France is famous for its rich culture, tasteful gastronomy, beautiful towns, picturesque streets and its fine cosmetic beauty industry. Some brands such as Guerlain are a couple centuries old!
French beauty products are known for their high-quality standards, unique ingredients as well as effectiveness.
In order to save you some time, I have researched each company to bring you the most relevant information and compiled a list of what I believe to be the best (luxurious yet still affordable) French brands’ anti-wrinkle serums of 2020 available on Amazon. All of these products have over a 4 up to 5-star rate on Amazon as well as on product review sites such as influenster and beaute-test France.
How to choose the best anti-wrinkle serum?
After the age of 40, our skin starts to get loose, and over time, the signs of aging progressively begin to appear: dryness, dehydration, wrinkles, fine lines, loss of elasticity, loss of radiance, dark spots, and premature sun damage. Our maturing skin needs constant protection, deep hydration, and nutrition.
What makes an effective age-defying serum is that it has to both PREVENT and CORRECT the evidence of aging.
Some core ingredients to look for in a serum for mature skin
The effectiveness of anti-aging serums depends on what’s in them! Let’s look at some key ingredients you need to search for when choosing your serum.
Hyaluronic acid for deep hydration
Hyaluronic acid serums act like a moisture-magnet for dry, aging complexions.
Hyaluronic acid is a substance naturally produced by our body. It’s mostly found in our skin, eyes, and connective tissues. It retains water to keep our tissues well moist.
Polyphenols to reduce oxidative stress skin tissue damage
Polyphenols are micronutrients found in plants such as green tea and grapes that are packed with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Polyphenols can minimize oxidative stress tissue damage caused by pollution, UV rays and so much more!
Retinol to minimize the appearance of wrinkles
Retinol is a vitamin A derivative that is most used in anti-wrinkle formulas because it both triggers collagen production to target wrinkles and new blood vessel production which improves skin tone color.
Vitamins C, B3 and E to induce collagen production
Vitamins C, E and B3 are optimum antioxidants.
- Vitamin C neutralizes free radicals and repairs damaged skin cells. It boosts the skin’s natural regeneration process.
- Vitamin B3, also known as niacinamide, helps maintain the skin’s moisture by preventing water loss. It reduces enlarged pores, improving uneven skin tone.
- Vitamin E nourishes the skin and protects it from damage caused by free radicals.
French pharmacy Thermal Water infused serums
As a child, I often wondered why we have so many kinds of waters to choose from in our French superstores? Why were there so many commercials on TV praising their health benefits? Since water is transparent, I didn’t understand that natural spring water can be rich in calcium and minerals. That is why in French pharmacies, you can choose from several skincare brands that are infused with renowned French thermal spring waters. Let’s discover their exclusive properties!
All brands mentioned below formulate dermo-cosmetics for sensitive skin. They also offer several skin disorder cures in their thermal spa centers in France.
Vichy Anti-Age Liftactive Retinol HA Concentrate
Vichy was founded in 1931 and is appreciated for its high-quality diverse range of products and value for money.
This Vichy anti-age serum brings the effectiveness of two clinically-tested double-action ingredients of Pure Retinol + LR2412.
Retinol is a strong antioxidant, wrinkle-smoothing, and firming ingredient. LR2412 is a jasmonic acid derivative (stemmed from the jasmine plant’s own healing process) that accelerates the skin’s ability to repair and defend itself against external aggression.
Vichy products are infused with the Vichy Mineralizing Thermal Water, volcanic water from the preserved region of Auvergne. It is unique because it is rich in 15 minerals.
- Contains the highest concentration of pure Retinol in a Vichy daily wrinkle-filler treatment.
- Visibly fills deep wrinkles.
- Smoothes skin for a younger look.
- Acts on the appearance of wrinkles.
- Lightweight and fast-absorbing serum that leaves a velvety finish.
- Non-greasy, non-shiny, non-sticky.
- You can use it alone or as your daily treatment.
- Paraben-free, dermatologist tested, allergy tested, and sensitive skin tested.
It can be applied either day or night. However, most customers rather use it at night. When using it as a daily cream, make sure to apply an SPF 15+ after every application. You shouldn’t combine it with other retinol products.
Biotherm Blue Therapy Accelerated Serum
Biotherm was founded in 1952 and is now owned by L’Oréal. It is one of France’s most renowned luxury natural skin care products for beauty brands.
What makes Biotherm unique is that the products are instilled with Life Plankton, an extraordinary micro-organism found and extracted from the French Pyrenees hot springs of Molitg-Les-Bains. The pure thermal plankton essence contains 35 nutrients (proteins, vitamins, amino acids, glucids, lipids) which are essential to your skin’s health and rejuvenation.
