Pierre-Louis Delapalme, co-president

Diane Goldstein entrevue cover

SECRETS REVEALED about famed Biologique Recherche… well... almost!

 

It’s been a couple of weeks since my article on the mythical P50 Lotion from Biologique Recherche was published in L’Officiel.

I was elated, very proud, moved... I quickly understood that I was alone in my glee at that moment because my son promptly brought me back down to earth at the dinner table:

• Your article isn’t exactly on Netflix.
• Sweetheart, it’s an article, it has nothing to do with TV.
• Ya but your article is sort of pointless if it isn’t on Netflix.
• Ok that’s enough, eat your broccoli.

In spite of this warm family review of my article, I was compelled to learn more about this sublime French-made brand.  With an approach so confidential, so highly-technical, so very unique and bespoke... what is their mission?  Skincare.  To achieve veritable results, the BR methodology is one that adapts to the skin of the individual.

So how exactly does this secret brand emit so much passion? 

You haven’t come to Lost in Skination for nothing.  You are here for the concrete realities of what works in the skincare universe.  My interview with BR co-president Pierre-Louis Delapalme is just for you! He shares his vision for the research, and talks Clean Beauty and the cult-classic P50.  This is a lesson in humility for all.  #bossvibes.

---> FZ : It’s been 11 years that you have been co-owner and co-president of Biologique Recherche. Tell us about the brand. 

Biologique Recherche was founded by two passionate skincare experts.  Yvan Allouche, a renowned biochemist, made it his life’s work to conduct extensive research on ingredients in order to achieve the ideal concentrations for products that yield long-lasting, visible results.  Josette Allouche, a physiotherapist by profession and wife of Yvan, trained skincare professionals in sculpting massage techniques that bolstered the advantages yielded from these products.

When Dr. Allouche passed, I joined Rupert Schmid and Allouche’s son Philippe in continuing the legacy of his work.  This endeavor was a very particular seed with an iconoclast approach to personalized skincare based in treatment rooms - not too trendy but our path lined up perfectly.

Our strategy is one of personalization and of results that are long-lasting without any side effects.  It’s simple but the quality is truly in our methodology.

---> FZ : What is also fascinating is that in light of this bespoke angle of your model, purchasing your products is an opportunity that is bestowed solely on participants, rendering your brand somewhat of a secret.  A well-guarded secret that is not so secret? 

Our products are only distributed by professionals.  They are not available for purchase online, nor in boutiques.  Skin must be evaluated before products can be purchased.

We liken the experience to that of a doctor’s visit; the quality lies in the particularity of the diagnostics, rather than that of the products themselves. Thus far, this level of quality cannot be attained remotely.  We recognize that these limitations are reflected in our bottom line, but the integrity our strategy remains intact.



research at Biologique Recherche

FZ : You have a hand in on the most cutting edge brands out there by way of technology and research, how do you manage this?

Our mandate is highly structured.  We begin by understanding skin: every year, there are new medical findings pertaining to skin dysfunction.  This research is the basis for the innovation that follows.  When the cause and mechanisms of the dysfunction are identified, we can proceed with determining which botanical actives would best initiate positive physiological and dermatological skin responses thereafter.

 

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Being that we are a medium-sized operation, we are able to retain our competitive edge - our ability to be creatively agile.  We are open and reactive, like with our VERNIX Mask for instance.

The Vernix Caseosa is a waxy substance of sebaceous origin, whitish and greasy, that covers and protects newborn skin.  In utero, it protects the fetus’s skin from the aqueous amniotic fluid surrounding it.  

We came across an obstetrics article that underscores the importance of keeping the vernix for as long as possible after the birth so that the baby’s skin has time to adjust to life on the outside.  It’s a mix of lipids and solidified proteins. We have mimicked this natural formula scientifically, and tested it on skin.  Today, this product is among our best sellers.

