oil

Winter Skincare essentials

Every winter I wonder how I managed to survive through the last one. I am now staying in France and the weather isn't the coldest, but I am heading back to NY this weekend so I wanted to go through my survival tips to protect my skin during winter before that. As I tend to have a much dryer skin during winter, I found some solutions that work for me, and I hope it'll help you too.

 

How to protect your skin from drying

  • Use oils to clean your skin. If you don't do it already, I recommend switching your usual cleansing products for a good cleansing oil. It removes all dirt and makeup perfectly without drying the skin, leaving a protective layer even once you rinse it. I love how effective Boscia's Cleansing Oil is while being gentle on the skin, and it doesn't leave the skin oily either.
  • Use a different moisturizer during winter. You need a thicker cream that protects from the cold and wind during the whole day. This season I use Dr. Jart's Ceramidin Cream as I find its texture perfect for what I need during the winter, it's soothing and comfortable on the skin, and I love its herbal smell which makes me feel so relaxed.
  • Remember to always exfoliate (not more than once a week if your skin is pretty fragile). Exfoliating your skin regularly allows to remove the dead cells and let your moisturizer and masks be more effective. It's also better if you tend to have a dry skin that can be irregular and you want to wear foundation. I wrote about Dr. Brandt's Microdermabrasion Exfoliator before, that I use only once a week or less because it is very effective.
  • Drink 2L of liquids a day (preferably not too much coffee or tea that actually takes the water out of your body). It's especially hard for me to drink during winter as it makes me feel cold, so if you're the same you can make a huge tumbler of herbal infusion and bring it everywhere with you, so you can have both hydration and warmth.
  • Invest in a humidifier. Some heaters dry the air so much that I wake up with a very swollen face, especially around the eyes. The only solution for that is to use a good humidifier in your bedroom.
 
 

 

How to repair an already damaged skin

  • Skin food by Weleda! I talked about it when I first created The French Glow, and I am still in love with this product. It saved my skin many times when it felt so dry it was red and tight. I use it at night on the dry areas of my face, as it is so thick that you can't put it on during the day unless you want to look greasy. It doesn't burn like some other creams and the next day my skin feels normal again, it's like magic. You can buy it at every organic store or at Wholefoods.
  • Use a moisturizing mask. Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask is still a favorite as it does the job, has an amazing smell and it's not too pricey.
  • Remember to eat enough fats. Even if you are eating a high carb low fat diet, remember that your brain, body, and skin need a certain amount of fat to function. And fat is really important to help the skin to stay hydrated naturally and elastic. So enjoy the avocado toasts and flax seeds in your smoothies.
  • If your skin feels sensitive, you can use Jurlique's Rosewater Balancing Mist to calm it down. I received a sample of it and I am definitely satisfied. Rosewater helps to prevent dehydration and prepares the skin for a better absorption of your moisturizer but honestly, even if it did nothing, I'd just use it for the smell and refreshing feeling.
 
 
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Cleansing bars by Drunk Elephant

 

I was dying to try Drunk Elephant's products because I've read so many good reviews about them and I liked the concept of the brand which is more gentle and it contains simpler ingredients than many skincare brands. Their colorful, modern and fun packaging is also so appealing to me ! I started with the Juju and Pekee bars because I wanted to change my morning/evening routine and find something that's easy to bring with me when I travel. The cleansing bars are perfect for that since they're not liquids and you can take them in your carry-on.

 

 
 

 

The Juju Bar

This one is for morning use. It detoxifies and gently exfoliates the skin as it contains clay and bamboo powder, perfect to prepare it before your creams and make-up. You know I don't like to exfoliate my face every day, but the Juju bar is gentle and doesn't feel like a strong scrub : it doesn't make my skin break out even when it's sensitive. Of course, I don't use another face scrub during the weekend when using the Juju bar as it would be too harsh and not needed. Again, it's great when you want to travel light.

The Pekee Bar

It's important to remove dirt from pollution, excess oil and impurities at night, but sometimes you want to do too well and end up having a reactive skin because of removing its natural protective layer. You need a gentle way of removing the daily impurities, and that's what the Pekee bar does ; its role is to cleanse you skin while protecting and moisturizing it. My skin feels smooth and calm afterwards. Like the Juju bar and most Drunk Elephant's products, it contains marula oil, which is both protective and healing.

