Skin Care – The French Way

Updated: 9/7/14. French skin care is quite different than American skin care. How do French women care for their skin? Which products do French women use? As a celebrity esthetician and one who travels to France to research skin care and get inspiration, I will share French skin care tips and things I have learned along the way.

Facial Salons

French women value having beautiful skin and put a big emphasis on using the best products for their skin type. It is rather obvious due to how many facial salons there are, not only in the big city of Paris, but also the small villages around the country. They practically have as many skin care salons as we in the United States have nail salons. Monthly facials are a regular part of a women’s life in France. In the U.S, we are so busy with our lives that we don’t take the time to relax and care for ourselves with a nice pampering facial. Similarly with food, Americans are so busy and often view eating as something we have to do to sustain our energy (think “fast” food), but the French truly love food and take their time to enjoy it with their lunches and dinners often lasting 2-4 hours. The French know how to balance their lives and care for their skin and getting their regular monthly facials is something they are never too busy to do.

Read: Six French Beauty Tips

Read: 10 Reasons To Get A Facial

Starting Early

Prevention is the key to their beautiful skin. By starting young (as early as 15), getting regular facials and following a good home care routine are very important to the French. They know that how they care for their skin today paves the road for the future health of their skin. They are diligent about using their French skin care products. Many American women wait until years later to get serious about their skin in hopes of erasing the skin sins of their past.

Minimal Makeup

Because they are so disciplined about caring for their skin, they like to reveal its beauty, rather than covering it up with heavy makeup. Makeup is viewed as something to enhance them, not to hide under.

Read: Renée Rouleau Attends Paris Beauty Week

Keeping It Gentle

In the U.S., there has been much advancement in professional skin treatments that can improve the appearance of the skin and slow down skin aging. Microdermabrasion, lasers and chemical peels are some of these popular treatments. But the French really haven’t embraced these procedures. Why? Primarily because of the prevention they have taken with their skin allows them to not have to seek these treatments to “fix” the damage done on the skin. American women seek out these invasive procedures to try to turn back the clock instead of focusing on prevention.

Read: Microdermabrasion Gone Wrong

Skin Care Products

Since French women religiously care for their skin at home and practice good skin care habits (washing their face every night, using a gentle cleanser, toner and moisturizer morning and evening, giving their skin weekly masks), the skin care business is very competitive. There are many, many French skin care lines that are sold not only at the facial salons, but at the many beauty stores they have. The products are more “natural” using a lot of botanicals and essential oils. French women love using products like Bio Radiance Night SerumVitamin C&E Treatment and Glow Enhancing Cream. They don’t use harsh and invasive ingredients that may sting and cause irritation on their skin. Many American women have the philosophy of “if I can’t feel it working, it must not be working.” The Renée Rouleau Skin Care products are used by many French women.

See the entire collection of French-inspired Renée Rouleau products here.

Read: Are French Women Converting To American Skin Care Products?

Minimal Cosmetic Surgery

Cosmetic surgery in France is not nearly as popular as in the U.S. You won’t see many women who’ve had face lifts or have had Botox®. They take a very holistic approach and embrace their natural beauty. Self acceptance is very strong for the women of France.

Bio Visage Facial Treatments

This popular French skin rejuvenation treatment is considered to be a non-surgical face lift and gives almost instant, visible results to tighten, tone and firm aging skin. Low level electrical impulses are used in conjunction with specialized products to improve muscle tone in the face and neck, tighten and lift jowls, soften wrinkles, and restore the glow of youthful skin…after just one treatment. This painless, non-invasive facial has become  popular alternative to cosmetic surgery in France and is now being offered exclusively at Renée Rouleau Skin Care Spas.

But Then There’s The Smoking

They wear sunscreen daily, they limit their exposure to the sun, they practice good skin care habits, they keep their stress levels in tact, and they certainly eat healthy foods, but their one bad habit is smoking. Many, many women in France smoke. I actually walked into a nice skin care salon, and the receptionist who greeted me was actually smoking right there at the front desk! Smoking certainly isn’t healthy for their skin and many women do have a sallow, dull skin color as a result of both first and second hand smoke.

Which skin care products are best for you? See our nine skin types or take the Skin Type Quiz and get products recommended.

Need expert advice from a licensed esthetician? Schedule a virtual consultation to get customized advice in person, over the phone or online via Skype or FaceTime.

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Content found on, including: text, images, audio, or other formats were created for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog.



  1. Hi! I have been a long time user of the clarisonic and in the past year or so have started to think my skin is no longer reacting to it like it has in the past. I have been reading about the use of scrubs and acids instead on your advice pages and wonder if I do three days on three days off with an acid, what days do you usually incorporate a facial scrub? Also, is it better to do three days on and then three days off or do every other night….I would like to find a good balance between acid and scrub but my skin just doesnt seem to be responding! Any advice is greatly appreciated!

    Posted By: Sarah J  | 

    • Renée Rouleau

      Hello Sarah, Thanks for reading my blog. So I suggest three nights on, three nights off with an acid serum and then for a facial scrub you can use it 2-3 mornings a week. You might do two of the mornings when you have not used the acid the night before, and then one other morning when you did use the acid serum the previous night. But always listen to your skin. It will let you know if it’s too much. Redness and irritation is a no-no, of course.

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

      • Thanks so much for a fast response! As a follow up, would I get similar results if I used a scrub threeish times a week or every other night? Or acids are an important incorporation into any routine? If I decide to get three nights/three off plus a scrub 2 times a week, do you have any tips or recommendations for how to keep track of what days to do the scrub since the days will always be changing on this regimen? Seems a bit overwhelming to remember what night you did what! but that could just be me 😉 Thanks so much for this help!

        Posted By: Sarah J  | 

        • Renée Rouleau

          Acids will definitely deliver better results because they work deeper within the skin. And as for the scrub, don’t worry if you can remember when you use it, just do the best you can.

          Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 


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