After years of Parisians swearing by nothing more than a good moisturizer and regular weekend breaks in the countryside to keep their skin shipshape, locals have finally jumped on the wellness bandwagon. Over the last few years, boutique gyms and spas have popped up all over the city alongside practitioners working from their homes, in a self-care revolution. Taking some time out for yourself is very much part of the Paris package nowadays, so here are some top spots for getting a skin refresh straight off a long flight or for when you just need to hit that pause button.
Cible Skin, The Chic Skin Center That Go The Extra Mile Close To Avenue Montaigne
Sometimes you need a pampering facial that demands a fluffy white robe, low lighting and mood music that transports you to the rice fields of Bali, while other times, your skin calls out for a good thorough reset. For the latter, there’s no place other than Cible Skin, with its Cure & Care philosophy.
Steps from the Champs-Elysées inside a Haussmannian apartment in all its glory, this spot opened in 2018 by young entrepreneurs Jean Ginefri and Raphaël Aknin, is a cross between a skin doctor’s practice and a spa. Treatments range from pampering sessions. to prolong skin’s youthful glow (care) to hyaluronic acid injections, laser therapy for scars and redness, cellulite, and even to stimulate hair growth (cure).
A session here all starts with a full skin consultation with a dermatologist who scans your skin with VISIA technology to gage the damage your skin’s undergone beyond the surface. You’ll know your level of collagen, marks and redness, which helps the practitioner recommend the right treatment for you, whether it’s a restorative peeling, a regenerating ultrasound, radio wave, infrared light facial, a purifying, deeply exfoliating facial with an infusion of hydrating, detoxifying vitamins, or something a little more intense like botox injections.
Regardless of your skin concern, Cible Skin is the ideal place to come regularly for a proper skin detox. Their Hydra care exfoliating treatment is so effective, you’ll want it to be part of your regular skin routine. Pores are thoroughly cleansed by hydra abrasion after which vitamins are infused to the surface which sink in to nourish your skin. And soon, there might be an institute opening near you as more Cible Skins will open in the next couple of years for Shanghai, Tokyo and New York. 31 Rue François 1er, 75008, cibleskin.com.
L’Institut Guerlain, The Historic Spot For A Skin Refresh On The Champs-Elysées
One of France’s oldest perfume houses, Guerlain was created in 1828 and its flagship store at number 68 on the Champs-Elysées has stood in the exact same spot since 1914. While the boutique and its scintillating golden bottles of perfumes with world-famous names like Shalimar, Samsara and L’Heure Bleue, is a draw in itself, the beauty institute tucked away downstairs is worth booking an hour or more out of your day for.
Like a Parisian hôtel particulier, guests wait in a living room with sumptuous Haussmannian features like full marble fireplaces, herringbone floors, gilded mirrors and ornate moldings that adorn the ceiling. Treatments take place in one of the spacious rooms off a long corridor, and have impressive creamy white and golden honey open marble walls, reflecting the brand’s painstaking bee conservation work with UNESCO.
Guerlain’s institute isn’t just all razzle dazzle though, because its therapists and products really work, leaving you feeling restored and refreshed, but also your skin is noticeably plumper, nourished and radiant and thanks to the brand’s specially design protocols, skin seems to bounce back with fine lines looking surprisingly smoother.
68 avenue des Champs-Elysées, 75008, stores.guerlain.com.
Tata Harper, The Sensory Urban Skin Spa Inside A Palace-Hotel
Every Paris hotel now has a spa and they’re no longer just an after-thought stashed away in a corridor somewhere in the basement. They’ve become destinations in their own right. Le Bristol, one of several palace-hotels in the city (a French distinction given to hotels of the highest caliber), has one such spa. Tucked within its spa by La Prairie, the hotel has partnered with beloved organic beauty brand Tata Harper to create a boutique urban space with an emerald-green velvet sofa in the waiting room and flowery wallpapers that recall the founder’s 1,200-acre Vermont farm where the ingredients for the 100% natural products are harvested.
Results-driven, Tata Harper’s products are available along with the brand’s expert treatments in Paris at this highly exclusive pocket-sized spa for one, a first for Europe. Deeply replenishing for the body and the mind, treatments include a range of five programs that cleanse, soothe and reset (Balance & Ground, Soothe & Rest, Quench & Cocoon, Illuminate & Energize and Clear skin & mind).
Tired minds and dull-looking skin will feel reinvigorated and restored back to health by the time you head back out into the city bustle — alternatively, stay on for a sunny lunch out in the hotel garden. 112 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 75008, tataharperskincare.com.
Elaine Huntzinger, The Insider’s Holistic Guru Who’ll See You In Her Home
A U.S. transplant born to Hongkongers, Elaine Huntzinger is a favorite practitioner with the locals. Her treatments are so coveted that over the years, her select clientele flies in especially from all four corners of the globe to see her. Elaine spent her life exploring and developing natural medicine and treatments as she traveled from China to Thailand and to Paris where she met her husband and settled down. She combines ancient wisdom with a deep understanding of the demands – and damaging effects of our modern world, and how best to remedy them.
An adept at Chinese medicine to acupuncture (Master Tung) and Gua sha to dermatology, and nutrition, Elaine is also a certified gemologist with deep knowledge of crystals and their various healing properties, and holds a Master of Science in Traditional Oriental Medicine. From fertility to energy work or a deep tissue facial, Elaine combines her various practices to work on restoring your energy levels as well as your skin’s glow.
