A new Sunday Riley release is cause for celebration. Every product is so gorgeously, uniquely packaged and just work so well. If it’s true that we judge books by their cover, then Sunday Riley perfectly masters the first impression that elicits the “ohhh” factor.
Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil is her newest product, and it’s quite attention grabbing. Here’s what you need to know about it: Luna is a striking deep blue night time retinoid oil. The base is a beautiful mix of organic, cold-pressed oils of Extra Virgin Avocado Oil, Grape Seed Oil, Blackberry Seed Oil and Chia Oil. Avocado Oil is known for being really hydrating for dry skin and grape seed oil is one of the fastest sinking oils out there so combine the two as the primary ingredients and you’ve got a very versatile oil that should work for everyone. Blackberry Seed and Chia are superstar oils that are highly packed in Vitamins and antioxidants.
What makes this oil really standout is the use of a Trans-retinol ester which helps the appearance of wrinkles, fines lines, and loss of skin elasticity. Now while some of you may roll your eyes and think “another oil with retinols?” – just know that this one does not play. In fact the only warning on the packaging is that this isn’t recommended for pregnancy. The first time I tried this on my hands, I felt it being more susceptible to burning when I later walked on the street briefly – it’s that powerful! This is why Luna is a Sleeping Night Oil, do not wear out in the day time.
The other standout which probably draws many glances is the blue color. Sunday Riley uses Blue Tansy which Into The Gloss wrote an entire post about and is similar to the one found in May Lindstrom’s Blue Cocoon. Blue is definitely in and the inclusion of this ingredient is very striking. In full honesty, the reason Sunday Riley’s product is such a deep, dark blue is because it does use coloring dyes which is the only thing I don’t love about it. There is just no need but I also understand Sunday Riley is appealing to the Barney’s/Sephora beauty buyer who gravitates toward the eye candy.
The smell of this oil is my favorite of all of Sunday Riley’s oils. Whereas Juno and Artemis lack a fragrance and have been cited as smelling like salad oil, I feel Luna really steps it up in this front and delivers quite a sophisticated scent that is a blend of blue tansy and rose. It’s both herbal and flowery sweet, not unlike May Lindstrom’s Blue Cocoon.
Now that we got the first impressions out of the way, the results!
This oil sinks in right away. In fact it might be the coloring making this appear kind of water-like but the serum feels almost un-oil like if that makes sense. The first night I used it, I noticed some drying which is to be expected with most retinols. I had a very small breakout near my hairline (where I am most prone to breaking out) the first day but it never became unmanageable, fading within a few days – perhaps due to the anti-inflammatory Blue Tansy and Chamomile. To be fair, it has been a while since I’ve used a retinol and I am among those whose skin purges when beginning a retinol treatment.I’m about 3 weeks into Luna and have noticed my skin feeling softer and smile lines seem to have faded somewhat, no longer as pronounced. Overall my complexion just looks more refreshed.
If you’re looking for a retinol with the benefits of a face oil, this is one of my favorites as it is brilliantly made and looks beautiful on the counter. At $105 for 1oz, sure it isn’t for those on a budget but compared to the Sunday Riley price range, it’s actually pretty fair given how well thought out it is.
The oil sounded amazing until you got to the part about the color being dyed. How disappointing, though I”m sure that doesn’t impact the performance. Still, with blue being a color of choice for my skin these days too, oils like Aster & Bay’s Indigo oil, Oille Naturals Healing Intelligence Recover face serum, Pollen & Wax Picasso Blue Luxe Oil serum (can you tell I’m a die hard fan here?), and LBF’s Travel Therapy there are ample natural blue blends with slightly better price points to choose from. Granted, the added bonus of Retinol is missing in these formulas. Glad to hear you’re enjoying this one and lovely review as always. Do you think that you’d repurchase?
Thank you for leaving a comment Sarita! I would repurchase this but probably not for summer when my skin is more prone to sun damage since this increases the sensitivity. I generally save retinols for winter or when my skin just really needs it and then once I’m done with the bottle, I give my skin a break. One of my dermatologists described retinols as a “work out for skin” so while it’s good, I think allowing a recovery period is just as important for my skin.
