In my experience, there are two types of facials, those that indulge and pamper skin and soul, and those that perform only on a ‘no pain, no gain’ basis. Thankfully Sisley’s Essential Facial [for all the pummelling that it involves] is much more the former - although not without results. From Paris to Manchester[!] and hailed as a miracle worker everywhere in between, the Essential Facial has restored a long list of famous faces and is widely heralded as the gold-standard of facials by beauty editors worldwide.
Designed to stimulate the senses, the treatment involves instructive breathing, inhalation of essential oils, and the application of soothing hot towels - as you can imagine, this is the kind of facial during which you could easily fall asleep… Utilising expert techniques of muscular massage and lymphatic drainage to relax the muscles of the face and drain away toxins, the process of continuous massage throughout prepping, cleansing, and treating the skin results in dramatically reduced puffiness and cheekbones chiselled in a way you never even thought possible. Meanwhile, the stellar skincare products used serve up a restorative lustre and radiance with both long- and short-term results.
Sisley’s brilliance lies in the brand’s underlying philosophy - a hollistic, qualitative approach to skincare - some would say the pinnacle of French beauty practice. Developed with leading dermatologists in the brand's private research labs, the state-of-the-art product formulas incorporate unique blends of essential oils and botanical extracts, each born from years of innovation and research. To get even more specific, they've labelled the concept 'phytocosmetology'; each plant extract contains properties that result in a specific action, so the combination of certain ingredients allows for optimal performance and efficacy. These extracts are designed to offer as powerful and efficient a solution to your skincare ailments as is possible without the expense of a made-to-measure skincare regime. Each plant extract is harvested at the moment when its active properties are at their most effective, offering regenerative properties that penetrate deep into the skin and activate a process of repair and protection.
A good facial always seems to add something extra to the skin that your regular routine just can’t, so the tricky part comes in maintaining that post-facial glow. Detoxed and restored, your complexion has been recommissioned, think of it as a clean slate if you will, and why let that valuable downtime go to waste? When it comes to post-facial maintenance, certain rules must be adhered to. Essentially, vigilant commitment to a dedicated routine, acknowledgement that less is never more in the world of skincare [being frugal with your products is far from beneficial], and above all, an arsenal of products specifically tailored to meet your specific skin concerns.
The good news is that post-facial you can take Sisley's skincare finesse home with you; after my most recent visit I was prescribed a personalised shortlist of products with which to capitalise upon my skin’s newly restored state and maintain its glow and clarity until my next appointment. Whilst conducting a full-on facial on a regular basis is hardly appropriate to the average daily skincare routine, thanks to an edited selection of the products used during my facial I’ve been able to maintain efficient upkeep both day and night - with a handful of boosting bolt-ons inbetween.
Designed to remove makeup, impurities, and excess sebum without stripping skin, the Cleansing Milk with Sage* really is as gentle as they get - a far cry from typical cleansers designed for combination and oily complexions. As efficient as it is luxurious, this soothing lotion really makes a difference, whether your skin needs an ultra-efficient cleanse and clarify or a hefty boost of hydration. The smooth, emollient texture creates the ease of slip needed to conduct efficient facial massage (however hasty!), and is fortified with a potent concentration of sage, which serves to tone and clarify the skin whilst delivering an intensive infusion of hydration.
Light and refreshing (but still managing to leave skin comfortable and super-clean), the Grapefruit Toning Lotion is the perfect follow-up to a double-cleanse. This soothing tonic works to protect, repair, and calm via a cocktail of stressed-skin must-haves. Formulated to absorb rapidly to provide a lasting hit of hydration, it removes residue and minimises pores, thus helping to brighten the complexion and mitigate any irritation.
If there’s one vital sign of skin health, it’s a fresh-faced glow. Looking to offer some [literal] enlightenment, the Radiant Glow Express Mask dramatically improves the appearance of one's skin immediately after use - seeing really is believing when it comes to this skin-miracle. Working on the premise that discolouration and uneven tone and texture are the key factors in preventing radiance, the ingredients within are specifically chosen to enhance skin clarity and brightness. Red clay offers a deep [but far from astringent] cleanse, clearing the pores in order for a blend of plant extracts and essential oils to absorb, eliminate impurities, suppress inflammation, and perfect pores. Above all, the formula is soothing and kind to the skin, leaving it soft and supple instead of tight and dry.
As any beauty editor will attest, no one does a mask quite like Sisley; the Creamy Tropical Resins Mask has everything your skin needs at any age to restore, rebalance, and protect, all blended into the perfect creamy texture. Indeed, this skin-pampering face treat works as a troubleshooter to transform any skin type, feeding skin with potent, pore-friendly ingredients whilst effectively drawing out impurities - in just a few minutes it leaves pores clear and skin polished - essential for a beauty night in.
Botanical D-Tox draws upon powerful active ingredients to aid skin’s natural detoxification process. Although light in texture, the tonic suffuses skin with a veil of moisture - easily absorbed and almost imperceptible to touch. Designed to be used as part of a one-month treatment in place of your usual evening serum and moisturiser combination, the formula capitalises upon skin’s overnight process of cellular regeneration to combat the visible signs of skin fatigue. Peptide rice extract promotes cellular regeneration and einkom extract fights oxidative stress, while rosemary and hops provide a boosting action to brighten skin. Add to that a complex of essential oils, and the result is a powerhouse treatment guaranteed to maintain clear, healthy skin.
Top tip from a facialist: Enhance your skincare routine with a moisturiser that goes above and beyond. Ecological Compound might appear to be a standard hydrator upon first sight, but this silky, delicate lotion is in fact a bona fide miracle worker. It provides satiating day and night hydration coupled with an advanced antioxidant formula designed to provide restorative protection against environmental aggressors. Packed with botanical extracts specifically selected for their revitalising properties, the lotion soothes, tones, and bolsters luminosity. What’s more, it absorbs within a matter of moments, leaving skin with a smooth, matte surface - the perfect canvas for makeup application.
For those who want to maintain a clear and shine-free complexion, turn to Tropical Resins Complex. The thin, easily absorbed gel is infused with an oil-absorbing powder, which means it sinks in incredibly fast and leaves skin matte and soft to touch - as much a primer as it is a skincare product. The formula is designed to balance and purify oily and combination skin, whilst preserving moisture levels and treating blemishes and imperfections. Zinc, iris, rosemary, and tropical resins help to cleanse and soften the skin, regulating sebum production, healing scarring, and absorbing excess oils.
It's no secret that hydration is the key to healthy skin, and no product is better formulated to achieve this than the star of this Sisley show - cue, the newly launched Sisleya L’Integral*. The souped-up night cream is part of a new generation of skincare products designed to act upon the visible signs of behavioural ageing. The so-called ‘third dimension’ of ageing is notably underserved in the beauty world, where the majority of treatments cater towards the impact of genetic and environmental factors upon our complexions. Even in youth, behavioural stressors disturb skin’s natural cycle, preventing regeneration and proper function. Based on years of scientific research and clinical trials, the high-tech formula draws upon the powerful properties of over 50 active ingredients to provide each cell with an ecosystem that restores a youthful metabolism, repairs damage, and optimises cell longevity. The luxe, indulgent texture cossets skin with a softening veil of moisture that leaves the complexion deeply nourished, supple, and revived.
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