The French Girl Secret to Glowing Is…Water (Yeah, I Was Surprised Too)

Photo: Getty Images/martin-dm
IMHO, French girls have got it right. From their minimalist outfits to the fact that wine, bread, and cheese are part of every meal, they seem to seriously know what they’re doing in all aspects of life—and that includes their skin-care routines.

French women are known for having a certain je ne sais quoi surrounding their beauty regimens, and we recently discovered one of their secrets: water-based skincare. From micellar waters to mists, French pharmacies are stocked with all things H2O—for good reason.

"Water makes up the majority of our bodies and organs, so it makes sense that the best thing for it is H2O itself," says dermatologist Dr. Mona Gohara. "It’s the best for skin health all around." So, in the same way you drink water for the sake of your skin on a daily basis, using it topically can have effective hydrating effects too.

And micellar waters, which are the ultimate French girl staple, come with their own set of benefits. They use tiny "micelles" (specialized oil droplets suspended in water) to remove dirt and debris from your skin without drying out your dermis. "I love micellar waters," says New York City-based dermatologist Ellen Marmur, MD. "It's such a smart concept for skin cleansers without the harsh detergents, scrubs, and cleansers that have sadly become the trend."

To find out how actual French women use water in their routines, I tapped Clémence von Mueffling, author of Ageless Beauty the French Way"Your face is never as clean as you think it is, which is why I double cleanse and add one additional step," she says, referring to her water step. "I perfect my routine by applying LOLI’s Chamomile Lavender Water on a soft cotton pad to remove any lingering impurities from my face and neck. A truly clean face optimizes the efficacy of the skin-care products you apply post-cleanse. Et voilà, that's the key to a French girl’s glow!

The secret to glowing skin, the French girl way? Just add water.

Washing your face like a French girl is only step one. Here's how to dress, vacation, and practice self-care like the chicest women on the planet.

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