The cult status of Biologique Recherche explained by skin expert Melanie Grant

Celebrity facialist and skin expert Melanie Grant deciphers which Biologique Recherche products work best for each skin type and concern. 

When it comes to cult skincare brands few have the reaction like Biologique Recherche does. The epitome of French skincare, it was formulated by the Allouche family (a clinical Doctor, Biologist and Physiotherapist) who combined their understanding and prowess together to take on a unique approach to skincare.

Skincare fanatics are obsessed for good reason. You may know the brand for it’s P50 Lotions (we’ll get to that later), and for being hard to get your hands on (only available through exclusive professional clinics). However, there’s much to learn about their other offerings, too. Skin expert and facialist Melanie Grant helps us break down which products and ingredients work best for each skin type and concern.

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Melanie Grant explains how to use and understand Biologique Recherche Image: Melanie Grant

If you’re prone to blemishes and congestion

It’s common to want a squeaky clean, sterile skin if you’re prone to blemishes, though it’s important not to strip the skin of vital lipids or disrupt the delicate microbiome that acts as your skins first line of defence against harmful bacteria that exacerbate congestion.

Masque Vivant is a cult favourite – and with due cause. This clarifying gel mask is rich in anti-inflammatory B Vitamins, yeasts and probiotics that strengthen, feed and fuel the skin’s microbiota, astringent witch hazel to balance sebum production, bentonite and kaolin to draw out impurities and cucumber to soothe and calm redness. In short, it detoxifies, calms and builds a more resilient complexion. I like to apply this as a spot treatment to any areas of concern, or use as a full facial mask once or twice per week mixed with Masque VIPO2 for added brightening effects.

Complexe Iribiol is the ultimate blemish treatment, especially great for those that pop up monthly. It’s contains purifying, healing zinc, salicylic acid to really deep clean the pores and red poppy to soothe and calm. A couple of drops applied neat to clean, dry skin usually resolves even the most stubborn blemishes in a couple of days.

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If you struggle with dehydration, dullness and fine lines

Dullness and fine lines are often closely related to dehydration and the good news is, often a few switches in your regime are enough to rectify these common concerns. Simply prioritising hydrating mediums with low molecular weights will provide a quick fix, as will a gentle resurfacing treatment to dissolve debris and promote blood flow.

Consider switching to a milk cleanser with a mild lactic acid to gently melt away dirt and pollution, while dissolving any debris that might be preventing an adequate absorption of your serums and hydrators. I like Lait VIPO2 as an active cleanse in the evenings – it’s comforting, effective, brightening and energising without leaving the skin parched or tight

Serum Amniotique E is also another favourite of mine for dehydrated skins. It’s a really lightweight fluid base, so quenches the complexion immediately and plumps and pads fine lines long term. I love it paired with Renovateur 14 Finishing Serum – a layer of this will lock in hydration with reconstituted NMF’s and prickly pear extract to give the skin a radiant finish and prevent trans-epidermal water loss.

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If your skin is mature and lax

Focusing on texture and tone is just as much about preserving existing collagen stores as it is about promoting the structural integrity of the skin. Incorporating actives can be really helpful at giving the skin a good kick start here and are best coupled with nourishing, restorative creams over top.

Creme MSR-H is my go to for mature, lax skins. It’s particularly beneficial for those who are going through hormonal shifts like perimenopause and menopause where collagen and lipid stores start to rapidly decline. It’s nourishing, revitalising and contains yam extract and soya isoflavones to rebalance the skins responses to varying levels of oestrogen.

For something a little more active, Serum A-Glyca ticks all the boxes when it comes to addressing sallowness, dullness, fine lines and general laxity. This intelligent formula uses carcinine and mimosa to keep collagen and elastin fibres intact from both a preventative and corrective standpoint – it actually counteracts the impact of two years of glycation in two months of use. Layer it under your creams morning and evening for best results.

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If you’re struggling with pigmentation

Pigment is one of the most common concerns I hear voiced from my clients from all over the world. Hormonal pigment in particular can be notoriously difficult to treat – and I always prefer to opt for products without hydroquinone or bleaching agents to first and foremost consider the integrity of the skin over time.

Serum PIGM 400 is formulated with six concentrated actives like watercress, plump pulp, sea lily and wakame to break down existing pigment and prevent future inconsistencies from surfacing. It plays well with others – meaning you can layer it underneath your retinol at night or vitamin C in the day – and it really works to lighten and brighten the complexion, while remaining both sun and pregnancy-safe.

Creme PIGM 400 is a cream I often reach for myself, despite the fact that pigment isn’t my primary concern. This active, deeply hydrating cream uses botanical whitening agents derived from young cress shoots, plump pulp and soy to regulate melanogenesis and stimulate lipofuscin breakdown – it’s particularly beneficial for melasma and post-inflammatory pigment. Conditioning vitamin E and plumping polysaccharides great option for those of us who simply need a little radiance, too.

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If you’re dealing with redness, sensitivity and rosacea

Redness and rosacea can be incredibly difficult conditions for any of us to deal with – often flair ups appear out of nowhere and without rhyme or reason. In treating sensitivity, I’m a firm believer in keeping it simple and identifying any key aggressors first – if in doubt, seek professional advice, have an allergy test and keep your regime focused on hydration and barrier function to prevent future reactivity and agitation.

Masque Biosensible is a one of those multipurpose cure-alls that’s great for anyone to have in their arsenal. It’s soothing post-procedurally, it’s calming for flushing, heat and irritation and it’s also designed to be mixed with other Biologique Recherche masques to boost their calming and anti-inflammatory properties. This healing treatment repairs epidermal tissue and barrier function with milk proteins, marine elastin, hyaluronic acid, squash and cucumber.

Emulsion Gel Biosensible is a super juicy, plumping, water-based moisturiser ideal for sensitive or redness-prone skins in summer, or to be layered under your moisturiser in cooler, dryer weather. I also love it during long haul travel. It contains a host of soothing botanical extracts, and royal jelly, silk and carvone essence to boost barrier function, making the skin more resilient to future aggressors.

All products featured in this article are selected by our editors, who don’t play favourites. If you buy something, we may get a cut of the sale.