French Skincare

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The French Summer Skincare Routine Approved by Parisians

As summer approaches, many of us are eager to switch up our skincare routines and adapt to the changing weather conditions. While there are countless skincare tips and tricks out there, one trend that has caught the attention of women around the world is the French girl summer skincare routine. This is the only routine you need to follow this summer to care for your skin the French way. Known for their effortless, natural beauty, French women like Jeanne Damas and Brigitte Bardot have long been admired for their chic and simple approach to skincare. 

We’ll take a closer look at the French girl summer skincare routine and explore some of the key products, habits, and techniques that can help you achieve that coveted je ne sais quoi glow all summer long. Whether you’re a longtime fan of French beauty or simply looking to try something new this summer, this guide is sure to inspire you to embrace a fresh, bronzed, and glowing complexion!

French Summer Skincare Routine jeannedamas
@jeannedamas

Cleanse the Skin

Cleansing the face is an essential part of any skincare routine, regardless of the season. However, during the summer, it becomes even more important due to increased exposure to sun, pollution, sweat, and other environmental factors that can clog pores and cause skin irritation. So, to start your French summer skincare routine, give your face a good wash!

The best French face washes work to remove dirt, oil, and other impurities that can accumulate on the skin’s surface throughout the day. This helps to unclog pores, prevent breakouts, and improve skin clarity and radiance. The buildup of environmental pollutants and toxins can accelerate skin aging. By cleansing your face daily, you can help to remove these harmful substances and protect your skin from damage.

If you don’t cleanse your face properly, the products you apply afterward may not be as effective. Cleansing removes excess oil and dead skin cells, allowing your moisturizer, serum, or sunscreen to penetrate deeper into the skin. Cleansing helps to balance the skin’s pH, which is essential for maintaining healthy skin. When your skin’s pH is off-balance, it can lead to dryness, sensitivity, and other skin issues.

Apply a Serum

Serums are often formulated with highly concentrated active ingredients that can deeply penetrate the skin, delivering intense hydration to the skin. During the summer, the skin can become dehydrated due to increased sun exposure, heat, and humidity, and using a serum can help to replenish lost moisture.

Serums often contain antioxidants and other anti-aging ingredients that can help to protect the skin from free radical damage and promote cell turnover. This can help to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging.

Serums may contain ingredients such as vitamin C, niacinamide, or kojic acid that can help to brighten and even out the skin tone. This can be especially beneficial during the summer when the skin is more prone to hyperpigmentation due to sun exposure. 

Serums can help to enhance the effectiveness of skincare products applied afterward, such as moisturizers and sunscreens. The highly concentrated active ingredients in serums prepare the skin to receive and absorb these more effectively!

Use an SPF Face Cream

Using an SPF face cream as part of a French summer skincare routine is essential for protecting the skin from harmful UV rays. During the summer, the sun’s rays are stronger and can cause damage to the skin, leading to premature aging, dark spots, and even skin cancer. By applying a face sunscreen daily, you can help to prevent these harmful effects and keep your skin looking healthy and youthful.

The lightweight Clarins Multi-Active Day Cream SPF 20 is great for both hydration and light sun protection and is compatible with all skin types.

In addition to providing sun protection, many face creams with SPF also contain other beneficial ingredients, such as antioxidants and moisturizers, that can further support the health and appearance of the skin. To ensure maximum effectiveness, it’s important to choose a face sunscreen cream with a broad-spectrum formula that protects against both UVA and UVB rays and to apply it generously to all areas of the face, including the nose, cheeks, and forehead.

Mineral face sunscreens contain physical blockers like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide that sit on top of the skin and reflect the sun’s rays, providing broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. These types of sunscreens are great for those with sensitive skin or for those who want to avoid chemical sunscreens. Mineral face sunscreens also tend to be more water-resistant than chemical sunscreens, making them ideal for outdoor activities during the summer.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Tinted Mineral Face Sunscreen SPF 50

Tinted sunscreens, on the other hand, not only provide sun protection but also offer some coverage to even out skin tone and provide a natural, glowing finish. They can be especially useful during the summer months when heavy makeup can feel suffocating in the heat. Tinted sunscreens such as the La Roche-Posay Anthelios Light Fluid Tinted Sunscreen, can come in various shades to match a range of skin tones, and they may also contain additional skincare benefits such as antioxidants and hydrating ingredients.

Whatever face sunscreen you use, choose a formula that suits your skin type and preferences and apply it generously and evenly to all areas of the face, including the ears, neck, and any other exposed skin.

Go with SPF Makeup

Many French makeup brands have incorporated sun protection into their products, such as foundations, tinted moisturizers, and powders. These makeup products with SPF can help to protect the skin from sun damage while providing coverage, evening out the skin tone, and brightening the skin.

Lancome Skin Feels Good Hydrating Skin Tint SPF 23

The Lancôme Skin Feels Good Tinted Moisturizer with SPF is a great way to give your face a little extra sun protection while evening out your skin tone.

