Skincare

French Face- Gatineau Paris

What do we bring to our work? No matter what it is that engages us each day, how often do we consciously begin by asking that voice inside, “what will I bring to my work today? Where will I come from, what is my intention?”. I often wonder about the thoughts of the people we herald, the people whose work remains with humankind ten years after the fact, thirty years, one hundred years, more. When they were doing the work, did they think of the epilogue?  

Jeanne Gatineau, founder of the French skin care brand that was eventually re-branded as simply Gatineau, was enthusiastic about skin and developing techniques to counteract the impact of aging on it. A trained beautician, she was based out of her home at first, where she offered beauty therapies that were met with success. This propelled her to open a salon in the 1930’s, and thereafter, she studied with dermatologists, and also placed emphasis on the work of Alexis Carrel, a scientist, who was granted the Nobel Prize in 1912 in Physiology or Medicine. After she opened her first beauty school, Ecole d’Esthétique Jeanne GATINEAU in the 1950’s, her debut products arrived in the market and included alcohol free toner and cleansers. Gatineau is also recognised as the first beauty brand to offer an exfoliator. 

When Jeanne Gatineau retired at the age of seventy-one, her daughter perpetuated the traditions set out by her mother. In the nineties, the company was rebranded as Gatineau, and in the early part of this decade, Gatineau introduced Mélatogénine, ‘an exclusive youth molecule that promotes the youth of the cell’.  

Gatineau Mild Enzymatic Exfoliator
Gatineau Mild Enzymatic Exfoliator

In this post I’ll share my thoughts about two products, of which one is from the award winning Mélatogénine line. Starting with Gatineau Radiance Enhancing Gommage, this is a mild enzymatic exfoliator, the kind I increasingly prefer as opposed to physical exfoliators. Formulated with AHAs from apples, this will not irritate the skin and is safe even for the sensitive skin set. First, carve out the time, not because it takes a long time, but because it’s worth it. It is a golden yellow cream, infused with gold flecks that make it look more akin to a shimmery lotion. Upon application (to dry skin please), it is thick, smooth and has the mildest scent. This needs to be massaged into the skin and only needs to remain for about two minutes.

Naturally, I leave it on longer, walk around and then return to the sink to rinse it away. Skin is left extremely smoothed, brightened and renewed. Try to also bring this down to the neck and if your’re inclined to, go lower as well.

Gatineau Anti-Wrinkle Radiance Mask
Gatineau Anti-Wrinkle Radiance Mask

Now to Gatineau Melatogenine Futur Plus Anti-Wrinkle Radiance Mask, this is a boon for skin, especially for dry skin that is in need of a moisture infusion. If you are seeing lines and wrinkles already, this mask works to smooth out the creases and can also be used around the eyes. Thus, you may think of it as doing double duty, eliminating the added expense of a separate eye mask. Deep inside this formula is the patented Melatogenine at 3%, serilisine, which is a synthetic hexapeptide, along with marine ingredients. This is meant to remain on the skin for about ten minutes but I just leave it, because it absorbs completely. I would advocate for using the exfoliator and the mask as a two-step to maximise skin clarity and hydration. 

Gatineau Refreshing Cleansing Cream
Gatineau Refreshing Cleansing Cream

If you’re seeking to make it a three step episode, you may begin with Gatineau Melatogenine Refreshing Cleansing Cream. This is a pearlised cream that I was initially hesitant about, because of concerns that it would dry my skin further. No matter that, because I tried it and and when massaged into the skin I didn’t feel like it was being robbed. I like to leave it on when I know I want to follow up with the exfoliator and the mask. What makes this cleanser unusual is that it is a three in one product. Cleanser, toner and a micro-exfoliator, this worker bee is also soap free. In addition, I can affirm that it is unlikely to dry your skin because of the almond oil in the mix.

To wrap up, at the top of the post I inquired about the dialogue we may have with ourselves in relation to what we bring to our work. It’s an urgent question, relevant to every one of us. Jeanne Gatineau’s intention was to give people the required knowledge for the act of caring for their skin. She knew at the outset what propelled her, what inspired her and what she intended to give. She started her business at home, and when she outgrew that she went outward, opening her first treatment salon in 1937 and then a school in the 1950’s. In reading the history of Gatineau, Jeanne Gatineau’s intention and tenacity rises up to declare itself clearly. I sense it in the brand’s story and in the products. I believe it is why Gatineau is still here.