• Jessica

This French-Girl Skincare Regimen is Anti-Inflammatory to the Max

Updated: Jan 15, 2020

My visit to Joëlle Ciocco Paris changed my skin — and saved my life (I'm dramatic.)

Photo via Joelle Ciocco

I recently moved to Paris for a Master's in Fashion Studies program at the European campus of Parsons. It was a long, crazy-stressful process to get here — and it didn't help that we were leaving the ultimate oasis of comfort and calm: a sunny, terraced apartment on the border of Silver Lake/Echo Park in Los Angeles, CA.

To bid America farewell before our two-year jaunt abroad, we decided to take a cross-country road trip in an RV. It was fun, but it was not hygienic; we were basically camping — not glamping — for two weeks. It has also become an ordeal because the rental company is trying to extort us out of thousands of dollars, which we have been left to dispute from France. (I do not recommend using Road Bear RV — shell out the cash for a luxury Sprinter, instead. Seriously.)

Before my Grand Soin facial at Joëlle Ciocco Paris.

Upon leaving LA, my skin was glow-y and even thanks to a series of Clear + Brilliant laser treatments by Dr. Ray Jalian of Rebecca Fitzgerald MD.

By the time we flew out of Newark, New Jersey, on a phenomenal airline called La Compagnie (highly recommend), my regimen had been disrupted and my skin was a mess.

All it took was one bad case of PMS to send my skin on a downward spiral of clogged pores, inflammation, and general misery by the time my classes started.

Nothing kills my self-esteem like an inflammatory breakout. I suffered hormonal imbalances in my twenties that made my skincare a challenge. In my early 30s, my skin-related insecurities impact me to an unhealthy degree. So I did what any beauty editor would do: I sought out the help of an epidermologist trained by Paris' legendary facialist and skin-guru, Joëlle Ciocco.

Photo via Atelier Dore

My favourite makeup artist in LA, Katrina Klein, recommended the spa to me. I almost stopped myself because of the price, but Ciocco's reputation is nothing short of miraculous.

Le Grand Soin was the first step. The facial resets the skin on a healing journey that consists of calming inflammation, tending to the microbiome, and fortifying the protective moisture-barrier.

Your uniquely trained epidermologist will then provide you with a customized treatment and regimen to follow. I won't get into the details here because they're reserved for another outlet I write for, but yes, I could feel the difference. This skincare line could be it for me.

Within a couple days, the improvements were visible; inflammatory blemishes have almost completely healed in under a week. As a sufferer of an autoimmune condition that is triggered by inflammation, I was awed by the swift healing process initiated by the treatment.

My birthday gift to myself from Joëlle Ciocco Paris.

The research that goes into the line is epic, so it's no wonder that high profile clients like Marc Jacobs swear by her products. Using her background in biochemistry as well as an holistic understanding of the skin, Ciocco's non-toxic skincare line was also formulated using principles of naturopathy. Naturopathic doctors have been my saviours over the years (especially Dr. Gabrielle Francis), so I have high hopes that this could be the skincare philosophy that finally resolves my skin woes.

The products below were selected by Hélène, who examined, massaged, cleansed, and treated my skin thoroughly over the course of two-hours. Subsequent treatments (I'll be back Friday) will not be as extensive or expensive, but will help promote skin resiliency and protect it from reacting to external aggressors, like pollution.

I am not going to stray from the regimen below for the next three months.



La Roche-Posay

La Roche-Posay Serozinc Toner for Oily Skin with Zinc, $15

This is a gentle, zinc-infused thermal water spray that I bought at the Tabac on the corner of my street. In the US it costs $15, but it's cheaper in France since LRP is a French skincare brand.


Joëlle Ciocco Paris

Lotion Lactée, $51

I apply a few spritzes of this best-selling, cleansing toner to a cotton round and apply it to my face and neck, morning and night. It leaves the skin feeling soft and cleansed, containing ingredients that include phyto-collagen, sorbitol, organic silicon, and saponin flower. It's great for the lipid barrier of the skin, which protects against pollution and irritants that can cause inflammation.

BTW: This cult-favourite product is beloved by none other than Marc Jacobs.


Joëlle Ciocco Paris

Réserves Nutritives Sensitive Skin Cream, $132

Actives in this light moisturizer include soy lecithin isoflavones, jojoba, soft almond, wheat germ, Arginin, silicon, and shea butter. She also recommended an approved SPF that I can buy at a Tabac, although I've been using my Tizo Skincare SPF and primer.



La Roche-Posay

Serozinc Spray, $15

I use a micellar water wipe or soaked cotton round to remove as much makeup as possible before I start my evening regimen with the spray above.


Joëlle Ciocco Paris

Secret Clear Purifying Cleanser, $79

I cleanse twice with this prebiotic- and probiotic-powered facial cleanser. The first time I massage it on and rinse off. The second time, I lather it up and leave it on for a few minutes like a mask before rinsing thoroughly. (BTW I have been meaning to check out the department store Merci at the link above.)


Joëlle Ciocco Paris

Lotion Lactée, $51

See above.


Joëlle Ciocco Paris

Elixir Nutritif, $288

I only use half of a pump of this precious oil to cover my face and neck. It smells like cinnamon, which I love because I know it improves micro-circulation. Among other things, this helps with detoxification.

Mask/Spot Treatment

Joëlle Ciocco Paris

Pate de Tolu, $115

Once per week, I have been instructed to use this heat mask. It has also become my new go-to spot treatment for both day and night.

For the first time in a long time, my skin is calm and healing. I can't wait to see how much it improves over the course of the semester. Stay tuned to find out where to read more about my experience at Joëlle Ciocco Paris.

Are you interested in French-girl beauty? Tell me on Instagram!

I paid for the treatment and products above out-of-pocket. Some contain affiliate links for which I will receive commission, but this is not an ad.

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