sunday riley ceramic slip cleanser review

Is Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser proof that “if something ain’t broken, don’t fix it?”

A few years ago, this cleanser was all the rage. It gave oily skin a deep cleanse that banished impurities and unclogged pores.

Now? After the reformulation, its old fans ditched it. They say it doesn’t leave their skin clean enough anymore. It’s too runny. Too overpriced for what it does.

What the heck happened? Is it just a case of people hating change or is the new formula really bad? Let’s find out:

What’s In Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser?


The old version of Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser used middle-of-the-range surfactants like Cocamidopropyl Betaine. Let me explain in plain English.

Surfactants are ingredients that help water mix with the oily impurities on your skin so they can be rinsed away. Harsh surfactants like sodium lauryl sulphate foam a lot and remove ALL traces of oil and impurities… and dry out and irritate skin in the process. Avoid them!

Cocamidopropyl Betaine falls in the middle of the surfactants range. Less harsh than sodium lauryl sulfate, it foams well, removes impurities and excess oil BUT leaves enough sebum (your skin’s natural moisturiser) behind to keep skin soft and hydrated.

Unfortunately, surfactants have gained such a bad rep that even gentle ones like Cocamidropyl Betaine are being phased out of cleansers.

That’s what happened here. The new Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser has done away with Cocamidropyl Betaine and replaced it with sulphate-free surfactants like Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate.

Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate is much gentler. That means it won’t irritate your skin… but won’t cleanse it as well, either.

If you’ve got dry or sensitive skin, that’s good news. But its old fan base was oily-skinned ladies in need of a deep cleanse. This cleanser won’t give you that anymore. No wonder they’re upset!

P.S. Oily skin or not, I do NOT recommend cleansers that leave your skin squeaky clean. They’re terribly drying and irritating and lead to dryness and more pimples in the long run.

Related: How To Choose The Right Cleanser For Your Skin Type


Yep, there’s clay in Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser. Montmorillonite and kaolin, to be exact.

Imo, this is a weird choice. You use clays when you need to absorb excess oil. Yeah, yeah, brands say they also draw impurities out of the pores… I haven’t seen a single study showing clays can do that.

Clay have absorbent properties that soak up oils on your skin. They’re not magnets that can reach deep inside your pores and unclog them.

This makes clay a great choice for combination or oily skin. Dry and sensitive? Not such. You don’t have any excess oil to get rid of.

See how Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser is giving you mixed signals? Is this stuff for oily or dry skin?! I think this is one of those cleansers that tries to please everyone… and ends up pleasing no one!

Having said that, I would still recommend it more to dry skin. Sure, it has clays but… not in a very high amount. So they won’t absorb that much oil anyway…

sunday riley ceramic slip cleanser


This is by far the best change in Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser.

The old formula was loaded with fragrant oils like neroli, black pepper and frankincense that made it smell good… and irritated your skin. Fragranced oils in skincare are a no-no.

The new version of Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser has ditched them. Ok, there’s still a tiny bit of citrusy extract, but it’s way gentler than the old formula. Phew!

Related: 7 Natural Ingredients That Can Irritate Your Skin

Struggling to put together a skincare routine that banishes dryness and makes your skin supple and dewy? Download your FREE “Best Skincare Routine For Dry Skin” to get started (it features product recommendations + right application order):


The new Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser has a milky texture that’s on the runny side.


It’s fragrance-free.

How To Use It

It’s the first step of your skincare routine both in the morning and at night.

Performance & Personal Opinion

I can totally see why Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser is getting so much hate. It started off life as a heavy-duty cleanser for oily skin and then turned into a gentler cleanser more suitable for dry skin. If that were me, I’d be pissed, too.

Having said that, I like the new version a lot more. It doesn’t matter what skin type you have, a heavy-duty cleanser that leaves skin squeaky clean is bad news. It makes your skin feel good after cleansing and causes all sorts of havoc (think pimples, dryness, irritations) in the long run.

My skin is on the dry side these days and this cleanser does a wonderful job at removing the dirt that deposits on my skin during the day (or night), the little excess oil I have and the non-waterproof makeup I wear.

Keep in mind that I usually skip foundation, and just wear a blush, bronzer and concealer on my face. If you’re doing a full face, you’ll be better off with an oil-based cleanser.

I find it leaves my skin both soft and clean. I don’t get a tight or squeaky clean feel that’s a precursor to irritation. But if your have VERY oil skin, this won’t cut it for you anymore.

Who Is This For?

  • Normal skin
  • Dry skin

Who Is This NOT For?

Oily skin.


A pretty blue and grey tube. Unfortunately, the opening to pour out too much product, so be careful with that. You don’t want to waste a drop.

Does Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser Live Up To Its Claims?

Gentle, plant-based cleanser pulls out impurities while pulling in clean hydration, for smaller-looking pores and a clean, radiant complexion.It doesn’t help with pores, but everything else is true.
A blend of four gentle, plant-based soaps that lift up and wash away dirt and impurities without stripping the skin. True.
Formulated as a universal, foaming cleanser for even the most sensitive skin, Ceramic Slip leaves all skin types softer, cleaner, balanced, and radiant. Mostly true. It doesn’t remove enough impurities for oily skin. Sensitive skin is always a question mark. Some of you may be able to use it with great results while for others it may still be too harsh.

Price & Availability

$35.00/£26.00 at Cult Beauty, Dermstore, Sephora and SpaceNK

Do You Need It?

I wouldn’t say “need”, but it gets the job done for most skin types.

Dupes & Alternatives


Water/Aqua/Eau, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Octyldodecanol, Polyacrylate-33, Propanediol, Polyglyceryl-2 Caprate, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Disteardimonium hectorite, Xanthan Gum, Montmorillonite, Kaolin, Olive Oil Polyglyceryl-6 esters, Rice Oil Glycereth-8 esters, Phospholipids, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, Bisabolol, Pentylene Glycol, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Phytate, Citrus Aurantium Amara, Caprylyl Glycol, Dehydroacetic Acid, Benzoic Acid, Propylene Carbonate, PVP