Dan Thompson: Beauty Busted


Did Beauty Advice From Dr. Phillipe Allouche Miss The Mark?

A breakdown of the advice dispensed by the owner of Biologique Recherche

Did Beauty Advice From Dr. Phillipe Allouche Miss The Mark?

Dr. Allouche is the owner and second generation formulator for the luxury French cosmetics company Biologique Recherche.

The company was founded in 1978 by his father and it has been one the most exclusive brands available in the market place. A single month of over the counter skin care starts at $2600. A full year of home care products will run at over $31,000!

Their claim to fame is their long list of celebrity clients including Madonna, Sharon Stone and Brad Pitt. Also all skin care is custom made to order for each client.

All that said, the formulations are pretty run of the mill using ingredients found in any number of high end brands.

This is not a product review, however. This is actually a breakdown of the beauty advice dispensed by the formulator himself.  

1. Always apply face creams in an upward motion to fight the effects of gravity.

FALSE - The implication here is that gravity causes skin to sag. This little nugget of beauty advice is as scientifically sound as brushing your hair 100 times a day will make it thicker (yep, that was a very popular beauty tip in the early 1900's). Skin sagging is caused by chronological age. Quite simply as we age the subcutaneous fat is depleted naturally. This fat is what makes the skin look plump and firm in our youth.  As this fat is depleted the skin pulls away from the muscle losing its tone and "firmness." No amount of upward motion massage will restore the depleted fat cells.


2. Never steam the skin it causes damage.

FALSE - Steam actually helps the skin repair itself.  When the skin is exposed to low temperature steam three things happen at the same time:  

a) A thermo-regulating body response is triggered forcing the skin into homeostasis

b) Blood vessels dilate causing an increase in circulation

c) The increased circulation causes an uptake in oxygen in the skin tissue which stimulates the healing process and infection fighting capabilities; at the same time the blood flow increases nutrient uptake to the skin tissue which provides a host of benefits including colour correction and hydration


3. Avoid intense exfoliation such as lasers; they harm the skin.

FALSE - Laser exfoliation is one of the safest and most precise ways to exfoliate the skin. Laser exfoliation can treat acne, scarring and a multitude of skin conditions including calcification and hyperpigmentation. Lasers are proven to be safe and effective. In fact they do the opposite of damaging the skin, they improve it measurably.


4. Never do extractions.

TRUE - Extractions should not be performed at home. This procedure should only be done by a highly trained professional to avoid bruising and damaging the skin. When done correctly they can remove infections, clean pores and help de-crust the surface of the skin. But that is only when done properly. Most people do not have the equipment at home to do extractions safely.