best sunday riley skincare products

What are the best Sunday Riley products for your skin? The brand quickly gained a cult following for making products that mix powerful, science-backed actives with natural extracts to give you the best of both worlds.

Then came the fake review scandal. The product reformulations. Messing with cult faves is never a good idea, even when the law demands it (Good Genes was reformulated to comply with new EU regulations). And don’t get me started on the Ceramic Slip Cleanser. Is there a more hated product on the internet? *sighs*

Is Sunday Riley still worth the splurge? Yes and no. Like every other brand, it’s hit and miss. Here are the hits, the best Sunday Riley skincare products:

About The Brand: Sunday Riley

Founded in 2009, Sunday Riley gets its name from its founder, entrepreneur and skincare formulator Sunday Riley. Their mission is to create multitasking products powered by science and balanced by botanicals. Good Genes is the product that put it on the map, but plenty others have become best-sellers (but have they made this list? Mmmmm…). They’re cruelty-free, plant-based, and sustainable.

What Are The Best Sunday Riley Products?

Sunday Riley B3 Nice ($65.00)

B3 Nice is a clever play on words, a reference to Niacinamide, the key ingredient in this serum. Niacinamide is my all-time fave skincare active. While every active promises the moon and terribly under-delivers, Niacimide does everything it says on the tin – and it’s a lot. One: it brightens skin and reduces sallowness. Two: it hydrates skin and makes it softer. Three: it fights premature wrinkles. Four: It helps treat acne. Five: It soothes redness and irritation. Amazing, right? Plus, this serum is loaded with antioxidants to prevent premature wrinkles. Unfortunately, it contains irritating citrus extracts to make it smell nice. But if your skin doesn’t react badly to them, there’s no reason not to use it.

Available at: Cult Beauty, Free People, Nordstrom, Sephora, Sunday Riley, and Ulta

Active Ingredients: 10% niacinamide, green tea, and resveratrol.

Benefits: Brightens skin, fights wrinkles, shrinks pores, and soothes irritations.

Cons: Contains irritating citrus extracts.

Skin type: All skin types, bar sensitive.

Fragrance-free: Technically yes. But it contains citrus extracts that make it smell good (and may irritate skin).

Sunday Riley Juno Antioxidant + Superfood Face Oil ($36-$72.00)

I’m not a big fan of single oil products. I mean, why settle for one oil when a bunch works better? Sunday Riley must think the same. Juno Antioxidant + Superfood Face Oil contains a bunch of non-fragrant oils with moisturizing and antioxidant properties to fight wrinkles and dryness at the same time. The only catch? It takes a while to sink in and doesn’t play well under makeup. Use it at night oil. P.S. Oils are for dry skin. If yours is oily, you do NOT need this.

Available at: Cult Beauty, Sephora, SpaceNK and Ulta

Active Ingredients: Blackberry seed oil, Blueberry seed oil, Cranberry seed oil, wild carrot seed oil and broccoli seed oil.

Benefits: Deeply moisturises and softens skin while preventing premature wrinkles.

Cons: Oily texture (obviously!), takes a while to sink in.

Skin type: Dry.

Fragrance-free: Yes.

Related: The Complete Guide To Facial Oils

Struggling to put together a skincare routine that minimises wrinkles, prevents premature aging, and gives your complexion a youthful glow? Download your FREE “Best Anti-Aging Skincare Routine” to get started (it features product recommendations + right application order):

Sunday Riley A+ High-Dose Retinoid Serum ($85.00)

You’ve probably heard that Sunday Riley A+ High-Dose Retinoid Serum contains a whopping 6.5% retinoids. Truth bomb: it’s NOT as impressive as it sounds. 5% of that is hydroxypinacolone retinoate (what The Ordinary calls Granactive Retinoid). Brands swear it’s more powerful than retinol… but I have yet to see proof of it. 0.5% is an algae said to act like retinol. The remaining 1% is an encapsulated retinol BLEND – not retinol alone. Retinol is the real deal, the form of retinoid scientifically proven to reduce wrinkles and boost collagen – and there’s not much of it here. Still, retinol works even at incredibly small concentrations, so if you’re just starting your retinol journey, this is a good option. It’s also packed with moisturising ingredients to counteract its drying effect. If you’ve already graduated to higher doses of retinol (1%>) or are using retinal (retinaldehyde), it doesn’t make sense to switch to this.

Available at: Cult Beauty, Sephora, SpaceNK and Ulta

Active Ingredients: Hydroxypinacolone retinoate and retinol.

Benefits: Fights wrinkles.

Cons: Not the most effective retinoid serums, it’s for beginners only.

Skin type: Best suitable for dry skin.

Fragrance-free: Yes.