Great review, Fabi! I have been seeing this oil around, and even had a reader ask me about it too (with layering it with Cocoon, actually). It looks like a gorgeous product, and you’re right about the blue dyes and appeal. Ugh! But like Sarita said above, I doubt that impacts performance. The good stuff is all in there, especially the retinol.
I am searching far and wide for my favorite gentle retinol night treatment, and am coming close to calling a few winners to truly test out for 12 weeks or so (which is what most derms say you need to see any results … though may be even longer with gentler products)! What else, if anything, do you use at night with this treatment? Do you use it just a few times a week so as not to dry out / irritate? I’d love to get a peek at your evening routine! xx
Thanks Kim! I think my skin is used to this now and when I want to go minimal this is all I need after cleanser, toner at night. When I first started I applied moisturizer like Kahina Night Cream or Tata Harper Rejuvenating Serum afterward to prevent dryness. I now use it about 3-4 times a week, I just don’t like doing retinol EVERY night. And I’ll have to do an evening routine post soon!
Great review and one that rang totally true for me. I got a sample of this at Sephora after reading about it on Caroline Hirons blog. Because I had to wait so long for the sales associate she gave me an mount generous enough to use over a couple of weeks. I wish they would just get blue bottles instead of adding dye to it. That really was my only issue–because it’s impressive: pores are reduced and skin slightly tightened after one use. I found that it really does exfoliate without added redness or flaking, though I found that a layer or moisture was needed the next day.
Yes it sounds like we experienced very similar results. Retinols do give that slightly ‘stripped’ high and tight dry skin feeling so I’ve had to layer moisturizer over it too. The bottles I’ve noticed are different colors to match the oils, next time you visit Sephora check out the Juno (yellow/gold), Artemis (yellow/pink) and Luna (blue ombre) bottles – the bottom is almost completely opaque.
I’ve just also tried this oil and why I like tge texture, smell etc I am really put off by the dyes, so unneccessary! Particularily since blue tansy is, well, blue! I hope sr will reformulate without the dyes. I use yuli’s modern alchemist, which uses natural retinols. What are your thoughts on natural vs synthetic retinols?
I hope there will be a dye-less version too. I won’t say it’s a deal breaker for me as the product is really good but if there is a version without, it would be THAT much better. Synthetic v Natural retinols, I generally feel like using synthetic in the short term to really turn my skin around but for long term I use natural retinol. So I would for example use a product like Modern Alchemist constantly and a synthetic like a few times a week or for the period I have the product and then take a break to allow my skin to kind of bounce back.
Retinol, have to inform me more about that.
Retinol is pretty much THE leading anti-aging ingredient in skincare. You can learn more about the kind that Sunday Riley uses here: http://www.carolinehirons.com/2015/01/sunday-riley-luna-exclusive.html
The dye used in Luna Oil is far less intrusive than ones used in Makeup… And the dye is not for just aesthetics, it is used to help the user layer and the distribution of the product. Xx
Hi Jenn, as it is a skincare product I would hope that the dye is less intrusive than the ones used in make-up. I’m aware that Sunday Riley has proclaimed this helps the user monitor if they’ve applied this enough but every other facial oil is able to be used without a need for this and I see this as more of an excuse to justify a poor decision in including a dye that should not have been put in since the main point is that it is just not needed. If we’re talking lipstick – then yes put some red dye in there, but it’s a different type of product altogether so I don’t think it’s the same to compare the two.
I just discovered your site today and love, love your reviews. Always honest and with a well rounded perspective on the pros/cons of products. I am so thrilled you reviewed this oil because I just purchased it today! I’m so very new to the safe, natural beauty/skincare world so I reached for this thinking it would be a sure bet. Sad to hear they include dyes but like you said, it’s still an effective product.
My question to you is; I purchased this an everyday night oil but given it does have such strong retinols, would you recommend going another route? I suppose I could keep this as an every-other-night type treatment but at this price point, that seems too much. I’d love a recommendation on an everyday night time moisturizer around or below this price point!
I just ordered this product yesterday for the first time and can’t wait until it arrives. Reading your review of it just made me that much more excited to try it.