France has bestowed some of the best consumer goods upon us. Within the upper echelon of high-brow French products, skincare lines, like Bordeaux wines, have status classifications. The undisputed first growth of the skincare world is Biologique Recherche. Beauty editors are inundated with a daily deluge of samples and free products, but Biologique Recherche, or “BR” as it’s commonly known among insiders, is the one brand editors will continually purchase without media discount or scrutiny.
Created in the 1970’s by a French family of biochemists, Biologique Recherche still maintains its founding quality control and the typeface of a decades-old floppy disk —despite the brand’s United States expansion. Due to his stance on external pollutants and dedication to daily skin pH balance, Dr. Philippe Allouche, the founders’ son, is often compared to Professor Snape, the fictional Defense Against the Dark Arts professor in Harry Potter. One of the reasons for the plethora of products is the idea that the skin is ever-changing, and it needs to be treated differently based on your individual circumstance — something that changes daily.
In recent years, Biologique Recherche products have become more accessible in the United States thanks to Dr. Allouche’s Paris protégés like Danuta Mieloch, founder of Rescue Spa. Now, for the first time, products can also be ordered online directly through the U.S. e-commerce site. With hundreds of luxury body, skin, and haircare products available, navigating the chemistry-class-like names and French descriptions can both intimidate and confuse a new or timid user. Take heed, the learning curve is short. Here is a breakdown of the must-have products, and exactly how they’ll help you achieve the best skin of your life.
Most die-hard BR users will attest that this was the gateway product that started it all. Lotion P50 is not a lotion, and it’s not a toner. It’s the toner. It sits firmly at the top of beauty editors’ and skincare addicts’ shortlist of desert island products. Currently, it comes in five variations depending on your skin type. The original version, Lotion P50 1970, has topical phenol which lightly anesthetizes the skin. Dr. Allouche has said that if the skin tingles from application, it’s indicative that the skin’s pH is imbalanced. Ideally, the product is pressed into the skin using quick pulsing motions with a cotton round, instead of briskly swiping it across. As far as chemical exfoliants are concerned, this is the Holy Grail.
Known by many as a non-prescription prescription medication for your skin, this is the ultimate cream for those that struggle with impurities like breakouts and spots.
An oxygenating cream cleanser for your skin, it feels just like the name suggests: milk. An incredibly gentle but powerful product, the cleanser removes all traces of dirt, pollution, and makeup. The recommended application of the product is on dry skin, and it’s to be removed with a warm damp flannel.
Part of the brand’s finishing serum collection, Fluid VIP O2 will make your skin shine like no facial you’ve ever had. A moisturizing and oxygenating liquid that protects against pollution, this silky serum goes on at the very end of your routine.
A perfect treatment for acne-prone or sun-damaged skin types. The recommended use of this moisturizer is as a one-month skin resurfacing via fruit acids. This is best for those suffering from milia or unwanted texture, and need a complete skin reset.
A favorite for pre-event, Biomagic Mask tightens and brightens the skin like a magic wand. While it can be cocktailed with other BR masks like Vivant and VIP O2, Biomagic is a desert island product on its own.
Either an intensive hydrating mask or a nighttime moisturizing treatment, Vernix mimics the fluid at childbirth that denotes that “baby-soft” feeling. As a moisturizer, it’s recommended for ultra-dry or mature skin types. As a restorative mask, apply for an hour in the morning or evening – especially in high-altitude or desert climates – and your skin will feel brand new.
A staple in most BR users’ medicine cabinets, Serum Placenta works like a magic eraser against post-inflammatory redness. It’s a must-have for sensitive and acne-prone skin types.
An oxygenating eye cream, puffiness and dark circles are no match for this staple eye cream. This is especially good for people with morning swelling.
The creme de la creme of cremes. This $680 moisturizer is the ultimate in all anti-aging science and phenomena. The price tag is definitely for a more mature age and wallet, but the skin regenerating and effects are noticeable and distinguished.