7 French Skin Care Products You'll Wish You'd Heard Of Sooner

Ever since I was a little girl, I've been fascinated by the glamour that seems to come from simply being French. I always went straight for my mom's Chanel lipstick when playing dress up -- sorry, mom. And I never got tired of watching "Sabrina" where one trip to Paris (and a jaw dropping collection of Givenchy gowns) transforms Audrey Hepburn from the less-than-glamorous chauffeur's daughter into a knockout.

My obsession with French beauty may have started with that Chanel lipstick, but it's French skin care that really stole my heart. You see, it turns out the secret to French women's glowing complexions is just as luxurious as I'd hoped it would be. French skin care products that are formulated with thermal spring water, lightly fragranced and elegantly packaged. Even the simplest skin care routine is something tres chic.

1. Le Couvent des Minimes 3-in-1 Micellar Water
This 3-in-1 micellar water from Le Couvent uses rose floral water, centifolia rose absolute essence and wild rose hip polyphenols to refresh, soften and tone skin while protecting if from free radicals (pesky atoms that contribute to aging).Though you may have never heard of it, micellar water is BIG in French skin care. Stateside, it's garnered cult status with makeup artists and those in the know. Why all the fuss? It's made up of microscopic oil molecules that cut through foundation, lipstick and mascara, tout de suite, effectively -- but gently -- cleansing and toning skin. It's so good, in fact, that you could skip the rest of your skin care routine sans consequences.

2. Biotherm Aquasource Night High Density Hydrating Jelly
Like many French skin care products, this hydrating jelly has a naturally light scent. It's formulated with thermal plankton cellular water, which helps skin retain moisture even in super cold and extremely dry conditions. I put this on before bed when my skin was particularly tight and flaky, and the jelly created a shield that locked in moisture and completely re-hydrated my skin while I slept.

3. Orlane B21 Extraordinaire
B21 Extraordinaire's consistency alone sets it apart from its anti-aging competitors -- it's incredibly silky, and has light-reflecting particles to give you an immediate glow. Meanwhile, there's a whole lot of science going on inside the bottle: it contains telo-protectly, an ingredient specifically designed to help slow skin cell deterioration by protecting the ends of your chromosomes, and it detoxes the cells.

4. Avène Soapless Cleanser Gel
This cleansing gel's main ingredient is water from Avène's own thermal spring, which has been used to treat skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis since 1743. Even if you have the most reactive skin on the planet, this cleanser will be gentle enough for you. While it doesn't contain soap, it still works into a rich lather to clean skin without drying it out.

5. Caudalie Vinexpert Eye and Lip Serum
You can apply this fragrance-free, hypoallergenic serum on eyelids, under eyes and around lips to reduce wrinkles, firm and brighten. It contains resveratrol, a serious anti-aging ingredient that comes from wine grapes -- which happens to also work when consumed. So why not smooth on this serum and kick back with a bottle, er, glass of wine to double the anti-aging benefits? Isn't that what the French would do?

6. Bioderma Crealine H20 Makeup Remover
Supermodels and makeup artists swear by this micellar solution because it quickly removes makeup, cleanses and tones skin -- no water necessary. It's also completely free of fragrance, soap and alcohol, so it won't irritate sensitive skin or burn if it gets in your eyes. And it contains soothing cucumber extract so if you're constantly having makeup removed and re-applied -- a la the aforementioned supermodels -- your face won't become a red, puffy mess.

7. Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentrè
This multi-tasker moisturizes, primes skin, gets rid of ingrown hairs, soothes irritation -- the list goes on. (Beauty junkies have been known to bring an extra suitcase to Paris just to haul this stuff back en masse.) The formula is simple -- aloe, shea butter and soy protein -- but there's a je ne sais quoi that makes it extra special.

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