Biologique Recherche may have been a favourite with a select group of skincare aficionados over the years but has caught the fancy of many recently. The premium French skincare brand was founded by husband-wife duo Yvan and Josette Allouche in the late 1970s, and in the 2000s, their son Dr Philippe Allouche, taking an interest in the radically different process advocated by his parents, took on the creative torch of Biologique Recherche.
The combination of a clinical approach to personalised cosmetic treatment, pure, concentrated, almost raw products, complex formulas and original and rigorous treatments is the foundation of the reputation for the efficacy of Biologique Recherche’s methodology.
While the brand is known for its highly effective skincare range, and its iconic Lotion P50, it has also left the industry divided on certain things like the odour of some of its products. The cult brand, that has celebrity fans like Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian, Brad Pitt, Irina Shayk, Madonna among many others, has now opened its doors to its exclusive Ambassade (treatment centre) in Bengaluru, the first in the country, on October 13th, in partnership with dermatology expert Dr Varshini Reddy, founder & owner of Glow Clinic (from Hyderabad, Chennai, and now Bengaluru) who has been associated with the brand, offering BR treatments at her clinics.
We had a tête-à-tête with Dr Philippe Allouche, Founder’s Son and Head of Creation, Innovation and Research, Biologique Recherche and Dr Varshini Reddy, Founder and Dermatologist at Glow Clinic, Ambassador Doctor for Biologique Recherche (BR) and Owner of the Ambassade BR in Bangalore to find out more about this India launch and the brand’s plans in the country.
What has been the response to BR’s products in the Indian market so far?
Philippe Allouche (PA): Biologique Recherche entered India a few years ago and has been extremely careful in selecting the right partners. Thus, we only partner with top clinics, hotel spas and day spas who share the same values and passion for skincare. Our clients have been very supportive of the brand. We hope we can continue in this direction, developing even further our presence in the Indian market, and helping our clients build better skin.
Dr Varshini Reddy (VR): The response for BR has always been phenomenal. When we started working with the brand a couple of years ago, it was more of an insider cult brand and slowly people started using the products and coming back for more cause the results were so effective. It has been a huge success in the Indian market.
Why the decision to launch an Ambassade in India now?
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PA: We are developing our Ambassade network worldwide, in the US, in Europe and in Asia. India felt like a natural partner, given the relationship we already nurture with Dr. Varshini. They share the same passion and respectful approach to skincare as we do. Opening an Ambassade means offering to our clients the highest level of expertise within the Biologique Recherche network and the guarantee of a unique client journey.
Tell us a little bit about your association with Glow Clinic and Dr Varshini Reddy.
PA: Biologique Recherche and Dr Varshini started to partner in 2019, and it was love at first sight. We started with the opening of the Chennai clinic, then Hyderabad. The natural next step was the opening of the Ambassade Bangalore, with the shared commitment to offer visible results for our clients.
Is BR launching a wide range of its products through the new Ambassade or just a few to start off?
PA: An Ambassade offers the entire line of Biologique Recherche, face, body and hair. It’s the most complete range of treatments and products available in India. This is the ultimate BR experience!
Dr Varshini: We will be offering the entire range of BR skin hair and body treatments at our Ambassade with all the expertise from Paris. Our aestheticians have been trained extensively for over a year with all the protocols. In fact, all the new global launches from BR will also be launched first in the Ambassade, so you get early and exclusive access here, and the treatments we offer are all the same as Paris with the same level of expertise. We have all of the BR products that are available around the world.
Your thoughts on the existing Indian skincare market? Anything that stands out for you?
PA: In India, consumers are more and more conscious about the necessity of taking care of their skin and are now looking for brands that have a medical approach. This trend is global and Biologique Recherche is one of the leaders in this results-driven segment. We also notice that clients are becoming more and more knowledgeable about skincare, active ingredients, and benefits. The country is facing alarming pollution levels while continuously having to protect their skin against sun exposure and Biologique Recherche offers a complete methodology that can help prevent and target pigmentation while protecting the skin against strong UV rays and the risks of pollution.
Which are some of the products from BR’s skincare line that you think will suit Indian skin types and climate?
PA: Our methodology relies on personalised treatments and home care routines. It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. Each person is unique and therefore their skin also. That being said, everything starts with the core duo: cleanser and P50, a gentle exfoliating lotion that will rebalance the skin. And given the humidity, sun exposure and pollution, I would recommend the VIP 02 line, and our serums, for their light texture and obviously UV protection.
VR: The BR range is not made for any specific ethnicity or culture. Their R&D reflects that they always innovate for skin concerns rather than skin types and that’s what I love about this brand. India also has various skin concerns depending on genetic factors, environment, etc. As acne and pigmentation have always been the top concerns here, the PIGM 400 range of products as well as products like Dermopurifiante, Complex Iribiol and Mask Vivant for acne have been bestsellers. Also popular are their entire range of masks and serums which are customised to each skin concern.
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Why do you believe the Lotion P50 has captured skincare enthusiasts’ attention across the globe?
PA: The Lotion P50 has become an iconic product as it not only gently exfoliates the skin in a very respectful approach to the epidermis, but it also rebalances the pH, hydrates, removes impurities and dead cells, and is full of antioxidants. That’s why our clients call it ‘magic in a bottle’.
Besides the Lotion P50 which, according to you, are some of BR’s more prized products and bestselling ones?
PA: I’d say our Crème Masque Vernix, the PIGM 400 line and our newest Serum Collagène Originel.
Some of BR’s products have really strong smells which many call ‘offensive’ and ‘off-putting’, how do you respond to this?
PA: Biologique Recherche refuses to use perfumes in its products as it is the first cause of allergic reactions. We prefer to increase the quantity of active ingredients which will benefit the skin. Also, perfumes are subjective to taste. Our clients know that Biologique Recherche products have specific smells, which highlight the concentration of active ingredients. We believe that this way it doesn’t alter the perfume smell which they will use after taking care of their skin.
So many folks love and swear by BR’s products, but there are the ones who aren’t sold on them. How would you respond to those who say BR’s products are overhyped?
PA: Simply they probably never experienced a Biologique Recherche treatment and haven’t seen our before and after pictures. We swear by our results. It is as simple as that.
VR: I honestly feel skincare is subjective what works for one may not work for others but that doesn’t mean the brand is not good or overhyped. Almost all of BR’s products are phenomenal and you see real results. This is something all my clients have always told me. Their focus has always been results and innovation and that’s why it’s a cult brand.
What are BR’s business plans for the next few months in India? Will the brand have more presence across the country? Any new product launches?
PA: BR India is constantly developing and opening new doors, and yes, new products are lined up too. Stay tuned, you’ll be the first to know.