An interview with Mr. Rupert Schmid,
Co-Chairman of Biologique Recherche
Founded in France in the late 1970s, Biologique Recherche has gained a reputation for its outstanding effective products and customized cosmetic treatments. In 2007, Rupert Schmid and Pierre-Louis Delapalme took the helm of the brand and injected a new dynamism to it. Today, Biologique Recherche is the partner of choice in over 85 countries/regions for exclusive medical spas and day spas in addition to the world’s premiere luxury hotel spas. To unveil the mystery of Biologique Recherche, SpaChina has interviewed Mr. Rupert Schmid, the Co-Chairman of Biologique Recherche.
From the beginning Rupert Schmid’s career was that of an entrepreneur. It was through the communications group he was leading that Schmid first came to deal with environment and sustainability issues, which led him to join Veolia as its international marketing and communication director. When Schmid had the right opportunity to resume his leadership natural path, he acquired Biologique Recherche with Pierre-Louis Delapalme, who left the Yves Rocher Group to do so, as his partner. Together they resolved a succession issue for the family business, investing in R&D and regulatory compliance, and boosting the brand that has since become one of the leading professional cosmeceutical skin care company.
How did the brand emerge?
The brand emerged at the end of the seventies; Yvan Allouche was working for different mainstream retail brands as a product developer. The idea of creating his own brand came from a real frustration provoked by the incessant pressure of the financial department putting the cost of development before the effectiveness and the originality of the formula.
Mrs Allouche, his wife and co-founder, was a specialist in physiotherapist and rehabilitation. The couple decided to merge their creative force to create a very new methodology called BIOLOGIQUE RECHERCHE.
A decade later, their son, Dr Philippe Allouche decided to help his parents in bringing to the brand a rigorous scientific approach in adding new areas of expertise. In 2007, following the passing away of Yvan Allouche, Rupert Schmid and Pierre-Louis Delapalme, now Co-Chairmen of Biologique Recherche, took over the company, in partnership with Philippe Allouche who remains the creative custodian. These long-time friends inaugurated a new quasi pharmaceutical laboratory where all the brand’s products are created, and developed markets on all continents.
What is the brand’s specificity /positioning?
Biologique Recherche is a professional cosmeceutical brand with a medical grade research on the skin to develop personalized treatments and home care routine.
Biologique Recherche offers the combination of targeted products highly dosed with natural actives (botanical, biological or mineral), combined with bio-engineered actives, and talented hands. The brand is an entire dedication to excellence with highly customized and result driven treatments, focused on re-conditioning the skin for the best result to every Skin Instant©.
Biologique Recherche’s methodology is inspired by a fundamental observation. Each of us has not only one, but several skins. Our skin’s condition changes several times in a single day, in a week, in a month and during the course of our lifetimes. Everyone has different “Skin Instant©” which can evolve during the course of one day. The artificial categorization of skins as normal, dry or oily provides a poor physiological definition of a skin’s instant and only gives a stationary image of the epidermal cosmetic imbalances. Biologique Recherche offers a dynamic and highly personalized vision of the Skin. Our professionals are trained to analyze and advise the women and men on the treatment that is best suited to their “Skin Instants©”.
At Biologique Recherche our methodology works with the skin, not against it, to help it balance and heal itself; our formulas and treatments work synergistically to rebuild better skin and treat specific skin instants.
What makes Biologique Recherche stand out from other companies?
Biologique Recherche Methodology has been designed through a very keen clinical approach of the skin and problem/solution process. Clinical assessment, synergies between powerful products and proprietary muscular and facial manipulations, genuine hyper customized skincare regimen set BR apart from the current Industry.
Biologique Recherche remains the sole premium professional relying on a unique network of professionals (doctors, estheticians, nurses, spa therapists….) around the globe. Essentially being a result-driven brand is also our major force. Showing a great respect for the epidermis’ physiology and rebuilding back the epidermis’ capability to regenerate properly and defend itself is our main concern.
