Anyone who is even vaguely familiar with the idiosyncratic French brand Biologique Recherche (pronounced Bee-oh-lo-zheek Reh-share-sh) knows how tricky it is to track down their products. They don’t sell their own products online, and only a handful of spas are approved to carry the line or offer their signature treatments. The latest of those? facile dermatology + boutique in West Hollywood.
I was lucky enough to get a coveted Biologique Recherche facial at facile, and let me tell you: it lived up to any and all hype. Though I took French for many years, it was clear I needed to brush up after hearing the names of all the products that were being used on my face. From what I could understand, there were plenty of targeted pigmentation treatments, a very lovely cleanser, and a placenta serum. And of course, I got a healthy pat of cult-favorite P50 Lotion all over my face, neck, and chest. More like a toner than a traditional lotion, I once heard the smell of this notoriously stinky product described as “hot trash water,” and I do not think that was an overstatement. But there’s a reason why people hold their noses through application — this stuff works. “It does it all!” says Justin Recta, esthetician at facile. “There are 6 different varieties of P50, and while each serves its own purpose, all will exfoliate, hydrate and rebalance your skin’s pH in seconds. There’s a little tingle but that’s how you know it’s working!” And even though P50 is clearly the Beyoncé of the line, there are some Kelly Rowlands that you might be sleeping on. “I love Creme Verte Espoir (aka ‘green hope cream’),” says Recta. “My cheeks always look flushed and this cream helps alleviate all my redness.”
Though the Biologique Recherche products are all stars (or should I say étoiles?), what really set this treatment apart was the unique application techniques, which requires special training. “An esthetician license is required to perform any facial, but to practice a Biologique Recherche facial requires certification through the brand,” says Recta. “We’re retrained every few months to sharpen our skills and learn new techniques from the brand.” Not to give too many technique secrets away, but I was treated to the best lymphatic massage I’ve had in my life. My aesthetician worked from my face down to my chest, alternating between long stroking motions and quick, almost pinching movements. After finishing the massage on one side of my face, she handed me a mirror. I swear, the lift was REAL. My left side was its normal self, but my right side was lifted, tight, and glowy. My cheekbone even looked higher — I couldn’t believe my eyes.
This facial is not a one-size-fits-all type of treatment either. Before the facial begins, your esthetician will talk with you extensively about your skin and tailor your treatment to your needs. My skin is oily, acne-prone, and has some hyperpigmentation issues, so the focus of my treatment was to reduce congestion, fade dark spots, and brighten up my complexion. For best results, it’s recommended that you make it a habit to get monthly facials, as well as incorporating that notoriously smelly P50 into your skincare routine to keep up that glow between appointments.
You know how people talk about that “lit-from-within” look? I never understood what that meant until this treatment. Seriously, I was glowing like I’d never glowed before. The lift and glow lasted a few days, and I noticed that the following week, which was the week before my period and the week I’ve accepted that I am going to have to live with at least one hormonal zit, nothing happened. Literally, I made it through that PMS-filled week with just mood swings and cramps. Again, I could not believe it. “Expect to be lifted, exfoliated, hydrated, and healthier after treatment,” says Recta. “There’s no downtime, but stray away from anything harsh for a few days.” The day after my treatment, another esthetician at facile told me that my skin looked bright and glowing. Coming from the professional, I’ll take it.