Join the Cult: Biologique Recherche Lotion P50

Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 YouGlowGal You Glow Gal Esthetician Sarah Payne Hiatus Spa Dallas Skincare Beauty Blogger

Cult toner Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 lives up to the hype. There are few products I repurchase year after year, holy grail items if you will. Lotion P50 will remain a staple in my regimen from now forward. I picked up a bottle when I visited Joanna Czech and there’s no going back! Do your skin a favor, join the cult and get down with the tingle.

Biologique Recherche is a high-end, spa-exclusive skin care line that’s near impossible to get your hands on, and when you find it locally you feel as though you’ve stumbled across the greatest secret of all time. Lotion P50 is the brand’s most coveted product, for good reason.



In the simplest terms, Lotion P50 is a gentle exfoliating acid toner. Made with the highest quality active ingredients, Lotion P50 penetrates deeply to rock your skin’s world. It’s common for your skin to feel a tingling sensation, due to the acidity of the toner. When the epidermis is unbalanced the tingling sensation occurs, once your skin becomes balanced this sensation dissipates entirely.

So, why would you want that? When your skin’s pH is balanced, it’s healthy and performing optimally. This toner is specifically designed to strengthen the epidermal barrier, speed up the epidermis natural exfoliating process, regulate excessive sebum production, hydrate, and maintain your skin’s acid pH. In this state the epidermis can fully perform its protective functions, allowing it to regenerate properly, and maximize product penetration.



Lotion P50 is meant to be used twice daily, every day. If you feel the formula is too aggressive try applying once a day, or wetting your cotton pad before application. Now, this elixir isn’t cheap, you don’t want to use just any cotton pad. You need to buy wipes that will maximize application, not absorb all your precious P50! And don’t you dare use bare hands with this, so wasteful! Part of the process of removing all that gunk off your skin is wiping it away. The brown residue you see on the cotton is dead skin cells. I highly suggest purchasing Intrinsics Silken Wipes, I use these professionally and they’re the best. Cut them in half and they’ll go even further. Once you have your wipe ready apply from your forehead down to your décolleté, boobs count! Lotion P50 works nicely as an exfoliating treatment for lips, too.

If you’re using an electronic facial brush, retinol, or other exfoliants be wary of how often you use them. You may need to skip Lotion P50 on days you use these. Sometimes I’ll use a second acid-free toner or an essence after to rehydrate my skin.



You will purge. The purge is real. You think you take great care of your skin, deep-pore cleansing on the reg. Lotion P50 will make you question your existence. I’m being dramatic, but I purged more than I anticipated because I mask all.the.time. For me, it lasted about a week, but it can take up to two. Using Biologique Recherche’s VIP02 and Masque Vivant every night during the purge saved my skin.  If you find you’re purging for longer than two weeks the Lotion P50 formula you chose may be too strong and causing inflammation and/or breaking down your skin’s barrier. If so, cut back on your usage or soak your cotton pad in water first. Also, check the ingredients in your other products, be sure you aren’t overusing exfoliants. If you continue to have issues consult the professional you purchased your toner from.

The final results? Glowing skin. I’ve received more compliments than usual in the last month of using Lotion P50. My skin is less oily, it’s soft as hell, I break out less often, blackheads minimized, retaining hydration has improved… all those claims became reality. After applying twice a day for a month my décolleté is glowing. I’ve never been consistent in treating it and I’m impressed by how healthy the skin appears.



As I mentioned before there are 6 variations of Lotion P50. Understand this: there is no “best formula”. It comes down to your skin type on which formula is best. Think of your Lotion P50 experience being a personal one. You’ll receive the same amazing benefits regardless of what formula you choose if you choose the one best suited for your skin! That said, I highly suggest receiving a consultation before purchasing a bottle—don’t go at this alone!

Last week I stopped by Joanna Czech to buy a few mini’s to try… for research, you know. I had the opportunity to ask her a few questions on the idea of progressing and moving up to a stronger formula. Joanna suggests sticking with your prescribed formula for at least two 5.1 oz bottles before considering moving up. Stronger isn’t always better; P50 is meant for normal and thicker skin, while P50V is for thin and sensitive, and P50W for very sensitive and reactive. If you’re prescribed P50V or P50W and use retinol or other exfoliants regularly, it’s best to stick with these instead of switching to P50. Another consideration is sun exposure. If you aren’t good at hiding from the sun, only switch to P50 in the winter time when sun exposure is limited. Otherwise, you’re doing more harm than good.



