Hello and welcome to the blog post with the longest title in the history of blog posts. When the Four Seasons Orlando recently invited me to get a facial to check out their new line, the much-coveted brand Biologique Recherche, I had to do it. Because Lotion P50 is one of those products with a cult following, I had to know, is it worth the hype? And what’s up with this super secret brand anyway?
The thing with Biologique Recherche as a brand is that it’s hard to get your hands on. Yes, you can order online through certain spas, but many will want you to run through a diagnostic first–either by phone or online–before you order. And I know that every time I even wanted to check just the price on the Lotion P50, I always stopped short because of that process.
Here’s what you need to know about the brand. Biologique Recherche was designed, their reps told me, by a man whose wife wanted clinical-level skincare that worked, with no extra fluff or fillers. What came out was a line formulated with cold-processed, potent botanical and chemical ingredients that is formulated to be effective but also gentle.
Step One: The Skin Consultation
My BR rep ran my skin through a whole diagnostic to determine my skin’s elasticity, moisture levels, sebum production, skin density, lipidic sheild (essentially the strength of the lipid barrier that naturally protects your skin), my pigmentation levels and more.
While this part of the process won’t be part of the facials at the Four Seasons Orlando going forward, all of their technicians will be trained to assess your skin on the spot before treating you, coming up with your own customized treatments for your facial.
So what kind of shape was my skin in?
As it turns out, even living in this Florida humidity year-round, my skin is slightly dehydrated. My lipidic shield is normal. My elasticity needs a bit of work (this is what happens when you’re a stomach sleeper and pass out nightly with your face literally plastered onto your pillow. *shrug*). But my pigmentation, thankfully and shockingly, was low (this means spots of discoloration or sun damage on your skin). And finally, my sebum production in my T-zone is high, while it’s normal on my cheeks.
The Facial: Get Ready for Relaxation *and* Results
My facial began with a lymphatic-draining massage with their Lait 50 cleansing oil. Guys, let me tell you… If this would have constituted the entirety of the facial, I would have been just as happy. I’m a sucker for a good facial massage and this part is insane… just stupid relaxing.
My esthetician misted my skin with a toner next, and then it was on to the treatments.
Here’s What’s Unique about Biologique Recherche Facials…
There are no extractions. There’s no steam. And there’s no heat. My esthetician said this is on purpose. Because BR believes that their products, over time, will accomplish the results of unclogging and de-gunking your pores. So there’s no reason to forcibly remove that junk.
I was honestly a little hesitant initially upon hearing this. I’ve always thought that a good facial hinges on extractions. So if you’re not taking out what’s on my skin, what’s the point in getting a facial?
Well, that was before I tried the Biologique Recherge Products.
Deep Cleansing the Pores with Masque Vivant
Okay, so this is why those extractions weren’t necessary. When my tech put this mask on my face, the first thing I noticed–even before the tingling–was the smell. I told her immediately, it smells like food.
As it turns out, one of the active ingredients in the mask is yeast. So there ya go. Baking bread right there on my face.
Also in this formula: Kaolin, a clay that draws out impurities from the skin; cucumber extract for its soothing properties; vinegar; lactic acid; witch hazel and more. I’m actually going to list the full ingredients here from the Mask Vivant, so you can see how many active ingredients are in here.
Biologique Recherche Masque Vivant Full Ingredients:
Yeast extract, water, propylene glycol, bentonite, kaolin, alcohol defat., cucumber fruit extract, glycerin, vinegar, lactic acid, hamamelis Virginia bark/leaf/twig extract, hypericum perforated flower/leaf/stem extract, acacia Senegal gum, xanthin gum.
I felt an immediate, but slight, tingling. Not painful in any way, and certainly not as strong as other masques I’ve had applied in other facials where you feel like your skin is burning off.
The best way I can describe it is a cleansing feeling. When she removed the masque by toweling it off, my skin was red before she misted it again with the toner. And the next steps really calmed things down too…
Biologique Recherche Cult Classic: The P50 Lotion
This was the part I was the most excited about, because being the total beauty junkie I am, I’ve read so much about this that I had to see if it performed as well as everyone says it does.
My technician applied the P50 W (which is the weaker version of P50.. more on this in a second) with gauze pads in a dabbing motion.
This is the important part about applying P50: Dab, don’t swipe!
My esthetician said this is key, especially for newbies to P50. She said swiping it on can be too irritating for your skin, so just put the product onto some gauze or a cotton pad and dab it onto your face. I stay away from my eye area as well, because I’m trying to keep as much moisture in that area as possible (hello, crows feet).
What’s in Lotion P50 anyway?
So here’s what you need to know about this classic product: It comes in three formulations. The first is P50 W, which is the weakest formulation for sensitive skin, or skin getting used to the line. The second is the regular P50. And the third is P50 1970, which means the version they made first back in 1970, and this formula contains the sometimes-controversial ingredient phenol. While some people say this ingredient can irritate the skin, other women (including friends of mine) swear by this strong version, saying it really does the trick.
Here’s What I keep hearing about Biologique Recherche Lotion P50, no matter which formulation people use…
Every person who reached out to me after I posted about my facial on IG said that this is the one product that gave them results they’ve never been able to replicate with any other product, ever.
That’s some strong praise. A few days into using my P50 W, I’m already seeing drastic and positive changes. My always-clogged cheeks are clearing out, and my skin is feeling much clearer overall.
But please please remember this when your’e using P50: Don’t overdo it! Just a few drops onto a cotton pad, dabbed onto the problem areas of your skin, will give you AMAZING results. There is NO need to overdo it with this one. It’s strong and potent, so be careful!
Full Ingredient List of Biologique Recherche P50 W:
Water, gluconolacctone, niacinamide, glycerin, propylene glycol, lactic acid, ethoxydiglycol, magnesium chloride, magic acid, vinegar, physic acid, citric acid, sodium benzoate, sodium salicylate, tea-lactate, sorbitol, sodium lactate, arctium kappa root extract, cochlearia armoracia, allantoin, serine, urea, arnica Montana flower extract, capsicum frutescens fruit extract, sulfur
After letting the P50 dry, my esthetician applied a mixture of three Biologique Recherche serums to my skin: Serum Extrait Tissuaire, Serum Dermopore, and Serum Placenta.
Are you ready for some next-level grody? The placenta serum is made from PIG PLACENTA. Didn’t bother me too much but vegans… ya might wanna know about this just in case.
My esthetician says the BR serums are designed to be mixed, and they did immediately soothe my skin in that combination. But do I think you need to buy or use three serums to get that good of a result? No. Ask your esthetician which one is best for your skin and start there.
The Final Results
Overall I can say I am insanely happy with the results from this facial, and from the products I bought to bring home with me to continue using.
I bought the P50 W, the Masque Vivant, and the Emulsion Originelle Regenerante–a repairing and hydrating light face lotion.
My Final Verdict: completely and totally worth it!
I mean this for both the facial and the products. I’m not one who’s easily sold, given how many products I’ve tried, but already I’m seeing such amazing results from this line. So I’d highly recommend it to anyone who’s interested to try it! And if you’re in Orlando, you need to stop by the Four Seasons to check out this service at their amazing spa.
Thank you to the Four Seasons Orlando for the complimentary facial so that I could report back to you all on the brand and experience! All products purchased by me, and as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.