Secrets de Sothys Global Anti-Age De-Stressing Serum
1.7 fl. oz. for $185
Last Updated:04.25.2013
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

Sothys sells dozens of moisturizers and serums with antiwrinkle claims, so the only secret is why they’re offering such a broad selection if the Secrets de Sothys products are the ones to use.

This inane, poorly formulated serum is nothing short of embarrassing given the price. For $180 you should expect and get a serum loaded with essential ingredients for skin, such as antioxidants, skin-identical substances, and cell-communicating ingredients. Some of those are present, but not in amounts that justify the price or claims. Several of the intriguing ingredients are listed after the fragrance and preservatives, meaning they’re a nearly inconsequential part of the formula.

One very long ingredient name deserves explanation because it ties in with the Sothys illumination claims for this serum. The ingredient is polydodecanamideaminum triazadiphenylethenesulfonate, a nearly unpronounceable name, which starts as a polymer derived from nylon. It is part of a complex sold by the United Kingdom–based cosmetic ingredient supplier Adina. The trade name of the ingredient is Lipolight® OAP/PVA, and it is said to emit and diffuse “visible light to dramatically reduce the appearance of skin imperfections.” Supposedly, this visual trickery is tied to fluorescent light emissions and the concept of light diffusion (i.e., how light is reflected off various surfaces). Get this: The ingredient complex is said to absorb UV light (and we know that UV light is damaging to the skin, and this serum doesn’t provide any sun protection) and to re-emit its energy as “diffuse visible light.” The result is supposed to illuminate shadowed areas of the face as well as to obscure wrinkles and large pores (Source: www.cosmeticingredients.co.uk/products.asp?prod=470). Of course there’s no proof this works, and in fact, we know it doesn’t because there is extensive research demonstrating the effects of UV light on skin tone, not to mention firmness (sagging skin isn’t going to reflect light uniformly like smooth, taut skin will). Instead, you’re asked to believe that this ingredient blend can turn damaging UV light into, quite literally, an energy that illuminates skin from the inside out. As you might suspect, it doesn’t work, and this serum and its claims are more strongly rooted in fantasy than in anything resembling scientific reality.


Sothys Secrets Global Anti-Age De-Stressing Serum is the star of all anti-aging serums. A divine texture containing the secret of youth… concentrated technology working against time. Day after day, your complexion illuminates, your skin is smoothed, revealing a velvety softness. The skin gains a youthful energy resulting in a radiant glowing complexion.


Water, Glycerin, Zea Mays (Corn) Germ Oil, Cyclopentasiloxane, Lauroyl Lysine, Butylene Glycol, Isononyl Isononanoate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Cetyl Alcohol, Polyglyceryl-10 Pentastearate, Behenyl Palmitate, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Cyclohexasiloxane, Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil Unsaponifiables, Polyacrylamide, Inulin Lauryl Carbamate, Propylene Glycol, Polydodecanamideaminum Triazadiphenylethenesulfonate , C13-14 Isoparaffin, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil Unsaponifiables, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil Unsaponifiables, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Fragrance Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Phenoxyethanol, Tetrasodium Edta, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Hydrolyzed Ficus Indica Flower Extract, Acrylates Copolymer, Xanthan Gum, Methylparaben, Laureth-7, Pollen Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Opuntia Tuna Extract, Tocopherol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Propylparaben, Iris Florentina Root Extract, Butylparaben, Polyvinylalcohol Crosspolymer, Ethylparaben, Lactic Acid, Chlorhexidine Digluconate, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Glutamylamidoethyl Indole, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Linalool, Sodium Methylparaben, Red 33

Brand Overview

Sothys Paris At-A-Glance

Strengths: Shockingly, this line has no strengths, but it does deserve mention for good self-tanning products and their Double Lightening Serum.

Weaknesses: Expensive; a preposterous number of ordinary moisturizer and serum formulas sold with grandiose claims; overuse of fragrance; several moisturizers contain.

We have to admit we weren't looking forward to reviewing this line. We've been aware of Sothys for some time, and over the years many women have asked us what we thought of it. We don't ever mind being asked what we think of a product line, but in this case it was the way we were asked that we found depressing. Somehow this spa-oriented line has developed an almost reverent reputation for being a superior skin-care line.

A question would go like this, "What do you think of Sothys?" We would reply, "Not much, the formulas are either out of date or contain problematic ingredients and the price tag is silly for what you get." Inevitably, the response would be, "Really? I thought it was one of the best lines around … it's French, you know?" Sigh. Yes, we do know. But …

Despite a long French-heritage, dating back to 1946, this spa-oriented brand with a vast array of products doesn't deserve a reputation for being anything other than an overpriced spa  brand to avoid.

Most of Sothys skin-care formularies are so far behind the times that using them is akin to using a typewriter instead of a computer—the formulations are as ordinary and mundane as it gets. Almost all their moisturizers lack any reasonable amount of antioxidants, skin-identical ingredients, or cell-communicating ingredients. Also consider that there are no effective products for those struggling with blemishes or blackheads, despite their claims. It is astounding that in a line with dozens of facial moisturizers (most with repetitive formulas), not a single one includes a sunscreen. How can this brand be so incredibly blind to the number one cause of wrinkles and skin aging? If they aren't aware of the critical importance of sun protection, then how much do you want to trust them in any other aspect of helping your skin?

Sothys makes much ado about the training it provides to aestheticians. Not having attended any of their classes, we can't speak specifically to the content of what they teach, but if their products are even vaguely representative of what they inculcate, woe to those aestheticians who rely on Sothys as their source of skin-care education.

When all is said and done, and you've gotten past the smoke and mirrors, nothing else matters if you don't have well-formulated products, sunscreens, exfoliants, acne products, options for rosacea and sensitive skin, and/or reasonable pricing. And that's where Sothys falls flat on its scrubbed, steamed, masked, and spa "purified" face.

For more information about Sothys Paris, call (305) 594-4222 or visit www.sothys-usa.com.

Note: Several names on Sothys Web site and other sites retailing this brand list one name on the product page and another on the product itself. In our reviews we list the name on the product itself.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

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