 

 
 
 

You can also buy the small travel duo for 18$

 

Both bars are fragrance and soap free which is great for sensitive skin. They're really simple to use : you lather it with warm water in your hands and then massage your face, without applying the bars directly to your face. As you can see, it can't be easier than that. They are perfect for the traveler but also if you are very busy or want a minimal skin care routine. You're going to read more about Drunk Elephant on The French Glow as I am dying to try the other products from their brand !

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Three Cosmetics

I am in Tokyo at the moment (that's why I haven't been writing on my blog so much since the work rhythm in Japan tends to be a little overwhelming), and I was obviously curious to find out what the best Japanese beauty brands were, because when the Japanese do something, they do it well. From the brands I tried, Three definitely stands out and will be part of my beauty/makeup regular products for sure.

As you know, I am into natural products that are also chic. Three is one of these brands, it keeps a high standard while being on the natural side of this industry, using as many organic products as possible. The one thing I love about their skincare products is the smell from the essential oils and the botanical ingredients : everything smells like a very comforting rosemary scent. I was also happy to read most of their ingredients come from Japan, it makes the brand more appealing to my eyes and a must try.

The brand has 4 different kind of products : balancing, conditioning, concentrate and AC. They have different purposes ; helping the natural moisture and oil balance of the skin, night care, anti-aging and a body line focusing on massaging benefits. I mostly tried the balancing items since it's the section that was recommended to me at first and where they have a wider variety of products. I experienced some changes in my skin while being in Japan ; more sensitive, getting red easily, and dry. Probably mostly because of the daily routine differences, diet changes, and maybe the very hot and humid weather has some influence too, but I have to say after using Three almost every night, my skin felt less sensitive and less dry.

 

When I asked wha the best seller item was, they showed me the Balancing Cleansing Oil. I already explained how cleansing your face with oil feels more gentle and with the help of the essential oils, it helps soothing a sensitive skin. In addition, like all the skincare products I tested from Three, the herbs smell, especially the rosemary one, sets you in a calm and cocooning mood.

 

I only use lotion after deep cleansing with a milk to try to stay simple. This Balancing Lotion, that you apply pressing with a cotton on the entire face, moisture the skin and makes the skin glow and healthy.

It may be personal but I tend to use oil only with a light makeup or bare skin, and milk and lotion after a shoot or night out with heavy makeup. I like having different rituals depending on the situation - and more products to try. This Balancing Cleansing Milk removes all makeup and dead cells while staying really soft on the skin.

 
 

You can finish your care with the Balancing Cream, for a rich and deep hydration and protection. although if you want a more complete (and much longer) Japanese-Korean skin care routine, there are many other steps to follow.

 

I also love their makeup section, and was especially seduced by their eye gloss, which color your eyes with a nice subtle dewy texture while protecting your eyelids from drying as they still use their essential oils. I love also their epic mini dash and all their pop colors that you can use as a lip gloss or... A blush. If there is one thing I noticed from the difference in how Japanese women do their everyday make up is that they go very high on the cheek with rosy blush tints. I'd be careful not to over do it, but it does give them a cute (kawaii), fresh and young look. Something to subtly get inspiration from them.

The Whisper Gloss for Eyes is my favorite item from the whole brand. I bought the brown and purple one, and I love how the colors are intense but because of the texture it doesn't look too strong. It soothes easily and keep the eyelid hydrated while you wear makeup.

Epic Mini Dash. Look at all the fresh colors they have. I didn't buy these items because I don't wear blush often, but tested it at the store and got a chance to use it at a job on both lips and cheeks. I may go back to the store and buy one rosy tint because it does give a young cute look.

 

Now you guessed Three is a new favorite for me, and I will test more stuff from them in the future for sure, like their masks and body care. I also love their minimal packaging that focuses on the essential, and the quality of their products is undeniable.

Summer Beauty

It feels like it's boiling in New York right now, and I'm more than fine with it after complaining for too long that the weather wasn't warm enough ! It's the time for acai bowls, iced coffees and days at the beach, and I love how all that sounds. But it's also the time when you sweat, feel sticky and have to be more careful about the sun, and because of that, I do have a different beauty routine compared to other seasons.