In addition to plankton extract, this nutritious pearly transparent serum is highly concentrated in “Alaria Esculenta extract” also known as the ‘Algae of youth’. It neutralizes inflammation and accelerates cellular metabolism.
- Enriched with life Plankton, pure thermal plankton extract.
- Concentrated in Alaria Esculenta extract, the ‘Algae of youth’.
- Over time, the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and dark spots are visibly improved.
- Gives skin instant luminescence thanks to the pearly gleam.
- It is ideally formulated for all types of skins.
- Contains no parabens, no fragrance allergens.
- Oil-based essential nutrients (omega 3 and 6) that are similar to your skin’s lipid composition.
- Very light and non-greasy texture.
Apply every morning and night before your anti-aging moisturizer. Avoid the eye contour area.
Eau Thermale Avène Physiolift Serum
Avène specializes in caring for sensitive skin, treating skin issues like dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema, and burns. Avène has over 270 years of knowledge in dermatology and hydrotherapy. A hydrotherapy center was built near the Sainte-Odile spring in 1743!
Avène thermal pure spring water is known for its anti-irritant properties that soothe and reduce skin sensitivity.
What makes this Avène Physiolift serum so special is that it is formulated with a blend of 2 types of Hyaluronic Acid that effectively help fill fine deep wrinkle lines and firm the skin. It also contains Ascofilline, found in brown Algae, which helps restore your skin’s natural collagen, and Pre-tocopheryl, a Vitamin E precursor (a powerful antioxidant) that protects cells against the aging effects of free radical damage.
- This TechEnriched innovative serum is lightweight, hypoallergenic, paraben-free, and non-comedogenic (It is formulated so as not to cause blocked pores).
- Enhanced with 2 types of hyaluronic acid (hyaluronic acid microspheres and hyaluronic acid mono-oligomers), that instantaneously plump the skin while moisturizing the deeper layers of the epidermis for longer-term results.
- Contains Ascofilline, a vegan-friendly plant-based antioxidant found in brown algae, that helps with the production of your own collagen.
- Pre-tocopheryl, a strong antioxidant that protects against the aging effects of free radicals (pollution).
- Infused with mineral-rich thermal spring water, soothing the most sensitive skins.
- Targets fine lines and helps reduce the appearance of deep wrinkles.
- Skin appears instantly tighter and luminous.
Apply twice a day, in the morning and evening, to the face, neck, and décolleté. Then apply your moisturizing day/night cream.
La Roche-Posay Pure Retinol Face Serum with Vitamin B3.
La Roche-Posay thermal spring water is a unique selenium-rich natural water. Selenium is a rare and powerful antioxidant mineral which properties help prevent signs of aging. Selenium protects cells from damage and fights free radicals. This ancient water was discovered in the 17th century and is the key ingredient to all La Roche-Posay’s skincare formulas.
This anti-wrinkle concentrate provides a gradual release of pure Retinol that reduces the appearance of fine lines and signs of premature sun damage. It also contains Vitamin B3 to even out the skin tone and boost collagen production to keep the skin smooth.
- Highly concentrated in pure + gradual release of retinol and vitamin B3 that leaves skin smoother, hydrated, and renewed.
- Infused with La Roche-Posay’s selenium-rich thermal spring water.
- The look of lines, wrinkles, and premature sun damage is reduced.
- Lightweight, hydrating texture that creates a more luminous look.
- Dermatologist tested, suitable for sensitive skin, paraben-free, non-comedogenic.
- Suitable for sensitive eyes but avoid contact with eyes.
- This retinol serum is an allergy-tested formula with fragrance.
Apply 3-4 drops to the face and neck preferably in the evening. Retinol is best used at night because it can react in contact with the air by turning yellow. Always add a moisturizer and SPF to your routine when going out during the day.
Uriage Age Protect Eau Thermale Multi-Action Intensive Serum
Uriage is a French Alps thermal water, isotonic water that is like a physiological serum acting in harmony with the skin’s cells. Isotonic water, unlike seawater, does not modify the size or volume of the cells. It reinforces the barrier of the skin.
Uriage‘s uniquely rich thermal active water is used in their dermatological products since 1992.
This boosting serum fights both signs of aging and daily damaging skin’s aggression (UV rays, blue light, pollution, fatigue, stress). Its particularity is the synergy of highly concentrated active ingredients (hyaluronic acid, retinol, plant extracts, and vitamins) and Uriage’s anti-age action innovation: BLB, a blue light barrier patent.
- Formulated with Uriage’s unique mineral-rich thermal water.
- Thanks to BLB, the skin is protected from pollution and blue light’s harmful effects
- Highly concentrated in active ingredients (retinol, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C and E, rose fruit extract, and cellulose).
