If you ever find yourself waltzing down the 5 Avenue de Friedland in Paris, France, near the Champs-Élysées and Arc de Triomphe, you’ll come across the massive black and gold wrought-iron doors of the Maison Sisley store and spa — the ultimate prestige French beauty brand. Behind those doors is a bright oasis filled with the line’s signature gold-accented skin care elixirs, the violet bottles of Sisley’s Black Rose collection, zebra-printed tubes of lipstick, orbs of perfume, and more coveted items that you can snag as you leave the sprawling spa in the back.
I was lucky enough to visit the Parisian beauty mecca in June to experience Sisley’s Exfoliating Enzyme Mask, the brand’s first foray into the enzyme exfoliant category. But it’s not your run-of-the-mill enzyme mask: The product is a gentle powder mask that’s formulated to deliver an out-of-this-world glow. As a longtime beauty editor who’s admittedly jaded when it comes to product launches, I was particularly excited to see what this skin care innovation could do — namely because of Sisley’s reputation as such a renowned beauty brand. Not only is it beloved by industry types and celebs like Emily Ratajkowski, January Jones, and Emma Stone, but because it’s the emblematic French beauty brand.
How exactly does Sisley’s latest formula work? Read on for intel on the Exfoliating Enzyme Mask and what it did for my skin.
- Price: $135
- Best for: Dull skin
- Your rating: 5/5
- What we like: It’s gentle yet sloughs away dullness and dead skin buildup
- What we don't like: It takes a bit to get used to how much water you need to mix the powder with
The Sisley-Paris Exfoliating Enzyme Mask
The Exfoliating Enzyme Mask does its skin-brightening job as both, well, an exfoliant and a mask. Its hybrid formula relies on fruit-derived enzymes, glycerin, a coconut derivative-based cleansing powder, and niacinamide (aka vitamin B3) to remove gunk from your pores to reveal a brighter, tighter, more even glow. As a powder, you’re able to get a more potent dose of the active ingredients than you would if it were a cream or serum (as that’d require preservatives). Not only that, but enzymes are very fragile, according to a cosmetic chemist who works with the brand, so this formula allows the exfoliating process to activate once you mix it with water. Trés efficient.
Besides the cleansing and exfoliating actives within the bottle, the Exfoliating Enzyme Mask contains niacinamide and two essential oils — lavender and marjoram — to balance the formula and offset any potential irritation. Niacinamide is an MVP skin-soother that supports the skin barrier, combats redness, and fights inflammation. Then there’s lavender, a calming essential oil that has anti-inflammatory properties and a delightful scent. And marjoram, an herb that’s similar to mint, offers even more inflammation-quashing prowess along with antioxidant benefits. TL;DR? The powder packs a punch.
How To Use
Perhaps the most standout feature of the mask is that it only takes one minute to work its magic. Simply dispense one gram of the fine powder into your hand, add two times as much water, then rub into your fingertips until it transforms into a foaming cream. Once it’s a bubbly milk, you apply a thin layer all over your face, leave it on for a minute, and rinse.
Though I have an extensive skin care routine and diligently exfoliate twice a week, I’ve been dealing with redness and an overall lackluster complexion, so I was really excited to put the product’s radiance-boosting properties to the test.
I poured a spoonful-sized dose of the powder into my palm and slowly dropped water into it until it became foamy. From there, I slathered it onto my skin and immediately noticed it didn’t feel as rough or as gritty as I had imagined it would — instead, it felt like a light-as-air foamy milk with the tiniest exfoliating particles tucked inside. After applying to my entire face — except for my eye area — I waited 60 seconds and expected to feel the product tighten on my skin (much like other purifying masks tend to do). It didn’t do that, either; my face felt comfortable throughout the entire minute, which earned it points from a gal who’s afraid of rough exfoliants and drying masks.
Once I splashed my skin with water and removed all traces of the powder mask, I looked in the mirror and saw a dramatically brighter face — my skin looked nothing like the meh complexion it was a mere minute before. The pores on my T-zone, which are typically black dots messin’ with my clear skin dreams, shrunk into spots I’d have to use a magnifying mirror to see. And my face felt incredibly soft. I was shook.
I’ve been using the enzyme exfoliant for a couple of months now, and each time I rinse it off, I continue to be impressed. My skin runs dry and can be temperamental when it comes to exfoliants, but this formula doesn’t irritate my complexion — and Sisley formulated it to work on even the most sensitive skin types.
Even though it’d be a good addition to anyone's beauty routine, one might be deterred once they see the $135 price tag — but hear me out. Sisley-Paris has been blessing the beauty world with high-performance luxury products since 1976, and the Exfoliating Enzyme Mask is its most unique formula to date. My take? Whether your regimen needs an effective exfoliant, you’re battling a dull complexion, or you just want a taste of French-girl beauty in your self-care rituals, you can’t go wrong by adding this versatile product to your cart.