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Biologique Recherche p50 1970 Review

March 8, 2018 Reviewed by Marta 0 Comments
TRU Rating
A preposterous con




Key ingredient is a banned toxin

I was recently asked for my opinion of Biologique Recherche p50 1970, a toner that is supposed to have a cult following. It has been around for years (since 1970 apparently) and has always struck me as such a preposterous con that I chose to ignore it. However, I’ve noticed that beauty bloggers have been writing about it – mostly uncritically – and I have decided to give p50 1970 some Truth In Aging perspective.

Part of the p50 1970 mystique is maintained by prohibiting the publication of its price online, giving it an invitation-only vibe. The other key selling point is that only masochists need apply. It hurts. Users proudly talk of surviving the burn. I have never subscribed to the no pain, no gain theory of anti-aging, but for those that do I urge you to give some thought to the ingredient in p50 1970 that is responsible for this.

Phenol is the third ingredient on the list. It is produced from petroleum. These days it is mostly used as a precursor to plastic manufacturing. It is also a disinfectant and, back in the day, it was known as carbolic acid. Although one beauty blogger justified its use by saying it is in mouthwash, it is a toxin (indeed, the EPA says its is quite toxic when taken orally), very corrosive and, yes, it does actually burn the skin.  

Because it has some anesthetic qualities, it isn’t initially painful, but since it is very easily absorbed the skin, prolonged use will cause deep burns, according to a study in Burns Journal (source). Resorptive poisoning by a large quantity of phenol can occur even with only a small area of skin and, according to Toxnet, some individuals may be hypersensitive with lethality or serious effects at very low exposures.

Phenol was – sensibly – included on the European Union’s list of banned cosmetic ingredients in 2005 (source). Biologique Recherche had to come up with a phenol-free version, p50, for distribution in Europe. P50 1970 with phenol is available for sale in the US.

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