Image: Ted Humble-Smith @ Hmmm...
November 24 2009
Lucia van der Post
Once you’ve slipped a cashmere cardie round your shoulders, lambswool never quite cuts it again. So it is with truly great face creams – the texture, the feel, the smell: they ought to come with a warning. Right up there on the dangerous-to-get-to-love list is Sisley and in particular its anti-ageing range, Sisleÿa, which is to the older woman what skinny jeans are to her younger sister – the non-negotiable part of her daily support system. There’s something about the way the creams feel on the skin, the way they seem to enrich without being oily, the subtlety with which they’re infused with the smell of the sweet herbs, that makes them so addictive. And, on top of that, they work.
Which is why, back in the summer, Sisleÿa fans were all busy joining waiting lists to be among the first to be allowed to hand over £435 so that they could enjoy its latest creamy lotion – Supremÿa – which arrived in the shops a few weeks ago. Supremÿa has been 10 years in the making and the thinking behind it is finding ways of increasing the skin’s own ability to protect itself.
Skin, the boffins tell us, behaves differently at night from the way it does during the day. In the daytime, it focuses on defending itself against damage from pollution, UV rays and the like. At night, it repairs itself.
Skins repair themselves by generating new cells. In young skins, the new, so-called daughter cells are reproduced perfectly as identical copies of the mother cells. As skins age, the mother cells develop faults and produce daughter cells that are less perfect copies (rather like the fading copies on a photocopier which is low on ink), leaving the skin looking wrinkled, slack. Supremÿa uses something called Phyto-complex Longevity Concentrate 12h, which is designed to extend the lifespan of the mother cells in order to give them more time to repair themselves before reproducing the daughter cells, which then are more likely to be better, more accurate, copies. To do this, it uses four botanical ingredients which encourage the repair mechanism and accelerate inter-cellular activity. Tests have produced remarkable results, with tissues treated with Supremÿa showing markedly less deterioration than untreated skins.
While Supremÿa is the latest, much sought-after cream in Sisley’s war against ageing, it is worth saying that there are others: I’m addicted, for instance, to the Global Anti-Age Cream and the Radiance Anti-Aging Concentrate.
Sisley, as a company, was started by Hubert d’Ornano in 1976 and it is founded on his belief that the hundreds and thousands of plants on the planet are able to provide almost all that we need for healing, breathing and nourishment. The range, therefore, uses plants and essential oils, but to this it adds the latest discoveries in chronobiology, genetics and skin physiology.
Sisley’s credentials are impressive, its fans devoted, and Supremÿa is already selling as fast as it hits the shelves. This, though, is a serious product that is far from cheap, so if you’re under 30 don’t even think about it.