Spa Junkie on… Biologique Recherche at EF Medispa, London

Our reporter is keen to try an über-chic Parisian facial on the other side of the channel

Biologique Recherche is a French skincare brand that combines sophisticated delivery with clinical excellence. I tried its products a few months ago as part of a bespoke facial at The Peninsular, Paris, but when I found out that EF Medispa performs its treatments in the UK, I was keen to try it out again.

I hike up five floors of stairs – reaching skin lab nirvana not a step too soon – whereupon a therapist swiftly cocoons me in a heated bed for my 90-minute treatment. She explains that at the Medispa they have both standard treatments and advanced ones, which use the remodelling Face Machine, comprised of three electrical currents and micro-puncture (similar to mesotherapy – injections of fluid to produce more collagen and improve elasticity). I’d like to steer away from devices today, however – a decision compounded by the fact that Biologique’s reputation among beauty insiders is for products that have a serious sculpting and lifting effect simply using manual application – so I opt for a personalised hand- and product-only treatment: a rejuvenation facial.

The therapist takes my face in her hands, turns it from side to side to check my complexion, and starts cleansing using the milky antipollution product Lait VIP O2. “All my hand movements are in an upward direction, working along each muscle group,” she says. Her touch is firm, but not unpleasant. “Biologique Recherche co-founder Dr Allouche always emphasises that creams should be applied in an upwards direction and from the centre of the face outwards to work against gravity.” She cleanses again, massaging even more thoroughly, before wiping my face with an ice-cold compress.

It’s time for the hero product, P50 toner, said to be brilliant at balancing the skin’s PH, then a refreshing oxygenating water mist. One of a selection of “boosters” is then applied, which are chosen, the therapist explains while working her hands along my skin in a vibrating movement, to suit the client’s immediate skin needs, and to minimise the negative effects of the environment, hormones, diet and lifestyle. For me she selects MC110 No 1, a plumping, renewing treatment.

Next she applies Soin Lissant – a soothing, hydrating product, rich in amino acids from Casein powder (milk), Omega 3, hyaluronic acid and silk proteins – in pumping, flicking, lifting movements. Although the sensation is fairly unusual, I become used to it and the rhythm relaxes me.

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I’m almost asleep when I get a big whiff of Marmite – it’s the Masque Vivant, which is packed with yeast, along with cucumber and witch hazel. “This is great for congestion, dullness and ageing,” she emphasises.

Post-mask, Quintessential Serums are gently massaged into my skin: Extrait Tissulaire for hydration, Elastine Pure for fine lines and wrinkles and Complexe Iribiol for breakouts and congestion.

Dr Allouche believes no one cream suits all skin areas, so the Crème Metamorphique is applied to my décolleté and neck while the Crème Collegene Marin is used for my face.  The finishing touch is the Fluide VIP O2, an oxygenating serum that is a final coating to protect from pollution, cold and other irritants.

The Bottom Line:

I really believe in the importance of tailoring beauty treatments to the individual’s needs, and there are few places I’ve encountered where this is more in evidence that at Biologique Recherche – and at EF Medispa, the techniques are faithfully performed to the founders’ wishes. The products not only felt wonderful on my skin, the techniques used to apply them were amazingly varied ­– from light massage to vibrating to flicking. If I had a reservation it would be the sheer quantity of products used in the facial – who could ever find the time to re-create it at home, even if you bought all the components? Still, immediately afterwards my skin felt fresh, I had smaller, unclogged pores and my complexion was radiant, and while the level of cleansing did prompt a breakout of spots a day or so later (often the case with a thorough job), a week later my skin now looks clearer and brighter.  

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Spa Junkie is the founder of FaceGym. She pays for all her own travel, accommodation and therapies.

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