Skin & Tonics : A Skincare Blog

Skincare guides & product reviews for beauty enthusiasts & ingredient connoisseurs

Biologique Recherche Lait U Vegetal Cleansing Milk Review

Of all the products I named in my recent skincare routine posts, the Biologique Recherche Lait U Cleansing Milk is the product I surprisingly received the most questions about. Actually, I guess it’s not that surprising – once I got hooked on BR’s Lotion P50, I myself fell down a full-on Biologique Recherche shopping spiral. Early on in the spiral, as part of my quest to find the best low pH cleansers I could get my hands on (and at the suggestion of one of the Biologique Recherche product specialists at Rescue Spa) I decided to give the Lait U Cleansing Milk a chance.

Biologique Recherche Lait U Vegetal Cleansing Milk

What is it?

Biologique Recherche Lait U Vegetal Cleansing Milk is a moisturizing cream cleanser and makeup remover. It’s made for normal, combination, and seborrheic skin types, and promises to cleanse without dehydrating.

Ingredients:

Water (Aqua), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Squalane, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Corylus Avellana (Hazel) Seed Oil, Pentylene Glycol, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Ethyl Oleate Ethyl Linoleate, Peanut Oil (Arachis Hypogaea), Ethyl Linolenate, Tocopherol, Caprylyl Glycol, P-Anisic Acid, BHA, BHT, Polyacrylamide, Cetearyl Isononanoate, Glyceryl Stearate, C13-14 Isoparaffin, P-20 Glyceryl Stearate, Ceteareth 20, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Palmitate, Laureth-7.

This ingredient list for Lait U is an excellent example of why objective skincare product rating systems are so difficult to create. The reason this list is complicated is because objectively speaking, it doesn’t do very well in the ingredient category by my own rating standards due to having multiple ingredients that rank as potential acne triggers on CosDNA. The risk for them is low (almost all of them are a 2 out of 5), but there are enough of them to really bring down the ingredient score. You can see the full breakdown of the CosDNA ingredient ratings here. Additionally, because this is a cleanser, ingredients flagged as acne triggers carry even less of a risk because it’s on the skin for such a short period of time. Nonetheless, I’ll be scoring this product by the same rating standard I always use – just don’t be too alarmed by the score for the ingredient category.

Biologique Recherche Lait U Vegetal Cleansing Milk

Despite all the complications, there is actually a lot to love about this formula, especially if you have dry, sensitive skin. There is no added fragrance, lots of moisturizing ingredients, and it has a wonderfully low pH (read more about why that’s important here). Some of my favorite ingredients include:

Squalane

Squalane is the hydrogenated form of squalene, and unlike squalene, squalane is a very shelf stable ingredient. The skin naturally produces squalane in our younger years – it’s one of the major constituents of human sebum. Squalane production diminishes drastically after the age of 30 though, which can contribute to dry skin for many adults. Squalane is a lightly textured oil, absorbs easily, and possesses moisturizing, antioxidant, and anti-bacterial properties. It can either be sourced from either olives or shark liver. I’m not sure where the squalane in this cleanser is sourced from – but if I had to guess, my money is on olives based on the word “vegetal” in the product name, and the fact that olive-sourced squalane is dominant in the West (shark liver-derived squalane is more common in Japan where shark fishing as an industry is still big business).

Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil

Sweet almond oil is a light but rich emollient oil that contains a high number of essential fatty acids including oleic, linoleic, and palmitic acid. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects as well as moisturizing benefits. Sweet almond oil is rich in vitamins A, E, and a wide range of B vitamins.

Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Extract

Wheat germ extract is an extract from the wheat plant, and contains vitamins D and E in addition to B vitamins. It has antioxidant benefits, and possesses both emollient and humectant moisturizing properties.

Tocopheryl Acetate

Tocopheryl Acetate is a stable form of vitamin E. It’s an ester of Tocopherol and acetic acid, and is less acidic and more stable than just Tocopherol (which this cleanser also contains, and is also a form of vitamin E). It’s highly bioavailable, even when applied topically, and has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and moisturizing benefits.

Performance

Appearance

Biologique Recherche Lait U Vegetal Cleansing Milk comes packaged in a white plastic bottle with a plain label, very similar to that of the Lotion P50. The dispenser is just a small opening in a piece of plastic – basic but functional. I do wish it had a pump, though.

