SKINCARE | The Sunday Riley Routine

Sunday Riley Skincare
Press samples

I first heard of Sunday Riley in 2015 when I was working for Tata Harper as Good Genes was a competing product to the Resurfacing Mask because of the way it gently exfoliates. Even after leaving Tata Harper, I never really thought too much about the brand not because I didn't like it, but I just didn't know enough about it for me to take a deep dive, especially because their products are luxuriously priced! In one of my last press events for 2020, the Sunday Riley team held a Sunday Brunch event in January 2020 to celebrate the Lunar New Year and the Year of the Rat and I have FINALLY used all of the products they gave us!

Ceramic Slip Cleanser
Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser

Actually, this cleanser was the very first thing I tried from Sunday Riley about seven years ago. I am pretty sure the one I had was a different formulation because I remember it being much more aggressive in texture than this one. This cream cleanser is for all skin types and is a blend of four gentle plant-based soaps that wash away dirt, oil and makeup without stripping the skin. You've got French green clay to suck out oil and rice oil esters to make sure that your skin doesn't feel like the desert. This formulation is miles better than the initial version I tried!

Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser

I use this as my second cleanse and in terms of texture, it is indeed "slippy"! It is soft on the skin and I have had no issues with irritation when rubbing this cleanser over my eyes. It also doesn't have much of a scent. Maybe it smells a little earthy? While I didn't notice a remarkable difference in my skin while using this, what I can say is that my skin did feel clean after rinsing and that it felt soft and not squeaky clean like when I use a foaming cleanser. 

Good Genes Lactic Acid Treatment
Sunday Riley Good Genes Year of the Rat Edition

This was the first time I had used Good Genes solidly (I'm actually still using it even after starting this whole routine 2 months ago) aside from the occasional Sephora sample and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would! This product has been talked about quite a bit so I won't go into a whole lot of detail, but this is a lactic acid treatment which exfoliates, clarifies and plumps fine lines. It also functions a little as a moisturizer as it is a cream texture versus a serum and also contains a botanical extract blend as the first ingredient and the much beloved squalane.

In addition to the brightening you will see over time from the lactic acid, your skin will also receive an extra boost of radiance from licorice root extract. Though this treatment isn't as instantaneous as a physical scrub, I have found this to be rewarding after a few weeks of use. I apply this right after cleansing on clean, dry skin. Depending on how my skin is that day, it can sting just a touch, but it doesn't hurt and goes away in a second. 

I think at the time this treatment came out, there were not a lot of lactic acid products. Now, there are A LOT of AHA options so I don't know if I would go out of my way to purchase this product anytime soon as I have quite the stash, BUT this product will not disappoint and I have enjoyed every application! 

Autocorrect Brightening and Depuffing Eye Contour Cream
Sunday Riley Autocorrect Eye Cream

I am coming at this product from the point of view of someone who doesn't really believe in eye creams anymore. The only things I really use them for are depuffing and hydration now. If they have a tint to them, then I use them in the mornings for brightening. The Sunday Riley Autocorrect eye cream contains caffeine and plant extracts to instantly perk up tired eyes to give a firmer "undereye contour". I'm not entirely sure what that means. Horse chestnut (antioxidant and skin soothing) is supposed to smooth fine lines and lutein (antioxidant) is meant to give a radiant glow to the thin skin around the eyes. Cocoa and shea butter provide a hydration and all of this is intended to give you younger looking eyes. I should mention that all of these featured ingredients start at around the halfway point of the ingredients list. 

Sunday Riley Autocorrect Eye Cream

Other than hydration, I did not see much in the way of results from this eye cream after using it for 8 weeks. You can see from the swatch above that this eye cream is slightly tinted, but once I tap the product in, I see no change in my dark circles so I end up having to use concealer or foundation in that area. To me, this is just a very expensive moisturizer.

C.E.O. 15% Vitamin C Brightening Cream
Sunday Riley CEO Vitamin C Serum

Now, we are getting to the good stuff! Again, I wasn't really expecting to be too blown away by this serum because I have tried so many Vit C serums at this point and only a handful are ones I really love. I was very wrong! This is a very lightweight, cream Vit C serum (this is a first for me as Vit C serums are usually more watery) which uses tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (THDA), a stable, oil-soluble form of Vit C that has been shown to have incredible skin-penetration abilities with in-vitro data showing that it actually converts to ascorbic acid in the skin (Incidecoder, January 2022)! This form of Vit C also seems to provide antioxidant protection from UVA/UVB rays, increases collagen synthesis and brightens the skin. While this form of Vit C is newer, so less research is available, so far it is showing as highly promising!  

The packaging is frosted orange glass and yes there is a citrus fragrance, but it comes from orange and tangerine peel oil so it's subtle and "real" smelling. 

Not only did my skin seem to look cosmetically better right after applying this serum, I felt like even with completely bare skin, my complexion looked brighter, healthier and smoother. My skin just looked so rested! I used EVERY LAST DROP and even scraped it out with a little spatula! I would like to repurchase this eventually, but have about 10 other Vit C serums to use up so it might not be until 2025 so hopefully they don't discontinue it! This is super expensive at $112 CDN/30mL or $162 CDN/50mL so it will be real treat when I do purchase it myself!

C.E.O. Glow Vitamin C and Turmeric Face Oil
Sunday Riley CEO Glow Oil

Again, I didn't think I needed another face oil in my life or thought I would be truly impressed by one, but here I am proven wrong yet again! This face oil has a base of raspberry, cranberry, jojoba and cucumber seed oil, evening primrose oil, turmeric and vitamin C in the form of our favourite THDA! Initially, I was using this as a moisturizer at night after serums and my sheet masking and that was amazing. For a thick oil, it absorbs into the skin so beautifully and all you need is 2-3 drops though I sometimes gorge and use 4-5! I would sometimes do a double take at myself in the mirror because my skin just looked so scrumptious!

I tried using this on top of moisturizer which led to a lot of pilling, but luckily I realized I wasn't supposed to use this face oil after moisturizer after @paulzedrich let me know that I was supposed to use this BEFORE moisturizer! Once I knew that, all was good! This is an intensely hydrating treatment on its own, but if you want to seal it all in, a moisturizer on top works perfectly. This is a fantastic product and one of the few face oils I have that functions as a serum.

Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream
Sunday Riley Tidal Moisturizer

*Note that I just found out this moisturizer has now been discontinued* This is a lightweight, oil-free gel cream containing two forms of hyaluronic acid as well as the enzyme papain to soften and exfoliate skin. The texture of this moisturizer is so light that you can even pat it on top of makeup for instant radiance or if you are feeling dry after foundation application. With the weather right now, I unfortunately do not find this moisturizer hydrating enough, but can see myself using it in the summer. I prefer Sunday Riley's Ice Ceramide Moisturizing Cream for my skin at this time (I have a deluxe sample of it).

Sunday Riley Skincare

Sunday Riley Skincare

Final verdict: There were definitely some standout products in this routine for me with my absolute favourites being the the two C.E.O. Vitamin C products! These are hands down the two I would like to buy when the time is right, but overall my skin and I had a great time with this brand and I would definitely be open to trying more from Sunday Riley!

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