The brand I get the most e-mails about, by far, is Biologique Recherche; partly because, whilst they are one of the very best skincare ranges in the world (and my personal favourite), they’re not the easiest to get your head around, and that isn’t just because they’re French and so the product names are a little confusing, but also because the products are complex, complicated and you really do need to see a specialist before putting together your own routine. Nine times out of ten, the e-mails will reference (or specify) the cult product that is the Biologique Recherche Lotion P50, so here’s a closer look at the family of Lotion P50 products.
There are four products – that I know of – in the P50 family; three face lotions and one body lotion, and these are all chemical exfoliators. The P50 Body is quite unlike anything else, as it’s used in the same way that you’d use an exfoliating toner, just on the body – obviously you could use cotton wool, but as the body is such a vast area, it’s better to use a mitt to apply the lotion. The brand do their own mitt, but a tanning mitt does the job too. You work this all over your body – kind of like when you use a wipe to wash yourself, you don’t have to buff or do anything fancy – let the product dry which takes seconds, then crack on with your moisturiser or whatever you’d like to follow with. This is great for pre-tan or hair removal as it’s a very effective exfoliator that works particularly well on the dryer areas such as the elbows.
Now on to the P50 Lotions for the face, which are the ones I get asked about most of all. The main product everyone tends to turn to is the original P50, which would definitely do the trick for any skin type as it contains the Poly-Alpha-Beta-Hydroxy-Acid Complex that all the P50s do, alongside Lactic Acid, a host of vitamins and astringents that all work together to exfoliate, purify and balance without upsetting the PH of the skin. This will absolutely work and I have used it for years, but there are two other P50 Lotions that have slightly different formulations that might be better suited to your skin type, depending on what you need.
P50V is slightly more gentle and is aimed for more mature skin types that still need a good, glow-boosting exfolation, but would benefit from a softer touch. P50V contains plankton and yeast extracts alongside the AHA and BHA complex, so skin will still reap the rewards of a good exfoliating toner. The P50W is actually the P50 formula at its most gentle, and is an entry level product for anyone who would like to try the lotion, but wants to ease themselves in. The original P50 is strong and potent, so if that makes you nervous, start with the P50W. I have only recently moved to this – kicking and screaming, since I felt my tricky skin would benefit from the hardcore P50 – but I’m reluctant to admit that I was indeed advised correctly, and P50W is definitely better for my skin type. It also contains Arnica for healing, so it’s of particular benefit to those who have scarring, post-inflammatory pigmentation and all the other fun stuff that comes with acne.
The final bit of news to get excited about is the fact that Biologique Recherche are taking steps to make accessing their products a little easier. They are strict with regards to how we can buy their products as they don’t like the idea of them being misused – a toughy like the original P50 used incorrectly could definitely make skin worse, rather than better – which is why they ensure that consumers have some sort of consultation with a specialist first, but I believe that’s something you can now do on the phone, which the result being that you can then place your order and have it delivered, rather than have to hunt down a stockist (or e-mail me and ask me to send you it – I get that a lot, but I can’t do it as I’d get in to trouble, sorry!!) which is fantastic news all round, as this is a brand that deserves to be in every skincare kit, so hopefully now access is being improved, it’ll happen! Biologique Recherche isn’t cheap, nor should it be, and I think the P50 Lotions are around the £50 mark, which should last you a couple of months; I tended to use the original P50 4-5 times a week and I use the P50W every day other than on days I’m doing an acid mask. Check out the P50 Lotions on the massively improved site here – link.