- Light fluid texture.
- Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Fights loss of firmness and lack of plumpness.
- Prevents the appearance of brown spots.
- Restores skin vitality and radiance.
- Tightens pores and mattifies skin.
- Normal to combination skin.
- Not suitable for pregnant women.
- Hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, paraben-free.
Apply in the morning, avoiding contact with eyes. Space out the applications if tingling sensations occur.
Sanoflore Elixir Des Reines Skin-Perfection Glow Serum
The Sanoflore brand is a French botanical-certified organic cosmetics pioneer that was founded in 1986. Almost all of its plant extracts (more than 350 organically grown plants) come from its own botanical garden situated right at the heart of the Vercors Regional Natural Park. It is one of Europe’s best-preserved regions where the soil and air are not contaminated.
Organic plant essences are far richer in active molecules than synthetic extracts.
This serum’s specificity is that it is formulated with hyaluronic acid and pure royal jelly. Royal jelly stimulates cell growth and restores skin energy. It is highly nutritious and has antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. It is a honey bee secretion used to feed bee larvae till their third day. However, they also feed royal jelly to their adult queens during their entire life. That is why the queen bees are bigger than the worker bees. Bee queens live 40 times longer (5 years) than the others (only a few weeks).
- Formulated with both acid hyaluronic acid and pure royal jelly.
- Natural and Organic Cosmetic certified by Ecocert Greenlife.
- 99% of the total ingredients are of natural origin.
- 25% of the total ingredients are from organic farming.
- 100% natural-origin fragrance.
- Paraben-free, silicone-free, mineral oil-free.
- Lightens skin tone.
- Reduces the signs of aging by smoothing wrinkles.
- Replumps and gives the skin a silky finish.
- Normal to combination skin, suitable for sensitive skin.
- Non-greasy texture.
Apply in the morning with or without a day cream.
Plant-based anti-aging serums
Caudalie Resveratrol Lift Firming Serum
This is an award-winning, N°1 of anti-aging product in France thanks to its unique combination of active ingredients found in grapes. Caudalie was founded in 1993 by the owners of the Bordeaux vineyards of Château Smith Haut Lafitte. After realizing how powerful the antioxidant benefits of grapevine’s polyphenols are to the skin, nothing from the vineyard goes to waste! Everything from the vines’ roots, leaves, and sebum to the fruit itself is utilized.
The key ingredient, Vine Resveratrol, increases the natural hyaluronic acid production of the skin’s cells. The formula also contains a unique mix of herbal aromatic infusions of chamomile flowers, thyme, petitgrain, sage, fresh mint, and lavender water.
- 95% of ingredients of natural origin.
- Concentrated in Vine Resveratrol and a complex of Micro Hyaluronic Acids.
- Infused with a unique herbal aromatic concoction.
- Non-comedogenic so as not to cause blocked pores, dermatologically tested and silicone-free.
- No parabens, phenoxyethanol, phthalates, mineral oils, or animal-derived ingredients are used.
- Oil-free, non-sticky light silky texture.
- Deep wrinkles appear smoother.
- Skin appears firmer, brighter, and evenly toned-out.
Apply morning and evening to face, neck and décolleté. Avoid eye contour.
Yves Rocher Serum Végétal Wrinkles & Radiance-Ulra-Smoothing
Yves-Rocher was a pioneer in the use of natural ingredients in cosmetics and against animal testing. He founded his brand in 1959. Yves-Rocher has its own 100-acre botanical gardens farm in La Gacilly, Brittany in France where Yves-Roch researchers study and observe more than 1000 different plants to identify those which may have cosmetic virtues.
This Yves Rocher serum has required 6 years of research and 4 anti-aging patents in France. Its key ingredient is the Ice plant, also known as the ‘life plant’, found in the South African desert. This plant has a remarkable genetic background that gives it the ability to adapt to different situations. Combined with Acacia gum that tightens the skin, the Ice Plant’s properties have proven to actively fight the appearance of wrinkles.
- 100 % of the extracts are botanical.
- Contains Acacia gum that is combined with the unusual anti-wrinkle action of the Ice Plant.
- An ultra-smoothing serum that reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
- After 1 month, the skin’s radiance is boosted.
- Light texture that instantly penetrates and fills deep wrinkles.
- 6 years of research, 4 anti-aging patents in France.
- Dermatological and ophthalmological tested.
- Paraben and colorant free.
Apply twice a day, morning and evening.
Clarins Double Serum Complete Age Control Concentrate, With Turmeric
Clarins is a prestige skincare brand which story began in Paris in 1954 when Jacques Courtin-Clarins opened his first beauty institute. Clarins’ philosophy has always been to develop safe, naturally-derived, and high-effective skincare products: a natural ingredient will always be chosen over a chemical one if it delivers the same efficiency.
