I try: a Biologique Recherche facial at Sofitel Spa, Sofitel Viaduct Harbour

Glowy skinned beauty aficionados from Emily Weiss to Garance Doré all swear by the magical abilities of Biologique Recherche Lotion P50, a cult beauty product previously unavailable in New Zealand for what felt like a lifetime. I would bring bottles back from France back in the days when I was lucky enough to touch down there every couple of years, joining its army of devotees that swear by its powers to erase dark spots, shrink pores, and balance your complexion so that the final effect is something akin to the proverbial bub’s behind. Is it worth the hype? Yes it is, and then some.
Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 is just one part of the French biological skincare line that takes a unique clinical approach to skincare, using intentionally pure, concentrated, raw, and active ingredients with transforming result. The best-selling Lotion P50 was the OG smoothing, resurfacing and rebalancing product upon which many of the liquid exfoliants we’re now familiar with have been based, and there is plenty more in their offering to love. P50 is also the cornerstone upon which many of the brand’s in-spa treatments are based, and thankfully now the icon itself – along with a range of beautiful and highly efficacious facial treatments - are available at Sofitel Spa at Sofitel Viaduct Harbour in Auckland.

The exclusive New Zealand stockist of the brand, I went there for a treatment with the amazingly knowledgeable Jenny a few weeks ago, and came away with a new admiration for the French beauty company’s consistently innovative approach.
While the Biologique Recherche offering consists of over 100 facial products, 30 body and 10 hair products, the best-known skincare solution is the iconic Lotion P50. And although Biologique Recherche’s offering was formulated by a microbiologist and medical doctors, their very different in-spa treatments were actually designed by a physiotherapist. The key focus is on activating the muscle fibres to assist with lifting and toning, and as someone who suffers from sensitivity, I loved that the products are raw-formulated, so there’s no heat involved, and no fragrance either, as the creators didn’t want to jeopardise the efficacy of the active ingredients.
A facial without the use of hot towels definitely took a little to get used to, but the heated bed meant that I stayed warm and toasty throughout. Jenny took a totally bespoke approach to creating my facial, and talked me through the process every step of the way. As a beauty nerd I am all about finding as much about the why’s and wherefores of a treatment as possible, and she was an absolute fountain of knowledge.
At $300 plus for 60 minutes this facial was definitely on the higher side, but the end results were amazing – and yes, I left with a top up of my favourite Lotion P50W, which is the most gentle version of the cult favourite Lotion P50 family. With different ratios of exfoliating AHA’s, BHA’s and PHA’s and a slightly higher pH for a softer exfoliating action, Lotion P50W also contains anti-inflammatory, anti-redness and calming actives making it suitable for sensitive skin like mine.


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