There’s a reason that French actresses are permanent Pinterest fodder. With their windblown hair, smudgy eyeliner and red lips, nobody does carefree beauty like the French. Women all over the world revere French-girl beauty because French girls make it look easy to look, well, perfect. In spite of the temptations of vin rouge and pain au chocolat, French girls know how to get glowing skin by living a healthy lifestyle: drinking lots of water, staying out of the sun and getting a good night’s sleep. But above all else, French girls are committed to their beauty routines. They may be low-maintenance, but they never slack when it comes to skincare. Long before the perfectly imperfect lippy or liner is slicked on, the French-girl beauty look starts with a few essential skincare products. Want to do your best French-girl impression? Take a page from their beauty book with these must-haves. Achieving that je ne sais quoi is as easy as 1, 2, 3, and these are the best skincare products to help you do it.
- Banish dull skin.
French girls are serious about their skin. After all, clear, healthy skin is the best canvas, especially if you aspire to wear minimal makeup. Want to know how to get glowing skin? French girls always exfoliate to unlock their inner radiance. Regular exfoliation is a crucial step toward a brighter complexion because it helps remove built-up grime and dead skin cells. Freshly exfoliated skin also absorbs serums and moisturizers more effectively. (See step #2.) In true Parisian style, start your day with a caffeine fix—for your face! L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Coffee Scrub for Rough Skin contains finely ground Kona coffee and brown, blond and white sugars to gently resurface the skin’s outer layer and sweet almond and coconut oils to moisturize. Your face will instantly feel soft, smooth and clean.
- Lock in moisture.
A good daily moisturizer is a staple of French skincare. For lightweight hydration that stands the test of time, try L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Day & Night Moisturizer. Made with aloe water (which reinforces the skin’s barrier to prevent dehydration) and hyaluronic acid, this Korean-inspired formula gives skin a boost of moisture without any added shine. In fact, with continued use, skin will be healthier looking and less shiny. (Take note if an oily T-zone is the bane of your existence.) Have you heard about hyaluronic acid? This buzz-worthy ingredient is on every skincare junkie’s lips. Hyaluronic acid not only provides deep moisture but also has plumping properties that help reduce the appearance of fine lines and other imperfections. When skin is perfectly moisturized (and blemish-free), you’re less likely to depend on foundation and powder to camouflage your complexion and control oil, and, as we mentioned before, less makeup is quintessential to French-girl beauty. So, let your skin breathe!
- Always remove your makeup.
Speaking of letting your skin breathe, don’t ever go to bed without washing your face first. In case you didn’t know, one of the easiest (read “laziest”!) ways to wash your face is by using micellar water. As any French girl will attest, micellar water is one of the staples of French skincare. French girls prefer it because the water in France is notoriously hard. And you don’t even have to rinse it off, so there’s no excuse: Leave your micellar water by your bed and swipe your face with a cotton pad before hitting the pillow. L’Oréal Paris Micellar Water Complete Cleanser for Normal to Dry Skin is the best micellar water for sensitive skin. The gentle formula is free from oil, fragrance, alcohol and soap, so it won’t irritate your complexion. Also, because of the way micellar water works (micelle molecules act like magnets and attach themselves to dirt and makeup), you don’t have to scrub your skin to get the job done. L’Oréal Paris Micellar Water Complete is also available in Normal to Oily Skin and Waterproof (it can remove long-wear makeup) varieties, so you can choose the micellar water that works best for you. No self-respecting French girl would be caught without this French skincare staple on her vanity (or nightstand). Micellar water epitomizes everything we love about French-girl beauty: It’s easy-to-use and effective.