Whenever the swoon worthy luxury brand, Sunday Riley, releases a new product, people sit up and take notice. The release of its newest face oil, Luna Sleeping Night Oil, was no exception. To add to the maddening frenzy, it’s still a Sephora US only exclusive (Hah! I love that bit!). I’ve been religiously anointing my face with this oil every single night since the past month, and every time I post a pic of this oil on my Instagram feed, it generates so much buzz that I think a detailed review is long past overdue.
What is it? A face oil boasting of the inclusion of a highly stabilized form of retinol, and a carefully selected list of nourishing, cold pressed oils. As such, the combination aims to deliver all the benefits of retinol, without being irritating. It does all the heavy lifting while you get your beauty sleep – reduces pore size, treats hyperpigmentation, repairs damaged skin, and of course, fights against wrinkles and provides anti-aging benefits.
Price? $105/1 oz
Packaging: Super high end, and worth showing off on your beauty counter. The glass bottle itself is a darker shade of blue, to preserve the ingredients inside. The dropper is easy to work with and dispenses just the right amount of oil. I love the sturdy outer box that all of Sunday Riley’s oils come in – it provides adequate protection during shipment.
First and foremost, this oil contains Trans-retinol ester that fights against wrinkles, fine lines, loss of elasticity, as well as treats various skin issues, such as acne, hyperpigmentation, scars etc. The list of cold pressed oils is very impressive, and contains a mix of Avocado Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Chia Oil, Blackberry Oil. The inclusion of Avocado Oil as the first ingredient made me shudder a bit, because it’s a heavier oil usually avoided by combination/acne prone skin types, but the overall composition of this blend is so well balanced that this face oil is anything but heavy.
Luna also has a solid lineup of luscious smelling essential oils – the most famous one, that lends its beautiful hue to the blend and is hoarding all the spotlight currently, is Blue Tansy. This oil is incredibly healing, and the scent is truly relaxing. Also, the addition of Chamomile, Neroli, Blood Orange, Ylang Ylang, Vetiver, and Rosemary essential oils make Luna highly anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic. The oil itself smells sweet, and herbal – some people don’t like it, but I am quite addicted to this scent, and it makes me feel very calm and relaxed, and is exactly what I need when I’m about to hit the bed.
A lot has been said about the inclusion of dyes, and while the inclusion is not ideal in a skincare product, it’s certainly not a deal breaker for me, considering the overall formulation. To put this in context – Green beauty brands add colorants to their makeup products too (Most of you do wear some type of makeup, don’t you?).
Luna is my first foray into the more “traditional” retinol treatments. I have used alternate forms of retinols in the past, but now that I am in my early 30s with some fine lines around my mouth needing treatment, I thought it was about time to step it up a notch. I apply 4-5 drops on freshly toned, damp face and neck, as a nightly treatment. For me, it’s the last step of my PM skincare routine. I have read some comments on Caroline Hiron’s blog that call out that since it’s a Retinol treatment, it should be applied first (even before the serums), but for me personally, since the formulation is so hydrating, I prefer to apply it at the end, just like I would if it were a normal face oil. My layering style is very influenced by the Asian/Korean skincare system, and I prefer to move from lighter (serums, treatments, essence etc.) to heavier (moisturizer, oil) products.
Which brings me to the next point – Luna is anything but a normal face oil. I have been suffering from extreme skin sensitivities and acne issues ever since I turned 30, and have to be super careful about the oils I choose to put on my face – Among all the oils I’ve used so far (and I’ve used lots – Yuli, Kypris Beauty, Beauty Counter, Tatcha, Odacitè, Kahina Giving Beauty, Ila Beauty, May Lindstrom Skin, Mun Beauty et al), this has to be one of the fastest absorbing oils. It behaves very similarly to a dry oil, and after massaging for less than a minute, the blue color dissolves completely. For my combination/acne prone skin, 4 drops is sufficient to adequately moisturize. On days I’m feeling particularly dry, I might add an additional layer of a water based moisturizer on top. If you have normal to dry skin, you might need something else too. The texture of the oil hasn’t been an issue even during this time of the year, as we get ready for the big heat wave here in Texas.
I saw an immediate overnight improvement in my overall complexion, and it just gets better with every single use. I have been waking up to a calm, more even, healthier looking face every morning, and the startling results are already quite addicting. Any existing acne is healed at an expedited rate, and older acne scars, and hyper pigmentation issues are being dealt with simultaneously. And might I say, in a months’ time, those fine lines around my mouth appear much softer than before. The results that I’ve gotten with this oil have far surpassed the ones that I got from other oils in the past. I didn’t get any new spots or whiteheads the next day, but I do notice some dry patches around my mouth some mornings, and is something I’m able to easily fix by using a gentle exfoliator.
I am extremely psyched and excited about establishing a long term relationship with this product. For me personally, I’ve routinely invested about $100 in many face oils in the past, and for an oil that effectively includes proven scientific ingredients to tackle anti-aging concerns, $105 is definitely not a high price to pay. If you’re looking to step into the world of retinols, or if you’re a huge oil fan, or even if you want to start on oils but are just afraid of any potential side effects, Luna is definitely a great oil based treatment to start off with.