This Cult-Favorite Liquid Exfoliant Became an Immediate Staple In My Routine

Biologique Recherche for the win.

THE SPLURGE: Biologique Recherche P50
Photo: Biologique/InStyle

I've always had an uneven skin texture. Even when it smooths out for a bit, it typically doesn't stay that way, and if it does last longer than usual there's still a bit of texture that sneaks back out. It's not too big a burden, but it is something I've always wished would improve.

I've tried physical exfoliants, chemical exfoliants, lasers, putting moisture back into my skin, Botox, and more. Some of those work far better than others, and while an injectable is always a quick solution, it can't cure my acne-prone skin completely.

It's simply something I've just learned to live with, but when I tried the Biologique Recherche Lotion P50W, I realized that maybe I wouldn't have to anymore.

The original formula, P50, has gained a cult-following for its abilities to shrink the appearance of pores (something I've increasingly become aware of as I get older), regulate oil production (perfect for my acne-prone skin), balance your skin's pH levels (we love it), and for hydration (I mean, why not?). P50W, however, has similar benefits but is especially beneficial for people sensitive or thin skin.

Now, I wouldn't necessarily say that I have sensitive skin, but my skin has become sensitized from trying so many skincare products and from all the sun exposure it gets — even considering the amount of sun protection I use. As such, a gentle exfoliant is always welcome in my skincare lineup.

Since my skin is acclimated to exfoliants and retinoids, I began using this every night that I wasn't using my prescription retinoid. Within a few days, I noticed that my skin looked tighter, smoother, and dare I say even more radiant.

biologique recherche p50w lotion review
Courtesy of Biologique Recherche

To shop: $118; mybr.com

This is thanks to an effective cocktail of ingredients that together worked their magic to improve the appearance of my skin. For starters, it has an impressive exfoliating lineup that consists of AHAs, BHAs, PHAs, cider vinegar, and sulfur. Then, comes the purifying squad, which consists of horseradish extract, burdock extract, magnesium chloride, soapbark extract, vitamin B3, and capiscum extract. To soothe the skin from all these actives is arnica extract, which is a common go-to ingredient for topically calming inflammation, bruising, and swelling. Lastly, it boasts a Reconstituted Natural Moisturizing Factors (NMF), which means a group of water-soluble humectants which draw atmospheric water into the skin.

Ah, science.

VIDEO: This Natural Exfoliant Can Actually Help to Moisturize Your Skin

Unlike with other exfoliants, my skin's texture hasn't plateaued or bounced back from its immediate smoothness. Instead, it has continued to evolve and gets clearer, brighter, and smoother with extended use.

The Splurge is our recurring column dedicated to expensive beauty products that are worth it. This week, why we're rebuying Biologique Recherche's P50W Lotion despite the $118 price tag.

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