Before moving to Paris, I have to admit that I never paid too much attention to my skincare routine. While my skin isn’t perfect, I’m lucky to have avoided skin issues like adult acne or psoriasis. Now that I’m getting older and living in a country renowned for its skincare solutions, I’ve started to follow a French skincare routine that I’m very happy with. Since adhering to this routine, I have fewer breakouts and my skin feels smoother and looks brighter. I hope it helps you figure out what works best for you and your skin!
Morning French Skincare Routine
Let’s start out with my everyday morning French skincare routine here in Paris.
The first step in my morning French skincare routine is to cleanse my face. I usually do this in the shower. I use the La Roche-Posay Toleriane Purifying Foaming Facial Cleanser which is an amazing French face wash for oily skin.
I have super puffy eyes in the morning so I apply French eye cream to help de-puff them. I currently use the Avène RetrinAL Eyes cream. This cream uses retinaldehyde and hyaluronic acid to reduce dark circles and puffiness. I follow it up with a bit of SPF-moisturizer since retinol does not do well under the sun!
Next, I apply a thin layer of serum all over my face. I have a few different serums that I rotate but I usually use the Caudalie Vinoperfect Serum or the Vichy Mineral 89 Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum.
Once my serum has dried, I follow up with a French facial moisturizer. I’m currently loving the Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré because it also doubles as a makeup primer!
I also use a French body lotion after showering as the Parisian water tends to strip my skin of oils, making it super dry. The La Roche-Posay Lipikar Balm AP+ Intense Repair Body Lotion is an ultra-hydrating lotion from France created for ultra-dry sensitive skin.
Evening French Skincare Routine
My nighttime French skincare routine involves removing the day’s makeup and pollutants and helping it regenerate as much as possible overnight.
The first step in my evening French skincare routine is to remove my makeup from the day. I try to do this first thing at night when I come home for the day. I use the Bioderma Sensibio H2O micellar water to do this. It’s great because it removes my makeup while gently cleansing my skin.
Next, I apply toner using a small cotton pad. Toners get rid of any excess makeup on my face that the micellar water didn’t get. The Avène Eau Thermale Gentle Toning Lotion is great for this.
A couple of minutes later I apply a French retinol cream on my face in three areas: at the crow’s feet of my eyes, in between my eyebrows, and on either side of my lips where my smile creases the skin. Retinol is pretty harsh on the skin and makes it sensitive to sunlight so use it sparingly and only at night!
If I don’t use a retinol cream that night, then I apply a French night cream to keep my face hydrated throughout the night.
Weekly French Skincare Routine
These are skincare steps that I complete less often – every few days or once a week maximum.
I love exfoliating my face as it feels so smooth afterward. Unfortunately, exfoliating too often can be damaging to the skin so I only do it once a week or so. I use the La Roche-Posay Ultra-Fine Scrub or the Embryolisse Exfoliate Cream.
I also do a face mask once a week, on Sundays generally when I have the time to really let it sit on my face during a bath. I love the Caudalie Instant Detox Mask which tightens pores and leaves my skin without redness.
Voila! That’s my French skincare routine since moving to Paris!