Breaking Down The Beauty Product That Changed My Skin, And Everyone Else's.


I was late to the game on this one, and to be honest, I feel REALLY embarrassed about it. Because to be a “beauty person” and not use Biologique Recherche P50 is like being a “dog person” who has never pet a dog, or a “people person” who has no friends. But here I am, admitting in writing for all to see, that I had never even heard of this miracle exfoliating toner until like 6 months ago when my beloved microcurrent facialist, Hannah (you have heard me mention her and the wonders of her treatments HERE) told me about it. And I subsequently rush ordered it from the only place it is sold online, and I have never looked back. As such, I highly recommend you do the same. Do not pass go, do not collect $200, just buy it.

Much has been written on P50, so instead of reinventing the wheel here, I link to three of the best articles that explain what this funky smelling, hard-to-find, crazy intense chemical exfoliant is all about at the bottom of my post.

Here is Cliff Notes version based on my personal experience with three different versions of the cult favorite Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 :

-There are a bunch of varieties and it can be VERY confusing to figure out which one to use for your specific skin type and needs (link to a one stop shop destination at the end of this post, FYI) The OG is the Lotion P50 1970- with things like lactic acid, salicylic acid, sulfur, horseradish, onion and then some. It also contains phenol which is an ingredient that not everyone feels great about- it is not approved for use in skincare in Europe or Canada- but it is available in the US, so you can get your hands on it. (There is a version without phenol available too- simply called Lotion P50- all the same stuff, just minus the phenol.) I started with the Lotion P50V which is for skin in need of plumping and toning, and the Lotion P50 PIGM400 which is positioned as the option if you want serious brightening. After 3 months of use, ordered the Lotion P50 1970 and WHOA. First off- the smell is PUNGENT (but I kinda like it, not gonna lie) and it makes your skin tingle each time you apply it for the first week or two. But it made me realize that I was previously riding a bike with training wheels and it felt damn good to tingle on the open road atop a killer mountain bike.

-This toner does the job of an exfoliator- it is a chemical exfoliator, as opposed to a physical one like the scrubby cleansers and such you are probably used to. Pat it onto the skin after cleansing, morning and evening- in the morning, I quickly tap it on with my fingertips to wake up my face, in the evening, I blot it into my skin with a cotton pad. I wait for it to dry- like 10 seconds or so- then apply the serum and creams of my choice on top.

-Some users instantly can tell a difference in the way their skin looks- increased glow, less breakouts, more even tone- but the sweet spot for noticeable change is typically 50 days (this I learned from the Breaking Beauty podcast, which dedicated an entire episode to Lotion P50!). So you gotta stick with it- as in life and in beauty- consistency is key.

-It is hard to find since the brand is only distributed via a handful of carefully selected spas- I order mine from Rescue Spa- don’t be freaked out that you have to create an account to be able to see the prices and place an order, it is just a formality and doesn’t enter you into some Columbia House records situation. To give you an idea, though- a 1.7FL oz bottle (which is what I buy, they last me at least 2-3 months and are easy to travel with) is around $28.

Okay- here are the additional resources I suggest you check out to get the full story on this product that literally every single model, celebrity and human being with enviable skin that makes you sorta hate them uses:

“The Cult of Biologique Recherche’s P50 Is Weirder Than You Think” from Refinery 29

“Biologique Recherche Lotion P50” by big time Brit beauty blogger and Caroline Hirons

“Everything You Need To Know About P50” from Racked

I know there are endless great blog posts out there on P50, so please post links to any posts you have written, if you do that kind of a thing, or links to any you have read in the comments below so I (and everyone else here) can stalk accordingly, ‘kay? Thanks!