What is French Skincare?

The idea behind French women having healthy, beautiful skin is simple yet effective skincare products. With a reputation for luxury, French skincare has garnered a reputation as trustworthy to bring healthy skin makeovers with continued use.

French skincare focuses on refined formulations with abundant natural ingredients and fewer synthetic chemicals that are gentle on skin. French skincare is often based on the four principles: simplicity, quality over quantity, minimalism and prevention.

The Philosophy of French Skincare


Simplicity is a core aspect of French skincare. Unlike other beauty regimens that need multiple steps, this skincare routine tends to be no-nonsense, no-fuss and streamlined. The routine can be as short as three to five simple steps daily, therefore, the routine also does not overwhelm the skin. Some claim too many skincare products all at once can have an adverse effect as it may lead to further damage to the skin in the long run.

French skincare emphasizes using natural, high-quality ingredients such as botanical extracts, essential oils and antioxidants. These ingredients are clinically tested to deliver optimum results. France also has higher standards of what types of chemicals are allowed in their skincare products compared to other countries.

French women also take a holistic approach and embrace their natural beauty, focusing on both internal and external factors. They believe that diet, sleep and overall lifestyle choices all play a role in the health and appearance of the skin.

The French Pharmacy


As a tourist, you may be surprised discovering your favorite skincare brands and beauty essentials are relatively cheaper and easily available in French pharmacies. French pharmacy brands in the United States are often more expensive than in France. 

French pharmacies have long been known as the go-to for skincare, health problems and beauty needs. Not unlike the typical drugstore, French pharmacies have a licensed pharmacist who can advise on skin concerns.

In accordance with French regulations, only certified pharmacists are authorized to operate pharmacies, and they are restricted to managing a single pharmacy. Consequently, they tend to cultivate deeper and more personal connections with their customers, in contrast to the typical corporate pharmacies. 

French Skincare Routine


French skincare starts with cleansing to remove impurities, dirt, and excess oil from the skin using a mild cream cleanser like any other great skincare. Cleansing should not strip moisture but ensure clean and refreshed skin. 

The next step is to hydrate skin. Moisturizers play an essential role in French skincare to hydrate the skin as these products typically have lightweight textures and provide intense moisture without feeling heavy or greasy. 

The third step is sunscreen with an ample sun protection factor number (SPF). Sun protection is a non-negotiable aspect of French skincare. SPF 30 or above helps protect skin from harmful UV A & B, preventing sunburn and premature aging. 

Moreover, French skincare embraces the natural aging process, accepting the signs of maturity as a part of one's beauty and aging gracefully. They follow non-invasive approaches to defy undesirable aging signs.

French women apply concentrated serums that target specific skincare concerns, such as antiaging, brightening, and hydration, that work on deeper layers of the skin. In addition, French skincare places importance on preventive care and maintaining the skin's health over time rather than relying largely on corrective or intensive treatments.

Essential French Skincare Ingredients


Hyaluronic Acid


Due to its unique capacity to bind and retain water molecules, hyaluronic acid is renowned as a potent humectant. It is believed that one gram (or 0.03 oz.) of hyaluronic acid can hold up to six liters of water. This skin's moisture-magnet has a potent ability to hydrate the skin, which is especially beneficial for dry, dehydrated skin, leaving it soft, supple, and plump. Plus, this instant plumping effect immediately improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles to give skin a firmer and more toned effect. 

Hyaluronic acid has also been proven to speed up all stages of the wound healing process. It is compatible with almost all ingredients, making it seamless addition to most skincare routines.



Retinol is a type of first-generation retinoid derived from vitamin A that penetrates the deeper layer of the skin -dermis. Retinol accelerates cell turnover in the top layer of skin, encouraging new cells to grow underneath. Retinol also stimulates fibroblasts to generate matrix proteins-collagen and elastin and helps prevent collagen breakdown, supporting and strengthening the skin. It, in turn, smooths wrinkles and fine lines, giving skin a youthful resiliency. 

Moreover, Retinol helps thicken the surface layer of the skin-epidermis through improved cell division. While retinol is a very effective ingredient, it does make the skin sensitive to sunlight. Apply retinol product at nighttime and slather SPF 30 or above during the daytime to protect skin from increased damage from the sun.

Iconic French Skincare Brands and Their Signature Products


Bonjout Beauty


Bonjout Beauty developed the Bonjout Radiance System™, a patented formulation protocol created over 15 years of research with native stem cells from prickly pear and blue bird hibiscus that helps brighten the complexion, protect skin cells from UV damage and defy aging skin. Our Le Balm is a breakthrough product powered by 68 active ingredients in optimized levels, including Bonjout Radiance System to restore radiance, protect skin cells from UV damage and defy aging skin. 

Formulated with 99.2% of naturally derived ingredients, Bonjout Beauty’s unique formula strengthens skin lipid structure penetrating the barrier to the deeper epidermis and works to keep the skin looking and feeling its best!

La Roche-Posay


Often regarded as the premier dermo-cosmetic brand worldwide, La Roche-Posay offers a range of soothing skincare to help reduce dry to extra dry, eczema-prone skin. The brand's popular Effaclar Duo is a dual-action acne spot treatment with benzoyl peroxide and is currently the only acne treatment available with micronized benzoyl peroxide to deliver visible results in 3 days.

Other beloved products include their broad-spectrum Anthelios sunscreen SPF 60 made with antioxidants that protect skin from UVA & B, giving skin a lightweight, matte finish.



The original inventor of micellar technology, Bioderma’s product removes 99% of makeup, pollution and impurities, gently respecting the skin's ecosystem and preserving its health in a lasting way. The brand introduced Sensibio H2O, a cleansing and makeup-removing micellar water for sensitive skin. The mild micelle formula works to soothe irritated skin. 



Avène is known as a French skincare brand with a reputation for treating sensitive and intolerant skin. Avène Thermal Spring Water is specifically designed to soothe dry skin, refresh oily skin, and soften aging skin, harnessing the power of its natural mineral composition. 

The brand's Cicalfate Cream is also highly regarded as it is an occlusive protective formula that helps restore the skin barrier and deliver hydration.

Customizing a French Skincare Routine Based on Your Skin’s Needs


French skincare is simple, yet effective skincare formulated with clinically-proven ingredients to enhance your skin. It is often associated with affordable luxury and effortless efficacy. A French skincare routine can be as short as three to five simple steps daily and customizable to your skin’s specific concerns.

If you are overwhelmed with your multi-step skincare routine or seeking something different, consider switching to French skincare. As French skincare is easily adaptive, you can simply tweak the current regimen to a new few-step routine that works perfectly for you.

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