Lotion P50 1970is the original formula, for all skin types except sensitive. Particularly great for normal to oily and/or thicker skin.
Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Phenol, Niacinamide, Vinegar (Acetum),  Ethoxydiglycol, Magnesium Chloride, Lactic Acid, Arctium Lappa Root (Burdock Root) Extract, Salicylic Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Sulfur

Lotion P50 is for all skin types except sensitive. Particularly great for normal to oily and/or thicker skin. NO phenol.
Water (Aqua), Gluconolactone, Lactic Acid, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Niacinamide, Citric Acid, Ethoxydiglycol, Magnesium Chloride, Malic Acid, Vinegar (Acetum), Phytic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Cochlearia Armoracia (Horseradish) Root Extract, Arctium Lappa Root (Burdock Root) Extract, Rumex Acetosa Leaf Extract, Myrtus Communis Extract, Commiphora Myrrha Resin Extract, Allium Cepa (Onion) Bulb Extract, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Flower/Leaf Oil, Sulfur, Sorbitol, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate

Lotion P50 V 1970 is for normal to dry, sensitive, and/or thin skin.
Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Phenol, Lactic Acid, Magnesium Chloride, Vinegar (Acetum), Niacinamide, Salicylic Acid, Sodium Benzoate

Lotion P50 V is for normal to dry, sensitive, and/or thin skin. NO phenol.
Water (Aqua), Gluconolactone, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Niacinamide, Lactic Acid,  Ethoxydiglycol, Vinegar (Acetum), Magnesium Chloride, Citric Acid, Malic Acid, Phytic Acid, Spongilla Lacustris Spicule Extract, Yeast Extract (Faex Extract), Cochlearia Armoracia (Horseradish) Root Extract, Capsicum Frutescens Fruit Extract, Juglans Regia (Walnut) Seed Extract, Arctium Lappa Root Extract, Sulfur, Sodium Salicylate, Salicylic Acid, Sorbitol, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Metabisulfite, Sodium Benzoate

Lotion P50 W 1970 is for mature, drier skin types, extremely sensitive/reactive skin, and/or rosacea.
Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Niacinamide, Vinegar (Acetum), Lactic Acid,  Ethoxydiglycol,  Magnesium Chloride, Phenol, Quillaja Saponaria Bark Extract, Saponaria Bark Extract, Spongilla Lacustris Spicule Extract, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Juglans Regia (Walnut) Seed Extract, Arctium Lappa Root Extract, Sodium Benzoate, Salicylic Acid, Sulfur, Propylene Gylcol, Sodium Metabisulfite, Phenoxyethanol

Lotion P50 W is for mature, drier skin types, extremely sensitive/reactive skin, and/or rosacea. NO Phenol.
Water (Aqua), Gluconolactone, Glycerin, Niacinamide, Propylene Glycol, Lactic Acid, Ethoxydiglycol, Magnesium Chloride, Malic Acid, Vinegar (Acetum), Phytic Acid, Citric Acid, Quillaja Saponaria Bark Extract, Cochlearia Armoracia (Horseradish) Root Extract, Arctium Lappa Root Extract, Capsicum Frutescens Fruit Extract, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Sulfur, Allantoin, Sodium Salicylate, Serine, Urea, Sorbitol, TEA-Lactate, Sodium Lactate, Sodium Benzoate

Lotion P50 PIGM 400 is designed to minimize the appearance of pigment while preventing future sun damage from occurring.
Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Niacinamide, Sodium Gluconate, Lactic Acid, Sodium Lactate, Lactobacillus/Wasabia Japonica Root Ferment Extract, Magnesium Chloride, Mandelic Acid, Phytic Acid, Citric Acid, Gluconolactone, Magnesium Sulfate, Propylene Glycol, Palmaria Palmata Extract, Levulinic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Sodium Salicylate, Spiraea Ulmaria Extract, Vinegar (Acetum), Sodium Levulinate, Phenoxyethanol, Alcohol Denat., Microcitrus Australasica Fruit Extract, Prunus Persica (Peach) Leaf Extract, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Ascorbic Acid, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract.



Phenol is any of the Lotion P50 formulas with 1970 in its name.  Phenol gives a numbing sensation to the skin. Outlawed in the EU, these versions are only available for sale in the USA, giving us 6 versions to choose from. Phenol’s purpose is to act as an antiseptic, and in the past was used to numb the skin in professional treatments. The scent is medicinal and acquired, but after a few nights you become use to it. I’m not one to be sensitive to aromas in skin care—if it works I want it on my face. Formulas without Phenol lack the numbing.

Unfortunately, the total acid percentage is proprietary information. Formulas vary, but in almost all you’ll find:

Lactic Acid is a gentle AHA exfoliant stimulating cell turnover, strengthens skin’s barrier, and skin brightener

Salicylic Acid is a deeply exfoliating BHA improving cell turnover, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and helps controls acne

Niacinamide brightens skin, lightens pigmentation, and reduces redness

Sulfur is antibacterial and exfoliating, helps control acne



Now that you want in on this goodness… where can you to buy it?! You can contact Biologique Recherche directly for a list of spas near you, or you could purchase through Rescue Spa. They provide consultation via email and/or phone prior to purchasing.

Available Sizes: 1.07 oz / $27  |  5.1 oz / $62  |  8.5 oz / $95

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About Sarah Nicole

Sarah is a Denver based expert esthetician, known for returning abused sensitive skin back to a glowing state without harsh products while boosting her client's skin confidence and self-worth. Sarah has been featured in Allure, New Beauty, Greatist, NBC News, and D Magazine among others. You can follow her on Instagram @sarahnpayne.