Biologique Recherche Lait U Vegetal Cleansing Milk

The cleanser itself is more like a cream than a milk. It’s bright white, and has a thick, lotion-like consistency.

Biologique Recherche Lait U Vegetal Cleansing Milk

pH

I like my cleanser to have an acidic pH of 6.0 or lower. The pH for Lait U is a nice, low, 5.0.

Biologique Recherche Lait U Vegetal Cleansing Milk

Smell

Lait U doesn’t have much of a smell. If you close your eyes and concentrate really hard, you can smell something vaguely plant like.

Application

I use this cleanser most often in the morning, though I do sometimes use it in the evening as well. Although this cleanser can be used as a makeup remover, I prefer to use it as my second step cleanser after my makeup has already been removed. To use it, I dispense a little less than a cherry-sized amount into my hands, then gently massage the Lait U over my dry or slightly damp face for about a minute. Then I wet my hands, and massage again, letting the water emulsify the cleanser before rinsing it away.

Results

This is the cleanser that made me rethink my stance on milk and cream style cleansers. For a long time, I was under the mistaken impression that I just didn’t like them. I tried Cerave Hydrating Cleanser a couple of years back, which has a lotion like consistency, and I really didn’t enjoy it. My face never really felt clean when I used it, and I felt like there was always a film on my face after using it. I assumed that this was just a trait of all lotion/cream cleansers, so I spent a long time ignoring them. Lait U completely turned me around – this cleanser does a really impressive job moisturizing as I cleanse, but when I rinse it off, my skin feels clean and smooth, not filmy. Although it rinses cleans, I think Lait U is definitely best suited for normal, dry, and combination skin types. Those with oily skin may find it to be a bit too moisturizing.

I find the texture of Lait U to be rich and luxurious, making it really pleasurable to use. I also appreciate how non-irritating it is, as well as the fact that it absolutely does not strip my skin. The low pH ensures that my moisture barrier is never compromised by the cleansing process.

As a makeup remover, it does work, though not as quickly as a cleansing oil or some other makeup-removing creams I’ve tried. I found I had to massage it in a little harder and a little longer than other makeup removal products. Because it removes makeup and also functions magnificently as a morning cleanser and a second cleanser for the double cleansing process, it’s a really great product for travel, or for someone who has limited space for multiple cleansers.

Biologique Recherche Lait U Vegetal Cleansing Milk

Makeup used: Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Perversion

 

I’ve been using Lait U intermittently for the past 4 months, and I’ve never experienced any breakouts or irritation as a result of this cleanser. It’s become a staple in my cleansing lineup – I’ve already purchased two backup bottles. Biologique Recherche Lait U Vegetal Cleansing Milk is one cleanser I don’t want to be without.

Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
  • Moisturizing
    Rinses Clean
    Removes Makeup
    Low pH
    Suitable for sensitive skin
    Soothing
    Feels luxurious
  • Would be easier to use w/ a pump

Skin & Tonics Rating

B+ 18/20 Efficacy 9/20 Ingredients 20/20 Application 20/20 Wear 20/20 Packaging
Total: 87 Rating system details »

Where to Buy

Store Price Offers
Rescue Spa $26-$33 buy
Vicki Morav $26 - $33 Receive 10% off any order of $150 or more with code Happy2014. buy
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34 comments onBiologique Recherche Lait U Vegetal Cleansing Milk Review

  1. Thank you for this great review!
    and this wonderful presentation !
    Looks like a nice product.
    have a fab sunday!

  2. Floss

    Have you tried the Paula’s Choice Moisture Boost Hydrating Cleanser? Sounds quite similar. It’s been my go-to for several years now. It’s a milk or lotion type consistency, super gentle, non-irritating, non-drying! Don’t know the pH but I bet it would be right. PLUS when PC USA had a fight w the Australian distributor this year and shut them down, I was able to get the giant bottles for about $10 each! 😀

    • Kerry

      Hi Floss! I haven’t tried that cleanser yet,but you’re the second person this week to tell me how amazing it is. I’ll definitely pick it up with my next PC order!

      I didn’t hear about the PC vs. Australian distributer tussle. What happened? Is PC not able to in Australia anymore? I know they had a distribution center there in recent history.

    • I didn’t hear about this either! I just know they closed down the Australian’s PC site so you have to order from the US store. Sucks that they never order free delivery offers but I just wait for sales and combine with Kerry’s referral code so it makes me feel better!