After a session with Elaine, you’ll want to book more. Treatments here aren’t just skin deep. You’ll actually feel more rested, energized and alert, and complexion will be smoother, and eyes brighter. 12 Rue de Crussol, 75011, elainehuntzinger.com.
Biologique Recherche, The Age-Defying French Facial Set Back From The Champs-Elysées
The French skincare brand with a cult following that swears its treatments’ active ingredients rival botox, Biologique Recherche needs no introduction. You’ll find BR spas all over the world, but there’s nothing like going back to the brand’s Parisian roots and booking yourself in for a facial at the brand’s ambassade (embassy) right on the Champs-Elysées. So popular is the brand, that they deemed one embassy wasn’t enough for the city, so BR’s just opened its second in Saint-Germain-des-Prés.
The brand owes its success to its products, all highly concentrated in active ingredients teamed with highly personalized protocols defined after a diagnosis of the skin with the Skin Instant© Lab machine with five probes to measure various aspects of the skin to repare, revitalize and rebalance. The therapists work one half of the face at a time, cleansing, exfoliating, masking and hydrating in one of the host of treatments available from glow-boosting to age-defying actions. 32 avenue des Champs-Elysées, 75008, Ambassade Biologique Recherche.
Institut Maison Sisley, The Family-Run French Pampering Hot Spot Close To The Arc De Triomphe
One of the last family-run skincare brands in France, the Sisley institute was created in 1976 by Hubert and Isabelle d’Ornano within the brand headquarters near the Arc de Triomphe, and feels more like part of a house than a spa. Decorated like the founders’ home with pieces from their personal art collection and tailor-made lighting and furniture like a teal blue velvet couch, everything’s been picked out by Isabelle d’Ornano and her children who are now at the helm of the Sisley empire.
With spas and concessions across the world, the Sisley brand is an institution thanks to gorgeous pampering products and protocols that really work. For fans or newcomers to the brand, there’s nothing like visiting the Sisley flagship in Paris to see the full range of the maison’s products and soak up the undiluted French spirit while enjoying a cup of herbal tea and snack in the institute’s café with friends post-treatment. 5 avenue de Friedland, 75008, Institut Maison Sisley.
Seasonly, The Skin Glow Booster Shopping Pit-Stop In The 16th District
If getting some downtime means picking a place in a quiet part of town so you’re not thrown out into the city bustle after your treatment, then Seasonly’s sixteenth-district studio is perfect. You’ll find it set back from the street at the very end of a cobblestone alley next to a stylish jewelry boutique and French designer Sara Lavoine’s beautiful homeware store.
Seasonly is a French clean and simple skincare brand created by serial French entrepreneur Fany Péchioda behind the My Little Paris success story. There are several outposts across the city, with the flagship being in trendy Sentier.
Like the skincare line, the treatments are simple. You won’t find pages and pages of options, just six, ranging from a 30-minute face gym session to get the blood flowing and your skin glowing in your lunch hour, to a one-hour sleep massage to help your body unwind completely. The hardest part? Getting up to go. 25 rue de l’Annonciation, 75016, Studio Seasonly.
Dr Haushka, The Organic Well-Being Break In The Bastille Neighborhood
Blink and you’ll miss this tree-planted courtyard set back from busy Bastille’s main boulevard. Organic skincare line Dr Hauschka has concessions all over the world, but there’s only one Maison Dr. Hauschka. Built with the environment at heart and according to Fen Shui principles inside, it reflects the brand’s philosophy steeped in nature.
Founded in 1967 in Germany by chemist Rudolf Hauschka, behind WALA Heilmittel, a holistic pharmaceutical company, the cornerstone of his company was to distill actives in plants without using alcohol or chemicals to create medicines, inspired by the organic farming work of Rudolf Steiner. The company’s beauty products were developed by Elisabeth Sigmund, natural cosmetics maker, who later joined the company.
Dr Hauschka products are still manufactured on the same site as 50 years ago using mostly manual processes. Products are 100% natural and made with sustainability and the environment at heart. The result is a soothing house with calming treatments that range from two-hour soothing facials to shorter evening serenity replenishing treatments for clearer skin in the morning. A wonderful place to escape to for busy urbanites in need of a break. 39 rue de Charonne, 75011, lamaisondrhauschka.com.
Darphin, The Understated French Luxury Facial In A Courtyard On Rue Saint-Honoré
Darphin isn’t a cool upcoming brand with the promise of natural ingredients harvested on organic farms and on-trend packaging that hits all the right notes. However, what this French heritage brand does have is therapists that have been trained in protocols inspired by physiotherapy, which have created a loyal following in France and further afield ever since the Master Botanist and physiotherapist Mr Darphin created the brand in 1958.
His understanding of muscular skeletal structures and blood flow, meant he was able to create facial massage techniques that rejuvenate muscles, therefore boosting skin health from the inside out.
Today, a Darphin facial is still one of the best to try in the city and the location of the flagship institute in a courtyard on designer brand shopping street Rue Saint-Honoré makes it all the more special, especially in the warmer months when you can prolong the experience with a herbal tea and a book on the small terrace outside. 350 rue Saint-Honoré, darphin.fr