If your eyes are the gateway to your soul, perhaps your face is the porthole to your pocketbook. Launching this May in the United States is the Biologique Recherche Haute Couture program, which just might be the world’s most expensive set of facials. Spearheaded by Dr. Philippe Allouche, head of creation of all Biologique Recherche formulas, the six-month facials/customized product program took four years to create and costs a mere $12,500 – no, that’s not a typo.
Biologique Recherche was founded in Paris in the early 1970s by Dr. Allouche’s parents – his father was a French biochemist, his mother, a physiotherapist. The reason for the sky-high pricing can be attributed to Dr. Allouche, who will fly in from Paris — accompanied by his trusty engineer—to look at your skin for the first and last consultation.
“It’s a lot of money but it’s not created for that, it’s an investment,” said Dr. Allouche, who was phoning in from Paris. “There is no miracle, but I want to bring back functionality to the skin. The goal is to treat and preserve the skin from hyper aging.”
During the first session, which can take 2-3 hours, skin is assessed in terms of pigmentation, sebum, moisture, elasticity, firmness and wrinkle depth, among other things. A medical history is also taken, along with an evaluation consisting of visual analysis, photographs, a dermo-cosmetic questionnaire and a discussion of needs. All that data is sent to Biologique Recherche’s labs in Paris and studied by his Parisian formulation team, who then develops and creates serums, moisturizers and a facial program for you. Each month when you get your facial by a trained Biologique Recherche esthetician, you leave with a box of magical potions; two creams and three to eight serums. As your skin is checked monthly for changes, problems, or new issues that require addressing, your box of bottles is also reformulated to keep up with your shifting needs.
“Everyone’s skin is constantly changing, and can change every two hours or when we are stressed or even when we are at rest,” added Dr. Allouche, which is really the philosophy behind his program. “Skin must be continuously looked at to see how it is acting and what needs to be done to keep it healthy.”
At month three, a booster is added to the program, which focuses on underlying problems and concerns. The last two months concentrate on stabilizing and reconditioning. Dr. Allouche flies in for a final look and to reassess your face once again.
Presently there are 112 lucky, and clearly well-to-do, skin enthusiasts receiving the utra-luxe facials throughout the world, only two of whom reside in the States.
“I travel 220 days out of the year,” Dr. Allouche added. “My life is in the sky. I don’t mind because I love what I’m doing.”
For the handful of non-frugal, facial fundamentalists, they probably love it too.