Sunday Riley is a familiar name when the topic of cult-skincare brands comes up. Since hitting the skincare scene in 2009, the brand consistently dedicates itself to keeping products safe, green, and adaptive to consumer's needs... which is why the best Sunday Riley products are ones that come with high praise from dermatologists.
"Sunday Riley uses a range of key ingredients designed to efficiently promote hydration, support skin structure, regenerate, and keep pores clean and clear with an overall smooth, even complexion," Dr. Ava Shamban, a board certified dermatologist and founder of SKIN FIVE by AVA MD, tells The Zoe Report.
And hero ingredients like chia seed oils and vitamin C aren't where the benefits stop. "I like that they are cruelty-free, paraben-free, phthalate-free, soy-free and vegetarian," Dr. Hadley King, a dermatologist and Clinical Instructor of Dermatology at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University, tells The Zoe Report. "In general, I think they are conscientious about using safe and effective ingredients."
With the right products, key products from the brand — which just announced a partnership with United Airlines offering first- and business-class amenities on flights — can work really well in tandem with in-office treatments and ongoing care. "The specific use of key AHAs and BHAs, as well as formaldehyde-free glycolic acid, tea tree oil, salicylic acid and black willow bark are great for cellular turnover and fighting acne. Vitamins like C, and the use of lutein are ideal natural protection from UV and have anti-aging properties," Dr. Shamban explains. (You can find all of the above within the range, FYI).
Ahead, see if your favorite Sunday Riley products are dermatologist approved.
"Retinoids and retinols are the most proven anti-aging ingredients. They increase the turnover of the skin cells and stimulate collagen production. They also decrease the stickiness of skin cells so they are less likely to clog pores," says Dr. King.
The Luna Sleeping Oil's star ingredient is retinol, but it's also full of avocado and chia seed oils. The beta carotene, lecithin, fatty acids, and vitamins A, D, and in avocado seed oil help moisturize the skin and protect against UV rays," Dr. King says.
Dr. King says vitamin C is an essential part of skin health both as an antioxidant and as a critical factor for collagen synthesis. This vitamin contributes to photo protection, decreases photo damage, and helps with wound healing.
Hyaluronic acid is the star ingredient in this product. "It's one of the super MVPs in the moisture game," Dr. Shamban says. "This is also a naturally-occurring substance in the skin known for its incredible capacity to attract and hold moisture at the cellular level. It's like a sponge, absorbing and holding water in. It also works overtime to hydrate and replenish cells within the layers of the epidermis to enhance the bounce and dewiness of the skin."
The salicylic acid in the U.F.O. Acne Treatment Face Oil can directly dissolve keratin plugs and deeper comedones, according to Dr. Shamban. "When keratin forms, it can block or plug the hair follicles, causing patches of rough, bumpy skin on the body or face. It's also a key ingredient in keeping dead skin cells from building up in the pore and causing blemishes or acne breakouts," she says.
If you take a look at these ingredients, you'll notice that this cleanser contains French green clay — a great natural detoxifier. "It's good for acne-prone skin or oily complexions. The clay calms and soothes skin while clarifying and drawing out impurities," Dr. Shamban explains.
"Sulfur is a driving force behind any acne regimen for those with oily skin because it allows the ability to dry out the troubled area. And it allows that top layer to peel off. It works by decreasing the amount of excess oil in the sebaceous glands when the top layer of the epidermis dries up, peels off, and allows fresh, new skin to take over," says Melissa Rosenhan, a Dermatology Physician Assistant at the Schweiger Dermatology Group.
Dr. Shamban notes that this treatment contains the smallest AHA: glycolic acid. This acid "has a good ability to penetrate the epidermis and helps eliminate fine lines and wrinkles," she says.
Rosenhan says application of a vitamin C serum or lotion is a crucial part of a daily skin routine, but note that it does *not* replace sunscreen — a common misconception. Regarding the turmeric, "it can provide a number of benefits to skin. It has powerful anti-inflammatory properties when applied topically, which can assist in calming red skin from conditions such as acne and rosacea," she explains.
"Interestingly enough, bentonite clay is a remnant of volcanos. It works by unclogging skin pores via negatively charged ions, and it prevents buildup on the skin’s surface," Rosenhan says. "The product has powerful exfoliation properties, especially with the combination of manuka, black cumin, neem, magnolia bark, and witch hazel... so caution should be taken when using the product because it can be extremely drying."