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Interview

Unpacking Your Skin’s Biology with Biologique Recherche Meet Laura Gerchik, US General Manager

We’re talking everything from scalp and body care to genetic analyses to family-centric company culture.

Biologique Recherche is a French cult brand that has thrived during the pandemic with an unlikely business model. Committed to their tailor-made, self-care philosophy, you can only get BR products from a licensed partner. When visiting a Biologique Recherche ambassador at a spa of your choice, you’ll get a personalized arsenal of products after a deep dive into your DNA. In response to the e-commerce push of the pandemic, the brand has adapted their person-centered approach. As a result, their network of spa professionals is at the center of their social media platforms. Further, you can also get a virtual skin consultation to safely customize your at-home spa experience.

BWB sat down with Laura Gerchik, U.S. General Manager at Biologique Recherche, to discuss the pandemic perseverance of this French fave. We’re talking everything from scalp and body care to genetic analyses to family-centric company culture.

Beauty has proven to be more resilient through the past century. What has been a surprising success within the Biologique Recherche range of products this past year?

As many of us have transitioned to a work-from-home format, beauty rituals have become a vehicle for self-care. In other words, it provides the opportunity to differentiate work hours from personal time. We have had more time than ever to look at ourselves in the mirror. For instance, many of us end up spending a little too much time looking at our own faces on Zoom. As a result, the desire for healthy radiant skin is driving an investment in more complete skincare routines.

Throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen consumers becoming increasingly more interested in beauty. As consumers evolve and adapt their lifestyle, they are seeking new solutions from beauty products. While body and scalp care may have been afterthoughts before, more time at home has expanded the self-care horizon. Being home affords the possibility of seeing real results over time within those categories. For example, we have observed an increase in demand for hero body and scalp care products. Some star products include our P50 Corps, massage glove and targeted body oil.

As the general manager of a multinational company, what industrywide innovations have impressed you the most throughout the beauty sector?

At Biologique Recherche, results and customization have been at the core of our methodology since our inception. Due to the growing demand for science-backed hyper-personalization, there has been a consumer shift towards bespoke beauty. Now more than ever, educated consumers look for wellness solutions tailored to their genome and conditions. This is building a new narrative around skincare, body care and scalp care. According to a report by WGSN, DNA tests are increasingly  adding value to the consumer experience. In fact, it actively drives engagement within the wellness sector.

As such, we recently launched My Beauty DNA©. This kit analyzes more than 600,000 genetic skin variations. The result? We can determine personalized treatments and products that are best suited to each individual Skin Instant©. In other words, My Beauty DNA© reveals the skin’s past and future with a unique analysis of genetic heritage.

How is Biologique Recherche evolving to match the increasing favorability towards online shopping over in-person shopping?

We believe that skincare is first and foremost a high-touch industry. As a result, discovery is traditionally through brick and mortar. However, COVID-19 has certainly underscored that in many instances. For example, we’ve observed that increased online sales do not offset the decline in in-store sales. This remains true even as e-commerce revenue is sometimes twice as high as pre-COVID levels.

We ensure our spa partners maintain the highest level of service for our clients. Our line is only in the hands of people who have been thoroughly trained and know which products to prescribe.

Our social channels are bringing us closer to our community in an unprecedented way.

Biologique Recherche remains committed to a hyper-customized service and approach to skincare, digitally and offline! We do, however, offer online consultations and engage on social media. Our social channels are bringing us closer to our community in an unprecedented way. So, we are listening to their needs and requests, and responding as best we can. Our interest lies in utilizing our online presence to drive consumers to our network of spa partners.

For those who are still new to the brand, which products would you recommend them to start with?

The profound difference in the Biologique Recherche approach lies in its “out-of-the-box” vision of the skin. Skin is not a static entity! Instead, you must look at Skin Instants©. Our skin’s condition changes several times a day, in as well as throughout a lifetime. These changes respond to assorted factors, including stress, pollution, location and diet.

A successful treatment plan starts with a prescription from one of our expertly trained estheticians.

No two individuals have the same skin. In other words, what works for someone else may not work for you. As such, the first step to starting a Biologique Recherche regimen is to have a proper diagnosis through a consultation. The line has over 100 products for the face alone, and multiple products within each category. So, a successful treatment plan starts with a prescription from one of our expertly trained estheticians. We also help to choose the products that will best address your skin concerns. This will yield the best results, and also ensure the best experience with our products. Of course, a good regimen always starts with the right cleanser and P50.

What do you envision we will see more of in 2021?

Wellness is the new luxury. Today, people are increasingly investing in their health and wellness. Heightened stress levels have disrupted our lives throughout 2020. Wellness, once defined as the lack of illness, is now more holistically defined as mental, physical and emotional health. We are all becoming savvier and educated. More than ever before, we are hyper aware of what we put on and, in our bodies. As a result, we are steering away from harmful ingredients in skincare and makeup. Biologique Recherche has long been free of these. Goodbye, parabens, silicones, fragrances and synthetic colorants!

What has been your success recipe to lead your teams throughout these difficult times?

Our approach is deeply rooted in our foundations as a family business founded over 40 years ago. Biologique Recherche was created by Yvan and Josette Allouche, a biologist and a physiotherapist. Together, they combined their expertise and passion to chart their unique and visionary course on the cosmetic care market. To this day, we have that tight knit family approach with our team and our partners. We are the BR family.

Every client is a VIP and their concerns are ours.

We came together as a team at the start of COVID-19. Our main objective was to reinforce our community and provide support through these times. I am proud of my team. Their passion fuels us every day and drives us to do the best we possibly can because we care. In fact, every client is a VIP and their concerns are ours. We are stronger together, so we focus on the benefits we can achieve as a group, a team and a family.

What do you do in the city to unwind after a long week of work?

Before COVID, I was traveling the majority of the month. Being home for the last year has made me re-discover NYC. I love seeing some of the amazing outdoor areas that restaurants have set up. Some of my favorites are Lola Taverna, Novita, and Shoo Shoo Nolita. I really hope these will become permanent fixtures in NY.

I’m not a coffee drinker, but I’ve become obsessed with matcha. When I’m not making it at home (an art I’ve perfected), you’ll find me at neighborhood spots like Citizens of Gramercy, Irving Farm, or Daily Provisions. I also love a good bath followed by a drink or tea in front of my working fireplace (a luxury in NY, I know!).

Finally, I miss dressing up after living in jeans and leggings. I am looking forward to it! I love seeing new concept stores like Project Gaia, which is coming soon to my neighborhood. It will be a multi-brand store showcasing purpose driven brands from apparel to homeware. I love to shop small businesses with a purpose.

Teresa Deely

Teresa Deely is a graduate from Columbia University with majors in English and Creative Writing. She is a freelance writer and marketing assistant working for clients in the wellness, jewelry, creative, and sports industries. She believes that one’s skin is yet another canvas and vehicle for art, and has loved styling her hair and applying makeup from a young age. Spending much of her time in educating youth and leading enrichment programs for children, she is highly motivated in discovering new ways to care for herself and sharing them with others.

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