 For our second skin mask, we used 3D printing technology to create it.  Using pharmaceutical grade hyaluronic acid, we formulated nano-particle fibers, similar to fine hyaluronic acid cotton fibers, that we used to produce a mask made of woven HA fibers.  Under a microscope they present like a textile, but they are in fact pure hyaluronic acid fibers.  The skin absorption factor is phenomenal and this technology is used on burn victims to rebuild the skin. 

on clean beauty

FZ : What is your take on Clean beauty?

The philosophy behind BR has always been closely aligned with the principles of clean beauty.  I appreciate the chemical vs. natural debate.  When you’re in this business, you are well aware that plants can be fantastic at remediating some problems, while remaining neutral or antagonistic when it comes to others.  

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If you’re familiar with chemistry or biotechnology, you know that certain synthetic molecules produce miraculous effects on the skin.  The clean beauty movement is beneficial because it expands the field of reflection on this.  We become interested in the ingredients of products and focus on their efficacy and capacity for side effects.  

The limits of clean beauty, like when it comes to essential oils, present themselves when consumers become weary of certain specific ingredients without knowing all of the information surrounding them.  It’s a lot more complex than ingredients being healthy at 0,01% - unhealthy at 1%.

This hinders creativity, which is exactly what has transpired with parabens. Parabens were rumored to be unsafe this rumor was founded based on an unsubstantiated scientific study.  Once the damage is done, there’s no going back and the fear is victorious.


FZ : On the cult phenomenon P50 Lotion?

P signifies Peeling, and 50 is for the number of days in two epidermis renewal cycles. 

It’s a unique cocktail of alpha-hydroxy acids, beta-hydroxy acids et de poly-hydroxy acids. The concentrations of each of these have been studied in order to achieve the optimal level of exfoliation for the layers of the stratum corneum. No one on the market does this!

The P50 Lotion also contains onion extract, utilized in the formula for its soothing properties as well as its capacity for skin renewal.  The formula is also comprised of other active ingredients such as horseradish which contains antimicrobial properties.

This lotion yields multiple effects: Cleanser, exfoliant, hydrator, and pH regulator.  It’s a smart and enriched formula that is starting to get copied. 

When a product hits the shelves, oftentimes there is a sense of urgency in terms of its marketability. What’s genius about P50 is that there hasn’t been anything like it in 40 years. P50 signifies the dawn of exfoliation and of fruit-based acids.   The innovation was in the exfoliation, one that is controlled.

On the Glossier Solution: they copied us. They merely added an ingredient to their formula that has no effect whatsoever on the skin but is necessary when coupled with other ingredients, those of which are not present in their formula. So it’s useless. (Laughter). All other ingredients are from our list.


---> FZ:  What inspires you? What is your fuel? 

Skin is the only vital organ that renews itself every 24/26 days. We learn everyday... Learning scientifically, this is my intellectual passion, and I find the commercial aspect very enriching as well.  

Professional skincare is a very inspiring milieu.  The human connection is at the forefront.  It’s an hour devoted solely to the treatment and care of an individual.  From there, we attain real feedback, and a true relationship forms.  We know our clients, this is our craft. 

his BR routine

---> FZ: Your BR Routine?

Due to my rigorous travel schedule, I use the P50 W as well as the Gamme Biosensible.  I am also an absolute fan of our SPF25; it’s a triple protection sun filter that is natural.  It is comprised of a highly sophisticated formula that is not chemical-based.


---> FZ: The last text you sent?

I’m not really a ‘texter’.  I look at them and they don’t interest me at all! (Laughter)

Biologique Recherche is a veritable success story that is oh so discrete. I recently read in the Harvard Business Review that brands that retain their integrity and remain true to their fundamental ideologies are the most robust. The primary goal of BR is one of epidermal care in order to renew and maximize the skin’s potential beauty and health, in or to achieve skin that is healthy and makes one feel good on a daily basis. Research, discretion, and know-how - BR is long-lasting rather than trending.