French Women and That Elusive Youthful Glow? Here’s How

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anti-aging skin tips
Photo: Courtesy of Tamara Williams

French women seem to possess youthful complexions the same way they put together a stylish ensemble: effortlessly. So who better to ask about all things anti-aging than the team at Sisley Paris?

The luxury skincare brand is at the forefront of phyto-cosmetology, harnessing the power of plants and active extracts to pave the way for a new generation of skincare that seriously delivers on results. We tapped two of Sisley’s skincare experts – Head of Research and Development Jose Ginestar and Marketing Manager Julie Wainberg – to find out what areas to emphasize, what mistakes to avoid, and more.

What key products should a woman always use?
Regardless of the time available for your morning routine, it’s essential to have a daily regime that specifically tackles your main concerns, such as anti-aging, hydration, oily or dry skin, or blemishes. You’re exposed to external aggressions (UV, pollution, stress, etc.) on a daily basis, so it’s also important to protect skin with an effective urban shield, like the ‘All Day All Year’ cream.

Additionally, I recommend using a treatment that specifically targets the eye contour as it is the most sensitive and exposed area on the face – and the most susceptible to skin aging. The eye area is physiologically different from skin on the face. Not only is the skin extremely thin – three to five times thinner than the rest of the body – but it’s also subject to constant movements (up to 10,000 per day). The eye area also lacks elastin and collagen fibers with hydrolipidic film that is relatively weak, and there’s less active lymphatic microcirculation.

What lifestyle changes really make a difference to skin health?
We are all familiar with genetic aging, but other aspects – known as “epigenetic factors” – have clearly been identified over the past few years , and they have a much bigger impact on the way our skin ages. This phenomenon is called behavioral aging, and there are some detrimental factors that play a key role in premature signs of aging, with examples including an excess of sun exposure, pollution, smoke, stress, worry, and junk food.

Of course, there are also positive factors – including sport, meditation, sleep, healthy diet – that help your skin to age well. If you want to preserve the youthful appearance of your skin, it is important to have a healthy lifestyle. Drink plenty of water, maintain a good sleep cycle, and have a diversified diet rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

French Women and That Elusive Youthful Glow? Here’s How

Sisley ‘All Day All Year’ Cream




What causes skin to age prematurely?
We all know that with age, cellular renewal and skin self-regeneration – as well as collagen and elastin syntheses – slow down. Simultaneously, the degradation of enzyme syntheses increases. The degradation of these support fibers leads to skin slackening and the formation of wrinkles, but – as I said before – other aspects, known as epigenetic factors, have clearly been identified.

Intensely demanding lifestyles, stress, lack of sleep, unbalanced diets, excess of sun exposure, pollution, smoking, and being overweight all have a much bigger impact on skin aging. These factors directly attack the life cycle of a cell and, when this happens, it becomes less effective – and cells therefore become tired and lose their ability to produce collage and elastin. As a result, the dermis becomes weaker and premature signs of aging appear, resulting in a lack of firmness and more wrinkles.

What ‘magic’ ingredients should we be looking out for in skincare?
There’s no such thing as it all depends on the skin problem you want to treat. It is much more important to correctly choose specific active ingredients for their targeted action on said skin problem. In order to offer a global response to a given skin problem, Sisley’s laboratories carefully select each active ingredient and each plant extract for its specific action. They are then combined at the right concentration according to the complementarity principle to act on every cause of the skin problem.

Pigmentation is one of the biggest problems for women in the Middle East. What’s the best way to avoid it and treat it?
The best ways to minimize dark spots and hyperpigmentation is to avoid sunlight at the maximum intensity hours – between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. – and use solar protection adapted to your phototype during sun exposure. UV filters are the best protection to avoid brown spots as they trap the majority of UV rays before they reach the melanocytes, reducing the production of excess melanin.

If you already have dark spots, I recommend using our ‘Intensive Dark Spot Corrector’. It is an effective product that reduces the size and intensity of dark spots of all kinds (age, sun, or imperfections) and has three key actions: lightening, exfoliation, and soothing.

French Women and That Elusive Youthful Glow? Here’s How

Sisley ‘Intensive Dark Spot Corrector’




Is it true that the more expensive the skin cream, the more effective it is?
Price isn’t always proof of efficiency. Is a garment always better quality because it’s expensive? In cosmetics, the efficiency depends on the quality and dosage of the ingredients that constitute the skincare product, as well as the innovation and years of research that led to its creation.

Sisley’s philosophy is based on a search for efficiency, and has no limits when it comes to the price or time needed to develop a skincare product. The R&D department has the freedom to take the time necessary in order to have the most successful formula possible. We use the highest quality, most effective, and best tolerated ingredients in optimal concentrations. We also hold series of tests to verify the effectiveness and safety of all our skincare products, and this has a price of course.

What’s your top tip for getting a gorgeous glow?
A good makeup-removing routine done daily, regular but gentle peeling, and adequate skin hydration!

How should an anti-aging cream be applied?
Just like any other skincare product, anti-aging skincare should be applied every morning and evening for at least two months to have visible results. It can, of course, be preceded by a preparatory lotion that optimizes the effectiveness of the following skincare products.

What are the biggest mistakes women make with their skin?
There are three mistakes that are most common:
1) Exfoliating skin before sun exposure. Exfoliation reduces the thickness of the stratum corneum, which is one of the first natural defenses your skin has in the sun. It weakens your skin and can cause more harm in the sun!
2) Confusing dry versus dehydrated skin. Dry skin is characterized by water deficiency in the stratum corneum and a deficiency in lipids, so it needs both water and fats. Dehydrated skin is only lacking in water, so applying vegetable oil or butter on dehydrated skin will not solve the problem.
3) Believing you need to scour greasy skin to eliminate excess sebum. On the contrary, the cleaning or scrubbing products used must be soft, and not too abrasive.

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