'This funky-smelling lotion is 100 per cent my desert island product. Here's why.'

Compared to other historically alluring French brands – Chanel, Dior, Clarins – Biologique Recherche really stands on its own. It feels almost like the best-kept secret that you really wish people had told you about earlier.

Typically, you can only get Biologique Recherche from an enviable list of spas - the brand doesn't really engage in advertising in a traditional sense and the packaging screams 1990s. But one product has gone beyond cult status into a league of its own: Lotion P50.

Watch: Want glowing skin? Of course you do! Check out these three simple steps for achieving a dewy base. Post continues below. 

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What's so good about Biologique Recherche?

But first, for the uninitiated, let me tell you all about Biologique Recherche. It was founded more than 40 years ago in a Parisian research lab by the Allouche Family. Yvan (a biologist), Josette (a physiotherapist) and Phillipe (a clinical doctor) decided to combine their knowledge. 

They believe in high concentrations of vitamins, minerals, botanicals, marine and biological extracts, they use no artificial fragrance, and all their formulas are produced cold to preserve their integrity.


Listen: Want more cult beauty brand goodness? Check out this episode of You Beauty, where we talk about the story behind Ultra Violette's popular SPF products.

Team all of that with products that are only sold through spas to ensure that you receive a personalised prescription for your skincare, and you are left with a brand that sparks its fair share of intrigue. 

What is Lotion P50?

That brings us to Lotion P50, a product that has attained cult status in part from its exclusivity, the often remarked about scent, and the fact that every celebrity whose visage I admire swears by it. 

But what is it and what does it do? 

Lotion P50 is not a lotion in the traditional, moisturiser sense. Instead, it is a purifying, hydrating, pH-balancing, exfoliating toner that promises to improve skin quality and fortify the epidermis. 

It also happens to smell exactly like vinegar, and well… that makes sense as it does contain vinegar. In a world dominated by fragrances made to mask the true scents of our products, Lotion P50 proudly stands alone. 

It also comes in multiple versions: P50 is the strongest and is ideal for purists who enjoy a true tingle in their skincare. P50V is a vitamin-enriched formula, ideal for more mature skin. 

P50W is the gentlest, and is excellent for sensitive skin types, and P50 PIGM400 includes pigmentation inhibitors to really even out skin tone. 


How do you use it?

The brand recommends using your P50 morning and evening, but I personally opt for four nights a week on days that I'm not using retinol. It also has a very specific application method, and is the only product that I truly believe must be applied using cotton or gauze and pressed into the skin rather than rubbed. 

You should also never double pass with it and only press it into each area of your face once. While this may sound complex for a toner the effort is worth it because the results are otherworldly.

Image: Supplied 


I personally alternate nights with the strongest P50 and P50 PIGM400 to help tackle old acne scarring and pigmentation. With consistent use, my skin feels stronger, I get a glass-like reflection, breakouts are non-existent, and pigmentation disappears. 

Why is it so good?

My pores stay small, clean and refined, and the rest of my routine is truly boosted. While the tingle and slight flushing was intense at first, I've come to crave that sensation and look forward to it, as I know it means it's working.

Lotion P50 is always the first thing I prioritise when I get off a plane, if I'm going through a particularly stressful time at work, or when I want to whip my skin quickly back into shape. 

I feel like it's cliché to call a product 'magic', but I'm truly at a loss for anything else to say. There is just something about the formula that offers a benefit no other exfoliant ever has; it is a true facial in a bottle. 


There are some products that you just need to experience to truly understand, and Lotion P50 is one of those. I wholeheartedly recommend finding the P50 that is designed for you.

The unique scent, the multiple strengths (both of which align exactly with the prescription ethos of the brand) and the amazing results make this a product that I will be bringing to my grave. 

Or, if I'm being less dramatic, a deserted island.

For more from Iain, follow him on Instagram.

Feature image: Supplied.

Have you tried Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 before? What is your 'desert island' product? Share with us in the comment section below.