It Really Works: Biologique Recherche P50

  • Written By:Alexandra Perron
  • Photography:Ben Ritter
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I easily read a dozen of reviews of Biologique Recherche P50 before I ever tried it. I was wary of adding yet another step to my skincare routine, but when Bobbi came back from Paris raving about her experience with the product, I knew the time had come. I went to Rescue Spa in New York City, a spot known for amazing facials and their Biologique Recherche knowledge, to pick up a bottle of the Lotion P50 1970 (the original formula) and learn more from lead esthetician Diana Yerkes about the brand.

Developed in the late 1970s by Dr. Yvan Allouche for his wife, P50 1970 is a unique combination of AHAs and BHAs plus phenol. (It’s important to that phenol is an ingredient that has been banned in the EU and in Canada. It is available without phenol as Lotion P50. If you are pregnant, you should consult your doctor before using the product.) Despite the controversy around phenol in skincare, Yerkes finds it effective. “Phenol is one of my favorite ingredients when it comes to skincare,” she says. “Everyone needs the balance and P50 1970 brings the balance, especially to that crazy New York life.”

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This balancing toner has long been considered a miracle product because it works to resolve just about every skincare issue. Enlarged pores, breakouts and congestion? Salicylic acid will take care of that. Fine lines? The toner’s lactic acid will plump your skin. “P50 1970 is a detox for anyone and everyone. I’ve been using the formula for six years,” says Yerkes. Her skin looks incredible, by the way.

Yerkes recommends using it morning and night for the best results, but you can work your way up to that frequency. Using a cotton round, apply with upward motions, pushing and pressing the formula into the skin. A tingling sensation is common with the first few applications, but goes away as your skin adjusts and becomes more balanced. And don’t be alarmed if glowing skin doesn’t happen overnight. “Everyone has to go through the purge,” says Yerkes. “Other products push impurities deeper into the skin. P50 is the first product that takes impurities out to the surface of the skin. You can get a breakout or two, but then you get glorious skin forever.”

It is also worth mentioning the product’s smell. It isn’t...great. It’s medicinal with a hint of vinegar. You get used to it, although your partner may not. My fiancé asked me when I would be “done using that stuff” and I simply told him “never.” Believe me when I say it’s worth it. I’ve been using my P50 1970 for the last two months and I have brighter skin (dare I say, a glow?), less breakouts, and I feel like I finally have a weapon to fight the grime of New York City. The P50 hype is real.

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