Are You Even Benefiting From That Extensive Skin Care Regimen?

Take the test to find out.

Finding the right beauty products for your skin is a lot like dating. Some prospects are even better than expected, some are not as pictured, some could give you an adverse reaction. But even the ones that seem like pure magic could lose their spark over time. Perhaps they aren’t as perfect as you thought they were, or perhaps you have trouble determining if they’re right for you.

What if there was a machine that could rate your relationship—tell you if it’s looking promising or if it should come to an end? Well, there is (for your beauty products, at least). Biologique Recherche’s Skin Instant Lab analyzes your skin to rate the effectiveness of your beauty routine. Not only that, but it can identify any changes that could be made to get your skin to its healthiest, happiest, most beautiful state.

My current skin-care routine consists of approximately seven steps in the morning (not including makeup application) and eight steps at night (unlike this super simple skin care routine).  The total amount of skin-care products I use on a daily basis is about 11, and again, that’s not including makeup. The average price per beauty product is around $75 (I know—but most of them were given to me to test and review). So, I’d like to make sure my time and money (for the ones I did purchase, at least) are being well-spent. Enter Biologique Recherche’s Skin Instant Lab.

Image Credit: Visage Clinic & Medical Spa

Where can the skin test be found?

BR’s Skin Instant Lab can be found at select Biologique Recherche retailers. I was invited to visit plastic surgeon Dr. Marc DuPéré’s Visage Medspa in Toronto to chat with him and have my skin tested, and also receive a treatment that would tend to any trouble areas the test found.

Dr. DuPéré’s spa must be one of the fanciest locations that offers the Skin Instant Lab. The space is covered in Gucci wallpaper and accented with glossy furnishings and artsy light fixtures imported from Europe, I’m told. It’s obvious Dr. DuPéré favours the best of the best (also, he told me “I like the best, I wanted the best [for my spa]”), and so I was eager to hear him gush about my favourite skin-care brand, Biologique Recherche, and the Skin Instant Lab.

Wait—start from the beginning: What’s so great about Biologique Recherche (BR)?

BR is first and foremost a skin care brand. “BR products are based on biology—it’s plants, it’s marine, it’s animals, and it’s all done ethically—they don’t harm animals,” says Dr. DuPéré. All BR products have a high concentration of natural extracts and do not contain artificial fragrances (in fact, some products are known for their putrid scent—but they’re so effective, that won’t deter you from using them).

So, where did the Skin Instant Lab come from?

The founders of BR wanted to teach their clients that skin type changes over time and skin conditions can vary in different areas of the face. So, they developed the Skin Instant Lab. It uses wands connected to a computer to analyze skin’s pigmentation, hydration, sebum, lipid barrier, and elasticity, and configures a list of products to help you achieve the healthiest skin possible. The products are, of course, all Biologique Recherche, but the test itself can be used to just identify skin issues, and then you can find your own products that address such issues.

Who would benefit from the Skin Instant Lab?

Consider getting this test done if you want to know if your pricey products are working or if you should be adding, say, hyaluronic acid of vitamin C to your beauty routine. Or, if you have dull-looking skin, this machine can help identify the reason, says head aesthetician Gabriela. “We can do the testing, see what’s working and what’s not, and then we can change the product you’re using to the correct one.”

But if I’m using the best products, shouldn’t my skin be in it’s healthiest state?

“Skin is like a muscle,” says Gabriela, “it gets used to products.” Plus, skin’s needs change depending on the time of year, among other factors. Switching up products can help you achieve your desired results. Eventually, you can go back to the old products you love and get the same great results you once had, says Gabriela.

Image Credit: Visage Clinic & Medical Spa
Image Credit: Visage Clinic & Medical Spa

What happens during the Skin Instant Lab test?

The test begins with a questionnaire to gather personal information. I answer a few basic questions about myself and lifestyle (what’s your age, are you a smoker, what medications are you on, etc.) and then hold my breath as Gabriela answers questions about how my skin looks. She records if I have lines around my eyes, dilated pores, acne scars, and an uneven texture (do yourself a favour and don’t look at her answers during this part).

Next comes the wands. There are five of them, and each one analyzes a different skin condition. Gabriela wipes areas of my face with a makeup remover to ensure an accurate reading, then one by one, holds a wand onto my face until the machine dings at her to stop.

What do the results show?

Now, I like to think I take very good care of my skin. I never go to bed without washing my face, never start my day without applying my serums, and never leave the house without SPF. Also, being a beauty writer, I am fortunate to be able to test some of the best products on the market. So, I’m not too pleased to learn my skin isn’t as healthy as it could (and should) be.

  • Dehydration: My skin is “slightly dehydrated.”
  • Lipidic Shield: This is the skin’s protective barrier—and mine is normal, but it should be better, says Gabriela.
  • Elasticity: Medium, but again, should be way higher given my age, says Gabriela.
  • Pigmentation: Low (thank you, SPF).
  • Sebum: This means oil production, and mine’s normal but a little higher than it should be, says Gabriela.

What can you gather from the results?

Gabriela walks me through my results and refers to the questionnaire I answered to piece together the causes of my skin issues. For example, she says an over-air-conditioned office could contribute to dehydration. Also, not drinking enough water.

She explains the importance of building up the lipidic shield. “It will help you absorb more hydration from products, and you’ll react better to active ingredients,” Gabriela explains. “For example, if you like to use an AHA exfoliant or retinol but you feel your skin reacts too easily to it, it’s because your barrier is too weak—we need to strengthen it so your skin can tolerate it.”

Gabriela notes my skin is producing more sebum than it should as a result of being dehydrated. She asks if I’m exfoliating too much—I say no (but future me would realize this is, in fact, the case).

We go through the list of products the Skin Instant Lab recommends for me, and I walk away with a few new additions to my skincare lineup line the L’Eauxygénante (a protecting toner), Masque VIP O2 (a hydrating mask), and Sérum Oligo Protéines Marines (a hydrating serum)—but first, I get a facial that treats my dehydrated skin.

Image Credit: Visage Clinic & Medical Spa

How can the Skin Instant Lab influence a facial?

A BR facial following the Skin Instant Lab can introduce you to products on the test’s “recommended for you” list. New to BR facials? They’re like no other. One of the company’s founders was a physiotherapist, and she used her knowledge of effective massage techniques to develop specific movements for product application. Think of this as the original Face Gym. The aesthetician lifts the skin, going against gravity, and concentrating on lymphatic drainage, Dr. DuPéré explains. The result: The face looks plumped, refreshed, and more defined (which can also be achieved with these beauty tools).

For my facial, Gabriela applies product after product in such bread-kneading-type movements. I leave with skin so plump and glowy, I resemble a happy toddler.

How often should you get the test done?

I return two months after to get another skin test to determine the effectiveness of my new products. My results are better for the most part—except my skin is still slightly dehydrated. Gabriela asks me to walk her through my skincare regimen so she could identify the hydration-sucking culprit. We point the finger at my beloved P50 toner—my first BR product and the one I’ve been using for over a year. I’ve been applying it incorrectly—using too much product, which is drying out my skin.

What’s the lesson here?

If a product doesn’t work out immediately, it shouldn’t be written off. The best ones can take time to prove how perfect they are for you. Like that relationship with The One, there may be hiccups along the way as you learn to cohabitate, but with a little love and attention and time to work out any kinks, you can become the perfect match. And if it still doesn’t work out, there are plenty of other fish in the sea products on the shelf.

Next, learn about Biologique Recherche’s role in providing wellness treatments for people with cancer.