still exfoliating all my dry winter skin away. Bonus, you never have to replace the brush because it is silicone and it’s super easy to clean (lazy beauty girl problems). Another great cleanser I’ve recently started using is Bio Beauté by Nuxe gentle exfoliating cleanser. It’s made with all natural exfoliants so it’s good for your skin and the environment.
During the winter, my normal combination skin gets uncomfortably dry super quickly. I’ve struggled with having both acne in my T-zone and patches of extremely dry skin, all at the same time. Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré is my holy grail of winter face creams. It primes my T-zone without becoming oily, and smoothes away any dry patches on my face.
For my eye creams, I like to start with Nuxe’s Creme Prodigieuse Eye. It’s an anti-fatigue + anti-aging cream. It helps my eyes from looking puffy while also giving me the moisturizing power I need to keep any fine lines at bay. After that sets into my skin, I top it off with Bobbi Brown’s Extra Repair Balm. It’s so thick and creamy, but it sinks deep into your skin. It also has a primer so it makes my eye-makeup and concealer look flawless.
Whenever I’m feeling like my skin is looking dull or tired, I like to use Korres Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial. Not only does this stuff smell amazing, but I wake up the next morning with bright and refreshed skin. It also is super moisturizing so I never have to worry about sacrificing necessary moisture for a night.
My nightly moisturizer is Creme de la Mer Moisturizing Soft Creme. This stuff is such a splurge but I don’t know how I could live without it in the winter. I tend to use it at night before I go to bed because it is a thicker cream. When I wake up the next morning, whatever dry patch I had the night before has completely vanished. For anyone who is looking for a splurge worthy face cream that won’t risk any break outs, I can’t recommend this creme enough.
In addition, for when my skin is feeling extra dry, I use Nuxe Huile Prodigeuse or Caudalie Night Detox Oil. I pat 3-4 drops on top of my daily routine to quench my skin after a wind storm or being in a room where the heater is on full blast.
I tend to alternate a lot when it comes to skin serums. Depending on the specific need of my skin on that given day, I will alternate and tweak what kinds of serums I use. Serums are a statement in my routine, but I like to switch them based on how my skin is looking and feeling that day. My day-time serum is always La Roche Posay Antioxidant Serum with Sunscreen. It is packed full of antioxidants and is SPF 50 so I never have to worry about forgetting to put sunscreen on. I was a little worried at first because a lot of products with sunscreen will either look super oily, or will break me out (or both). This stuff does neither of those. It absorbs right into my skin like any normal serum, just with the added bonus of SPF.
Besides from the basics, I also use a variety of toners on my skin. If you don’t already know, there are many different types of toners depending on your skin type. I personally love Pixi’s Glow Tonic Toner, which helps even out skin tone and texture. I like to follow this with a toning facial spray. Caudalie’s Facial Elixir is the perfect addition to help prep your skin for moisturizer.
Retinol is a treatment that my dermatologist recommended to me for my hormonal acne around three years ago. Even though today my breakouts have (mostly) subsided, I love using retinol creams occasionally. Whenever I’ve had a stressful day that has lead to a breakout or frown lines, I include my prescribed Retin-a cream into my routine. Now, I wouldn’t recommend this to just anyone (take my best friend Gina for example who had a horrible one week experience using the full strength cream). In the United States most retinol creams require a Rx from your doc anyways, so you can never go wrong with booking an appointment with your derm to see what they recommend is right for you.
One of my favorite things to do after a long day are face masks. I am currently obsessed with GlamGlow’s Super Mud & Gravity Mud masks. I like to double mask using the super mud mask in my t-zone to deep clean my pores and draw out impurities and gravity mud to help refresh the rest of my face.
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So there you have it! My go-to products and daily routine. Skincare is something I am so passionate about, & I would love to hear your feedback! Let me know what your favorite products & routines are! I always think the best way to discover my next obsession is through word-of-mouth, so feel free to leave a comment below about your own products and routines. Also, don’t forget to follow me on bloglovin‘ & Instagram so that you can stay up to date on my life and latest posts!