Does Face Cream That Targets the “Mind-Skin” Connection Work?

Within the crowded beauty industry, Sisley Paris is one of a handful of brands with an almost mystical status, consistently delivering cult plant-based products that straddle that elusive line between efficacy and luxury. Now, the family-owned company’s Sisley Group Laboratories has introduced its first new stand-alone skincare line, named Neuraé, after the Greek words for nerves and emotions. The products are inspired by research on the link between the central nervous system and the skin, or the “mind-skin” connection. The science is complex but the concept is relatively simple: the skin connects the nervous, immune, cutaneous, and endocrine functions, and our emotional state impacts the health and look of our skin.

Sisley’s just-launched line is made up of a serum, three targeted creams, and three roll-on fragrances, each aimed at addressing common negative expressions—sadness, stress, and fatigue—and their impressions on the skin. The hope is that the line will improve both inside and out. The Sérénité Balm combats worry wrinkles and and loss of muscle tone; the Joie Emulsion utilizes antiaging, fermented red ginseng extract to boost radiance; and the Énergie Cream features red indigo and seaweed extract to uplifting, firming results—or so Neuraé claims. Four W editors put Neuraé to the test, and gave their honest opinions about the results.

Ashley Simpson, Contributing Writer

Tell us about your skin type and its current condition.

I have combination skin, which is dry and sensitive at the same time. I rarely break out, but I do tend to turn red after facials, and most active ingredients are simply too much for me. (My last spa visit resulted in several weeks of burning around my eyes).

Do you feel that your emotional life—whether added stress, lack of sleep or sadness—is impacting your skin?

I will say that it has been a rough year so far, which has certainly had an impact on my skin. My main concerns are dehydration, sun damage, and stress lines at the moment. Really, I feel like I’ve aged a decade since the end of my marriage, and I’m willing to try all sorts of things to lift some psychological weight and lessen physical tells.

Did you try all four products in the Neuraé line?

Yes, I tried every product, beginning with the serum then rotating between the green Énergie Cream, calming blue Sérénité Balm, and the pink Joie Emulsion, which I reached for most frequently in hopes of any added glow.

Describe your experience testing out these products.

I used the products in the morning and at night, starting with the serum then layering one of the creams, going for whatever felt most needed in the moment. Throughout the days, I also found myself sampling the Sérénité Booster occasionally for a mini mood lift. (It was my favorite of the roller scents—so spa-like and transformative without being overly strong). I’ve been traveling quite a bit recently, and I will say that I found the line to be incredibly soothing, adding an element of calm on airport-filled weeks.

The products feel natural and gentle on the skin, almost cushion-like. I wasn’t worried about irritation or overreactions and the scents aligned nicely with each emotional concept. Did I notice any improvements? It’s hard to say. But I did feel more relaxed—more so than with many other skincare options—after integrating the Neuraé line into my day. And the serene scents added a much-needed meditative element.

Was the line effective? Would you use it again?

I’m a true skincare skeptic. Given my hesitancy toward most marketing claims, I’m generally happy with any product that feels good on my skin and does no damage. This definitely fits that bill. Did the pink Joie Cream, aimed at battling sadness, add noticeable radiance? Did the Harmonie Serum calm my skin? I’m not entirely sure, but I loved the routine and feel of the products, and would continue using them happily.

Maryam Lieberman, Contributing Beauty Editor

What’s your current skin situation?

My skin type is normal. But just like my moods of late, it’s become more sensitive these days. Truthfully, I believe inadequate sleep and lack of hydration are the primary culprits behind my less-than-pristine appearance. As far as emotions go, when I feel stress, I sleep worse in general, which also doesn’t help.

Was there a particular product from Neuraé that caught your eye?

I tried all four products, but I specifically chose the Énergie La Crème to test out for an extended period of time. I was drawn in by the “refreshing” and “energizing” components it promised to deliver—I could use more of that in my life.

What did you think of the Neuraé line?

