There are certain places, items or smells that instantly put you at ease and melt away your stresses. As indulgent and spoilt as it truthfully is, the Four Seasons Spa is one of my triggers. That’s not to say that my cashmere hot water bottle doesn’t do the trick, but every time I enter this spa, it is like I transpose into a better, happier and calmer version of myself. Thus, when I received an invite to sample their new Biologique Recherche Facial, I jumped at the chance. My excitement was further enhanced when I learned that my facial would be conducted by none other than Dr Allouche, whose father founded the brand, and I willingly sacrificed my Saturday morning lie-in to sample try it!
When I entered the spacious spa room that was to be mine for the next ninety minutes, I was immediately struck by the unbeatable views of HK harbour. My gaze then refocused on the table right in front of me – it was completely covered in Biologique Recherche’s amazing range of products. Only then did I register that this facial was perhaps different to any other I have tried before; Biologique Recherche may have the obligatory French name, but it is different to most other beauty brands.
Their foundations are built upon medical research and aim to strengthen your skin on a long-term basis rather than provide short-term solutions. All BR facials work off the premise that everybody’s face is different and thus, need to be exactly customised to your own skin. This revelation makes you wonder why you ever believed that a mass catch-all facial could ever be good enough for your precious epidermis. The aptly named “Your Facial” thus starts with a skin assessment and no two versions of this treatment will ever be the same.
This clinical approach doesn’t in any way create a sterile treatment. The whole 90 minutes was as relaxing, soothing and idyllic as I have come to expect from the Four Seasons. However, my experience did differ somewhat to the norm. Lying semi-naked on a spa bed, modesty only hidden by towels, I was shocked into reality as a loud French man burst through the doors – none other than Dr Allouche himself.
At this point, I would normally outline an in-depth step-by-step breakdown of the treatment. But to be honest, there is no point as they all differ anyway. Just take my assurance that it will relax, cleanse, tone and invigorate you as well as, if not better than, any other facial you have had. The therapist will carry out the treatment in the signature Four Seasons way, lulling you into a semi-slumber with expertly applied strokes. But here are the three main factors that set this facial apart from all others and which ensure I will be raving about it to everyone I meet:
1. All products are highly concentrated and carefully formulated to ensure that they will help your skin regenerate. This is a short treatment with long-term effects. Below are just a quarter of the products used on my face!
L’Eauxygenante – brightens the complexion and prolongs make-up hold
Le soin Lissant – smoothes and softens fine lines and wrinkles.
Serum Oligo- Proteines Marines – unifies asphyxiated complexions (!!)
Masque Biosensible – Smoothes, softens and brightens the skin
2. No heat is used at any point in the facial – a shocking fact when you think about how many facials you have had that apply steam, hot flannels or other heat induced products to your face. Dr Allouche is adamant that only cold products should be used. Heat, in his opinion, should not play a part in a facial and he implored me to promise that even if I had facials at other spas in the future, I wouldn’t allow them to use heat on my skin.
3. The facial application technique relies heavily on drainage-style sweeping strokes of your face. This takes a little while to get used to as it’s not as soft as you would expect, but you soon acclimatise. And boy, even if it was the most painful technique in the world, it would be worth it. At first, Dr Allouche applied the technique to the left hand side of my face only. After twenty minutes of massaging, kneading and product application, he handed me a mirror to see the difference in my face. Despite being make-up free and slightly bleary eyed, I was amazed at what I saw. The left-hand side of my face was about half the size of the right. The puffiness had gone, no bloating remained and I honestly looked like I had had a face lift on one half of my face. By the end of the facial, my whole face looked more taut, defined and sculpted than it ever had. I knew that facials were good at clearing spots, but I never imagined that they would bring out a thin face hiding inside my cheeks!
So there you have it. A lot of what I experienced didn’t surprise me; I am a Four Seasons Spa fanatic, I knew that I loved their style and facilities and the therapist who took charge of the other half of my face was as good as the Dr himself. But I was completely blown away by how simple, yet revolutionary this facial was.
The quality of the pure concentrated ingredients, the medical approach to how best to strengthen your skin and the ingenious use of drainage techniques in the facial application mean that the Biologique Recherche Your Facial will turn you into the person you think you can look like when you suck your cheeks in. Goodbye facelifts, adios Botox… all that women really need is ninety minutes of this heavenly treatment to bring out your inner beauty queen.
Biologique Recherche Your Facial lasts 90 minutes and costs $1400 on weekdays and $2300 on weekends
Four Seasons Spa, Four Seasons Hotel, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong, 3196 8888