Can you tell me a bit about how Biologique Recherche offers personalisation in its products and treatments?
Pierre-Louis: Personalisation has been in our DNA from the very beginning. When Yvan and Josette Allouche – a biologist and a physiotherapist – founded Biologique Recherche just over 40 years ago, they combined their expertise to create products with a high concentration of active ingredients for personalised skincare. Their son, Philippe Allouche – who today still heads up our research department – took it one step further, developing the Skin Instant Lab, a unique system for analysing, diagnosing and prescribing products and treatments. Everyone is talking about personalisation lately, but we’ve been doing it for more than 40 years, and the way in which we personalise is unique.
What is the Skin Instant Lab and how does it work?
Rupert: The skin can change very quickly – even overnight – depending on things like your level of stress, changes in hormones, or even the weather, and of course no two people have the same skin. Our Skin Instant© Lab measures moisture content, transepidermal water loss, skin elasticity, skin melanin index and sebum content, and that, combined with an in-depth dermocosmetic diagnosis, determines the products and treatments that are recommended for that day. If a client comes back in three weeks time, the treatment and product recommendations may be different. With this kind of personalised treatment, people instantly see the results; we make them feel their skin has changed.
Why do you feel that research & development is so important?
Pierre-Louis: The skin is the most complex organ in the body; that’s why R&D is our biggest spend; we want to have the best, most thorough understanding possible of the skin. We have a multidisciplinary team made up of doctors, PhDs and engineers and based at our headquarters in Paris. Our R&D lab is closely connected to our product development team, and there is a very close collaboration and partnership. La Grande Crème, our newest product, looks at the epigenetic approach of improving skin condition. This new science is really trying to foster the expression of genes that are favourable, while blocking those that are not.
Rupert: La Grande Crème is only the start – we have lots of research that will look at how to improve the quality of good proteins while hindering the production of bad proteins, as well as continuing research on epigenetics and the microbiome. Building better skin is the essence of what we do. We’ve got 40 years of research under our belts, and we’ve always stayed true to the obsession of understanding the skin.
Tell me about the training that you offer?
Rupert: We want our therapists to offer the best, most unique personalised treatments and advice, so investing in knowledge and training is something that makes sense. Last year, we launched an online academy that’s the most advanced professional online training on the market. By the end of the year, it will be available in 15 languages. It’s designed with different chapters to teach an understanding of the skin, as well as brand history, products, procedures, customer marketing, and the different machines we use. There are units designed for the therapists, but also shorter segments for a spa’s PR and marketing department, and for those who aren’t performing treatments, such as spa receptionists.
How do you stay true to the brand’s ethos as you grow as a company?
Pierre-Louis: We keep a very select and limited distribution; we have 1,500 spas in 70 countries, but we’re very focused, targeted and selective in how we choose them. Right now, 80 per cent of our growth is coming from our existing partners – their own clientele is growing, and their clients are loyal to the brand. With limited distribution, it’s easier to control the quality as well as the training.
Why do you think there is so much client loyalty to Biologique Recherche?
Rupert: Forty years ago, when we first started, people were looking for magic bullets, but Biologique Recherche did something different. Today, more people want to understand and be responsible for all aspects of their life – what they eat, how they exercise, what they put on their skin. With Biologique Recherche, the clients are much more involved in the treatments than with any other brand, and people are looking for that interaction, and for something unique. Right now, we’re exactly where we want to be, and our growth, recognition and exposure in the market is our best reward.