Forget clothes or jewelry. Good skin is always a woman’s best accessory.

When I moved to America a few decades ago, I set out to have a facial as matter of course, a sort of fall and spring clean-up ritual common to French women. Here I had to head uptown to Fifth Avenue, and the only salon I found then was staffed by Europeans and frequented by uber-wealthy ladies. Things are a little different today. So, when a widely reported recent survey cited that 33 percent of French girls between 15 and 19 are already using anti-aging or anti-wrinkle creams, it did not cause me to raise an eyebrow. Well, of course. Any moisturizer counts as an anti-wrinkle, anti-aging cream, and every good little French girl has seen her mother’s before-bed facial rituals.

Good skin does not mean flawless. Despite what airbrushed magazine centerfolds seem to suggest, no one has unblemished skin. Great skin is healthy skin; skin that radiates from the inside out. It is part of that indescribable “it” factor that French women are instilled with – the “what” in the je ne sais quoi allure.

We know beauty is not skin deep – our skin is a reflection of our overall health and lifestyle. OK, so we can’t control it all (air pollution anyone?), but eat and/or sleep poorly, and treat your skin like a science project by constantly applying different emollients – and it’s going to look like a mess. And far more than passé shoes or frumpy clothes, our skin is usually the first thing people notice about you. So how do you get that good skin glow?