First, a bit of background: I start my mornings early, when it’s still dark outside. At that time of day, I can always benefit from a jolt of positive energy. So before I begin an AM workout, I like to do my skincare routine to lift my spirits for the day.

I paired the face cream with the serum each morning—and I will say this: the fragrance was very nice and not too strong. I read that red indigo extract, an ingredient in this formulation, fosters positive emotions and can help when you are fatigued. To my surprise, it really did do that, plus it made me feel more joyful overall. (It could also be a psychosomatic symptom fueled by my love for anything from Sisley.)

Was the line effective? Did you see any improvement in your specific skin concerns?

I am into all things “woo-woo”: crystals, reiki healing, sound therapy…which can promote positive feelings, but don’t necessarily come with scientific evidence to support the results. I want to believe Neuraé’s products positively impacted my mood, but truthfully, when I’m not experimenting with new face creams and serums, I always revert back to trusted skincare products that consistently deliver remarkable results. Although I might reach for the Énergie La Crème now and then (especially during those early mornings or particularly sad moments), considering its $170 price tag per jar, I’d prefer to save up and invest in another bottle of Sisleÿa L’Integral Anti Age Cream, which instantly works wonders my skin. And after spending $640 on that product, I’ll do my damnedest to be less stressed.

Ashley Peña, Digital Designer

Were there any particular skin concerns you were hoping to address with the Neuraé line?

I’ve been dealing with hormonal acne for a few years, but it’s gotten better recently, after I simplified my skincare routine. I wanted to improve the overall texture of my skin, so I chose the Joie moisturizer to pair with the serum.

What was it like?

At first, I applied the Joie moisturizer once at night for a week, then twice a day. I noticed it absorbed into the skin quickly, rather than just sitting on top of it. It did leave my skin feeling soft afterward. The scent is on the strong side for my taste, but I didn’t have a negative reaction to it. I was missing that “glazed doughnut” look on my skin after I applied the last layer of moisturizer—so I added the Harmonie serum. My skin appeared brighter after a few uses of the duo, and I even noticed my pores looked much smaller. I’m enjoying the emotion-boosting scents, too. I love that I can throw one into any of my bags and have something to apply throughout the day.

Would you use this product again?

The Joie moisturizer does exactly what it says it’ll do: give you radiance. It improved my skin texture as well, so that’s a plus. However, I personally don’t love the perfume-like scent, so I’m not sure I’d try it again.

Claire Valentine, Culture Editor

Describe your skin type.

I have super sensitive skin that tends toward dryness. I also possess the genetic blessing of having my emotions written all over my face—including on my skin, which is quick to puff, crease or tend toward redness when I’m feeling stressed, sad or haven’t slept (good things always come in threes, don’t they?)

Were there particular skin concerns you were hoping to address with Neuraé’s line?

As always, dry, tired skin is my main concern. Since each cream promised to address at least one aspect of those issues, I tried all three—but ended up sticking with the Sérénité Balm and the Energie Cream the longest.

Describe your experience using the Neuraé line.

I keep my daily skincare routine simple: I’ll typically layer an essence, serum, and moisturizer (plus sunscreen, of course) and call it a day. Adding Neuraé’s products to the mix provided a luxurious boost, and I was pleased that none of the products caused my sensitive skin to flare up. The Sérénité Balm in particular was light and fluffy, and the Énergie Cream, which I layered with my moisturizer at night, soothed my skin and appeared to lift it as well. I kept the Joie Emotion Boost in my purse and dabbed its bright citrus scent on my wrists when I remembered; it was a lovely way to welcome the month of May.

Was the line effective? Would you use it again?

I rarely venture out of my comfort zone when it comes to skincare (typically because I end up paying the price of irritated skin when I do). But the Neuraé line caused no such problems, and added a soothing step to my regimen. It’s too soon to say whether there are any lasting results, but the very idea that my skincare was created with emotion in mind, placebo effect or not, made me feel pampered—and that’s half the joy of a beauty routine, anyway.

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