Over 250 natural plant extracts are carefully selected for their benefits and used in Clarins’ formulas.
This Clarins’ double serum is a two-powered pack serum in one. It has a two-phase formula that is inspired by the dual nature of the hydrolipidic film of the skin: water and oil.
The two concentrates added together form a powerful ‘all 5 in one’ serum that targets the skin’s hydration, nutrition, oxygenation, regeneration, and protection.
In addition to the 21 anti-aging plant extracts, it is enriched with age-defying turmeric to efficiently fight wrinkles and fine lines.
- Contains 21 powerful anti-aging plant extracts.
- Enriched with vigorous turmeric that visibly targets fine lines and wrinkles.
- Firms, smoothes, and boosts skin’s radiance.
- Tightens pores.
- A dual ‘water/oil’ serum formula that optimizes the skin’s 5 vital functions: hydration, nutrition, oxygenation, regeneration, and protection.
- For all ages, all skin types, and all ethnicities.
- No mineral oil.
- Free of phthalates, parabens, and sulfates.
- All raw materials are purchased in accordance with the fair trade principles to respect and protect nature’s biodiversity.
After mixing both phases in the palm of your hands, apply day and/or night to clean face and neck.
Aesthetic Medicine Crafted Anti-Aging serum
Filorga Time-Zero Multi-Correction Wrinkles Serum
Filorga, founded in 1978, is the 1st aesthetic medicine laboratory in France. Initially, it produced injectable aesthetic medicine products that were used by worldwide medical specialists.
In 2007, Filorga started designing and developing a series of innovative cosmetic products for the general public.
All of its skincare is formulated with NCEF, the same ingredients used in filler and revitalizing injection solutions that treat the 6 signs of healthy skin: firmness, wrinkles, pores, evenness, hydration, and luminescence. NCEF contains hyaluronic acid and 50 other different ingredients (amino acids, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, coenzymes).
- Highly concentrated in NCEF, a multi-rejuvenating complex stemmed from aesthetic medicine.
- Also contains 12 vitamins, 23 amino acids, 6 coenzymes, 6 minerals, 5 nucleic, 2 antioxidants for intensive skin health.
- Treats 4 types of wrinkles at once.
- Visible results after 7 days.
- Paraben-free and clinically tested.
- Ultra-light texture and high absorption.
- Firmer, tighter, and brighter skin.
Apply daily, in the morning and/or evening, before your day cream and/or night cream.
What is a serum?
A serum is a skincare fluid that you apply to your cleansed face before your day cream and night cream. It is lighter in texture than a cream and more concentrated in rich active ingredients. It is impossible to concentrate as many essential ingredients in a cream or lotion. Creams act as a barrier to outside aggression and protect the skin from dehydration. Some serums can be used alone without the use of an additional cream because they are so thick and nourishing to the skin.
Why use a serum?
Serums offer more targeted results. Its molecules are smaller than those in creams. Its active ingredients deeply penetrate the skin and are quickly absorbed. That is why a serum should be used in response to a specific need and skin type condition. For instance, if you have acne or oily skin, you should look for a serum without oils because serums packed with oils make your skin look even more greasy and can cause more acne breakouts.
If your skin suffers from hyperpigmentation or dark spots, you should use a serum loaded with Vitamin C.
As for mature skin and to combat wrinkles, look for serums packed with hyaluronic acid for deep hydration.
Because serums are lightweight in nature, it is important to use a moisturizing cream and SPF to further protect your skin.
When to use a serum?
It is best to apply your serum in the evening before your night cream. Your skin should always be previously washed.
However, as we age, our skin constantly needs hydration. So for mature skin, apply your anti-aging serum twice a day. You can also add a few drops of your daily serum to your day cream.
You can also do a cure like when you do a cure of vitamins. Vary the kind of serums you use according to the change of seasons (change serums every 3-4 weeks).
Your anti-wrinkle serum is a real complement to your anti-aging cream. It acts in depth by slowly penetrating all layers of your skin. Creams only work on the superficial layer of your skin tissue. Your serum optimizes your cream’s efficiency.
Final personal thoughts
Aging is a natural process and it is important to embrace it. No serum, no cream, and no aesthetic intervention will stop this process. Soon or later wrinkles and fine lines stay for good. That is why I peacefully anticipate and welcome all my existing and future aging signs. I don’t see wrinkles and loose skin as ‘ugly’ but as part of this beautiful natural life-changing season. What I am saying is that, as time passes, it shouldn’t become an obsession to try to look younger. As we age, what is most important is to keep on developing healthy eating and physical habits!
Any other French serums you would recommend? Which is your favorite?Please leave your comments below and share your experience!
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