I am attending the IMCAS meeting in Paris and, as I walk around the city (in between meetings, of course) and visit the conference exhibit hall looking at all of the products, devices, fillers and objects de beaute that are available in Europe and are not yet, or may never be, available in the US due to our FDA process, I started to wonder, do the french know something about beauty that we don’t?
Let’s start with the obvious: despite the fact that the French smoke (alot) they also walk alot. I was impressed by the lack of obesity in Paris. We all know about the heart healthy benefits of red wine and dark chocolate ( my french fav is Maison du Chocolat) , both of which are in abundance here. Ah the food…… French food is delicious and decadent but it is also farm fresh and proportions are not supersized. Moderation is key (we already know that too). We also know the health benefits of food which is not processed thus maintaining it’s nutrient value. Yes, starbucks and McDonalds have a presence here, but a small one.
We are a beauty obsessed society and the french are no different. As in the US, the french are obsessed with skin care. This is certainly obvious from the conference and exhibit hall but also evident in the local pharmacie where i spent quite a bit of time looking at the abundance of creams, lotions and potions in search of some beauty secret to share with you. In effort to provide a balanced review I visit three different pharmacies and two sephoras to see if there was any location variance. Despite having a wider variety of topicals to choose from here, the ingredients in these products are basically very similar to those available in the US and include those which we know to be beneficial (antioxidants, retinoids, growth factors). Interestingly, none of the Dr specific brands ( Dr Brandt, Perricone etc) so prominent in the US had a presence in Paris. However one important part of the skin care regimen which was noticeably lacking in my search was sunprotection! Quelle dommage!
What did I learn from this meeting that I will bring back to my practice and share with my patients? While I cannot bring some of the fillers available to our European colleagues back to my patients due to the FDA, I did purchase some new cannulas to make filler injections more comfortable. I also purchased a nifty little device to be used in conjunction with our microdermabrasion which will leave your skin unbelievably soft (tried it myself) and met new colleagues from other countries who invited me to give talks at future international conferences. Most importantly I was reminded that the French dont really have any beauty secrets or information that we don’t already know about . They may have a different approach but we have more sunprotection!