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Cost & Availability
In the US, P50V is sold in three different sizes. 1.7 fl oz for $30.00, 5.1 fl oz for $68.00, and 8.4 fl oz for $103.00. It’s sold at a variety of luxury spas in store and online— I would recommend Toska Spa, Vicki Morav, and Paul Labrecque as they all offer quick shipping and include BR samples. One of the other popular retails who carries BR is Rescue Spa, but I’ve noticed them being stingier with samples (last time I got 0 BR samples) so I only recommend them if you are not looking for samples.
Water (Aqua), Gluconolactone, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Niacinamide, Lactic Acid, Ethoxydiglycol, Vinegar (Acetum), Magnesium Chloride, Citric Acid, Malic Acid, Phytic Acid, Spongilla Lacustris Spicule Extract, Yeast Extract (Faex Extract), Cochlearia Armoracia (Horseradish) Root Extract, Capsicum Frutescens Fruit Extract, Juglans Regia (Walnut) Seed Extract, Arctium Lappa Root Extract, Sulfur, Sodium Salicylate, Salicylic Acid, Sorbitol, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Metabisulfite, Sodium Benzoate
According to the Toska Spa Website: “This gentle, balancing, vitamin-rich exfoliator tones and lightens the skin. It is recommended for less toned and/or devitalized skin. Gently exfoliates and balances the epidermis.”
It comes in a plastic bottle with a screw on cap. There’s a stopper on the bottle so you have to shake it for the product to come out. It’s not particularly fancy, but it’s utilitarian and easy to travel with.
Unfortunately, this smells bad. It does not contain synthetic fragrance or essential oils and it does have vinegar, yeast extract, and sulfur— none of which smell so good. But the more I used this, the less the scent bothers me. It does linger for a little bit but I no longer really notice it because I’ve been desensitized.
Light, liquidy, watery.
How to Use
I’ll shake a few drops onto a cotton pad (my favorites are the Muji and Shiseido ones) and then swipe them up and across my face. I know that BR has specific instructions on how to gently press and release the product… but most of the time, I don’t have the patience for that. I also haven’t noticed it to make a difference either way. I started off using it 1x a week but now I can use it 3-4x a week without worrying about over-exfoliation.
From what I’ve read, the idea that swiping cotton pads roughly across your face does not cause sagging and wrinkles. That’s just gravity 😅
Results: Short Term + Long Term
Short term: when I first started using this, I did notice a slight stinging sensation (I almost always face this when using a new chemical exfoliant.) Pretty much overnight, my skin is transformed. It’s brighter and any breakout I have is usually smaller. I do not find it drying or stripping, like some other exfoliants.
Long term: when I use this consistently, my skin is in top form! It prevents the formation of new breakouts, helps keep my pores clean, fades old acne scars, and gives an overall healthy glow to my skin. My skin is more even and smoother. It does everything I want a chemical exfoliant to do. The fact that it has both AHAs and BHAs is major for me. No fruit acids or salts or other funny business, just straight up acid exfoliants.
If I had to guess why it stands out amongst a sea of acid exfoliants, for me, I would say it’s 3 things. One, because it contains a blend of AHAs and BHAs. Two, it includes skin conditioning ingredients to ensure my skin doesn’t shrivel up post-application. And three, it includes a blend of additional ingredients like sulfur, vinegar, and niacinamide that add an extra oomph in my never-ending battle with acne.
While using this, i still occasionally get breakouts because of stress, going to bed without washing my face, not washing my sheets often enough, trying new products, etc etc. At the moment, I’m breaking out (probably because of some new haircare I’m using.) I think it’s important to set realistic expectations for skincare. If you are looking for a product that will give you a new face overnight and make you acne free forever and ever, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. But if you’re looking for something that will make your skin smoother and clearer in the long run, this does not disappoint! Using a vitamin C serum and retinol in your skincare routines can also do wonders (at least it did for me!)
Biologique Lotion P50 vs Lotion P50V 1970
If you read my P50 comparison + round-up post, it’s obvious that I am not big on the 1970 line because I think phenol is a sus ingredient. Nevertheless, I still wanted to try the 1970 version because it’s the OG and has its own cult following.
Long story, short: I don’t like Lotion P50 1970 nearly as much as Lotion P50. First off, I find the stinging and numbing sensation very off-putting— especially because I know of the potential side effects of phenol. It smells sort of like gasoline. My skin was red for a time after application.
Both versions contain AHAs and BHAs, but 1970 doesn’t include much in terms of soothing. One thing in common with all my favorite exfoliants is that they include ingredients to help counteract the drying/ irritating aspects of exfoliation. P50V 1970 also doesn’t include sulfur, which is good at controlling sebum and acne. Results wise, I would say it’s pretty on par with P50V, plus the additional stinging and numbing. I admittedly did not use this as frequently because I was wary of potential side effects.