Skin Care- Comme les Français
As I write this I have a volcanic clay mask (by Epicuren) richly slathered on my face. Applying a mask is a ritual I have been doing once (sometimes twice) a week ever since I lived in Paris.
Before living in Paris- skin care was not something I paid much attention to. Admittedly I was still very young when I was in France (20 ans) but as far as French women are concerned, you are never too young to start caring for your skin.
In Paris there is a salon de beauté on what feels like every corner. Yes, the French are obsessed with beauty but in a different way than Americans. I find that they are happier with the way they look and would rather enhance their beauty than change it with surgery. Characteristics like a prominent nose, a gap between the teeth and/or a petite chest (all things that are desperately sought to be corrected aux États Unis) are actually revered in France. No, the way the French are obsessed with beauty is by taking care of their assets- what they already have- not by trying to alter themselves.
Perhaps the biggest asset of the French woman is her skin. Most French women get regular facials and use only the best skin care products they can afford when taking care of their skin at home. It is something that is simply done and not really talked about. Both Madame Chic and Madame Bohemienne had excellent skin. Both were women over 40; both with children. I could probably bet my life that neither of them had Botox or any other form of cosmetic surgery. No, their beautiful complexions were the result of years of ritualistic skin care.
Living with Madame Chic, I was too shy to ask about her skin care routine. The question seemed intrusive- too personal. I instead, became a detective to my curiosity. Because we shared a bathroom, I got a chance to see what sort of products Madame Chic used for her skin: Madame’s regime involved cleanser, toner, rose water and moisturizing cream (I’m sure there was exfoliant as well but alas I did not feel comfortable snooping for it- I am only reporting on what was on the counter- which I consider to be fair game!). And I did note on several occasions in the six months I lived with her that she would occasionally come back from an afternoon out in the city with glowing, complexion- the sort that one gets right after having a facial.
When I turned 25 I started to get regular facials. At first (due to my minimal budget) I would get one every two months and as time went on I started to get them every month. After a few years of doing this I can definitely see dramatic improvements in my skin, which has always been rather troublesome. My problems with breakouts and uneven complexion have gone down dramatically, and because my skin is clearer and smoother, I wear less makeup as a result (a must for le no makeup look). I will expound more on the wonders of skin care- Comme les Français in future posts but for now I need to take off my Volcanic Clay Mask.
I would love to know… what do you do to take care of your skin?
Pictured above are three products I really love: Volcanic Clay Mask, Fine Herbal Scrub and Hydroplus Moisturizer... all by Epicuren.