Glissandra is a new kind on the antiaging block and it has launched with a high-end range of wrinkle fighters that use the fruit of a plant called schisandra as their secret weapon. Oh another superfruit, you might groan. Well, I did. So is there anything special about schisandra?

Glissandra obviously thinks there is and claims that the extract  is "the first and only natural compound reported to simultaneously support the natural ability of skin cells to counteract the fundamental cause of skin aging, mitochondrial decay, and help sustain natural cellular antioxidant capacity." Hmm. Sounds a little vague and is this really more potent than any of the other botanicals that help you look younger.

In China, where it has been a stalwart (ie one of the 50 fundamental herbs) of the medical scene for centuries, it is called wu wei zi. It is supposed to be an adaptogen, which means it has properties that "help normalize the functions of the body". These powers are attributed to lignans, which are a group of chemical compounds found in plants, particularly in flax seed. Lignans are one of the major classes of phytoestrogens, which are estrogen-like chemicals and also act as antioxidants. However Sloan Kettering's website there isn't much research that demonstrates how they work. However, I did come across research from the Czech Republic that claims to have isolated the lignans that could potentially reduce oxidative stress.

A Hong King study concluded that schisandra, along with Chinese knotweed, was a more powerful antioxidant than vitamin E. In Chinese medicine, schisandra is combined with panax ginseng and ophiopogon japonicus (a kind of grass), however the Hong Kong scientists concluded that most of the antioxidant power was being provided by the schisandra. As far as the skin goes, I haven't found any specific research and only vague references to schisandra being "used for centuries to beautify the skin".

Apart from Glissandrin™, which is schisandra by another name, Glissandra has little else going for it. The Restorative Serum has some jojoba and aloe, sodium hyaluronate and vitamin E. And that's really it, apart from the ubiquitous fillers and preservatives. For $149, that's putting a lot of faith in schisandra berries.

Ingredients in Glissandra Restorative Serum

Purified Water, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glissandrin™ Gel U/C, Cyclomethicone, Glissandrin™ Crystal U/C, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Glycerin, Acrylates/Acrylamide Copolymer, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Dimethicone, PEG-6 Stearate, Beeswax (Cera Alba), Tocopherol, Propylene Glycol, Polysorbate 20, Ceteth-20, Diazolidinyl Urea, Parfum (Fragrance), Glyceryl Stearate, Steareth-20, Sodium Hyaluronate, Methylparaben, Essential Oils, Propylparaben