Here is a detailed overview of a French woman’s winter skincare and haircare routine. In this article, you’ll learn exactly how French women care for their skin and hair in winter and the best skincare and haircare they use.
Living in the seasonal weather of Paris and Amsterdam, the needs of my skin fluctuate throughout the year and the seasons. And, as temperatures fall during the winter months, my sensitive skin gets really, really dry. A dull skin tone can set in and my skin is less able to protect itself during the winter season. So, my French beauty routine becomes quite regimented throughout the winter months.
Growing up, I was surrounded by (French) women who were very loyal to classic French pharmacy skincare brands including Avène, La Roche-Posay, and Embryolisse, many of which I still use today. Indeed, French pharmacy skincare brands do offer the best possible ways to arm oneself with cold-weather lotions and moisturizers for replenishing moisture stolen by the winter chill. Whether your focus is on hydrating, repairing dryness, or simply prepping your skin, here are the best French skincare to treat and soothe dry winter skin and hair. Keep scrolling to know more about my wintertime beauty regimen.
How French Women Care For Their Skin And Hair In Winter
1. Food Supplements
In the winter, I try to drink twice as much as I normally do because my skin gets so dry in the cold. I usually drink green/black teas and herbal infusions all day long. For the day, I love Mariage Freres’s Marco Polo Tea and Pukka Supreme Matcha Green. When I’m feeling a little bit tired I drink the Yogi Tea’s Echinacea Immune Support. In the evening I love the Pukka Herbs Night Time with valerian extract.
Also, in the winter months, to nourish my skin and hair from the inside I take a Borage Oil supplement with the Solgar 1300mg Omega 3-6-9.
In the morning, instead of using a face cleanser, I prefer to clean my face with floral water and a cotton pad. My favorite floral water is the Sanoflore Organic Rose Floral Water. When my skin is very dry, I massage my face with La Mer The Renewal Oil for a few minutes in the morning and night to stimulate and add extra radiance and moisture. Once the oil is absorbed, I apply my moisturizer the Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré that I use every morning. The formula is a little bit heavy, so it’s great for winter, and it’s also an amazing makeup primer.
Also, every night after having cleansed my face with the Bioderma’s Micellar Water, I moisturize my skin with the Crème de la Mer. If I’m going skiing, and in case the weather is dry and very cold, I prefer using thicker moisturizers like the Avène Revitalizing Nourishing Cream and the Clinique Moisture Surge Intense. For the eye area, I’m using the La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense Eyes or the Clinique All About Eyes Rich Eye Cream.
As my skin tends to be dryer in winter I exfoliate my skin less often. Once a month I do a gentle exfoliation with the Caudalie Brightening Glycolic Peel Mask, a gentle glycolic acid (AHA) peel mask to reveal softer, brighter, and more even skin. Then, I do a deep-hydration face mask while watching my favorites French series on Netflix. Then, I use the Avène Soothing Radiance Mask when my skin is irritated and sensitive due to cold temperatures.
During the winter months, my lips are always very dry. Luckily, French pharmacy skincare brands make some of the best lip care to treat and soothe dry lips. I’m using different lip care at different moments of the day and for different occasions.
For example, I always have in my handbag the Avène Cold Cream Lip Balm and the Dior Lip Glow, I use them frequently throughout the day as my lips tend to lose hydration very quickly. When I’m going on holiday I prefer to use the Avène Cicalfate Lips Restorative Lip Cream as it provides long-lasting nourishment and protection for very dry, irritated, and damaged lips.
Every winter, my hands are always very dry, especially because I spend a lot of time cooking. I have tried so many hand creams that now, I know exactly which ones really work and which ones don’t. Indeed, I only use hand creams from French pharmacy brands that are dermatologist approved, hypoallergenic, and formulated without fragrances (which can be irritative if you have dry and cracked hands).
For my hands, I use the Avène Cicalfate Restorative Hand Cream and the Avène Cold Cream. When my hands are very dry and cracked I use the La Roche Posay Cicaplast Hand Cream (the best hand cream to repair cracked hands). Also, I prefer to wash my hands with a very gentle and nourishing hand soap like the Compagnie De Provence Nourishing Shea Soap.
During winter months, I need to take the time once a day to moisturize my whole body and especially my legs, foot, hands, and arms. To shower, I always use the Bioderma Atoderm Shower Gel which is a very gentle shower gel without soap that dries out the skin. Also if you have dry to very dry and irritated sensitive skin with eczema or psoriasis I’ll recommend the Bioderma Atoderm Cleansing Oil. Then, after the shower, I apply the L’Occitane Almond Smoothing Milk Concentrate on my legs and arms.
Once a week I do a body exfoliation with the Caudalie Crushed Cabernet Body Scrub. Then I follow on a body massage by applying some nourishing oil. I love the Leonor Greyl Huilde de Magnolia for face and body! It really smells divine and its lightweight formula restores softness to dry skin and tresses without any greasy residue. When I’m feeling stressed and tired I like to take a relaxing bath with the l‘Occitane lavender harvest Foaming Bath.
My hair is always very dry and especially during the winter months (mainly due to over-brushing and bleaching). That’s why I wash my hair with an ultra-nourishing shampoo that hydrates and prevents breakage while smoothing out frizz. I love using the Leonor Greyl Crème Moelle de Bambou Nourishing Shampoo twice a week with the Klorane’s Conditioner with Mango Butter.
As excessive washing thins the hair and irritates the scalp I try to limit the frequency of shampoos. And between two shampoos I use the Klorane Oatmilk Gentle Dry Shampoo Spray. Once a week I like to use the Leonor Greyl pre-shampoo oil treatment that I apply and leave on my hair for 30 minutes up to 1 hour before washing out with my shampoo. When I’m in a hurry, after shampooing I apply a small amount of the Christophe Robin Regenerating Mask with Prickly Pear Seed Oil. I massage it thoroughly from the scalp down to the ends before rinsing thoroughly. You can read more about my French hair care routine and all the French products I’m using.
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Bonjour! I’m Leonce, I’m French and I’m a Parisian expat currently living in the city center of Amsterdam (I previously lived in the 4th arrondissement of Paris, on the Ile-Saint-Louis). I created Leonce Chenal back in 2018 when I was living in London and missing my home country way too much. Because I truly believe you don’t have to be French or to live in France to experience the French art de vivre, Leonce Chenal is a French digital magazine to help you live your French life, wherever you are. Enjoy <3