Beware: this toner smells faintly of onions, but if you can get past that, it’s a great exfoliant, will fade acne scars, and your face will look clearer and feel smoother.

Why does it smell like onions, you ask? Because it contains onion extract (along with sulfur, helps to regulate oil), among the other natural exfoliating ingredients of lactic acid, glycolic acid, citric acid, etc. The smell fades after a few minutes, but right after application, you are definitely hit with the pungent smell.

While I was in Paris this past summer on my honeymoon, I had a few priorities (other than, you know, sightseeing)–hit up the famous French discount pharmacy, pick up a tonne of Marco Polo tea from Mariage Frères, eat as many pastries and quiches que possible, and see if I can search out the ever-elusive Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 toner.

I figured that it would probably be available in the pharmacies, but I was wrong, it was nowhere to be found. Then, finally, on our second-last night in Paris, we were walking the Champs-Elysées, and through a small alleyway and a courtyard to my right, I see some steps that lead up to a clean, white door, and marked beside it? Biologique Recherche.

It was their only spa in Paris.

But it was at the end of a long, hot day full of walking, and I couldn’t possibly bear trying to convince my new husband that I needed a very expensive toner from this particular spa RIGHT NOW and it was the only chance I would be able to get it during our whole stay in Europe. I mean, I had already dropped a bunch of money at the pharmacy, added about 5 pounds to our already heavy luggage, and now I wanted yet another beauty product? He is very understanding about my beauty product obsession, but I didn’t want to push him too far. I mean, we still had 2 weeks of the vacation together, and who knew what else I was gonna buy?!.

Normally, I/most would expect a toner that contains acid in it to sting, because then you can feel that “it’s working”, right? P50 contains no alcohol, which eliminates that stinging feeling, and also will not dry your skin.

This lotion helps to eliminate any clogged pores, and helps to re-balance the skin and kick it into high gear so that it learns to self-regenerate. It also regulates sebum secretion, moisturizes, and balances the skin’s acid pH.

I must admit, at first the smell put me off, and I wanted the sting back from my Peter Thomas Roth toner, but you see the results. My chin acne is pretty much gone now, and my skin is clearer and has a more translucent, glowing quality to it.

I apply this toner day and night after cleansing as my first toner (I follow up with a hydrating toner, La Roche-Posay’s Serozinc). P50 is also a multifunctional little gem as you can also use it on any in-grown hairs (hello, bikini line), or post shave as a preventitive treatment on yourself, or your man.

Now, this isn’t the cheapest toner in the world–and it’s pretty hard to get your hands on some as it’s relatively unavailable in Canada. However, you can order it in from the US from a spa.

I really wish that I could keep using this product once my bottle is gone. If it hadn’t been for some lovely PR people, I never would have been able to try it. So, if you find yourself in Europe, do search this out and stock up with a few bottles–you won’t regret it.

2 thoughts on “BIOLOGIQUE RECHERCHE // P50”

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