STYLE

French Women Look Younger Than British Women?

03/21/2013 04:35 pm ET

We all know that French women don't get fat (supposedly). But do they also not age? A new study suggests that women in France tend to look younger than their British counterparts -- and it might be the face cream they're using.

Escentual.com, a British beauty retailer, surveyed British women to see how they judged their own ages against French women's. The finding? Brits thought their French counterparts looked about seven years younger than them by the time they hit 40. The youthful-looking Frenchies included 69-year-old Catherine Deneuve, who was perceived to be 59; 36-year-old Audrey Tautou, who was assumed to be 29; and Juliette Binoche, who is 48 but was thought to be 41.

Keep in mind that the study focused on British women's opinions, whose perceptions of French ages could be colored by all sorts of biases or insecurities. (A woman from the United States, for example, might think Catherine Deneuve does look 69.) But the Escentual.com study attributes the difference to French women's actual beauty habits, namely the use of anti-aging products.

According to the findings, French women begin using anti-aging products earlier than Brits: 33 percent of French women start as early as 15, whereas British women don't generally begin until 25. In addition, the French spend more money on anti-aging products ($2.5 billion spent on facial skincare in 2009 versus England's $1.1 billion spent that same year).

Of course, that's to say nothing of the American market; one market researcher estimated the total skincare market in the United States to be $4.35 billion in 2009. More recent research suggests that Americans are out-spending their international counterparts in the anti-aging skincare market specifically. According to Mintel, 37 percent of U.S. women have used anti-aging face products, versus 23 person of U.K. women, 24 percent of women in France, 25 percent of women in Germany and 26 percent of Spanish women.

And don't even get us started on Americans' love of plastic surgery.

So do French women actually look younger than British women? It probably depends who you ask. But it seems that they're working harder at it, embracing anti-aging products almost as much as us Yanks. We ladies do love our retinol.

Read more at Telegraph.co.uk and tell us what you think in the comments.

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