18 thoughts on “Join the Cult: Biologique Recherche Lotion P50

  1. Hi There,

    Just stumbled upon this post about lotion p50. A little over a month ago I splurged on this item due to the cult-like following + amazing reviews! I recently tamed & healed my cystic acne (chin area) with a combo of BHA/AHA, retinol + hyaluronic acid. I thought my skin was a seasoned acid exfoliant user and would have no problem using lotion p50. I was prepared for somewhat of a purge, but my skin freaked out and has been for over a month now with cystic + small pimples. I have stopped the toner and went back to my original routine and my skin is starting to clear up. Im so upset because I know this product can do wonders on your skin. Any advise? Should I give my skin a few months + try to incorporate it back in, diluted with water?

    1. Lotion P50 is pretty potent on its own, so it’s possible using a more gentle version like P50W is best for your skin. Also consider going off your current regimen for a week or two before incorporating Lotion P50 again, and when you do reintroduce the acid toner, build up tolerance by using it a few days a week. You would think your skin would be able to tolerate it given your longstanding skincare routine, but sometimes our skin has a mind of its own. Purging is always possible with P50 but it could have caused inflammation, causing more breakouts, depending your skin and how it was being used. This article might be helpful too. Hope this helped a bit! xx

  2. Hi! So is the Lotion P50 W the only one formulated without Phenol and Salicylic Acid? I already use P50 W but just found out I’m pregnant so I’m checking all of my products/ingredients. Can’t seem to get a straight answer on p50 W. Thank you for any advice!

  3. I’d love your thoughts on how to order my products! I just started using p50 1970. At night, I cleanse and then apply a retinol, followed by Tula’s skin rescue treatment and then Tula’s kefir moisture repair pressed serum (these two are probably redundant?). In the morning, I cleanse, apply p50 1970 and then apply Image Skincare Vital C Hydrating Repair Creme. I also apply sunscreen and an additional moisturizer if I feel like I need it. Using the retinol at night and the chemical exfoliator in the morning hasn’t bothered my skin, but I’m also not sure if I’m applying all these products in an order that will optimize their effectiveness–I’d love to hear a professional’s thoughts! Thanks so much!

    1. Hey Jen! Sounds like you’re doing everything right, make sure you’re using your serum before your moisturizer though. Think of your moisturizer like a cap that seals your layers. Keep an eye on your skin for any signs of over-exfoliating/over-processing. Depending on your skin using 1970 and retinol every day could be completely fine, or it could become too much as you progress with your new regimen. I have a list of signs to look out for here.

  4. thank you for this detailed post!! I read about people putting this in a spray bottle and applying with fingers, but it makes more sense now using the cotton pad. I did notice brown residue when I wiped and didn’t realize it was from dead skin (I thought it was leftover make up). Will def purchase the pads you recommended! I also did notice I felt more tingle/absorption when I applied with a pad vs. fingers. And I also skip on using this on days I’m using a retinol as well so glad we had the same thought process on that! My cheeks get very red from using it though–is it a sign it’s too strong? I’m using P50 and just bought it last week so not sure when this redness will subside.

    I have been dabbing a tiny bit on my undereye area (as another blogger said it was fine to) but i think i’ll stop doing that!

    1. Pink cheeks could be a concern and a sign of either your version of P50 being too strong for your skin type or the combination of frequency with retinol may be too much. If anything feels off–hot, uncomfortable, stinging, burning–cut back asap. P50 is potent stuff! I’ve actually switched to P50W at this point, it allows me to use my retinol and toner more frequently. <3

      1. Thanks! No it doesn’t hurt or anything. Just the mild tingle. I just get more flushed than usual but my cheeks have always been that way (a lot of capillaries on my cheeks). I’ll apply less to that area.

  5. Such a helpful post! I recently bought one (regular strength with no phenol) and have been purging like crazy. I’ve thought of giving up but this post made me want to go through with it despite my skin’s current state. Question though: How was your purging like? I’ve read various accounts – some experience an onslaught of cystic acne while others get reddish bumps. Personally for me now I have tons (HUNDREDS, probably) of little milia bumps on my forehead.

    1. My purging consisted of small bumps that went away in a few days. Cystic acne is a sign of too much inflammation in the skin and product being too strong. Milia isn’t a typical purge response though. I would reach out to the store you purchased from, since they’re trained on P50, and have them advise whether or not the formula is too much for your skin.

  6. I just got the P50W- have only used it once and already see a difference!
    Question: do you pat as they instruct or wipe with those 4×4 pads you mentioned?

  7. Great read! I’ve been using the P50 for almost 2 months and am kicking myself for not trying it sooner! I was prescribed the P50 1970- I have dry skin but they still said to stay just with that one. Of course I ordered the wrong one – it doesn’t contain the phenol. Is it worth trying the phenol formula in your opinion? Thanks- I love your blog!

    1. Phenol vs non-phenol is all about personal preference, one isn’t better than the other. I like the phenol version best, personally. Purchase a mini and compare the two side by side!

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