Interview with Mr. Rupert Schmid, Co-president of Biologique Recherche
Originating from Paris, France, Biologique Recherche personalized methodology has a reputation for astounding effectiveness for 40 years based on a clinical approach to beauty care using intentionally pure, concentrated, raw ingredients, as well as innovative and meticulous protocols and procedures. It has strong partnerships with the medical field including integrated research team, famous universities, genetic research team, professional clinics and more so as to be able to develop deeper expertise in the field of DNA, epigenetics, microbiome, anti-pollution, innovative solar filter and innovative marine biomaterials.
One of the core figures in the company who drives its success is Mr. Rupert Schmid, the Co-president of Biologique Recherche. Before joining Biologique Recherche, Mr. Schmid had been a media magnate from the age of 21 as Development Director at Journal des Finance in 1988, followed by key posts at Défis magazine, Sorio communication group, Vivendi, Veolia. He also had seven years’ experience in a very political group accustomed to the classic profiles of French excellence: HEC, ENA, Polytechnique.
In 2007, a connection with the Allouche family, Biologique Recherche’s owners, gave him this opportunity in the luxury cosmetics field. He partnered with Josette and Philippe Allouche as well as his friend Pierre-Louis Delapalme who left the Yves Rocher group to join this adventure. They invested in R&D and regulatory compliance, developed internationally, negotiated with distributors and brought production in-house to an almost pharmaceutical-grade laboratory. The brand is now used at top cosmetic and spa destinations in more than 70 countries around the world, including Air France’s spa lounge La Première at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport and hotel spas at The Peninsula in New York and the Four Seasons in Hong Kong. SpaChina interviewed him.
What changes have taken place in the European beauty and skincare industry in recent years? What are the latest skincare trends in Europe?
In most of the markets worldwide you have a lot of cosmetic lines available. This is also true in the European market. But to understand a market you have to go back to the cultural drivers of the market. What we can see in Europe and in the Western Countries: the first trend is hypersonalization, and this is a worldwide trend. Each of us is unique and is interested in what fits with its own and unique need. Biologique Recherche has been a precursor in personalization. The second trend is that skincare and especially cosmeceutical skincare is growing much quicker than other beauty segments. It represents 45% of the growth of the beauty market in the U.S. for example. The third is that people are consuming skincare treatment in spa and salons much more than in the past. This is a surprise which can be linked with the fact that each person is willing to get a personalized attention. The fourth is that real science and skin doctors are the reference for trust in a Brand. In Europe, the social media are getting more and more important in the beauty market and as a brand. The trust in a brand is built on this and also on perfect transparency and honesty with your guests. Biologique Recherche offers all those trends in its unique approach for the past 40 years. This may explain our actual success.
What are the differences between European and Chinese females when choosing skincare products? What factors will be taken into account?
Chinese customers are highly influenced by the social media and it is a common habit to buy online. European customers in everything are buying much less online actually. We believe that in the future the Chinese customer will understand that a real personalization will offer them a much higher result in both the short and long term. And a real personalization cannot be done online only. We believe that Chinese customers will in the future go more and more for personalization and will more and more be careful on which product they choose. For example, we were impressed by the fact that educated customers in China are very happy to use natural and clean whitening products that we produce because they understand the real risk of quick fix solutions.
How does BIOLOGIQUE RECHERCHE help customers transform their skin conditions with its strong R&D and medical support?
At Biologique Recherche, we consider that each of us is unique and that each skin instance is unique. This can be affected by the pollution, stress and diet for example. For all these reasons, hyper-personalization can only be done during a meeting with a doctor or a skilled professional. Then to be able to offer real personalization, you also need a large range of tools to answer the needs of your skin. And for this reason, the R&D department of Biologique Recherche offers not only 150 different products but always reformulates them with the latest discoveries coming from the best research centers from all over the world.
What do you think about the potential of personalized skincare? Will more and more people be willing to invest in it?
We believe that in the future, each and every person will ask and buy only personalized goods and services. And it will be possible not only for rich people! In Europe you can buy personalized products for 50 to 1,500 Euros. The difference? The real level of personalization, the expertise of the brand and the price of the active ingredients which affect a lot the price.
Have you offered any training or other support to your partner spas in China?
If you want to offer a unique personalized approach you need to have the best professional staff. The only way to achieve this is for them to be trained as much as possible to be able to address all the different situations you may face. Expertise and training use a lot of different tools. Extensive online training, hands on training and permanent support through a 24/7 hotline, and all this in Mandarin, Cantonese or English. At Biologique Recherche, we offer all those amazing tools to offer the expertise to our partners in China.
Do you have further expansion plans in China’s market? What are the potential and challenges here?
The future potential market in China is enormous. Because the more our clients become experts the more they will take care of their skin in a personalized way in a spa or at home. And this is coming in China very quickly. It is so impressive how quickly that knowledge and habits are changing through education. And now to expand in China our challenge is to find the doctors and the therapists who are willing to share our hyper-customized approach. The challenge for us it to meet them and work with them.
Please share with us more details about your newly-launched La Grande Crème.
The “Grande Crème” is a scientific breakthrough in which we use the first peptide which is proven to slow down and reverse the gene expression linked with aging. It’s a very concentrated product with six different platforms that will fight against skin aging signs. The main platform is Regenerating: EpigenActiv which repairs the dermis and epidermis by stimulating expression of genes and increasing the natural synthesis of proteins; thistle and mimosa have a complementary action on regeneration. There is then the Pigmented platform: white tea extract, young shoot of watercress and pure genistein from soya extracts work together to fight against the two principal pigments of dark spots: melanin and lipofuscin, and so as to unify the complexion. In the Firming platform: Vegetal complex composed of elderflower, sweet chestnuts tree wood and tropical almond extracts increase the elasticity and cutaneous tonus. Anti-wrinkle platform: Myorelax peptide and Matrikine complex stimulate the synthesis and the well organization of collagen and elastin fibers while Carcinine fight against glycation. The Structure and Volume platform: peony extract densify the hypodermis to balance face volumes. The Protection platform: Oligosaccharides improve microbiota, pichia anomala stimulate the synthesis of epidermis lipids to reinforce the barrier and wasabi and grape extract act against oxidation. Good results are shown after just one month of application including younger and regenerated skin, visibly diminished wrinkles, improved skin structure, reduced pigment irregularities, more luminous complexion and the epidermis more protected from external aggressions.
We also elaborately design the packaging. The cream is contained in an exclusive jar of a futuristic and unconventional form made by one of the last handcraft glass and crystal factories in France. Then there is a jewelry box with a scientific and original coffret, a gold corolla and a special metal spatula to apply the cream presented in a test tube.