In line with this philosophy, our newest innovation, La Grande Crème, is a pioneering formulation that came from a major discovery in the field of epigenetic and cellular reprogramming. La Grande Crème tackles all age-related skin concerns. EpigenActiv® “switches off” the genes that are involved in the process of skin ageing, to enable the ultimate regeneration. Its active ingredients improve the functional architecture of elastin and collagen fibers, giving a real “lifting” and anti-wrinkle effect.
What is the creative process like when developing new products?
The driver of Biologique Recherche rely on Science and Passion to offer Beauty to each of our guests. In each Biologique Recherche creation process, there is the part of the intellect, the reflection, the science but without denying the other part made from intuition, feelings, sensorial and human experiences: this is where the magic of the creation resides.
Doctor Philippe Allouche surrounds himself with a great energizing team who is helping him in researching the best ingredients we will combine in order to get the best results. Regarding the product creation process, Doctor Allouche says that “it is the scientific and medical approach we adapted in our work that makes all the difference. If you think that there are “simple beauty recipes”, it is not true. There are no any secrets or “magic formulas”. There is a product creation based on a complex research work.”
Biologique Recherche is not about the latest ingredient in the market, but we are selecting and using an extremely large spectrum of ingredients (more than 400 different ones!). Each single product created since almost 4 decades are still alive side by side with our new ones. Biologique Recherche is treatment oriented and products could not take fully their place if not included in a professional treatment protocol.
Over the year what has been the most popular product? What make it so successful?
Lotion P50, our most famous and coveted product, is the cornerstone to Biologique Recherche skin care treatments. All Biologique Recherche skin care treatments, whether administered at home or in a beauty institute, start with the “P50 ritual” in the morning and evening. This lotion gently exfoliates the skin, regulates excess sebum secretion, moisturizes and helps maintain the epidermis’ acid pH.
The Lotions P50 are the culmination of 40 years of reflection and experience. The Lotions P50 balancing exfoliators speed up the epidermis’ natural exfoliation process and the reconstruction of the epidermal shield. The fortified epidermis can then effectively fulfill its protective functions, thus enhancing skin’s self-regeneration potential.
Since there are different versions of Lotion P50, when choosing the type that suits your skin, you have to take into account not only the needed exfoliation level to achieve but also the level of vitality of the skin. Our most recent one is Lotion P50 PIGM 400, an exfoliating and brightening lotion, ideal for dull complexions with hyperpigmented marks.
For those that are not very familiar with your products – where to start, what is necessary?
Biologique Recherche methodology, starting with the diagnosis, has a very strict sequence of steps, following the physiology of the skin. But within each of the steps, the therapists can select the right targeted mix of formulas between over 150 options. Plus, specifics manual techniques adapted to the different Skin Instants©.
Biologique Recherche methodology will prescribe a 6 step home beauty regimen to follow every morning and every night. Each step is important and has a different target and goal according to the Skin Instant© needs:
- Removing dust, impurities and make up with Milk cleanser
- Gentle exfoliation while moisturizing using the iconic LOTION P50
- Apply a selected mask restocking the epidermis in lipids.
- Pure quintessential serums: Water based solutions of pure amino acids and/or active peptides to act on the Natural Moisturizing Factor and delivering powerful bio activators peptides to the epidermis.
- Creams which will bring lipids complexes to the epidermis along with targeting active ingredients
- Finishing serums: the most sophisticated and concentrated products to bring more moisture, re-plump and bringing to the skin this very special radiance and glamour touch anyone can experience after getting a Biologique Recherche facial
All Biologique Recherche products work to gently bring the skin to a balanced, hydrated, nourished and protected state. Products contain high concentrations of active ingredients, are perfume-free and are micro-brewed at the Biologique Recherche laboratories in Paris.
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 will get 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 impressing how quick the knowledge and the habits are changing through education. It will be our developing focus to enhance our investment in China’s market, speed up the all-round operations of the brand and build strategic partnership here. And our challenge is to find the doctors and the therapists who are willing to share our hyper customized approach. The challenge for us is to meet them and work with them.