Tried and Tested: Biologique Recherche Facial at The Peninsula Spa, Shanghai

It's not every day that you get a facial with a machine!

by Alex Sheffield | Thu, July 06, 2017

Faces are unique, from the way we look to how our skin reacts. Take into consideration different temperatures and seasons throughout the year and it can be hard to keep track of fluctuations and reactions. Right now, the hot and humid weather may benefit those prone to dry spells, but for oil-based skin it can be a real headache. In the same breath, finding a one-size-fits-all facial cream is basically impossible. If you’re anything like us (mid-thirties but with skin resembling that of a teenager – plenty of blemishes that is), we decided to go in search of a treatment, tailored specifically to our own skin. Enter Biologique Recherche Facial Treatments at The Peninsula Spa, Shanghai.

The only cosmetic brand with their flagship store on the Champs-Élysées, Biologique Recherche was founded over 40 years ago by Yvan, Josette and Philippe Allouche (collectively a biologist, physiotherapist and a doctor). It came about with the vision of providing pure, concentrated, natural products with raw ingredients. With the premises that each is made fresh, and then delivered within 48 hours all over the world by jet (set at controlled temperatures), it’s safe to say the products found at The Peninsula are literally hot out of the labs in Paris. Also, loved by luxury magazines like Vogue, Marie Claire and ELLE to name a few, and celebrities the world over (name drop: Madonna and Marc Jacobs) we felt it is good enough for us to give it a try.

Arriving at the Spa, our treatment is split into three sections:

  • Assessment
  • Cleansing and purifying
  • Treatment

1) Assessment

To start, our beautician fired up the Skin Instant Lab machine – complete with five probes that each measure different aspects of the skin (elasticity, hydration, sebum etc.). Apparently, due to the humidity outside, my skin was quite well hydrated – however, earlier on in the year the same test indicated that I needed to drink more water proving the theory that skin changes with the seasons. Based on the results, seven creams/lotions were selected for the facial, each specific to my skin type, and different lotions for different areas on my face.

2) Cleansing

Using a milk cleanser, she set about purifying my face; a process that was so relaxing that I almost fell asleep in the first 20 mins! This was followed by an exfoliation of my pores using their award winning P50 lotion. Smelling a little bit like vinegar, it acts as a very light acid peal made with natural ingredients. It tingled a bit, but wasn’t uncomfortable.

3) Treatment

Next, the famous Masque VIP 02 face mask was applied. Looking, and smelling. Like Marmite (Vegemite), this oxygenating mask is designed to hydrate, tone and give the skin a natural glow. While this had time to bake, an eye lotion was also applied via damp cotton pads as we switched off from the outside work and listened to the relaxing music in the plush spa suite.

We woke sometime later to the beautician removing the mask before applying a Crème Conture De Yeux eye cream and a serum called Fluid VIP 02, perfect for reducing the signs of fatigue by brightening our complexion. During the process, the beautician used specific hand movements to work in the potions which helps to lift the skin; all learnt during the 10 days intensive training that each member of staff needs to complete before they can administer the facials.


On hearing the treatment was over we were handed a mirror to see the results. They. Were. Shocking. It was like a facelift, except without any pain and the comfort of relaxation instead!

The results alone were impressive – we hadn’t seen our skin looking so radiant for a long time (not even as bright as on the day of our wedding!). Though not light on the purse strings, the attention to detail, precision and time that goes into each product and step of this facial is worth every penny. We can 100% understand why Biologique Recherche don’t really need to advertise – the results speak for themselves. We’d recommend this if you are in need of some serious R&R, or have a big event coming up where you need to look and feel flawless.