In my early 20s, I discovered a beauty brand called Biologique Recherche. It was long before I became a beauty editor for a national magazine title. It was also, sadly, at a time when my bank balance didn’t quite match my skincare aspirations and we parted ways. I imagine it’s like meeting The One during your school years, but not quite believing your luck. Convinced there must be even better prospects in your future, you ditch him and spend your life looking aimlessly for your soulmate, lamenting the one that got away.
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That’s how it was for me and BR. Instead of investing my meagre salary in skincare I spent it on nights out and my social circle expanded at the same rate as my pores. All the fun I was having took its toll and my skin let me know it. I developed adult acne. Around the same time I became a beauty editor. Not exactly a winning combination. I hit up all my new contacts for advice, treatments and products that would help clear my breakouts. I tried chemical peels, prescription drugs, alternative therapies and creams that cost more than my car. But nothing really worked. My skin would clear up for a while, before returning to square one. If I wasn’t dealing with inflammation and breakouts, scarring was driving my anxiety levels ever upward. I developed an aptitude for make-up application (before YouTube tutorials were a thing) and learned to mask the problems that lay beneath.
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Cut to the beginning of this year, when the Irish distributors of Biologique Recherche reached out and invited me to Paris to their Embassy of Beauty and a site visit of their laboratory. I RSVP’d quicker than you can say "bon voyage". Unfortunately for me, a skin-boosting treatment at their Champs Élysées emporium was preceded by the most detailed skin analysis of my life. Off the back of Fashion Month, my skin was even worse than usual. Stress, air travel, poor hydration and eating on the go had contributed to a variety of skin problems that didn’t really need an in-depth analysis to identify: Pigmentation, dehydration, poor elasticity and overproduction of sebum, the list went on. Thankfully, the bad news was followed swiftly by one of the best facials I’ve ever had (and I’ve had many). The results were immediate and while aforementioned skin issues meant that I wasn’t ready to go without make-up just yet, I did apply very little as I wanted to let the products do their magic.
While a good facial will always make you fall in lust with a brand, it’s the aftercare products that keep the relationship going. I made a commitment there and then to use everything that was prescribed to me, just as directed. That’s the beauty of Biologique Recherche everything is customised to suit your skin’s needs. No one-size fits all here. It does mean that you have to go to a trained practitioner to stock up on supplies, but that strict control ensures you are using the right products for your skin.
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P50 is the hero product and one that is most often part of everyone’s prescription. It looks like a toner, but acts as an exfoliant and is fast taking the place of mascara as my desert island product. It’s basically an alpha-hydroxy acid blend with niacin, which has excellent anti-inflammatory and anti-acne properties on the skin. There's P50W, for the most sensitive complexions; P50V, which is ideal for skin in need of plumping and toning; and P50PIGM 400, which is the best for serious brightening and dark spot-diminishing. And then there is P50, the classic formulation. I’m not alone in my love this product. It’s a favourite among beauty editors, influencers and celebrities. On last count, it has been hashtagged 35.8k times on Instagram. Even the Olsen twins are believed to be huge fans. And well, those two know a good thing when they see it.
The brand see the facial regime as a constant journey, one where they constantly tweak the products you use to remedy your specific issues. Back in Ireland, I went to The Greenhouse Project in Dun Laoghaire – a stone’s throw from IMAGE HQ – for follow up treatments and the level of skill the therapists showed equalled that of the care I had received in Paris. Their knowledge of the brand and it’s benefits is truly astounding. It is bespoke skincare at its finest.
My skin didn’t magically improve overnight. It took months, but was worth the wait. I followed the regime to the letter and didn’t mix in any other products bar sunscreen or make-up. Seven months later, my pores seem smaller and my skin is clearer, brighter and more hydrated than it has been in decades. I’m still working on pigmentation and scarring, and let’s just say my elastin might need a turbo charge, but I know good things come to those who wait. I just wish I hadn’t waited so long.
Now I’m reunited with The One, I’m never letting it out of my sight again.
To book your Biologique Recherche consultation, call The Greenhouse Project in Dublin on (01) 214 0222, Skin by Olga in Donnybrook or visit thegreenhouseproject.ie
Photograph: The Greenhouse by Nathalie Marquez Courteney