Sisley has always been an expensive brand, but even so my eyebrows shot up when I saw the $750 price tag of its latest potion, a night cream called Supremya. This king's ransom is justified, we are told, by the synergistic magic of all its botanicals. Well, let's see.

There are over 50 ingredients in Sisley Supremya and, of these, there are 13 botanical extracts and six botanical oils including bisabolol (essential oil of chamomile), plus shea. So, if I am going to be generous, about half of the ingredients are really earning their keep. The first extract, krameria triandra, does so in spades. It has a fine scientific pedigree as an antioxidant and is, according to one study, more effective than green tea or its most powerful component, epigallocatechin 3-gallate. It is also a good antibacterial and pesticide, which begs the question as to whether Sisley needed all the potentially irritating and toxic preservatives (five in all) it has thrown in. But I'll come back to that later.

Some of the other botanicals are Sisley favorites. You'll find padina pavonica and physalis in Sisley's Daily Line Reducer (a relative bargain at $470). Padina pavonica is an alga also known as peacock’s tail. It seems to have antioxidant properties although it is not the most powerful according studies comparing algae. Physalis has radical scavenging polyssacharides, according to one  study. Sisley Supremya lists thallus extract. This is widely known as bladderwrack and is the brown seaweed you can find on beaches everywhere. Of it, the US National Library of Medicine has this to say: "there is a lack of high quality human studies available to support use as an antioxidant".

Cotton seed extract is somewhat unusual in cosmetics. Cotton seeds contain something called gossypol. This has recently been discovered to be an antioxidant. However, it is also a well known toxin that is prompting the development of GM seed that is gossypol free and can therefore be fed to cows. Shitake mushrooms (lentinus edodes) are also one of those frenemy ingredients. They have 40 times more ergothioneine, an antioxidant amino acid that occurs naturally in the body and is found in high concentrations around cells that are subjected to free radical damage, than wheat germ. However, the extract can also cause dermatitis.

The other 50% of the ingredients are typical cosmetic fillers and, while omitting parabens, Sisley has been content to use other preservatives that can have unpleasant side effects such as phenoxyethanol, sodium benzoate and chlorphenesin. Some research has also identified linalool and limoneme as carcinogenic.

Although krameria triandra is a standout ingredient and there are several other convincing antioxidants, Sisley Supremya wouldn't make it into our Five Best serums at any price.


Water, shea butter, squalane, sunflower seed oil, cetearyl alcohol, krameria triandra root extract, butylene glycol, prunus domestica seed extract, padina pavonica, thallus extract, rice extract, methyl methacrylate crossspoymer, hydrolized malt extract, wheat seed extract, cotton seed extract, rosa hybrid flower extract, willow leaf extract, mineral oil, lauryl glucoside, polyglyceryl-2n, dipolyhydroxy-stearate, propylene glycol, phenoxyethanol, lentinus edodes extract, rhodochrosite extract, physalis alkekengi calyx extract, panthenol glycosphingolipids, argenine, ceteareth-20, acrylate/C1--30 Alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, dipropylene glycol, bisabolol, ethylhexyglycerin, tocopheryl, sorbic acid, penylene glycol, xanthan gum, terasodium EDTA, michelia alba leaf oil, perlagonium graveolens oil, retinyl palmitate, rosewood oil, citric acid,  capryic/capric triglyceride, rosa damascena flower oil, sodium benzoate, chlorphenesin, potassium sorbate, BHT, tocopherol, (cont. citral, citronellol, eugenol, linalool, limonene), natural fragrance.