Introducing the miracle that transformed my skin texture, Biologique Recherche's Lotion P50T
I’m a skeptic by nature, so when a beauty product is on the receiving end of high praise and close to no bad reviews, I automatically get a little suspicious. I stopped believing in one-size-fits-all solutions and all-healing balms when I discovered that, contrary to what My Big Fat Greek Wedding preaches, Windex does not solve all ails.
Such was the case with Biologique Recherche’s Lotion P50. An exfoliating toner, this supposed bottle of magic is essentially your old school toner made better. Thin in consistency but powerful in effect, it rids the skin’s surface of dead cells to reveal a brighter and healthier complexion. The P50 is a cult favorite among exfoliators and it’s been called plenty of names to prove it, too. Sobriquets like “facial in a bottle” and “Jesus in a bottle” aren’t hard to come across when you plug the product into a Google search engine.
On one particular week in July, people started talking about this “miracle product” again. It was on Refinery 29 and back on the lips of beauty enthusiast friends. I recalled having an untouched bottle of P50T (the Lotion P50’s latest version armed with a slightly higher pH level) lying around from a press event.
My mission was clear: I had to confirm if Jesus indeed lived in that bottle.
The ingredients: It’s a long list of technical stuff, but some of the highlights of the P50T include acid exfoliants like AHA, BHA and PHA, niacinamide for pigmentation and anti-inflammation, horseradish for sebum regulation, and magnesium chloride for healing and sebum control, among others. See a more extensive list here.
The process: Apply a few splashes on a cotton or gauze pad. Press and release—never swipe—all over the face the face, neck and décolletage. Focus on porous or wrinkle-prone areas, avoiding the eye area.
The consistency: Thin and water-like.
The color: Yellowish.
The smell: While some people liken the odor to rotten eggs, it personally reminds me of vinegar. Based on smell alone, it would fit right into a menu of Filipino dishes.
The Starting Point
The day before the challenge, I took pictures for documentations’ sake. For starters, here’s how I look with makeup. On a good day, makeup adheres to my skin smoothly. A thin layer of CC cream or foundation is usually enough to cover up any blemishes and even out my skin tone.
Hello, texture! Sans makeup, pores punctuate my expanse cheekbones and that pesky area around my nose. Despite this, my oily/combination skin had been on its best behavior in the weeks leading up to the start of the challenge.
The Test Drive
The routine: Every night, I would rid my face of makeup with Garnier Micellar Water and cleanse with Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser before going in with the P50T. Two pumps of CosRX’s Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence and a frugal amount of Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate, both worked into the skin with the fingertips, would follow.
The sensation: Contrary to what I’d read online, the formula didn’t feel like anything at all, although I’m inclined to credit that to my skin being less sensitive than most (even the Aztec Healing Clay Masks feel like nothing). However, for two out of the seven days, I did feel a slight semblance of the sting everyone online talked about. It didn’t burn nor sear, but felt a little more like my pores were being zapped and being forced to dance. The two days this happened were the days I kept my skin makeup on for over 10 to 12 hours.
The progress: Right off the bat, I felt a difference in my skin. The mornings of Days 1 to 3 presented results that couldn’t quite be captured by the camera lens, but my skin instantly felt smoother and my pores tighter. Day 5, in particular, was a high point. No exaggerations, my face was the smoothest I could ever remember it being. I felt like a goddess.
I was back to reality on Day 6, though. 3 and 5 were the days when my makeup stayed on for an extended period, and beyond the slight sting that stirred up on those nights, my skin wasn’t as clear on the mornings after. On Days 4 and 6, I woke up to more redness and texture than I’d gotten used to. But alas, on Day 7, my skin bounced back.
I’m not normally the type to splurge on skincare, but seven days with the P50T has literally transformed my skin. On top of the compliments I was receiving about how seamless my makeup looked, my makeup-free, filter-free selfies birthed replies like this:
If a compliment like that won’t make me repurchase once I go empty, what will?
Art Alexandra Lara