P50 Original 1970 and Phenol

Hi -- A friend is encouraging me to try Biologique Recherche's exfoliating/toner lotion "P50 Original 1970." I will say her 50+ skin has improved noticeably after using this for ~3 months.

Should I be concerned about the phenol? There is a version of the lotion without it, since it phenol is now outlawed in European skin care, I believe?

Here are the ingredients, and thanks!

water, glycerin, phenol, niacinamide, vinegar, magnesium chloride, lactic acid, arctium lappa root extract, salicylic acid, sodium benzoate sulfur


  • We've received questions about this product in the past but we haven't gotten around to writing our response. When I get a chance I'll dig into to this more but in the meantime I reached out to the company for more information and here's their response: 

    "These 3 Lotion P50 1970s contain phenol concentration between 1 and 4%. Phenol is one of the key exfoliating ingredients. Phenol, also named carbolic acid is usually used by Dermatologist at high concentration for deep peeling. There are 3 types of peel formulation depending on the concentration of phenol:

    • 3%: light-medium depth peel

    • 25%: medium depth peel

    • over 35%: deep peel

    Chemical exfoliation of the skin (or chemical peeling), is a procedure involving the removal of the superficial layers of the skin by topical application of acidic substances with varying strengths. The procedure aims to improve the appearance of the skin by removing superficial layer of the skin and promoting new cell growth, and is generally used to reduce wrinkles. It is also proposed to be used to reduce acne and uneven pigmentation of the skin. In general, the deeper the level of exfoliation, the higher the risk of complications. Simple peels that remove just the superficial layer of dead skin cells are relatively safe while deeper peels may lead to complications such as bleeding, inflammation, infection, hyperpigmentation and scarring."

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