The French beauty brand founder keeps her routine so minimalistic that she also avoids washing her face in the morning. Find out more about her skincare routine below

Driven by the belief that our body is a “planet that is at risk”, cosmetic pharmacist Dr Marie Drago is paving the way for microbiome skincare. She founded the sustainable and 100 per cent cruelty-free French skincare brand, Gallinée, in 2016 to launch products that take care of good bacteria: the microbiome.

It became one of the first skincare brands to target this protective ecosystem, based on the latest research in microbiology, using a patented complex of prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics.

As a doctor in Pharmacy with over 15 years of experience working for various successful skincare brands, Dr Drago’s research on the microbiome and the enormous benefits of harnessing helpful bacteria gave her the vision to create Gallinée’s formulations. While biotics are well known for their positive effects on digestive health, their use in skincare has been, until now, an untapped science secret.

Dr Drago says: “We consider our products a bit of a revolution. We see skin as a living, breathing ecosystem full of wonders and it makes so much sense to work with our skin rather than against it. This is the future of beauty. With our unique understanding of the skin’s microbiome, we have created products that help our skin to help itself, for immediate results.”

Today, the brand’s two hero products—the Face Vinegar Toner, a purifying, soothing and reparative toner that brightens skin and reduces appearance of pores, and the Face Mask & Scrub that gives skin an instant radiance boost—have captivated the hearts of users and skincare specialists alike.

Below, we find out more about Dr Drago’s tried and tested skincare tips and how she keeps her daily routine simple.

How long do you typically spend on your skincare routine?

Not very long! In the morning, it usually takes less than three minutes and five minutes in the evening. What I love to do though is a bit of facial yoga in the evening while I’m watching a movie.

What is your skincare routine like for the day?

Both my morning and night routines are very simple, I’m quite minimalistic in that way. In the morning, I’ll try to avoid washing my face as the skin microbiome replenishes during the night. So, I will add our Face Vinegar Toner on a cotton pad to make my pores look smaller and skin brighter for the day. I’ll follow up with our Face Cream and a few drops of our Youthful Serum.

What is your skincare routine for the night?

Similarly, my night routine only contains a few products. I’ll wash my face with our Cleansing Bar, which also acts as a makeup remover—perfect for a minimalistic person like me. I’ll then follow with our Face Vinegar Toner, Youthful Serum and Face Cream. This combination leaves my skin feeling really plump and soft in the morning. 

See also: Double Cleansing: Why it’s an Important Skincare Step and the Best Ways to Do it

What was the last skincare product that you bought?

As I have my own brand, I am very lucky that I do not need to buy skincare, I simply just develop a product I need. That being said, I am always really curious and excited about new launches. The latest product I bought was the Bioeffect Hydrogel Mask. It has a very minimalist formulation, just how I like it.

Are there any new skincare trends that you’re excited to try?

It’s more on the formulation side, but I love seeing all the new prebiotic ingredients coming to the market. Things like prebiotic from algae (such as the ones we use in our Face Vinegar Toner) are very exciting and extremely sustainable.

See also: Collagen, Fish Oil and More: All About Supplements and Superfoods For Glowing Skin

When did you start paying extra attention to your skin? 

Very late. My mum is quite old school and always told me skincare would give me spots. However, I developed very sensitive skin so I have to look into the cause of it and how to make it better. Hint: Don’t use soap on your face!

What’s one skincare must-have you’ve “influenced” others to purchase?

When I’m not talking about probiotics (I talk about probiotics a lot.), I always talk about the benefits of AHA, and especially Lactic Acid to my friends. It’s such an interesting ingredient: it feeds your skin microbiome, soothes the skin, helps repair the barrier, gets rid of dead cells and brightens the skin. I have put all my friends on Lactic Acid regiment and when I created Gallinée I put it in all our products.

What’s a skincare product you can’t live without? 

A very gentle cleanser. I live in London, where we have high level of pollution. Cleansing is not always good for your microbiome, so you need to be extremely gentle. But after one day in the smog, you really want and need to wash your face. I really love our Cleansing Bar for that. Since I’m an extremely light packer, I use it for my face, body, intimate hygiene and even to wash my hair. I was delighted to see that chef Kristen Kish uses only two products in her routine, and our Cleansing Bar was one of the two! 

What’s the most important skincare step to you?

Cleansing without stripping. If you do this well, it makes the rest of the routine that much easier.

Where and what is your go-to facial?

I’m a big fan of facialist Sophie Carbonari, she’s a facialist to the stars and she has this great method of facial massages. I tend to be quite puffy in the morning as I have bad circulation, and thanks to her it has changed drastically. She has loads of great videos on her profile to teach you her method.

See also: 5 Relaxing Facials to Try in Singapore

Is skincare the new self-care? What are your thoughts on this?

Skincare is the foundation of self-care!

What is one piece of skincare advice that you live by?

Less is more. For people with sensitive skin like me, it really makes a lot of difference.

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