There’s something about French women that is so sophisticated and stylish– even as they age. They don’t spend money on plastic surgery or expensive skincare treatments or products. So what’s their secret?
Dr. Manny Alvarez, senior managing health editor of FoxNews.com, recently sat down with Mireille Guiliano, author of French Women Don’t Get Facelifts and the best-selling French Women Don’t Get Fat, to reveal the secrets to aging gracefully.
According to Guiliano, the culture of aging is different in America and France.
“America and some other countries are youth cultures, so they are obsessed by eternal youth– and the French laugh at that. Nothing is eternal. We are an old culture and we have a great sentence in France: La vie commence à cinquante, ‘Life starts at 50.’” she said.
Unlike American women, French women do not go for plastic surgery as a means of self-improvement.
“For French women, the scalpel is the last resort…We look at ourselves in the mirror, no nonsense, and we say, ‘Okay, maybe I need a new haircut, maybe a new this, maybe a new that,’ and then we embrace aging,” Guiliano said. “Because we still know that we can seduce and flirt, and all we want is to live the second part of our life as healthy and as well as possible.”
To maintain healthy skin, Guiliano recommends getting facials and using masks and argan oil.
“I’d rather have one facial a year than six manicures, because it’s almost like, if you take the analogy with the car, a yearly tune-up and you need it. It’s not an indulgence… The basic ritual in a French home is to clean your skin every night… a mask nourishes your skin,” Guiliano said. “My little secret is argan oil, because [it’s] liquid gold…If you don’t have argan oil, maybe you can use a drop of olive oil.”
Plus, sitting down to a meal without distractions is important.
“If you multitask, it’s not eating: you’re a robot. Sitting down is a way to connect with people, but also to concentrate because as you know, we are hedonists, and pleasure is the number one criteria, so we eat for pleasure,” Guiliano said. “To eat for pleasure, you have to involve all your senses– you have to look at your food, you have to smell it. You have to take time and enjoy it, and that makes a huge difference. If we could teach people to eat like this, we wouldn’t have overweight and obesity [problems].”
And as for fitness, for French women, it’s not about the gym.
“French women don’t go to the gym, but they walk everywhere; they take the stairs,” Guiliano said. “It’s been proven…that walking is one of the best exercises you can do because it’s free, it’s cheap, you can do it when you want, where you want, and it does much more for you than just the physical. It’s psychological– it’s the best anti-aging potion with nutrition.”