During winter I want thick creams that will protect my skin from damages because of the cold, and on the contrary when it's hot to the point my face is sweaty during the day I need to have some products that help refreshing while keeping the hydration. Instead of having a rich cream applied every morning, I will sometimes do touch ups with my sunscreen and a thinner day cream because the sweat washes off the products. I'll also use primers and lotions more often to stop the sticky feeling.

How to chose your Sunscreen

Your choice of sunscreen is very important, even when you have a natural dark skin, because it's not just that your skin will look older if you get burnt, but so many people neglect the serious health damages that sun can cause ! So remember : protect the skin you're in !!

To make it simple here are a few quick things to know when it comes to sunscreen : yes, you will tan even with a sunscreen, you will simply avoid the burnt stage, and do not overestimate your skin and take a too low SPF because you want to tan quicker : you have only one skin. I used to buy lower SPF, mostly because I was in areas when the sun is less aggressive (I spent summers in the north of France and London) but also because I was caring a little less about it, and my skin doesn't burn too easily (it does, but I also tan pretty well) so I thought I needed less protection. I started being careful when I became a model because I had to be sure I wouldn't damage my skin. That's when I realized that even with a SPF50+ you still tan. So in case you would not want to tan or if your skin is really, really fragile, don't forget to wear a hat too ! Also, if you want to use a lower SPF, know that the best is to use a higher one at the beginning of the summer, and when your skin is more tanned, then you can allow yourself to chose a slightly weaker protection.

  • Bioderma - Photoderm Max Aquafluide SPF50+ - 11€ This sunscreen is what I use this summer on my face. I bought it because I was in France (as simple as that) at a pharmacy, because everyone knows french pharmacies have the best skin care products (well at least now you know). I love the super fluid texture and it doesn't show that you have sunscreen on, which is cool because I use it almost everyday when I'm in a city. My first criteria to chose my face sunscreen was that wouldn't give me pimples, as I used to have this problem and this sunscreen is especially non-comedogenic.
  • Kiehl's - Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+ - 38$ This one was my sunscreen last summer. I chose it because I was asking all my model friends what sunscreen they liked, which doesn't show and doesn't give you spots. Kiehl's was the most common answer. As the name let you guess, the texture is super fluid as well which is great when you don't want to feel all greasy for your day in the sun. Enjoy !
  • Supergoop - Defense Refresh Setting mist SPF 50 - 28$ Because if you like to wear a little more make up than I do, it may be a lot more convenient for you to buy an over-the-makeup sunscreen instead of applying your sunscreen first, especially if you do touch ups during the day. Supergoop is both a sunscreen and a make-up setting, how can you beat that ?

Summer Beauty Favorites

  • Bogavia - Essential Facial Toner - 16$ You know I love Bogavia. This toner is not an exception and I think it's perfect to prepare the skin before your moisturizer, refresh your skin through a hot day, and to heal irritated skin in the evening, after spending your day applying sunscreen again and again. It contains Aloe Vera which is known to be a natural healing product. What I like most in this toner is that even if it wets the skin it stills hydrates it, which is very important if you use it during the day, and the skin tone looks more even and healthy.
  • Ouai - Hair Oil - 28$ If you plan to spend days at the beach, you know how it feels to have broken hair because of the salty water : I can't even brush it because I am so scared to lose everything. The only thing that helps me with that is to apply some oil in my hair to create a fence between the salty water and the hair and then you can style it with braids or a bun or whatever you prefer to keep it together. Ouai Hair Oil smells so good I also use it everyday to style my hair.
  • Klorane - Sothing and Relaxing Patches - 24$ I personally have one problem that occurs mostly during very cold winters and very hot summers : puffy morning face. It's mostly because of the dry air that the heaters and air conditioning creates (and yes I plan to invest in a very good quality air-humidifier because my current one doesn't work). I love Klorane patches because they're very easy to use and gentle, and they work well.

Body Tips

There are a few things that make life easier during the summer. Try to avoid silly mistakes.

