French skincare secrets are carefully guarded passed from mother to daughter. A heritage French skincare brand bares it all
April 1, 2021
Parisienne beauty ritual are carefully guarded passed from mother to daughter and the envy of women across the globe.
French girl beauty has a certain je ne sais quoi, made up of neglected fringes, a dab of red lipstick and a total devotion of skincare. We learn some French skincare rules and values from the 100-year-old heritage French skincare brand, Payot:
Like a vintage tweed jacket, Parisienne beauty ritual are carefully guarded passed from mother to daughter and the envy of women across the globe. With whisperings from Paris, we unlock the secrets to their perfectly imperfect approach to beauty.
“To achieve a beautiful, clear complexion you have to take care of your skin, and French women learn very young how to do this,” says Payot CEO Marie-Laure Simonin Braun. The French skincare philosophy is all about working with the skin you have by investing in regular facials and targeting concerns in each step of your regimen.
“On a daily basis skin is cleansed and toned, followed by a serum, an eye cream, and a day cream,” says Payot’s Australian national education and sales training manager, Jodie Whiley. Then, add an SPF50 to protect, a night cream to nourish, and weekly exfoliation to deep clean. These steps may not sound earth-shattering, but the key here is compliance. Routines are followed religiously, which is what really gets results.
“For French women, the focus is on skin, not makeup,” says Simonin Braun. They embrace their skin’s natural texture, freckles, and lines, and tend to opt for barely-there makeup rather than strive for a flawless finish.
As such, French women seek out regimens that ensure their skin is healthy and hydrated at all times. Sourcing tried-and-tested ingredients from plant botanicals is key – goji and açai revive skin’s glow with vitamin C, watermelon, and fig extracts drench skin with moisture, while Chilean mint and zinc power Payot’s cult-favourite spot-eraser. When your skin is naturally-glowing, just a touch of makeup gets the job done.
Cleanse Like You Mean It
Whether you opt for a swipe of micellar water (a French creation to gently cleanse skin without using the country’s hard-on-skin water) or a double-cleanse routine, “cleansing day and night is the most important step and the first in age prevention,” says Whiley. “This enables the skin to function correctly and optimises the skin’s natural functions,” she explains. That’s why a two-step clean is often preferable: the first removes impurities and the second regenerates.
While committed to skincare, French women also credit their youthful visage to a holistic ritual: facial gymnastics. Developed by founder Nadia Payot in the late 1920s, the technique (known as the 42-movement massage) “encourage circulation, drainage, and firming, while increasing radiance and enhancing product penetration,” says Simonin Braun. And while the spa experience may be more involved, adding even a little massage into your daily beauty routine turns skincare into self-care with benefits.
Respect The Icons
Many iconic French skincare brands are revered for their history. This is not a culture obsessed with what’s new, but rather one that celebrates the knowledge that comes with decades of experience in formulating skincare. Payot, or example, a brand behind one of the first spas to open in Paris and many breakthrough formulas, is now celebrating its 100-year anniversary with a cult following.