French Skincare

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12 Best French Face Exfoliators Parisians Rely On

Using a French face exfoliator can have serious benefits on your precious facial skin. However, it’s important to choose an exfoliator that is appropriate for your skin type and to use it in moderation to avoid over-exfoliation, which can cause irritation and damage to the skin.

Today I’ll share the best face exfoliators from France for you to try.

Why to Use an Exfoliator

Exfoliating helps to remove dead skin cells that can accumulate on the surface of the skin. This can help to reveal fresher, smoother, and brighter-looking skin.  By removing dead skin cells and unclogging pores, exfoliating can help to improve the texture of the skin. This can make the skin feel softer and smoother to the touch.

Exfoliating can help to unclog pores, which can reduce the likelihood of developing acne breakouts. It can also help to reduce the appearance of existing acne scars by encouraging skin cell turnover.

By getting rid of dead skin flakes and unclogging pores, exfoliating can help to improve the absorption of other skincare products. This means that your moisturizer, serum, or other skincare products will be able to penetrate more deeply into the skin and be more effective. Lastly, exfoliating can help to promote skin cell turnover, which can lead to a brighter and more radiant complexion.

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Types of Exfoliators

There are two main types of exfoliators: physical exfoliators and chemical exfoliators.

Physical exfoliators work by physically removing dead skin cells from the surface of the skin using abrasive particles or tools such as brushes, sponges, or scrubs. Some common examples of physical exfoliants include sugar, salt, oatmeal, apricot kernels, or jojoba beads. Physical exfoliators can be effective, but they can also be harsh on the skin if used too frequently or with too much pressure.

Chemical exfoliators work by using acids or enzymes to dissolve or loosen the bonds between dead skin cells and the skin’s surface. Chemical exfoliators can be gentler on the skin than physical exfoliators, but they can still be effective at removing dead skin cells and improving skin texture. Some common types of chemical exfoliants include alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) such as glycolic acid or lactic acid, beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs) such as salicylic acid, and fruit enzymes such as papain or bromelain.

What is Gommage?

Gommage is a French word that means “to erase” or “to rub off”. In the context of skincare, gommage refers to a type of exfoliation method that involves applying a gel or cream to the skin, allowing it to dry slightly, and then gently rubbing or rolling it off the skin’s surface.

The process of rubbing the product off helps to slough away dead skin cells, impurities, and excess oil, leaving the skin feeling smoother and softer. Unlike other types of exfoliation, such as scrubs or chemical peels, gommage is generally considered to be a gentler and more gradual method of exfoliation that is suitable for most skin types, including sensitive skin.

You can use each of the below products to practice the French gommage technique.

Best French Exfoliators for the Face

Here are the best face exfoliators from France to keep your face in its best shape. As a general guideline, most French skincare experts recommend exfoliating the face once or twice a week for normal to oily skin types. However, for people with sensitive or dry skin, it may be best to limit exfoliation to once every two weeks or even less frequently. Pay attention to how your skin reacts to exfoliation and adjust your frequency accordingly.

Best Pharmacy-Grade: La Roche-Posay Ultra Fine Scrub

The pharmacy-grade La Roche Posay Ultra Fine Scrub gently exfoliates to reveal smoother and brighter skin. It’s recommended by dermatologists across France for normal to sensitive skin.

Best High-End: Clarins One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser with Orange Extract

The Clarins One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser with Orange Extract removes impurities and leaves skin feeling refreshed. It works with plant-based ingredients to gently polish the surface of your facial skin and renew radiance. This is one of the best French face exfoliators Parisians love.

Best for Sensitive Skin: Avène Gentle Exfoliating Gel

The Avène Gentle Exfoliating Gel is perfect for sensitive skin as it gently exfoliates without irritation. Eliminate surface impurities while illuminate your skin with this gentle exfoliator.

Best for Oily or Combination Skin: Bioderma Sébium Exfoliating Facial Gel

The Bioderma Sébium Exfoliating Facial Gel is ideal for oily to combination skin types, helping to balance the skin and prevent breakouts using microbeads and chemically active ingredients such as glycolic and salicylic acids.

Best for Smoothing: Sisley Buff & Wash Facial Gel

The Sisley Buff & Wash Facial Gel is a luxurious exfoliant that polishes and refines the skin’s texture to leave it as smooth as possible. It’s a buffing exfoliator that is best for people who have a build-up of dead skin cells and need to purify often.

Best for Prepping: Sisley Botanical Gentle Facial Buffing Cream

The Sisley Botanical Gentle Facial Buffing Cream is a gentle yet effective exfoliant that leaves skin feeling soft and radiant. The Bamboo micro-particles refines the skin texture with soothing ingredients. It’s best for prepping the skin for a face treatment such as a mask or self-tanner.

Best Natural: Caudalie Vinoclean Gentle Buffing Cream

The Caudalie Vinoclean Gentle Buffing Cream uses natural exfoliants to gently slough away dead skin cells, revealing a smoother and more even complexion. Caudalie is beloved for its natural product formulations and this buffing cream is no exception.

Best for Imperfections: Dior Prestige Le Sucre De Gommage Face Scrub

The high-end Dior Prestige Le Sucre De Gommage Face Scrub is a multi-tasking luxury solution that exfoliates, brightens, and perfects the facial and lip skin for a flawless finish using sugar micro-crystals.

Best for Detox: Chanel Anti-Pollution Exfoliating Gel

The detoxifying Chanel Anti-Pollution Exfoliating Gel helps to purify and protect the skin from environmental stressors while gently exfoliating. It’s best for people who live in big cities and are exposed to pollutants often.

Best Budget: Le Petit Olivier Facial Scrub

If you’re shopping on a budget, the best affordable exfoliator for you is the Le Petit Olivier Facial Scrub made for normal to dry skin. This facial scrub is made in France using olive pit powder to bring back radiance in a natural way. Le Petit Olivier is a trusted budget beauty brand sold in French grocery stores nationwide.

Best Luxury: Chantecaille Bamboo and Hibiscus Exfoliating Cream

The natural Chantecaille Bamboo and Hibiscus Exfoliating Cream is a botanical-based exfoliant that leaves the skin feeling refreshed and revitalized. It has been made in Switzerland featuring natural ingredients like bamboo powder, hibiscus flower acids, and grapefruit extract.

Best Pore Exfoliator: Institut Esthederm Osmoclean Gentle Deep Pore Cleanser

The ultra cleansing Institut Esthederm Osmoclean Gentle Deep Pore Cleanser is the best option for pore exfoliation, clearing out impurities by deeply penetrating and minimizing the appearance of pores. It can also be used as a face mask if you want to leave it on a little longer and really let it work its magic!


Which one of these French face exfoliators are you most excited to try?

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