Related: What’s The Best Form Of Retinoid For You?

sunday riley good genes glycolic acid treatment

Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One Glycolic/Lactic Acid Treatment ($105.00)

The original Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment used lactic acid. It’s a gentle exfoliating acid that dissolves the glue that holds skin cells together, so they can slough off and reveal the brighter, more even-toned skin underneath. Lactic acid is so gentle, even sensitive skin can use it. That’s why we were all gutted when the EU told Sunday Riley to reformulate it with glycolic acid. It’s a harsher exfoliant, so not everyone can tolerate it. I recommend the original version, still available in the US and most countries all over the world to sensitive skin. The Glycolic Acid version in Europe is only for dry skin that’s not overly sensitive or prone to redness.

Available at: Cult Beauty, Sephora, SpaceNK, and Ulta

Active Ingredients: Lactic Acid/Glycolic Acid

Benefits: Exfoliates and brightens skin.

Cons: Expensive; the Glycolic Acid version can irritate sensitive skin.

Skin type: Lactic Acid is for sensitive skin, Glycolic Acid is for dry and sun-damaged skin.

Fragrance-free: Yes.

Related: Glycolic Acid VS Lactic Acid: Which One Is Right For You?

sunday riley ceramic slip cleanser

Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser ($35.00)

I know, I know. A lot of you hate the new formula. I totally get it: Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser used to be a heavy duty, foaming cleanser for oily skin. Now it’s more of a gentle, milky cleanser for dry skin. The old fans will leave in droves. But I like this new version more. It’s gentle and not as drying as the original. FYI, harsh cleansers only lead to more oiliness and acne in the long run. The real con? It doesn’t remove heavy makeup well.

Available at: Cult Beauty, Free People, Sephora, Sunday Riley and Ulta

Active Ingredients: Disodium Laureth Sulfoccinate and Kaolin.

Benefits: Cleanses skin without drying it out.

Cons: Doesn’t remove heavy makeup well.

Skin type: Dry skin.

Fragrance-free: Yes.

Related: Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser Full Review

What Are The Best Sunday Riley Products For Wrinkles?

  • Sunday Riley A+ High-Dose Retinoid Serum ($85.00): A gentle retinol serum to reduce wrinkles and prevent new ones from forming. Plus, it has a moisturising base to counteract the drying effects of retinol. Suitable for beginners. Available at Cult Beauty, Sephora, SpaceNK and Ulta

What Are The Best Sunday Riley Products For Acne?

If you have acne, I don’t recommend you use Sunday Riley products. They use ingredients that can fight acne, like retinol, but they’re often in a base that’s too moisturising for acne-prone skin or contain irritating fragrant extracts.

What Are The Best Sunday Riley Products For Dark Spots?

  • Sunday Riley A+ High-Dose Retinoid Serum ($85.00): Retinol isn’t just for wrinkles. It also helps to fade away dark spots. The moisturising base helps keep skin soft. Available at Cult Beauty, Sephora, SpaceNK and Ulta
  • Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One Glycolic/ Acid Treatment ($105.00): Glycolic Acid is an exfoliant on steroids. It hydrates skin, softens it, and helps fade away dark spots. But it can irritate skin if used too often. Available at. Cult Beauty and SpaceNK.

What Are The Best Sunday Riley Products for Sensitive Skin?

  • Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment ($105.00): Lactic Acid is the gentlest of all exfoliants. It hydrates, brightens and softens skin without irritating it (unless you use it too often). Available at Sephora and Ulta.

What Are The Pros Of Sunday Riley Skincare?

I’ll be honest. I’m finding it hard to find the pros of Sunday Riley skincare. Not because it’s a bad brand. But because there’s nothing in particular that makes it stand out. The best products in this list use a mix of powerful anti-aging actives and plant extracts that can fight wrinkles and dark spots. But so many other brands do the same – at a fraction of the cost. By all means, use the products mentioned here. But I’m still looking for the brand’s unique selling point – that’s all I’m saying.

What Are The Cons Of Sunday Riley Skincare?

High prices aside, Sunday Riley has two downsides. First off, they tend to use irritating citrus extracts to make their products smell good. A lot of skincare brands do this. They know fragrance is the most irritating ingredient used in skincare, so they avoid it. But, they use fragrant extracts and oils that smell good – and are just as problematic!

My other issue is with anti-aging actives. Instead of the pure forms of Vitamin C and retinol, the brand uses derivatives they claim work just as well – when they actually don’t. They’re a great choice for sensitive skin that can’t tolerate the real thing. But, for everyone else, they’re a step back.

Is Sunday Riley Cruelty-Free?

Yes, Sunday Riley is cruelty-free. They don’t test on animals, not even through a third party (the backdoor for so many companies!).

The Bottom Line

There you have it, the best Sunday Riley products to prevent wrinkles, banish dryness, soothe sensitive skin, and brighten the complexion. Here’s to beautiful skin, every day!