WHY BIOLOGIQUE RECHERCHE’S P50 IS A SKINCARE CULT?
The bottle of lotion from France everyone’s obsessed with
By Sara Yeoh
If you’ve ever heard of the skincare product that burns and smells like vinegar – and would still like to get your hands on it – congrats, you’re in the inner circle of the beauty world. In the west, the P50 lotion is that on the top shelves of every beauty editor, major A-list Hollywood stars (we’re talking Sharon Stone-major) and supermodels. Add the raving reviews into the equation, where users have claimed that it made their skin ‘feel like silk’ and even went so far to say it’s ‘Jesus in a bottle’, the 150ml bottle of lotion has reached cult status.
To add exclusivity to the little bottle of French beauty liquid, you can’t just get the P50 off the shelves of Sephora or any stores – you will need a prescription for it by a trained aesthetician at licensed retailers only. Just not long ago, you’d have to fly to Paris just for a Biologique Recherche facial (allegedly oh, so loved by Brad Pitt and Madonna). Lucky for us, we can now book a consultation and get the bottle of miracle right in the heart of Bangsar at Boren Medical Hub if we want to.
ORIGINS OF THE P50
The mysterious French brand was a family business founded by Yvan, Josette and Philippe Allouche, who were a biologist, physiotherapist and doctor respectively. It started as a skincare research and development laboratory to develop formulations for professionals dissatisfied with existing products, before turning to making its own products. And one of Biologique Recherche’s first-ever products was the cult P50 1970.
When the product was launched in 1970, the original formula even caused controversies for the use of phenol (a substance found in mouthwash and now-banned in Europe) as one of the main ingredients. Yet, purists would not bat an eye to put the P50 1970 on their face. But for the rest of us, there is a P50 (sans 1970) that leaves out the phenol.
Despite being labelled as a lotion, the P50 does much more than that – it gently exfoliates, balances the skin’s PH levels, regulates the sebum, hydrates, and protects against free radicals. And for this one lotion alone, there are a few formulas, so that it’ll cater to absolutely any skin type. In Malaysia, you can find the P50T – one of the gentlest formulas of the bunch – that is recommended for fine, sensitive Asian skin. And there’s the P50 PIGM 400 made for dull complexions with hyperpigmentation – perfect for people in the city dealing with sun, stress and polluted air.
HAUTE COUTURE SKINCARE
Frills and glamour (and price tag) aside, do we really need personalised skincare?
“No one’s skin is made the same. Hence, you can’t expect one commercial formula to work for everyone,” says Dr. Boren Tan of Boren Medical Hub. “We have different skin conditions not just at different stages of our lives, but even at different times of day, largely affected by our living conditions, diet, lifestyle and exposure. So, a personalised skincare routine makes sure the skin gets maximum effects of whatever goes into it.” And the doctor’s prescription to this? A personalised analysis of your skin’s condition using Biologique Recherche’s state-of-the-art Skin Instant technology, followed by its recommendations of Biologique Recherche products and treatments tailored to you.
The full range of Biologique Recherche products and facial treatments are currently available exclusively at Boren Medical Hub in Malaysia.