Often, when you finally get your hands on the one item you want most ever, you can feel one of two ways – elated at discovering what a truly AMAZING product it is, or bitterly disappointed.
Getting my hands on Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 was like getting my hands on the Holy Grail and left me feeling a little worried.
Would I love it, or would it just be an overhyped piece of crap?
What is the Biologique Recherche Lotion P50?
I’d heard so much about Lotion P50, which is an acid toner, a lotion/toner that you use on skin after cleansing and before the rest of your skincare. Toners with acids like these serve an exfoliating function, smoothing imperfections, unblocking pores and leaving your skin looking brighter and smoother.
I’d been using a few different ones for a while, and they’ve made a difference to my skin. But the ultimate measure of an exfoliation lotion toner has always been the Biologique Recherche Lotion P50, based on my online research. The main problem is that it’s so hard to find. So. Hard!
Biologique Recherche is incredibly hard to buy!
Biologique Recherche is a salon brand, that is only sold at specialist salons and online, only at certain websites. In fact, if you were to look online, there’s no website that will ship internationally, and it’s HELL trying to find the price of the products.
The best way is to find yourself a salon, walk in and buy it. Or get a friend with access to a salon or website to buy it for you. There really is no other way!
I bought mine from the Biologique Recherche head office on Ave. Champs Elysees, Paris, the home base of Biologique Recherche. I actually walked up and down Champs Elysees multiple times, because I couldn’t find the entrance!
Turned out that the Biologique Recherche store is located in the inner courtyard of No. 32 Av. Champs Elysee, set back from the sidewalk. Anyone would miss it! You walk between a gloomy archway, and find yourself in a pretty cobblestone courtyard, with the double doors of the salon in front of you.
The salon was quiet but fortunately, they seem quite used to people wandering in, enquiring about the famed Lotion P50.
Because I was new to using Lotion P50, I was recommended Lotion P50W, a slightly lighter formula for newbies. There are a few different versions and it comes in various sizes.
I bought the medium 150ml size, which I kind of regret now, because I should have just bought the largest bottle they had in store. Yes, I guess you can tell that I’m a convert! 😀
How to use Biologique Recherche Lotion P50W
The first thing you’d notice about Lotion P50, is the smell. It smells vinegary, so if you are put off by scents like that, you’d be turned off. I’m not fussed (I’m only put off by strong floral scents) so I was fine with it.
The second thing was that I was told to expect a tingling on my skin. Lotion P50W is a more gentle version of the exfoliating and purifying lotion. I didn’t notice any tingling on my skin. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m used to using an exfoliating toner, but there was no tingling. I was a little disappointed, but I plan to get my hands on a more potent version soon, so I will see if that gives me the tingling feeling.
UPDATE: I have been using Lotion P50 since, and it initially tingled a little, but not anymore
I use it by shaking out some product onto a piece of cotton pad, and then wiping it all over my face, neck and decolletage (always take your skincare down to your chest!).
I don’t pour out too much because it’s so damned precious! You don’t need very much anyway, because you’re not trying to soak your face in it. Just enough to get the cotton pad moving smoothly against your skin.
I’ve read of people using it by pouring some product on their hands and wiping on their face to avoid wastage. Because this is an exfoliating product, I don’t personally think that’s the best way to do it, because the cotton pad helps apply a more even layer, and also to lift off some of the dead skin cells. I’d use the hand method with a hydrating toner (yes, there are differences!)
If you are new to using Lotion P50, you are recommended to pour the lotion on a damp cotton pad, then wipe it over your skin. This makes it less irritating.
What to expect from using Lotion P50W
To be perfectly honest, in the first two weeks of use, I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to expect. Nothing looked or felt different. I’d use it in the day, and occasionally at night, on days when I didn’t use Alpha-H Liquid Gold – I’m big on acids 😀
RELATED READING: Acid toners – do you really need them? READ HERE
It wasn’t until I stopped using it for a while, that I noticed the difference. The main thing I noticed was how Lotion P50W helped keep my skin spot-free. While I’m now primarily breakout-free *touchwood* I do get the occasional spot, especially around that time of the month. I’ve stopped getting that.
I’ve also stopped experiencing clogged pores and whiteheads, especially around the sides of my cheek and chin area. If I notice a clogged pore starting, or if I get a spot, it usually goes away after about 2 days of using Lotion P50.
My skin is so much clearer. I believe it’s the combination of Lotion P50W together with my Vitamin C serum and all my various products, that has also helped my skintone even itself out, but it is really Lotion P50W that’s made my skin look and feel smoother and more refined.
I use Lotion P50W immediately after cleansing, to allow it to exfoliate my skin with its acids. I feel this one to be quite gentle, and not drying at all. It’s supposed to also balance your skin’s PH after your cleansing, and I then follow up with a spritz of facial mist, before I move on with the rest of my skincare routine.
RELATED READING: Want to add more moisture and hydration to your skin? Read about my moisture sandwich technique! READ HERE
I also use this both day and night. But if you’re using other acid-based products, you might want to be a little more careful.
