Today is probably the most important day of 2016’s cult luxury beauty calendar, if such a thing existed outside my personal box of fantasies. Brace yourself: Revered French skincare brand Biologique Recherche just introduced new products, including ~body~ treatments and — if you’re an asthmatic beauty geek this is the part where I would recommend grabbing your inhaler — a NEW version of the Lotion P50.
I spoke with Dr. Philippe Allouche, the owner of Biologique Recherche, at a PR event this morning to get all the details. Allouche has a thick French accent and says stuff like, “Respect your sebum secretion!” which I feel is important for you to know so as to properly envision his demeanor.
When I asked him to tell me all about the new P50, he explained, “It’s focused on pigmentation. After three months of treatment it can decrease pigmented spots by about 22%, which is a lot. You can have similar results with laser, but laser is extremely aggressive, and Biologique Recherche offers an alternative.”
Dubbed the Lotion P50 PGM 400, the new “lotion” is boosted with brightening and antioxidant active ingredients like wasabi extract (!!!), which helps protect skin against damage and evens the complexion.
I asked Allouche if the new P50 was only for people who have visible pigmented spots. He told me that “everybody has pigmentation. Because of the ozone and the problem of the skin becoming more and more weak.” He recommends rotating the new P50 with one of the older versions of the P50 every six months. “Always, for any skincare product, I suggest to change the skincare regimen every six months,” he said. “Not to sell product but because your cells, when they are stimulated in the same way, after a certain period of time, they don’t respond to the stimulation.”
“Like your muscles during a workout?” I asked.
“Exactly,” he said.
When I inquired what Biologique regimen someone like me should implement (a.k.a. mid-twenties, not a lot of wrinkles, combination skin), he said, “I think for your age because you don’t have wrinkles and you’re young, I don’t recommend the P50 1970 formula. I recommend the new P50 PGM 400 version, which is milder. And you don’t really need to exfoliate. Your skin is thin. You need lipids. You need more moisture. Definitely more moisture.”
Roger that, Allouche. I can’t wait to try it.
If you’re reading this and wondering why a weird lady on the internet (hi!) is freaking out about a French skincare label that requires your tongue to do a somersault just to pronounce it (and a new product that sounds less like an exfoliating toner and more like a classified science experiment), let me give you the quick and dirty cult indoctrination. Biologique Recherche is an OG French skincare line beloved for its extraordinarily effective, no-fuss products — first and foremost being the Lotion P50, a toner designed to strengthen the epidermal shield, exfoliate, regulate excessive sebum, hydrate skin and balance pH.
I know the term “cult favorite” is thrown around even more generously in the beauty world than “It bag” is in the fashion industry, but I can’t think of a product more deserving of that moniker than the Lotion P50. It smells terrible — like paint fumes, it burns upon application and you have to jump through a few hoops to buy it in the United States…BUT…it has an insanely devoted following, including Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. Is there anything more cultish than that?
As a personal user of the P50 for the past two years or so, I can say that it has absolutely changed my skin for the better. To be honest, I’ve actually started to enjoy the P50’s paint fume vibe. It’s like doing a burpee during an exercise class. It might burn a little, but the results are worth it. I took home a sample of the new Lotion P50 PGM 400, and I’m counting down the minutes until tonight when I can treat my lipid-hungry pores to a brand new fitness regime–one burpee and two cotton swabs at a time.
Collage by Maria Jia Ling Pitt.