“If there is a secret to aging well, French women must know it” – a bold statement declared by Ann Morrison in yesterday’s New York Times article Aging Gracefully, the French Way. I found the article particularly fascinating because it both reveals a window into French culture and points out a number of key differences in how American women and French women approach aging.
The main gist is this; French women have seemingly found the perfect balance between taking extreme, unnatural measures to reverse the aging process (i.e. surgery) and letting themselves go (i.e. frumpy mom syndrome). Instead, French women take great pride in their appearance and place a high priority on taking care of their skin.
“According to a 2008 Mintel report, Frenchwomen spend about $2.2 billion a year on facial skin care — as much as Spanish, German and British women put together. If you happen to use the bathroom in a French home … you might see a line of skin care products rivaling a shelf at Duane Reade. There will be day creams (with sunscreen), night creams (without it), re-pulping creams, serums, moisturizers, cleansers, toners and salves for anything from orange-peel skin to varicose veins.”