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Ever since I can remember, I’ve looked to French-girl style for everyday inspiration. From my honest, yet disastrous, 9th-grade attempt at blunt Amélie-style bangs to trying on countless red lipsticks, glosses, and stains in hopes of discovering which shade makes me look the most chic, I’ve probably spent an unhealthy amount of time searching for ways to become my very own version of the elusive French girl. Recently, I’ve come to the conclusion that the beauty practices that are so commonly associated with French culture are based on the idea of practicing self-care above all else, starting with giving your skin the TLC it deserves.

In this story, you’ll find the skincare accounts and advice of five Parisian content creators at the forefront of their perspective careers. They’ve even shared their favorite products, brands, and resources so you can try them out yourself. Read on to learn more about these French women and the skincare routines that keep them glowy, healthy, and chic.

Julie Bérard is a Paris-based content creator known for her minimalist approach to French fashion and ultra-chic styling. A quick scroll through her Instagram page reveals something else: her partiality to clean, effortless beauty. “I’m a huge lover of beauty and fashion, but I like to keep my skincare routine very simple,” says Bérard. “In the mornings, I clean my face with Chanel’s Micellar Cleansing Water, followed by washing my face with Sisley’s cream mousse cleanser. After, I apply La Prairie Oil to my face. In the evenings, I use Sisley’s Velvet Nourishing Cream with Saffron Flowers.”

Bérard’s favorite brand? Sisley Paris. “My favorite [Sisley Paris product] is their Black Rose Cream Mask,” she shared. “When I use this product after a good night’s sleep, my skin is extremely soft and perfectly hydrated the following morning.” Bérard credits her simple skincare routine to never having experienced major skin challenges. She did, however, share that she would encourage her younger self to prioritize drinking more water and maintain a healthy sleep schedule for an improved lifestyle.

“I may be biased, but I think French women are major players in both fashion and beauty,” Bérard added. “Regarding beauty, I think the French have a reputation for ‘natural’ beauty and wear very little makeup. I think this is not a misconception, but it’s a way of life (a style á la française).”

Meet Sabina Socol—a digital creator, model, and clothing brand founder based in Paris. I had a chance to catch up with her via email and ask how she maintains her clear, bright skin. “I like to double cleanse my face at night with a gentle cream cleanser even when I’m barely wearing makeup (which is most days),” explains Socol. “I moisturize every night with a rich night cream. I don’t cleanse my face in the morning, just a splash of water.” 

Socol is also a big believer in the ability of SkinCeutical’s Phlorentin CF serum to keep her skin healthy and glowing during chilly winter days. “It’s one of the rare products that’s truly made a difference in my skin’s appearance, in the sense that it’s made it look more bright and clear,” she says. Socol follows it with a cream-based moisturizer by French brand Embroylisse to replenish hydration and help restore her skin’s barrier.

The content creator also shared her perspective on the unique impact of French beauty on the world. “I think French women are looked to as major players in the world of beauty and skincare because heavy makeup and glam looks are not so popular in French culture. We focus more on skin and enhancing our natural features,” she tells me. “I also think that especially now, with the glam trends on social media (i.e. TikTok), it can be fascinating how we stay true to that. For me that’s just a cultural difference; a preference thing, and as humans, we’re always interested and fascinated by what’s done differently in other countries.”

I also got to ask Parisienne fashion and lifestyle content creator Léna Farl how she prepares her skin to rock her chic makeup looks (Farl has truly made the iconic French-girl red lip her own). “For my day skincare routine, I usually start by washing my face. I do a two-step cleansing routine from On the Wild Side with a cleansing oil first and then a cleansing gel to make sure my skin is perfectly clean. Then, I apply a plumping serum by Ulé Beauty followed by my favorite day cream (Je Suis Chill’s moisturizing CBD-infused cream). And then, finally, I can do my makeup,” says Farl. “My night routine is a little shorter, I clean my face with cleansing oil and gel and then apply my favorite Night Repair oil from Seasonly and use my quartz Gua Sha for a little restructuring and draining face massage.”

Her biggest skin concern has undoubtedly been a hormonal change due to stress and the city’s pollution. “It is the first time I am dealing with such a skin problem and it made me realize that it is important to take care of our skin,” Farl explains. She raises using clean skincare products and proper makeup removal as pivotal to maintaining a healthy skincare routine.

“I think that Parisian and French women, in general, are used to a simple skincare routine with only a few steps and a focus on hydration and cleansing! We do use a lot of natural and French pharmacy products with simple and clean formulas to take care of our skin,” Farl adds. “As we are not known to wear a lot of makeup, the importance of a glowy and healthy skin is primordial for us which is why I think people are always amazed by how good French girls’ skin look! I think that the biggest misconception about a Parisian woman’s skincare is that we do not take care of our skin and that we are naturally glowing, but the truth is that it still takes some effort for skin to look effortlessly healthy and glowing.”

Pia Moubayed is a content strategist and creator also based in Paris. Her Instagram is filled to the brim with cozy knits, warm tones, and effortless no makeup, makeup looks (sometimes with just a hint of a berry red lip). Moubayed’s skincare routine is simple and straight to the point; focusing on moisture. “I always cleanse then apply a moisturizing cream infused with a serum or oil that targets a specific skin need, then I apply an eye cream and sunscreen.” 

She’s also a reverent fan of serums and is especially fond of ones by French-American brand Odacité and the Lithuanian brand Madara. “I love how efficient they are at targeting specific skin issues, let alone their lovely texture and playfulness (the process of adding them into my day or night cream just makes it all more enjoyable.”

Her biggest skincare challenge has been combating sun damage and signs of aging on the skin. “Since I was a teenager, I’ve been really keen on getting the most long-lasting, intense tan ever (my blood is Lebanese so I have that special relationship to the sun and the sea and love a darker skin tone) so I wouldn’t really protect my skin in the best way. Yet since I’ve turned 25, I’ve started noticing early aging symptoms on my face and chest! So I have backtracked 100% and started using sunscreen on a daily basis summer through winter. I’ve understood that the slower the tanning process is, the longer it will last,” says Moubayed.

She also took the time to describe how French beauty has influenced skincare trends, highlighting cultural perceptions as the main driving force behind the reputation of French women as trendsetters as they’re known, “for their all-natural and self-care based approach to skincare.”

Anne-Laure Mais (popularly referred to as @adenorah on Instagram) also shared her winter skincare routine with me. As a Paris-based content creator and the Creative Director of the popular French label Musier Paris, she’s a woman on the go and the epitome of French-girl fashion. “At the moment, I’m moisturizing with my La Mer regenerating cream in the morning, and adding a touch of the C.E.O. Glow Vitamin C Face Oil from Sunday Riley in my foundation. The Ordinary Peeling Solution twice a week and Dior’s Prestige La Crème during the winter.”

Mais’ biggest skincare challenge to date has been maintaining a steady and healthy skincare routine from an early age. When asked what advice she would give to her younger self about French beauty, her answer was simple: less sugar in her diet. 

She also shared her perspective on the unique practices of French women that are so often replicated by beauty lovers everywhere: “Less is more. We like to wear very light makeup that people cannot see. I like when people tell me I have no makeup while I do wear it,” Mais adds. “People think we don’t do anything; it’s completely warranted but we actually do a few things to get this no-makeup makeup look.”

Next: Can You Mix Vitamin C and Niacinamide? A Derm Explains the 2 Buzzy Ingredients

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