Claire Courtin-Clarins recently moved to New York City and we caught up with the glamorous, hard-working heiress (she, her sister, and her first cousins are all involved in the company). She dished on several of her own beauty rituals, which French habits (good or bad), she’ll never break, as well as her foray into the New York City fitness scene.
1. Every New York woman who’s bought a moisturizer has heard of Clarins. But what’s something that most women don’t know about Clarins or your grandfather’s pioneering work?
My grandfather introduced the concept of “anti-pollution” to creams using all-natural, rare plant extracts that protect the skin from the environment, while also improving skin texture, hydration, and radiance. Also, he was also the first to use these plants for face serums—Clarins invented the face serum!
2. What’s your most important beauty practice? Getting monthly facials? Wearing sunscreen? Doing yoga?
I do a facial scrub with One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser with Orange Extract twice a week. Also, I NEVER go to bed without cleaning my face. As my grandfather used to say, “It is a crime!” And I wear high sunscreen protection every day, even during the winter—UV Plus 40. My sister and cousins and I could actually write a book about all the beauty practices and tips that my grandfather used to teach us…
3. You should write a book! So why do you exfoliate twice a week?
Gentle exfoliation is so important to healthy skin. Plus it allows the ingredients in your moisturizers and serums to penetrate better and be much more effective. You should do it two times a week, no matter what skin type you have. I love exfoliating before going to bed and then using a rich night cream.
4. Speaking of which, if we took a peek in your handbag or your medicine cabinet, what three must-have products would we find there?
Clarins UV Plus 40 face lotion, which I mentioned, plus the Double Serum [launches in spring], Beauty Flash Balm, and Body Tonic Oil.
5. You obviously look after your skin. What about working out? Have you dipped your toe in the New York fitness scene?
I just joined Equinox and also started a ballet class. And I have to say that people in New York look very motivated, which is helping to motivate me. Everybody’s sweating around me, I feel guilty if I don’t! I also may try a new class called “Red Carpet Ready,” which I think is very funny.
6. Do you have any “bad” habits?
Of course, I do! First, as a French woman, I do like wine with dinner. Sometimes I stay up too late—I love hanging out with my friends like any young woman does. But no matter what, I always take care of my skin. —Melisse Gelula