How to find the right Biologique Recherche Lotion P50

Celebrity skin expert Melanie Grant shares her expertise on Biologique Recherche’s most iconic line, the Lotion P50. 

If you know anything about the cult that is Biologique Recherche, or if you’ve used their hero line of P50 Lotions, you’ll know the obsession is real. Skincare-junkies worldwide are fanatical about the exfoliating toner, some even going as far to label it ‘Jesus in a bottle’.

It smells awful – some say sour breast milk, others say bin juice, but top notes aside, it’s beloved because it works. Not only are results almost immediate, but they’re long-lasting, too. Instead of other chemical exfoliants on the market, this potion not only works to resurface skin, but helps to neutralise the pH level and protect it from environmental damage and dehydration.

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There are four to choose from in Australia but more on the market around the world, which makes it kind of confusing. It’s also daunting if your skin is sensitive or you’re new to this kind of skin treatment – that’s why I’ve enlisted Biologique Recherche expert and one of Australia’s most sought after facialists, Melanie Grant.

Which Lotion P50 is for me?

“Lotion P50 has been a mainstay in my nightly routine every day for years now – it’s so much more than an exfoliant,” says Grant. “These complex formulas work to balance the skin’s pH, hydrate, regulate oil production, boost cellular metabolism, lighten, brighten and fortify barrier function and the best part is that every iteration is cold formulated and fermented for optimal biocompatibility.”

Grant says it’s important to remember a little in small increments is often most effective and to bear this is mind when choosing which lotion is right for you. Here, she shares her intel to finding your best formulation…

Lotion P50

The lowest pH of all the formulas and the highest rate of exfoliation. Contains the highest amount of BHA so it’s more suitable to keratinised, thicker and oilier skins.

Lotion P50, $96, at Skincare Edit

Lotion P50 1970

The very first formula created by founder Yvan Allouche in 1970. It’s similar in formula to Lotion P50, though also contains Phenol which is only permitted in the USA and Russia these days.

Lotion P50V

This formula is enriched with vitamins, so it’s a quite stimulating and energising. It also contains walnut extract to boost collagen, sponge extract to plump surface lines and Gluconolatone for deeper moisture. It’s the second strongest exfoliation to Lotion P50.

Lotion P50V, $96, at Skincare Edit

Lotion P50V 1970

Once again, this formula is similar to the Lotion P50V, though also contains Phenol so is not available in Australia.

Lotion P50W

This formula is ideal for more sensitised or finer skins. It has a slightly higher pH makes it more gentle for a daily exfoliation, with a higher lactic acid in particular. This formula contains Arnica, which is soothing for redness and reactivity.

Lotion P50W, $96, at Skincare Edit

Lotion P50 PIGM 400

A slightly higher pH than Lotion P50W, making this formula a great option for those concerned with redness and rosacea as well as pigment. It contains wasabi extract to work as mild tyrosinase inhibitor for those concerned with sun-induced or hormonal pigment.

Lotion P50 PIGM 400, $130, at Skincare Edit

Lotion P50T

Lotion P50T was created to answer FDA equivalent regulations in Asia, where cosmetic products with a low PH are not allowed. The pH of Lotion P50T is slightly higher than that of Lotion P50 PIGM 400. It also contains the same acid make up at Lotion P50 PIGM 400.

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