Sunday Riley has been quite popular for the past few years. I never really paid attention to it due to price, but recently whenever I ask for samples of products or new products to try, somehow or other people always end up directing me to Sunday Riley. Fine then, I’ll give it a try. My first venture into the brand was the Luna Sleeping Night Oil. It’s a lightweight and gentle oil that’s appropriate for all skin types. It’s got all quality ingredients and did make a positive difference in my skin. If you are looking for an effective but gentle retinol product, this is great, although I have heard from friends that in terms of retinol Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM is a good substitute. In any case, I love the ingredients and enjoyed using it, so I figure I would try some more products from the line and see if they are worth the hype and ~$100 price tag.
I already have a sample packet of Ceramic Slip cleanser and Good Genes Treatment. I also know that I love rose products so I decided to get a sample of Flora Hydroactive Cellular Facial Oil. So far I’m liking what I tried, if they ever comes out with a set <$100 then I would totally go for it.
Good Genes Treatment
It have a mild chemical-y lemon scent. I tried it as a serum first, it looks/feels like a lightweight gel cream that glides onto the skin. However, it stinged my cheeks a little. I used it as a serum but it feels like a peel, similar to OH lemon strip, albeit slightly gentler. If you are sensitive to that, I would recommend patch test this first. If you want to find something strong you can use daily, or a strong acid peel, then this is worth a try, but make sure to wear high SPF when using this!
Worth it? Not sure about wrinkles, but for pores/hyperpigmentation it’s comparable with Ole Henriksen Lemon Strip and Murad Lightening Gel. However, Murad brightens via hydroquinone, which can be intensive and is not very stable. Ole Henriksen is a weekly peel that works via a mixture of acid, mostly glycol and lactic, both are great. Good Genes works with lactic acid but unlike Lemon Strip, it also contains a mixture of plant extract that hydrates and calms to balance the effect of the acid. It can be used as a daily serum, or a peel for those with sturdy skin, or mixed with the ceramic cleanser as a mask if you are sensitive to acid and wants to introduce it slowly. It is worth it because it can be tailored to work with a variety of skin, but if you just want a peel then Ole Henriksen Lemon Strip is a good alternative at half the price.
Ceramic Slip Cleanser
I have a sample packet and first tried it mixed with good genes. I mixed approximately half and half of each, there was no stinging so if you find Good Gene too potent by itself, try mixing with Ceramic Slip cleanser. After rinse, I was so impressed because my skin looks AMAZING. My pores look smaller, blurred as if I wore primer. However, I wasn’t sure if it’s due to the cleanser, or Good Genes finally being effective on 3rd use. I have a sample packet so I was only able to try it twice more before using it up, and I think the cleanser did the majority of the work of making my pores look better. I was tentative about black pepper in the ingredient but it did not irritate at all. The cleanser have a mild green scent and feels like a creamy gel. It rinses off well and I would recommend it for all skin type except very dry.
Worth it? It definitely made a positive difference in my skin, and I like it as mask with Good Genes. However, mud cleansers don’t work well with cleansing tools such as Foreo Luna or Clarisonic, so if you can’t live without those then this cleanser may not be a good choice. As for dupes, there isn’t really any appropriate dupes. GlamGlow mud cleansers are similar in texture but more drying and harsh. Dr. Jart+ Trans-Foam clay have a similar idea but don’t give as good result as this. Murad Essential C Cleanser does similar things and have similar claim, but it’s a gel cleanser.
Flora Hydroactive Cellular Facial Oil
It’s a medium/heavy weight oil with majority of it being rose oil. While it does have a mild rosey scent, it also have a hint of sour note to it. I made rose water and dried roses before. If I were to compare, Peter Thomas Roth rose skincares smell like fresh roses, Fresh rose skincares smell like fermented/cooked rose, and Sunday Riley Floral oil smells like dried roses. While most skincare only have a few drops of rose oil, this is pretty much only floral oil, so that might also contribute to the slightly off-kilter rose scent here. My skin absorbs it well and it feels like velvet. However, it didn’t do much else and more than 3-4 drops feel stuffy on me. Instead, my favorite way to use it is as a DIY facial spray. I put a few drops of this along with .5 teaspoon of glycerin in a cup of distilled water. Shake to mix well then spray, it feels and smells heavenly.
Worth it? Yes! It take thousands of rose petals to make one drop of rose oil, which is why pure rose oils are so expensive. If you look at “rose oil” from other brands, you will notice it’s majority carrier oil like almond oil or sunflower oil with rose oil mixed in while this is majority rose oil. It’s great used alone for combination to dry skin. If you are reacting to the high concentration of rose oil, or want something lighter, mix it in a lightweight gel moisturizer. This is definitely not overpriced, and putting a few drops of it in your serum, oil, moisturizer is way more worth it than buying most of the rose products on the market. If that’s how you use it, as I intend to, then the little bottle will last you a long long time.
Is the brand worth it? One of my pet peeve is some high-end brand that fill the product with cheap and generic ingredients (water, alcohol, dimethicone, mineral oil etc) and the awesome ingredients they highlight in the description is the 30th down the ingredients list. But in terms of good quality ingredients, Sunday Riley definitely delivers and the price is justified. Some of the ingredients can be rather potent and your skin may not need it, but the products I tried are not overpriced (despite being expensive). Because rose oil have so many skincare benefit and I can use Flora oil in many ways, it’s worth buying for me at least. My skin is doing mostly ok with mid-range products, but when I need better ones, I would definitely check out Sunday Riley again. With that said, I would definitely wait for Sephora’s spring/fall sale of 15%/20% off to buy them, especially expensive ones like Flora.