French skincare tips: The Courtin-Clarins family is French beauty royalty in Paris. The luxury skincare brand is so beloved for its pampering formulas and unique spa treatments that it has recently become the number one luxury skincare brand in Europe. The company was founded by Jacques Courtin-Clarins in 1954 when he was a medical student. His sons Christian and Olivier are now executives and help lead the brand in modern times. Olivier may now be CEO of the Clarins Group, but he too got his start in the medical field like his father. He was a well-respected sports surgeon before agreeing to join the family business.
I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Olivier and he is as passionate about well-being and skincare as his father. Being a doctor, he brings a unique approach to everyday skincare regimes and health. And I’m thrilled he’s decided to share his wisdom in a book chronicling 60 of his most commonly asked questions – one for every year that the company has existed.
“Every woman is unique and special and has a beauty balance which is essential to her well-being,” he writes in Doctor, I want to be the fairest of them all. “Women appreciate good advice and guidance, want to be loved and shown a path to their personal beauty. Each one of them deserves to be at their most beautiful. In constant contact with women and listening to their needs and expectations, I decided, in honour of the 60th anniversary of our brand, to return to the heart of Clarins and specifically address the concerns of today’s women, by responding directly to beauty questions sent to us from journalists and female bloggers around the world.”
“The five essential factors and elements which affect beauty are: preventive health care through a balanced diet, managing stress, physical exercise, resilience and well-being,” he continues. “These are all key to living a healthy life.”
Here are 10 of my favourite tips in the book.
Q: If I always use the same cream, will it become less effective over time?
A: Cells renew themselves constantly…There is no risk of your skin getting accustomed to the same cream! Every day, new cells benefit from the active elements of a care product. If, after 28 days (the average time of complete cellular renewal), you see no effects (big or small) of your regular skincare product, change the product! When you’ve found the ‘right’ one, you’ll notice the benefit to your skin every day. And it shows!
Q: I can’t always tell whether my skin is dry or oily.
A: It’s simple! Oily skin tends to shine. Being thicker, it requires cleansing treatments starting in the morning. Dry skin is thin, with tiny wrinkles. It ‘pulls’ and often results in a sensation of discomfort.
Q: How do I prepare my skin for a change in season?
A: Increase use of exfoliation and choose a serum adapted to your needs. Apply a mask every day for a week, during breakfast for example.
Q: Can I apply two serums at the same time?
A: Yes, no problem, thanks to the extra-fine instantly-penetrating nature of this treatment. But apply the ‘simplest’ serum first. For example, always start with a moisturizing serum then follow up with the firming serum.
Q: What is the ideal recipe for healthy skin?
A: To ensure that you fully cleanse your skin, it is important that you complement your daily makeup remover with a water-based foaming cleanser once or twice a week. Imagine if you only used cleansing lotion and tonic on your body. You would eventually need to wash it. The same thing applies to your face. There’s nothing better for cleansing your face than a gentle foaming cleanser. It also comes in a formula for dry skin. You can also use a small, soft gentle brush, to remove any remaining impurities. Your skin will be clearer and have a healthy glow.
Q: Why isn’t there one skincare product that does everything?
A: Because synergistically, it’s impossible for any single product to contain all of the active ingredients necessary for all the needs involved. However, it is possible to layer products, according to their functions and textures. For example, always apply a serum or day or night cream to maximize its performance enhancing qualities. The textures are also complementary.
Q: What do I do when I have a blackhead?
A: Apply a product especially designed for oily skin several nights in a row to soften it. To remove the ‘head’ of blackheads, clean the area with a foaming cleanser using a soft brush.
Q: Can my skin tan under my foundation?
A: Be careful. Foundation (certainly one without SPF) cannot provide sunscreen. Some rays still get through and you can get burned. If you want to sit in the sun, the best thing to do is put on a sunscreen under your makeup or use a foundation with an SPF. Remember to refresh your sunscreen every two hours.
Q: What effect does jet lag have on my skin?
A: Your skin is often dehydrated and weakened when you are in a different time zone; this is often due to the depressurization and dry air from the plane. Remember to moisturize well before takeoff, during the flight and before landing. To better withstand jet-lag, which throws off your internal clock, adapt your diet: The night before you leave, go for a meal heavy on carbohydrates such as pasta. These suppliers of tryptophan (an amino acid important in the composition of proteins) allow the brain to develop serotonin, a neurotransmitter that promotes sleep. The day after you arrive, eat a protein-rich meal to put your brain in ‘awake’ mode.
Q: How does stress affect my skin?
A: Relax your face as often as possible. When you’re tense, without even realizing it, you clench your jaw and scowl. As a result, your face is marked by a frown and pursed lips…As soon as you think about relaxing, your features will relax. It’s automatic. So adopt this beauty ritual: relax your features several times a day: your face will be brighter and more serene.
Doctor, I want to be fairest of them all is available for sale on the Clarins website. All proceeds will benefit research into the causes and cures for Arthritis.