What about P50 - The True Holy Water
What do a molting desert lizard, a meditating princess in the Sahara in 1970, and I, circa March 2018, have in common? The first one who says a Hermès bag can leave now. No... the answer is a little more out there: exfoliation.
_So what is exfoliation exactly?
Exfoliation is a treatment that consists of ridding the epidermal surface of dead skin cells.
It was in 2012, while having a thermal spa treatment seaside in Quiberon (cue geriatric vibes!), that I came across a major skin discovery.
At the very moment I was being wrapped into a pocket of seaweed, mud, and argyle, much like a salmon ‘en papillote’, the esthetician queried:
- Ever hear of Biologique Recherche?
- Um, no.
- Great, let’s discuss it after the treatment.
- No, no, wait up!
It was too late, my face was being bandaged up like rabbit being smothered in mustard sauce (can you tell I’ve been binge watching Top Chef?)...
During the treatment, I found myself alone with my thoughts and all I could think of was Biologique Recherche. With 7 years of skincare under my belt and some notable accomplishments on my resume, how could it be that this mysterious brand was not on my radar?
Following the treatment, I made it my mission to know more. Discovering the world of Biologique Recherche left me flabbergasted: their skin diagnostics, their scientific approach, their treatment protocol, the richness of their ingredients... Moreover, you can’t just go out and buy their products; they are only available in spas and specialized skincare institutes.
Their precision boggles my mind. The Trojan horse leading their pac of skincare treasures is called P50. P is for peeling, and 50 is the number of days in the cycle that measures 2 epidermal regenerations.
Once upon a time, there was P50…
It was in 1950 that biologist Yvan Allouche formulated an exfoliating lotion for his wife, Suzette, a physiotherapist. It was a gift for his bride. Is that classy or what? Had he been a butcher, he surely would have gifted her some mortadella (ok enough with the Top Chef!). This lotion was to be utilized and studied with clients in his clinic in Paris. The goal was that his P50 yield positive results.
An actual Arabian princess (remembering the one we met earlier) proposed a barter during the 1973 oil crisis: petrol in exchange for P50. It wasn’t long after that Biologique Recherche was born.
In the early 2000s, (if this time frame shocks you, you must be a millennial), P50 was reformulated by their son, Dr. Philippe Allouche. He created different variations of P50 according to the needs in different countries... P50 1970, P50V, P50W, P50T, P50 PIGM400, P50...
The goal of Biologique Recherche was first and foremost, to create a product that rebuilds the epidermis. Skin naturally exfoliates (much like some lizards or snakes) but this process slows down with aging. They sought to formulate a lotion that exfoliates the skin gradually and softly, while boosting hydration and protective skin barriers; a combination of active ingredients, exfoliants, moisturizers, protectors, purifiers, and regulators.
In order to get your hands on this magic potion, online or in store, you have to be granted access. Nothing at BR is left to chance and the purchase of a product will never precede the consultation. It’s exclusive and can make you mad, but it’s also terribly intelligent.
Grasping it yet?
While leaving Quiberon back in 2012, I didn’t exactly flip my lid. I decided not to get P50 figuring it was probably too strong for me. I always believed that every skin type was unique and that you shouldn’t try it all; exfoliation, or so I thought, was reserved for people with different skin than me.
Back then, I was also a proponent of microbiota - retaining good bacteria on your skin... I’d sooner roll around in the mud than exfoliate! The idea of desecrating my face in that way irked me. Despite my growing fascination and appreciation for this brand, I wasn’t going near P50. After all, my dead skin cells and I were co-existing harmoniously.
It was only in 2018, once I was settled in Montreal, that I reconnected with P50. Back in the day, when I worked as a marketing director for a prestigious brand, I met Danuta Mieloch for the first time. Perhaps this name doesn’t mean much to you but she’s a legend. She is the creator of famed ‘The Rescue Spa’ in both Philadelphia and New York City. She is the reigning queen of skincare and a significant part of P50’s success can be attributed to her.
From its inception over 50 years ago, P50 was then, and remains ahead of its time. Created with maddening vision, this product ignited the passion in beauty editors, influencers, celebrities, it girls, and experts alike. The highest ranked skincare priestesses maintain this myth; Aida Bicaj claims it’s “Jesus in a bottle”. Danuta deems it a “facial in a bottle”. This product practically likens you to a fetus according to Jill Kargman of The NY Times. So what exactly makes this lotion/potion so mythical? Danuta confirms the facts: it yields and soft exfoliation and reestablishes the skin’s pH thereby allowing our flora to flourish. It’s all good, I’m at peace with my bacteria remember?
In Montreal however, at PH Sante (BR specialist) I’m baffled. So many years have passed but there I was, being recommended the P50 PIGM 400 for seniors. After banishing myself to the washroom for a good cry, I take it. Also, if I’m being honest, I was 36 years old and already developing brown spots.
So I throw myself into it. Me, the skincare expert, will grant you all a backstage pass to this hyped P50 lotion. On my pearly white vial was a vintage-like gold print - a sort of throwback to an ‘80s science lab. I slap on my latex gloves (woah, calm yourselves) and I meticulously unscrew the top. Traditionally, P50 can be characterized by its vinegary scent - not the case with the P50 PIGM 400.
I pour some lotion on a damp cotton pad and dab it all over my face, neck and décolleté. I start out by doing this 3 times a week and gradually transition to twice daily, morning and night, on a dry cotton pad.
So why such a cult-like phenomenon? Simply because this product is extraordinarily efficient. Try it and you too will be indoctrinated.
So... my friend the desert lizard, the Arabian princess and I all welcome you to the P50 sect!