A little while back while choosing to do the healthy thing and walk back to my car from a meeting in Tel Aviv I happened by the only stockist of Biologique Recherche in the area. Assuming it was a sign I decided to make the purchase of the much raved about, beauty editors love it, Caroline Hirons recommended Biologique Recherche Lotion P50T. So is it really all that it’s said to be? In one word – YES. In many.
I’m a firm lover of exfoliation, and of the chemical sort even more the the physical if you haven’t noticed (see this post) so I had expected to like this. I’d thought it’d just be a better, stronger version of the Clarins Gentle Exfoliating Toner. Boy was I wrong. While the Clarins offering is nice – it’s gentle and moisturising, it really does brighten your face if you use it over a period of time, and it does help mitigate scarring to a degree it was never quite what I wanted it to be. Perhaps it was too gentle, or maybe even it was me not giving it enough time to work between application and neutralising it with a spritz. The bottom line is: it wasn’t enough, it simply didn’t do what I wanted – accelerate the fading of blemish marks.For a bit of the technichal info the Clarins’ ingredients list are:
Water, Alcohol, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Tromethamin, Glycolic Acid, Ppg-5-Ceteth-20, Tartaric Acid, Cellulose Gum, Arginine, Tamarindus Indica Extract, Disodium Edta, Salicylic Acid, Lamium Album Flower Extract, Parfum/Fragrance, Sambucus Nigra Flower Extract, Hydrolysed Opuntia Ficus-Indica Flower Extract, Phenoxythanol, Sorbic Acid, Mimosa Tenuiflora Bark Extract, Sodium Benzoate, Ethylhexlglycerin, Postassium Sorbate, Benzyl Salicyate, Gernoil, Citronellol, Benzyl Benzoate, Butyphenyl Methylpropional, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Limonene, Hexyl Cinnamal.
As expected big international skincare/makeup brands don’t have that many (or any) active ingredients in what would be a really impactful amount. The Clarins toner also boasts alcohol as the second ingredient which can be an irritant as well as those fragrances and essential oils/extracts – however the high glycerin content helps in really soothing the skin. It’s a great toner to start with if you’re entering the Chemical Exfoliation world, and is easily available. In contrast this is the Lotion P50T’s ingredients list (copied from my personal bottle):
Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Sodium Glucate, Niacinamide, Propylene Glycol, Lactic Acid, Magnesium Chloride, Vinegar (Acetum), Citric Acid, Cochlearia Armoracia (Horseradish) Root Extract, Arctium Lappa Root Extract, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Capicum Fruescens Fruit Extract, Serine, Urea, Allantoin, Sodium Lactate, Sodium Salicylate, Sodium Benzoate, TEA-Lactate, Sorbitol.
As you can see they share a few ingredients in common – but have some that are very different. P50T contains vinegar, which makes it smell like that as well. The brand is pretty well known for, for lack of a better term, stinky products. That’s due to the fact that they don’t add fragrance to mask things and in my book that is awesome. This one has some serious sting on the skin, and when you first start to use it it’s recommended to use a dampen cotton round for the first week of use before continuing to use it straight out of the bottle onto the skin. It can be used twice a day, but if you live in a sunshine filled country or spend a large amount of time outdoors I wouldn’t. It’s absolutely important to use an SPF in conjunction – and if you’re on a retinol treatment you should use the two together, as either will make your skin photo-sensitive and together it’s a bit much. Should you skip the SPF you’ll notice pigmentation or burning beginning to happen – and isn’t the point of using an exfoliating toner to fade things not add them?
Be prepared from some gruesome pictures ( I kid, I kid.), I’m try to monitor my fading process with pictures taken every morning in front of my window. These are some progress pictures of my cheek, I haven’t been that good at documenting I’ll admit. However I’ve been using the P50T every night now for two weeks and have seen some nice progress. Fading scars doesn’t happen overnight and that’s important to remember. I’ve had some new breakouts come up over these weeks too so they add to the fun. The most important thing I’ve seen is a change in skin tone, it’s less red and angry as are the blemish marks.
The focus on the second image is a bit better, that’s why my pores are so apparent. I’ll even say that in real life my skin is even less red than in the images and that to my eyes the marks are barely noticeable. Overall I’ve very happy with the Lotion P50T and how it fits into my skincare routine, it’s certainly far better than the Clarins offering for me. If it’s not readily available to you I’d suggest checking out the Pixi Glow Tonic which boasts pretty good ingredients too and is available with world wide delivery from Cult Beauty.
In case you were wondering about the price I paid the equivalent of about 75$ for it here in Tel Aviv and I purchased it in Kisu which I highly recommend. I’m planning on treating myself to a facial there soon!
That’s it for me, I’ll probably keep tracking my progress and report back in a few months with how it’s gone.
Have you got a scar fading recommendation for me? I’d appreciate any suggestion you have!