Beauty & French Women: Natural, Subtle Good Looks

Vive La France!

It seems like when women (and some men) approach a U.S. beauty counter for facial products, you’ll see many, many preparations from Paris or somewhere in France.

At the same time, when we see pictures or movies of French women – like Catherine Deneuve, (age 73) or Leslie Caron – they seem resistant to aging.

So just how are French women holding onto their good looks for so long? Does each have a husband who is a cosmetic surgeon? Hardly, although you may think so.

A few years ago, an American writer living in gay Paree set out to find out why. Starting early seems to give them a leg up.

One survey found a third of French women aged 15 to 19 already use anti-aging wrinkle-fighting creams and lotions. At equally young ages, they routinely go for facials, massages and treatments at day spas to fight wrinkles, cellulite and expanding bottoms and bellies. All this, despite the extremely rich French food which women concerned about weight eat sparingly.

Most maintain their weight by consuming large amounts of vegetables, fruits, lean meats and fish while eschewing processed foods.

Yet another survey found French women spend 2.2 billion yearly on facial skin care. Spanish, German and English women combined spend the same amount.

So where do French plastic surgeons and cosmetic surgeons enter the picture? Rejuvenation surgeons’ aim is much like that of their American

counterparts: “keeping the natural beauty and charm of each individual woman.”

Cultural habits in France are a little different, too. For instance, French women don’t use soap on faces and bodies, but lotions and hydrating creams. Washcloths are out too. Instead, most use cosmetic sponges that remove dead skin cells while sparing delicate skin.

If French women do put a little weight despite careful eating, they take it off immediately.

And cosmetic surgery: do French women use it? Sacre bleu! Of course. But they insist on subtle results.


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