Biologique Recherche Explained by Melanie Grant

For those of you who haven’t yet dipped their toe in the plethora of skin-safe acids that are on the market and  have no REAL idea what Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 is… My question is, where have you been living!? Closely followed by something that I can’t believe I can truthfully say… “Don’t sweat it, I know Melanie Grant – she ‘s got our back.” And if you don’t know who Melanie Grant is, then you need to google her immediately.

For context: Melanie Grant has treated #TOMBOYBeautyGirl alumni, Nicole Warne, Erin Wasson, Georgia Fowler, and Megan Blake Irwin. In short: she’s very good!

To preface, Biologique Recherche is a 40-year-old, French beauty brand with a clinical approach. The aforementioned Lotion P50 is the brand’s hero proudct with a cult following.:

There will always be an air of mystery around this brand for me: the vintage, medicinally reminiscent packaging and names of products that I can’t quite comprehend, the fact that their best seller has people falling over themselves, or that another of their cult products is named Serum Placenta, for realz.

For “research purposes” I experienced a Biologique-focussed facial at heaven’s gates themselves (Melanie Grant Skin Health, Double Bay Clinic), and let’s just say I can now understood the hype. But as a curious beauty writer, It’s my job to want to know much, much more.

ENTER: Melanie Grant.

TB: What does Lotion P50 actually do?

MG: Lotion P50 is a miracle (natural) chemical exfoliator lotion. But, that description doesn’t do it justice, as it is much more than an exfoliator and unfair to compare it to the likes of other acid/chemical exfoliators on the market. Lotion P50 is fortified with vitamins, natural biological extracts, minerals and botanicals that help to completely rejuvenate and unify epidermal cells, enhancing all skin functions.

The combination of AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid), BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid) and PHA (Poly Hydroxy Acid) acids unstick the glue that holds cornified dead cells together while also giving rise to healthy new cells. With the addition of specific vitamins minerals and biological ingredients that respect the epidermis, Lotion P50 is unique in that it helps healthy new cells to rise in a more organized fashion so that your epidermis is restructured, allowing better light reflection, unified complexion, unclogged pores, sebum control, enhanced penetration of your active ingredients to follow. 

TB: I have V. Sensitive skin. Can I use it? 

MG: Lotion P50 comes in 4 different formulas and Lotion P50W is the gentlest version, adapted for sensitive skins. As with anything active, you should always allow your skin an adjustment period and start low and go slow.

TB: Does it help treat acne (asking for TB Editor, Chloe who is in the dark-depths of hromonal breakouts)…

 MG: Absolutely, Lotion P50 helps to rebalance skin, especially those with imperfections. This rebalancing goes for pH and also the skins delicate microbiome of good and bad bacteria. Quite often Acne is caused by overgrowth of P.Acnes bacteria due to alterations in the skins natural pH. Acne bacteria can’t thrive when the skins pH is restored to a normal 4-5 pH level. When the skins pH is rebalanced it allows healthy bacteria to flourish and ‘crowd out’ the Acne causing bacteria breaking the Acne cycle.

Another cause of Acne can be excessive keratinized cells being trapped in the pore, the BHA can dislodge and exfoliate the internal walls of the pore or follicle helping to ‘unplug’ and free congestion. BHA is perfect for breaking down sebum and trapped oil.

Also with hormonal Acne (in Chloe’s case), this can be caused when androgen hormones alter the ratio of oils in sebum making it thicker and stickier than normal. This can lead to sebum with more triglycerides (bad oils) which oxidise and turn sebum from light consistency to the consistency of solid coconut oil which gets stuck and makes for a perfect breeding ground for P.Acnes bacteria. Niacinamide (active vitamin B3) phytic acid and specific botanical extracts in Lotion P50 have been clinically proven to reduce the production of sticky triglycerides in sebum, reducing yet another common cause of Acne.

TB: What does each variant do P50V, P50W and P50 PGIM 400?

MG: Lotion P50V is vitamin enriched and more suited for devitalized skins concerned with fine lines or need plumping.

Lotion P50W is gentler and contains arnica and other botanicals that reduce redness and has a vaso constricting action

Lotion P50 is the best suited for keratinized, thicker skins with seborrhic tendencies, break outs congestion

Lotion p50 PIGM 400 is gentle and suited for skins with a thinner epidermis. It contains ingredients that surpress the melanin production to reduce uneven skin tone and pigmentation spots.

TB: What is the best method of application/ how many times a week should you apply it? 

MG: Always apply after cleansing with a cleansing milk or non foaming cleanser. When beginning with Lotion P50 you may dampen the cotton pad with water first to dilute a little bit. Work up to using the lotion straight onto a dry cotton pad. Apply to the skin with pressing movements, do not rub, let the lotion do the work. You may hold the lotion in static over the nose or areas of blackheads or congestion. Start by using every night and work up to using day and night if your skin allows.

TB: Is it more effective when used in conjunction with other Biologique Recherge products? 

MG: Biologique Recherche products are all designed to be mixed or combined together. With that being said, the most important companion product to Lotion P50 is Biologique Recherche Lait U.

TB: What are your top 3 Biologique Recherge products?

 MG: I have a top 20 so it’s hard to name only a few.. Lotion P50 for sure.. Creme Vip 02, and Serum Amniotique E.


 Biologique Recherche’s full range just launched on Mel’s online store: Skincareedit, the only place in the whole of Australia that you can purchase the full range).

Words and interview: Ella Jane