Beauty / Favourites

8 iconic Biologique Recherche formulas to try, according to an editor

Biologique Recherche has launched into Mecca. Few sentences have ever brought me so much joy! The French skincare has actually always been available in Australia, but only via smaller clinics. Now, you can shop the range and experience the facial offering at Mecca George Street, as well as Mecca Aesthetica in Melbourne. How great.

The brand was founded by biologist, physiotherapist and doctor trio Yvan, Josette and Philippe Allouche intended to give experts an innovative, effective means to treat common skin concerns. The unique-ness comes from the formulation philosophy: each product contains a minimum 20% botanical and marine extracts, cold extraction methods are used to distil these raw materials, and there's no artificial fragrances. BR also focuses on 'skin instants' meaning that our skin type is ever-changing based on our age, lifestyle and physical environment. If you've used the range, you'll know the user experience is quirky, and the product names are uncommon, as well.

It's got a reputation as an in-the-know secret. Emily Weiss loves it. Melanie Grant swears by it. Just last month I had coffee with Estée Lauder alumni and Necessaire founder Randi Christiansen, and she told me P50 (the brand's cult formula) is her favourite thing ever. You can't buy this kind of press — Biologique Recherche is pretty special.

But I am the first to admit the product lineup is vast and confusing, so I've compiled eight hero formulas to get you started. However, take advantage of the in-store BR skin analysis, it's really interesting and will help you determine what to use and when, if you're so inclined.

Lotion P50

P50 is the jewel in the Biologique Recherche crown. The infamous chemical exfoliator has been called everything under the sun, from 'garbage water' to 'Jesus in a bottle'. The secret to its appeal lies in the formulation: there's AHAs, BHAs, onion, myrrh and sorrel, all of which work to resurface, rebalance pH, hydrate and prep before the reminder of your routine. It smells pungent and tingles a little, but that's all part of the magic. P50 is the original (not original original, as devotees will know that the P50 1970 iteration has been banned in most countries due to the inclusion of phenol) but also comes as P50V, P50W and P50 PIGM 400 for varying skin types. If you have normal to rough, easily congested skin, get yourself a bottle and don't look back.


Lait VIP 02

It's easy to dismiss a cleanser as insignificant, but Lait VIP 02 is a cult formula and I get why! Milky and light, it melts makeup while oxygenating the skin, undoing the dulling effects of an urban lifestyle. Despite the creamy consistency, it's excellent for decongesting and brightening. Personally I prefer the user experience of massaging into dry skin before removing with a damp flannel.

Masque Vivant

This is it, the infamous 'Vegemite' mask. The exfoliating formula contains high concentrations of yeast, giving it a thick brown consistency that's not exactly user-friendly, but my god does it works. The yeast – alongside B vitamins and lactic acid — crowd out P.acne bacteria while promoting a healthy skin microbiome. I use it whenever my skin feels rough or congested; it makes a visible difference every single time.

Biomagic Mask

This formula on the other hand is clay-based, immediately working to tone, refine and minimise pores. Even though it's a clearing formula, it's still plush and softening — a great middle ground for when you want a deep clean with a side of nourishment. I always feel lifted and less puffy after I use it, too. It has a reputation as a red carpet pre-treatment, if that convinces you further.

Fluide VIP 02

Categorised as a 'finishing serum' Fluide VIP 02 will give you a glow better than most facials. The best way I can describe it is an environmental 'shield', almost like a sunscreen without the SPF factor (so you will still need a dedicated sunscreen). It oxygenates and defends against external aggressors, making it useful for anyone living and working in the city. With that being said, I would wear it for the glossy finish alone. Use it on top of all your other skincare — you'll probably want to skip makeup.

Creme Dermopurifiante

Specifically for acne-prone complexions, Creme Dermopurifiante has astringent properties to mattify and regulate oil production, reducing the incidence of blackheads and breakouts. It smells weird, but then again, all BR products do! Despite its ability to control shine, it still has a velvety texture that feels comforting on the skin.

Iso-Placenta Serum Authentique

This is, hand on heart, my favourite serum to fade the look of post-breakout marks. I am notorious for picking my face, which never ends well, but this formula rebuilds the epidermis for a more uniform appearance. The serum itself contains a biomimetic placenta, rich in growth factors and vitamins alongside scotch thistle, carob seed and peptides to encourage rapid healing. It's watery and light, slotting easily into most evening routines.

Creme Masque Vernix

We know the BR approach is unique, but I just love the fact that this mask is based on the concept of vernix caseosa, the biofilm that covers a baby in the last trimester to protect its infant skin against the external world. The original barrier cream, this dense formula is jam-packed with ceramides, fatty acids, plant-based squalane, peptides and antioxidants to nourish and lock in moisture. It's seriously good for skin that's severely dry, stressed out, post-procedure or during travel. Use it as a treatment mask, or sleep in it for best results.

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Images: Mecca