  • It's best to avoid wearing perfume before going out in the sun. The alcohol it contains can make the sun effects way stronger on the area where you sprayed perfume. It can result in having differences in skin color where you sprayed your perfume. Not fun. So it's better to reserve your perfume for the evenings, or to spray it on your clothes.
  • Sometimes when it's way too hot, your legs can hurt. Walking helps blood circulation a lot because it doesn't create shocks in your legs like when you run but it helps to pump up the blood. Of course if there is a heat wave, do not walk too much and don't forget to drink enough water !! Putting your legs up and cold showers are great advices as well to enhance the blood flow.
  • It's a no brainer but don't shave/wax right before sun exposure. It's the best way to irritate your skin, and end up being alone in the shadow while your friends are having fun without you.
  • Same if you scrub your skin. And remember to protect your skin from the sun even more after scrubbing, because you are exposing a new, fresh skin to the sun, which isn't tanned yet. This is also true after a facial scrub obviously.

My beauty routine with Bogavia

I discovered Bogavia  at Wholefoods by chance when I was looking for a good hair conditioner. After that I already had a really good opinion of their products, so it was such a pleasure when the brand sent me a box with more products to try on and see if I liked them as much. After trying and playing with all these new oils, lotions, scrubs... I quickly put together an evening routine by choosing 4 products (some I don't use everyday) that I think are really worth using. I wanted to try it for a little while before giving my review since it's better to see the effect on the skin after a longer period of time, so I can tell you all about it.

 
 
  • Nourishing Facial Cleansing Oil + Makeup Remover : I put some drops in my hands and massage my face gently to take off all the dirt from pollution and/or make-up. It's pretty nice to start your evening routine massaging your face, to relax and have a little calm moment. Then I rinse with warm water and unless I had mascara on, the skin is perfectly clean. If you have mascara or a stronger eye make-up, you may want to use some cotton with a little more oil on it to work on this specific area. The advantage compared to other oils is that Bogavia's one contains antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and fatty acids, so your face is cleaned while being nourished.
  • Exfoliating facial scrub : the instructions say you can use it 2-3 times a week but I personally only scrub my face once a week, on Sundays (it's a bit like my detox day), because I think it's enough and I don't want to be too harsh on my skin, but some people may want to do it more often. Scrubbing is important to remove dead skin and improve cell turnover. In the spirit of the brand, this scrub does its job while being gentle on the skin : I had a soft baby skin feeling after using it.
 
 
  • Midnight repair oil : as I said before, I prefer using just a few products in my routine to stay consistent and avoid spending way too much time on it, so testing out this repair oil I was wondering how often I'd use it depending on the effect it had. You can choose to use it 2 ways : as a serum or a hydrating oil. I chose to use it as a serum after the scrub, so once a week. Sometimes I'd use it more often if I feel like I need an intense moisturizer. It's a great combo after exfoliating, because this product is antioxidant rich and it deeply repairs and moisturizes the skin. It's particularly great if you have very dry skin.
  • Essential Facial Lotion : this is a hydrating lotion to use as a moisturizer. I love that this product has a matte finish so it's perfect to use after the oils without staying too shiny. It has a very light texture, but it still hydrates and firms the skin. Like the other products I selected, it's fragrance free and I like that, as it's in the spirit of the natural skin care brand. Sometimes I like when there is a real nice scent in a product, but if it's too artificial or strong it can be irritating.

To be honest I used to be a bit skeptical about oils before. I saw how many people were using simple natural oils as make up removers and I was a bit reluctant about the idea of feeling the oil on my skin a while after. I love dewy skin and I didn't chose the word "glow" for nothing, but it depends what its intensity is. After finally trying oils, I understand how gentle it is for the skin, and it makes a huge difference as sometimes I get sensitive skin after a day shooting beauty and changing make-up many times. Oils remove the make up without needing to rub the skin too much. I do have a glowing look for a while after using it, even with the matte finish lotion, but it's not the crazy oily shine. I chose to have this routine in the evenings, so I don't mind having that strong glow look. But if you like it, it's also a good way to protect your skin against pollution through the day.

About Bogavia's products, I have to say I am completely satisfied. When I talk about a product on The French Glow it's because I like it, of course, but I think it's important to be honest and also talk about the cons. But after following this routine for about a month now, I had no bad surprises or skin reactions. It's a natural brand, plant based skin care routine so everything about it seduces me ! The oils can seem a little pricey maybe, depending on what your budget is, but as you don't need to use a lot it lasts a long time. And I don't mind spending a little more for something that's good and will take care of my skin.