Sisley’s Black Rose Precious Face Oil was the best and worst thing to have entered my skincare routine in a long time. To get the negative out the way: it’s expensive. Holy Jesus is it expensive. £136 for 25ml to be precise. I know. OUCH. The price is prohibitive. But, let’s just imagine for a minute that you have £136 sitting in a bank account wanting to be spent. Let’s imagine your skin is parched from a holiday. Perhaps fine lines are more prominent, etching their way further and deeper than ever before. You want something that will make your skin look instantly better, while working over time to combat the damage reaped by those days in the sun/the jugs of sangria/late nights spent dancing. You see where I’m going with this. If the money is there, and your skin is dry: this is it.
Let me add some context. This is the second black rose offering by Sisley, the first (Black Rose Cream Mask) was released three years ago and became an instant classic for it soothed, plumped and rehydrated quickly and with little irritation. Beauty editors talked about it. The beautiful talked about it. My sister talked about it incessantly to me. I was prompted by all the talk to buy a tube and, in turn, started to waffle on about it to all and sundry. When I heard an addition was in the pipeline, I was pretty excited. When Sisley kindly sent me a bottle to try, I didn’t wait to finish the oil I was using before cracking it open. Hell no. Straight on my face it went.
My skin on that morning: dehydrated all over and a touch dry on my forehead (to clarify, dehydrated: lacking in water, dry: lacking in oil). A couple of spots, too. It looked a little red and, for want of a better word, stressed. On second thoughts, stressed may well be the best description: the reason my skin was red was due to stress (my adrenal glands and my skin have an irritatingly close relationship), so an oil may have worked on the skin’s surface but I was unsure of whether it would really calm things down given that the problem was more complex than a simple ruffled complexion as a result of the wrong skincare/not cleansing properly.
The plant-based ingredients looked pretty promising – they are a mighty combination of actives. To wit: Camelina oil (a source of omega 3) and plum oil (rich in omega 6) to optimise the skin’s lipid barrier (key! essential! never underestimate the power of a strong lipid barrier!); extract of padina pavonica (to stimulate the synthesis of hyaluronic acid), tocopherols (to reinforce the skin’s protection system and combat oxidative stress), avocado extract (nourishing and soothing), and phytosqualane (an exceptionally moisturising ingredient). The sum of these five: stronger, suppler, smoother skin.
The oil is see-through and relatively watery. Once I’d smoothed it on my skin, it’s rather more ‘dry’ than, say, coconut oil; Sisley call it satin – rather than slick – which is pretty accurate. It was instantly comforting and lessened the appearance of the paler dry sections of skin north of my eyebrows. Is it pungent? Nope, it smells vaguely floral thanks to the black rose, Bulgarian rose and magnolia essential oils (which both provide the scent and a little toning and purifying action for the skin) but in honestly the scent didn’t really register too much. For me, it was all about the texture and, bizarrely, how I felt soothed as I worked it in. Apparently Sisley boffs put a lot of effort into making their products enjoyable to use as they are of the opinion that the pleasure element is crucial both for its own sake and because pleasure means you’ll use it often enough for it to take effect.
As this can be used morning or evening either alone or under chosen skincare, I just used it every time I did anything to my skin to get the full gamut of its powers. In the morning, I applied just the oil (around three drops) to my face and neck and then followed with my SPF. My skin, which is prone to oiliness, come evening my skin wasn’t any more greasy than usual and dry parts were soothed. After cleansing, I went for seven droplets and really worked the oil into my skin, leaving it to do its work overnight. In the morning, my skin was a little smoother and softer, a result akin to that of having just had a facial.
This leads me right back to the beginning of this post. It is the best and the worst thing to have happened because my skin is glowing (jubilation!) and, as I suspect that’s almost entirely because of this new oil – I have made no other changes to my regime of late – I am going to have to dig deep for a second bottle once this one’s run out (curses).
Sisley Black Rose Cream Mask, £95.50 here.
Sisley Black Rose Precious Oil, £136 here.
Other oils I love for those of you for whom £136 is a little (or a lot) steep //
– Trilogy 100% Natural Certified Organic Rosehip Oil, £13.20 for 20ml here. I love this oil and buy it time and again.
– Tiana Coconut Oil, £14.99 for 100ml here. For affordability and ease, this coconut oil is brilliant – I use it as a cleanser and then as moisturiser. If you find it’s a little greasy, take a tiny amount (the size of half a pea, no more), warm in your hands and pat onto the skin. If you have enough for your hands to glide over your skin as it might if you were having a massage, you’re applying too much. As coconut oil is rich in fatty acids and barely irritates anyone’s skin, this is savvy budget buy.
– Balance Me Rose Otto Facial Oil, £32 for 30ml here. The oil that was knocked off its perch by the Sisley oil, I still think this is a rather special ‘un by the consistently pleasing Balance Me team. A blend of three rose oils that are a dab hand at fortifying and calming reactive skin, a rose hip oil to plump and smooth and cucumber and oat to comfort, this may not be cheap per se, but comparatively it is a bargain.