      • I’m also going to have to try this PC cleanser out myself. As intriguing as Biologique sounds, it’s not going to make my wallet very happy!

        • I dug up the email…

          Dear Valued Customer,

          Paula’s Choice (Australia) Pty Ltd (PCA) had its Australian, New Zealand and Singapore web sites shut down with no official notice on Friday 31 January, 2014 and its Agreement with Paula’s Choice USA (PCLLC) terminated.

          PCA regards this termination as unlawful and is currently seeking Mediation with PCLLC to try and resolve the situation. As the closing of our website is an unlawful act by PCLLC, it is strongly opposed by PCA.

          To continue to offer excellent service to all our existing customers, we write to invite you to take advantage of HUGE discounts on our entire range** that will apply immediately and be available to you by telephoning […]

          As we regrettably are unable to accept orders/enquiries via email, please ring to speak with a Customer Service Representative to place your order, and of course answer all your needs.

          As a valued customer and long standing friend of Paula’s Choice (Australia) Pty Ltd we thank you for your past and continued support during this very difficult time as we handle this unlawful act by PPLLC

          Sincerely,
          Paula’s Choice (Australia) Pty Ltd

          Some time later there was an email from Paula’s Choice USA not directly referencing what happened but saying they want to ensure a high quality customer service experience etc etc so are setting up new arrangements and will (I think? from memory) manage the Australian stuff directly. I think the new setup was due to start in July? All very intriguing! o_O

  3. I love how detailed all your reviews are and this is no exception! I have really sensitive skin and can’t use things with fragrances so this will definitely go on my future shopping list. 🙂

  4. Joie

    Love your posts!! Have been reading them like dictionary. I am 40, Asian, with combination/oily skin. Before your site, all I used in the mornings are cetaphil cleanser and Olay complete w spf15. Evening, cetaphil, Olay regenerist serum, and neutropenia healthy skin anti-wrinkle cream. W multiple kids, I do have some pigmentation on my face and few lines around my eyes. Now my pores on my nose and cheeks are getting bigger as well. From ur site, I have purchased biore uv Aqua, Benton essence, and steam cream. (Love them all!). Now I’m not quite sure what I need to do to get rid of the pigments, pores and to maintain my skin. Thankfully I have always stayed away from the sun. I do not wear makeup, just some eyeliner, blush, and lipstick. Thank you for any insight!!

    • Kerry

      Hi Joie! Your routine sounds great! If you’re interested in lightening hyperpigmentation and reducing pore appearance, I would suggest introducing an AHA into your routine. I think the Paula’s Choice Resist 10% AHA Weekly Resurfacing Treatment would be a good one to start with. I would just make sure to patch test first, and also to start with a shorter wait time than the product instructions indicate since you’re new to AHAs. You could also consider starting with her 5% daily AHA treatment – I haven’t tried that one yet (I have some on the way, though), but since it’s a lower % of AHA, it could be better for an AHA beginner. 🙂

      • Joie

        Thank you for such a quick response! Would it be better to start with a weekly or daily treatment? Oh, I also have the Rohto Hadalabo Shirojyun on the way fr ur site. 🙂

        • Kerry

          Hi Joie! Right now I would recommend the weekly treatment to start with, only because I’ve yet to try the 5% AHA.

          • Joie

            I purchased the PC 10%AHA and it has arrived already! Used it last nite w no irritation. Thanks for the recommendation!

  5. Ida

    Thanks for a great new post. Two cleansing questions for you: Is there a particular reason why one should use two different cleansers to do double cleansing, or is it actually enough to use just the one? Also, is the ‘squeaky clean’ feeling you get from some cleansers a sign that it is stripping you skin’s moisture barrier, or is that too simple a deduction?

