Is Sunday Riley Worth The Spend?

Sunday Riley products hero

Have you been tempted to try Sunday Riley and their alluring range of sustainable skincare? Me too. In fact, I got so tempted I treated myself to a number of their cult products around six months ago, and think it’s about time I shared a review of their range. I’ve been using Sunday Riley morning and night, from the summer months into the winter… So, how do they measure up?

Who Is Sunday Riley?

Sunday Riley is a mid-to-high-end small-batch skincare brand that is “powered by science, balanced by botanicals”. Their products range from £20 to £128, excluding gift sets. The cosmetic brand has headquarters in Texas, US, and sells around the world (although not in mainland China to avoid animal testing). With their sleek design, powerful ingredients, and green ethos, they seemed like a perfect fit for my beauty counter. Plus, their approach was incredibly appealing to me after leaving the clean beauty cult last year…

Is Sunday Riley cruelty-free?

Sunday Riley is a cruelty-free brand, and they are double-certified by Leaping Bunny and PETA. Their cruelty-free status is also confirmed by Cruelty Free Kitty. Many of their cosmetics are also vegan, but not all.

How is Sunday Riley sustainable?

In addition to their science-and-nature approach to skincare, Sunday Riley is B-Corp certified, meaning they meet high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. Most of their supply chain is within the US, where products are formulated, mixed, bottled, and boxed.

In terms of shipping, Sunday Riley offsets its carbon impact with carbon credits, and chooses to freight in small batches by sea rather than air.

In 2021, they switched over to 100% recyclable packaging, which I’ll go into more detail with as I review the range…

Sunday Riley, Reviewed

Ice Ceramide Moisturising Cream Review

Ok, let’s start with my absolute favourite product: Sunday Riley’s Ice Ceramide Moisturising Cream*. This little pot of joy has become a hero product for me, and something I’ll religiously apply morning and night. It has a thick consistency that melts into the skin easily, and leaves my skin feeling soft, almost like I’d applied talc. It has a distinct floral smell that I love, too.

As someone with year-round dry skin, I’d been looking into getting a ceramide moisturiser for a while – the fatty acid is touted to strengthen the skin’s natural barrier, reduce water loss, and prevent negative environmental effects. And now, I can testify to this! My ceramide cream helped to calm my skin from feeling tight, and when used in conjunction with my SPF, reduced my redness too. Now in the winter months it’s keeping my skin soft and balanced, especially when exposed to the cold winter air and dry indoors. Over the six months since I purchased this, I’ve worked through the entire pot, but I do like to apply it quite liberally.

Good Genes Glycolic Acid Treatment Review

Next, let’s look at Sunday Riley’s bestseller: the Good Genes Glycolic Acid Treatment*. This pricey little tube of exfoliating magic is, if I’m honest, not a winner for me, but gets a lot of good reviews elsewhere. I bought this as an intro to chemical exfoliants, as I tend to use Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant*, but wanted to try this on the recommendation of my best friend (who’s something of a skincare aficionado). If I’m honest, I found it left my skin feeling a little greasy, which multiplied when applied overnight. That said, it’s a gentle introduction to lactic acid exfoliators, and worth a try depending on your skin type. For now, I’m going to stick with my Microfoliant, which uses a combination of active ingredients and physical rice powder as a scrub. It’s a little harsh but I love using it once or twice a week.

Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream Review

Ok, from one moisturiser to the another… Let’s talk about Sunday Riley’s Tidal Water Cream*. While this product seems to have been discontinued (or, at least, isn’t in stock on the S.R. website currently,) I still wanted to give it a quick review as it was my first foray into the world of Sunday Riley. I picked this up in Space NK as an introduction to the brand in June 2021, and quickly found it was too lightweight for my skin, but perfect for my friend with oily skin. Essentially, this is the antithesis to the Ice Ceramide Cream – a lightweight, easily-absorbed water cream that does hydrate, but in a much smaller dose. It has a lighter smell, and lighter feel, and a lighter overall effect.

Luna Sleeping Night Oil Review

To round off this review on a good note, let’s discuss the Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil*. I love a good night oil, and this one truly is a good one, at a reasonable £45 too. With the lead ingredient of retinol, and paired with blue tansy, it’s a deep blue oil that is thin and requires only a few drops to cover the face. I tend to apply this by placing a few drops on my fingertips and dabbing across my skin, rather than directly onto my skin, as it tends to glide quite quickly and has dripped onto my pyjamas before (!)

With a light, floral scent, and effective ingredients, I like using this as a hydrating way to introduce my skin to retinol. I recently read that it’s recommended to start in your late 20s with retinoid products, so this was another box ticked for me. I use my Luna oil 2-3 times per week, applied in the evenings, and left on my skin overnight. Considering I’ve only used 1/3 of the bottle so far, I think it’s really worth the investment – I’ll be well into 2022 before needing to repurchase!

So, Is Sunday Riley Worth The Spend?

I’ve found my skin is a lot happier after adding a number of Sunday Riley products into my skincare routine. I can’t specifically pin-point what will work for everyone, but my dry, redness prone skin has been loving a combination of Ice Ceramide Cream, daily SPF, Luna Night Oil, and bi-weekly exfoliations. I’ll also apply a face mask once or twice a month, but that’s really on a whim.

Overall, with two products in my core skincare routine now being Sunday Riley, I have to say it’s worth investing in! My best advice is to match your skin type to the products before giving them a go, and see how you get on!

Sunday Riley is available at Cult Beauty, John Lewis, and Space NK.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links (denoted '*').


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