For example, in my evening routine, I sometimes use Liquid Gold or a Lactic Acid based serum like Sunday Riley Good Genes, or the REN Wake Wonderful serum. On those days, I won’t use this toner so as not to over-exfoliate my skin. Mixing and matching skincare is fine, so long as you pay attention to what you’re mixing, and how your skin is taking to it.
The primary acids are AHA (lactic acid, citric acid, malic acid, phytic acid), BHA (salicylic acid) and PHA (gluconolactone) for exfoliating. Niacinamide is also included, which is an ingredient used to strengthen and improve skin texture; alongside with a host of hydrating agents, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents.
I totally get the raves for Lotion P50 and I’m intending to keep it as a staple in my routine. The Pixi Glow Tonic is touted as an affordable and easier to find alternative. I’ve used both, and while I do have stock of Glow Tonic in my skincare cabinet, I’m happier with the results from the Biologique Recherche Lotion P50, that I feel is more visible on my skin.
Perhaps my skin is older so I take better to this as opposed to Glow Tonic? I’m not sure. They’re both good products, and I’m happy to use them both. But sometimes you have to choose, and as much as it pains me to say this, I choose the Lotion P50.
IN A NUTSHELL
The Biologique Recherche Lotion P50W is a slightly more gentle version of the Lotion P50, and recommended for those who are new to using the product. You can step up to Lotion P50 after that if you prefer, which I intend to. The watery liquid smells sharp and vinegary although I’m used to it. Pour some onto a cotton pad and wipe it over your skin. I find that it refreshes my skin, provides gentle exfoliation, isn’t drying and keeps my skin clog-free and spot-free. My skin also looks better and more refined with regular use. I’m keeping this as a staple!
PROS: Not drying, Gentle, Helps unclog pores and keep my skin clog-free and spot-free, Skin looks brighter and more refined, Transformative product for dull, tired, aging skin
CONS: Very hard to find or buy online, Scent isn’t very pleasant to everyone, May sting skin for some
WHO WILL LIKE THIS: Anyone who uses an exfoliating toner
PRICE: Approx €45+ for 150ml (I can’t remember the exact price I paid) | RM149 for 50ml and RM349 for 150ml
WHERE TO BUY: Ambassade Biologique Recherche at Starhill Gallery, salons and authorised distributors, The Spa at Mandarin Oriental Hotel Kuala Lumpur.
For those interested, here is the ingredient list for the Biologique Recherche Lotion P50W.
For those in Malaysia going “I wish we could buy it here!” Well, now you can! 😀
Biologique Recherche and Lotion P50 in Malaysia
2023 Update: Scrap all you’ll read below. Ambassade Biologique Recherche has opened at Starhill Gallery Kuala Lumpur and you can get all the skincare and skin treatments there!
When I was in the store in Paris chatting to the sales assistant (we spoke English – my French is merde 😛 ) the brand Export Manager happened to stop by the store, and we got to talking. Imagine my surprise when she told me that yes, they had just appointed a distributor in Malaysia, so I could still get my Biologique Recherche stuff when I got home! Hallelujah! 😀 😀
I was put in touch with the local distributor, who happens to be currently based in the state of Malacca. I was told they will be opening a salon in Kuala Lumpur soon, but as with everything, I’ll believe it when I see it. I’d be very excited if there was a proper salon of course, where I can go and explore the other products in the brand. I’d be wary about buying the products from anyone who isn’t the official distributor, as you just never know with these things, and how they react on your skin. I’d much rather have peace of mind, but you do what you’re happy with 🙂
I was also forewarned by Paris that in Malaysia (or possibly Asia), due to pharmaceutical requirements, they carry the Lotion P50T here.
Lotion P50T has a strength that’s in between P50W and P50 but otherwise performs the same function, so don’t think that you’re getting fakes 🙂
I haven’t bought from the local distributor yet, but I was told they can send it by courier. I’m waiting for it to be available in KL, so I can buy it personally, and I’m also waiting to see if a friend can help me get the Lotion P50 from overseas. I’m just a little over halfway through my Lotion P50W which has me worried, but it will last quite a while. It’s lasted me about 3 months thus far, so I’m not doing too badly! If anyone’s going to Paris though, please be my Lotion P50 mule?! Pretty please? 😛
2017 UPDATE: Biologique Recherche products are available at The Spa at Mandarin Oriental Hotel Kuala Lumpur. Lotion P50T is RM390 for 150ml and Lotion P50 PIGM 400 is RM430 for 150ml at time of writing.
Have you tried this highly raved Biologique Recherche Lotion P50? Have you heard of it before?
It’s kind of a big thing if you’re into using exfoliating toners and acids, and if you’re big on skincare in general. But please read this bit of warning about using acid toners and how they can affect your skin. I’m very happy I’ve finally tried it, and I’m even happier that it lives up to all its claims. As hard as it is to find, it is truly Holy Grail material, deserving of the pedestal it’s placed on. I’m also glad it’s not impossible to get locally! 🙂 Have you used it?