The Hermes Of Facials



Biologique Recherche is described as the ‘Hermes of skincare’. Not by myself, but by its founder Dr Allouche. Similarly to Hermes, you cannot find their products at your local drugstore, or even any high-end skincare outlet. Its presence in a select few locations (such as Liberty, London) reflects the luxury and exclusivity of the brand.

Biologique Recherche prides itself in its clinical approach to beauty, through the use of pure, highly concentrated ingredients. Their products contain botanical, marine and biological extracts. This probably explains why many of their products have a distinct ‘fragrance’ – which I find quite tolerable, it’s just the Masque Vivant that smells like…..yeah.

Now onto the facial.

The first surprise was that there was not a face steamer or hot cloth in sight. I thought that this must either be some gimmick or an attempt to save the planet. Silly assumptions asides. Interestingly,  BR facials purposely exclude steam or warm water. The rationale is that increasing the temperature of the skin can cause irritation. Furthermore, their products are cold formulated to preserve the original structure of active ingredients.

This is probably the point you reflect on how you’ve been using BR’s products, as it’s very likely you’ve been misusing them the whole time.

Secondly, there were no extractions! Am I the only one who actually enjoys the thrill of squeezing the heck out of my pores in the shower? Sadly, extractions are forbidden at Biologique Recherche.

The highlight of the facial came through the magical hands of Dominika (my facialist). She used a range of lymphatic massage and lifting techniques. I have never had my face and decolletage massaged so thoroughly.

If you can’t hop over to the Biologique Recherche Spa on the Champes-Elysee for a facial, EF MediSpa, Kensington is a closer alternative.

Keep reading for the insightful conversation with Dominika during my facial.

D: We have five different skin boosters at the moment. These skin boosters all have a different method of application. They enhance the skin – specially treating the skin condition and skin concerns. Our boosters are very results driven; you will see the results straight after the treatment

We have:

  • Soin Lissant Facial – which is more for repair, regeneration, healing treatment. It’s also good for rehydration of the skin – for dry, dehydrated, sensitive skin.
  • Soin Lift CVS – this is good for lifting, toning of the skin. So it’s a face lift within 60 minutes.
  • Soin MC110 – which is great for anti-ageing and plumping for the skin. Also, it helps to purify the skin.

We also have ‘peels’, but we call them; Masque aux Acides de Fruits and Masque P50 – is the stronger version of the lotion P50, which is very good for uneven pigmentation of the skin.

You will see the difference in the skin because we work from one side of the face at a time. This allows us to show you how we can shape the face.

The Soin Lissant Facial has a liquid and powder component. The liquid is applied first then, the powder. The liquid component is hyaluronic acid silk extract, with Omega 3 and 6. The powder contains milk proteins and royal jelly.  Very lifting, and shapes the cheeks and face. Much more of a focus on lymphatic drainage techniques and massage.

Why are your facials ‘cold’? 

D: Because our products are cold-formulated, we don’t want to interfere with the structure of the ingredients. Also, because they are active products, containing active ingredients. We don’t want to stimulate the skin or increase the temperature of the skin. We aim for balance of the skin. For example, warm facials might trigger redness and an increase in temperature of the skin.

BR is all about the personalization and different techniques. French skincare is very specific, and it has to be prescribed. Because BR is so highly personalised and prescriptive, we do need to tell you what we believe are the best products for your skin. I believe customers are looking for skincare like this.

Whats the difference between the P50 lotions?

D: Lotion P50W – contains arnica, so it is more for sensitive skin. This is the one we recommend to start with because with BR it doesn’t mean that you have to start from the strongest (most potent) product, you can start from Lotion P50W. P50 lotion is based on cider vinegar. The ingredients for Lotion P50 include alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), cider vinegar and sulphur.

  • Lotion P50 Pigment 400 – so that’s our latest addition. So treating the pigmentation and brightening the skin. (this was used during my facial).
  • Lotion P50 V –  contains walnut extracts, vitamins and it’s more plumping and rehydrating for the skin.
  • Lotion P50 – is the purest, strongest formulation.

Why is it that you can’t just pick the BR products that you want as a customer? And how do customers react to that?

D: We only sell the products in clinics and also Liberty. At Liberty, the BR counter always has to be covered/staffed. You can not just pick the products you think are good for you. We need to prescribe you the products because sometimes you might be wrong with your product choice. You think that ‘ah that would be good for me’, but actually we might find something better for you.

Our regular customers, especially, know that they have to go through the consultation every single time that they come to buy something. The new clients learn that they have to be prescribed the products. Again, customers like it because it’s personalised and for them. The products are active. Therefore we want to make sure that we are giving them the best products for their skin. Many of our regular clients travel between London, Paris and New York to find BR.

Are there any new BR products we should know about?

D: Lotion P50 Pigment 400. Sérum A-Glyca (one of our quintessential serums) was released last year. We will have some more coming, but I’m not allowed to speak about it! (laughs).

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