How to look like a Frenchwoman

The secrets of youth and beauty lie in these innovative Gallic skincare products

Juliette Binoche. Image: Getty

A survey by the online beauty retailer Escentual has found that, on average, a Frenchwoman will look 1.35 years younger than her British counterpart for every decade she reaches beyond the age of 20. By 40, French women will have skin that appears 3.4 years younger; by 60, the gap widens to 6.3 years. Perhaps this has something to do with the investment they make in their skincare regime: the Gallics spend more than £1.9bn a year on anti-ageing products, which is twice as much as the British.

No wonder French skincare products continue to grow in sales on both sides of the Channel; here are a few of our favourites…

Vichy Slow Age Daily Fluid, £20

Vichy turns the concept of ageing on its head, claiming that the aim is not to look younger, but to age better. This daily moisturiser contains vitamins C and E, as well as baicalin, an antioxidant extract that has been used in Chinese medicine for more than 2,000 years. Plus, there’s SPF 25 to fulfil your day-to-day skincare requirements.

Darphin L’Institut Youth Resurfacing Peel with a Botanical Blend, £49

Darphin’s new peel provides the radiance normally given by a low-level glycolic peel, but with less irritation. Used once a week (but not suitable for those with sensitive skin), it will boost the skin’s natural turnover of cells, enhance evening skin tone and reduce pores and fine lines.


Institut Esthederm Intensif Hyaluronic Masque, £34.30

For a concentrated hit of hyaluronic acid – crucial to retaining hydration in the skin – use this thick cream masque on the face and neck. Afterwards, skin is plumper and more supple, without that tight feeling ordinarily found post-masque.

Chanel Hydra Beauty Micro Crème, £66 (launching at the end of April)

This is the first moisturiser to contain camellia micro-droplets, which fuse with the skin on application. With 5,000 micro-droplets per 50ml, the active ingredient is preserved until it reaches the skin, providing comfort and refreshing moisture on contact. 


La Roche-Posay Pigmentclar, £25.50

La Roche-Posay’s first correcting care has been developed specifically for the eye contour, targeting fine lines, hydrating the skin, and soothing and brightening tired eyes. 



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