    • Kerry

      Hi Ida! If you have a cleanser that can remove makeup and cleanse without stripping, it’s fine to use the same one for both steps. And yes, you’re right, that squeaky clean, tight feeling some cleansers impart is a sign your skin is being stripped of moisture. 🙂

  6. Anna

    Incredible review! I’m new here and I’ve spent almost entirely all of my free time reading several posts for the last week or two. I really trust your opinion and really appreciate all the CREDIBLE research you do for the content! 🙂 i do have a question unrelated to this post however. I hope you don’t mind! I did recently purchase two products that are currently on their way to me. Missha FTE and OST vitamin c20! I did read however that ascorbic acid conflicts with niacinamide which is the 4-5th ingredient in the FTE by Missha. Would you happen to have any tips on how I can use them without producing some horribly ineffective reaction on my face? 😛 For reference, I’m 21 with oily/combo skin that is more oily than combo, prone to acne (the lovely cystic pustule and blackhead variety yay!) and very prone to PIH which is my main reason for the ost! I would love some advice! 🙂

    • Kerry

      Hi Anna! Thank you so much for your kind words! The conflict between ascorbic acid and niacinamide does exist, but if you apply the ascorbic acid first and then wait 30 minutes before applying the Missha FTE, you shouldn’t run into any issues. The ascorbic acid functions optimally at a lower pH anyway, so I like to wait 30 minutes for the pH to neutralize before applying the rest of my routine. 🙂

      • Anna

        Thank you so much for the advice! Is it okay for me not to use the FTE first? Missha seems so adamant that it must be your first step so I’ve been using that, then waiting 30 mins, then the ost and then another 30 mins and then my emulsion (Etude HouseAC clinic gel lotion). ALOT of waiting just in case lol! Would the FTE still work effectively if I don’t rush to apply it? 😛 again, THANK YOU SO MUCH!

        • Kerry

          Hi Anna! The FTE is just as effective if you don’t rush to apply it. I think applying it immediately as Missha recommends is just fine for people who aren’t using any pH dependent products in their routine. If you are using any pH dependent products (AHA, BHA, LAA), I find I get much better results by applying those first, then kicking off the rest of my routine with FTE or some other hydrating toner after the 30 minute wait time.

          • Anna

            Thanks so much for the advice! Your blog has become my holy grail for reviews and such! 🙂 If you wouldn’t mind, perhaps an introductory post on integrating prescription retinoids into more elaborate asian inspired routines would be a good idea! You are so knowledgable and you’ve really made it work miracles for you! Any advice if you ever run out of post ideas would be awesome! 🙂 Have a great day!

    • Ami

      I didn’t know I had been using it wrong :/ I use Missha FTE then PC 2% liquid exfl. then OST vit. C and wait for 15 min to apply my tretinoin, and 45 min later to apply the rest of my routine, serum and cream. I had only positive experience so far, my face didn’t suffer from any ill effect.

  7. Susanne

    I hope I am not being too lazy – but… Your link to why low ph skin cleansing is beneficial (right before the paragraph “squalane”) is not there. Can you refer me to that post? I am very interested. Thanks a lot!
    I just found you today and will be spending quite some time reading you… 🙂

  8. Lucas

    Does it really rinse clean?? I know you said it does, but I can’t find any cleansing agents in the ingredients list and previous experiences have left me skeptical.

    I have also been disappointed in milk/cream cleansers because they always leave a film or don’t cleanse very well.

    Thank you!

    • Kerry

      Hi Lucas! It really does! The oil content is what allows it to cleanse well, but I believe the Laureth-7 is what allows it to rinse away so cleanly. Laureth-7 is an emulsifier and surfactant. It doesn’t foam the way an SLS or SLES does, but it does allow for a clean rinse! 🙂

  9. Miriam

    I just wanted to share my experience with the BR Lait U cleansing milk. At first, I didn’t think much of it, because I was so amazed by the BR Lotion P50! This toner really changed my skin in days. Love it! I have been using the BR Lait U cleansing milk for about a month now. I have to say that I am in love with this cleanser. Now I know what you mean by HG (holy grail) when you talk about skin care products that you love. This cleansing milk has that luxurious experience you described in your review. The more I use it, the more I think I won’t live without it! Thanks again for your amazing reviews and tips 🙂

  10. Gee

    Hi Kerry,

    I have been using the Lait VIP O2 from Biologique Recherche. Whilst it has the same low Ph as Lait U, it lists squalane as the second ingredient and I am convinced it is more moisturizing than the Lait U.
    Just my two cents 🙂
    Gee.

  11. Mary

    hello!

    i was wondering if anyone has tried the Biologique Recherche VIP o2 cleanser. i have oily/combination skin.

  12. murt

    Wow thanks so much for this review! I have been looking for a replacement for Clinique Comforting Cream Cleanser, which i have been using for years but is now discontinued. This looks perfect!