French pharmacy brand Avène makes a Mineral Tinted Compact with SPF 50 that you can pop in your purse and take with you on the go. It works as a concealer or an on-the-go foundation for touching up your makeup throughout the day and protecting your face from sun damage.

However, relying solely on makeup with SPF is usually not enough to provide adequate sun protection. Most makeup products with SPF only offer low levels of sun protection and are often not applied in a thick enough layer to provide full coverage. So, it’s best to still apply a dedicated sunscreen as the final step in your skincare routine before applying makeup.

Use the Parisian It-Girl Bronzer

There’s one bronzer that the French love using in summer to give them a bronzed glow without the sun damage. Protecting your face from UV rays is super important to prevent premature aging, but if you want to get the it-girl glow, you’ll need to use this best-selling bronzer by Guerlain.

The Guerlain Terracotta Sunkissed Natural Bronzer has been a cult favorite makeup product beloved by sophisticated Parisians for years. This French bronzer is designed to give the skin a natural-looking, sun-kissed glow. The powder bronzer can be applied to the face and body to add warmth and depth to the skin, as well as to contour and define the features. It comes in different shades and its mineral pigments, vitamin E, and natural plant extracts will hydrate and protect your skin while giving you a natural, bronze finish.

Carry a Small Bottle of SPF with You

A little French skincare secret is that Parisians who really care about their skin will carry around a small bottle of SPF with them to reapply during the day. It’s a good idea to carry a small bottle of SPF with you during the summer if you know you’ll be spending time outside.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios light fluid Face Sunscreen SPF 60

The La Roche-Posay Anthelios Light Fluid Face Sunscreen is the perfect size for this.

Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours or more frequently if you’re swimming, sweating, or rubbing your skin with a towel, so having a travel-sized bottle of sunscreen on hand can help you to stay protected throughout the day. It’s also a good idea to keep a bottle of sunscreen in your car or bag in case you forget to apply it before leaving the house.

Apply a Face Mist During the Day

French women apply a face mist with thermal spring water during the day to help to keep their faces cool during the summer. Thermal spring water from the French Alps is a popular ingredient in many face mists and skincare products due to its soothing and hydrating properties. When sprayed onto the face, the mist can help to reduce skin temperature, providing a refreshing and cooling sensation.

In addition to helping to cool the skin, face mists with thermal spring water can also help to soothe and hydrate the skin. The minerals and trace elements found in thermal spring water can help to strengthen the skin’s natural protective barrier, making it more resilient to environmental stressors like heat and humidity.

Avene Eau Thermale Thermal Spring Water

Keep a bottle of Avène Eau Thermale in your refrigerator and give yourself a spray whenever you feel too hot. You’ll be glad you did!

Exfoliate Less Often

While I love exfoliating to get the dead skin off my face, French women know that most of us need to exfoliate less in the summer. During the summer months, the heat and humidity can cause the skin to become more sensitive, which can make it more susceptible to irritation and inflammation from exfoliation.

If you have dry or sensitive skin, you may want to avoid using physical exfoliants like scrubs or brushes, as these can be too harsh and abrasive for the skin. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, you may still benefit from regular exfoliation during the summer, but you may want to reduce the frequency or intensity of your exfoliation.

Don’t Forget to Protect the Rest of Your Body

When I lived in Paris, I had the tendency to forget to put sunscreen on my legs when going out for the day. This is a big no-no! French women wear sunscreen on the legs and arms during the summer when walking in Paris, or any other city with sun exposure. Even if you’re not spending a lot of time in direct sunlight, the UV rays from the sun can still penetrate through windows and other surfaces, increasing your risk of skin damage and skin cancer.

When choosing a sunscreen for your arms and legs, look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and be sure to apply it generously to all exposed areas of skin.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt In Milk Body Sunscreen

If you’re concerned about the texture or feel of sunscreen on your arms and legs, consider using a lightweight, non-greasy formula that won’t leave a sticky or heavy residue like the La Roche Posay Anthelios Melt in Milk Body Sunscreen which is beloved by millions in Europe.

Cheat with a Self-Tanner

Self-tanner is hugely popular in France, especially during the summer months when many people want to achieve a natural-looking tan without the damaging risks associated with sun exposure. Self-tanner is seen as a safer and more convenient alternative to sunbathing or using tanning beds in France, which can increase the risk of skin cancer and premature aging.

In France, there are many different types of self-tanners available, including lotions, mousses, and sprays, which can be used to achieve a variety of different shades and finishes. The Clarins Self Tanning Face & Body Tinted Gel is a great way to get the bronze look without sun exposure!


As you can see, the French summer skincare routine focuses on protecting and nourishing the skin during the hot and humid summer months. By incorporating sunscreen, lightweight moisturizers, and refreshing face mists, you can help to keep your skin cool, hydrated, and protected from the harmful effects of UV rays.

By paying attention to your skin’s unique needs and adjusting your skincare routine accordingly, you can maintain healthy, glowing skin all summer long. So, whether you’re strolling along the Seine in Paris or lounging on the beaches of the French Riviera, be sure to take care of your skin and enjoy all that the season has to offer!

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