Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil

Not too long ago, Sephora offered a five-use sample of Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil ($105) for selection in a customer's three free samples. I was intrigued, but I saw that it contained "the next generation retinoid oil." That concerned me, given the terrible reactions I've had to retinol in the past. My dermatologist advised me to avoid it - forever.

Then, a couple of years ago, Le Métier de Beauté introduced retinol-based products that incorporated a unique, patented form of retinol encased in vitamin E to deliver the retinol into the skin and past my ultra-sensitive outer layer of skin. I could use them! It was a first. I figured that if they could do it, perhaps another company could too. Besides, my trial was free. I knew that I could withstand a day of redness if the first night went poorly.

Marketed as a next-generation retinoid oil that improves the skin's plumpness and helps fight the appearance of wrinkles, redness, and pores for visibly clearer, younger-looking skin, Luna certainly had appeal. Luna works throughout the night to deliver more visibly youthful, luminous, even-toned skin in the morning. "A trans-retinoic acid ester complex reduces the appearance of pores and wrinkles, while visibly improving the signs of premature aging: fine lines, uneven texture, age spots, dryness, and dullness."

The oil contains a complex high in azulene (blue tansy, German chamomile, and cape chamomile) helps to lower the irritation associated with retinol to leave the skin calm and soothed. Cold-pressed avocado, chia (source of Omega 3), and concord grape seed oils sink in deeply for quick absorption of actives while boosting radiance. It's rich in vitamins B, C, D, E, and A and has a high sterolin content. Advanced trans-retinoid acid ester mixed with potent botanicals produce the ultimate transformative sleeping night oil. It's true!

There is a warning on the box that the first use or two may produce redness and peeling for a few days. It's temporary. I was the perfect candidate for those side effects, and I experienced nothing except mild redness on the third day of use. I skipped a night, and my face returned to normal - only better.

The effects of the ingredients?
  • Helps fight the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and loss of elasticity
  • Focuses on damage caused by the sun, time, pollution, lifestyle, and stress
  • Helps address the effects of skin damage with strong anti-inflammatory properties and helpful with eczema and dermatitis
  • Great for plumping fine lines
  • Believed to encourage a healthy inflammatory response and support the skin's ability to regulate sebum
Here are Sunday Riley's test results. I do not know their sample size.
After an independent consumer testing panel used Luna Sleeping Night Oil for four weeks...
  • 100% felt the product absorbed well into the skin
  • 96% of women felt their skin looked brighter and more radiant 
  • 96% of women felt their skin looked healthier and revitalized
  • 92% of women felt their skin tone looked more even, calmer, smoother
  • 92% would recommend Luna to a family member or friend
  • 88% felt their pores looked smaller
  • 85% felt their fine lines and wrinkles around the forehead were visibly improved
What did I experience? In only a few days, my skin was smoother; my small pores were even smaller; and I could swear my sun spots were lighter. My skin tone was even. I looked younger. Seriously!

Needless to say, I spent the $105 and bought Luna. It is a little tricky to use. I learned from the sample pack that you apply only a few drops each evening. It's hard for me to apply only a few drops. My skin is so dry, it slurps the oil before I can get it spread evenly over my entire face. So I probably use more than Sunday Riley intended. Given the fabulous effects, I can live with that.

I apply my moisturizer over it before bed. You don't have to. I've tried it both ways, with and without moisturizer, and I've found my skin to be equally improved.

I highly recommend Luna. From my perspective, it's a revolutionary product. Have you tried it yet? It's available at Sephora. By the way, it's cruelty-free and free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalate.

Photo courtesy of Sephora


Anonymous said...

Any unpleasant odor? Some of the Sunday Riley projects smell like salad dressing.

The Curator said...

Thanks so much for the review. I used to be able to tolerate prescription retinoids but in the past year or so my skin became a complete mess when I used them (red, irritated and peeling constantly no matter how much I exfoliated), so I was hoping the Luna Oil would be a good alternative. I have the same sample pack but have yet to try it - dealing with seborrheic dermatitis right now, sigh - as soon as my skin clears up I'm giving it a go.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Makeup Lover!

It has a smell, but it's hard to characterize. I'd say light and quick to dissipate. I hate noxious smells, but this one is rather neutral to me.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Curator, definitely let your skin heal before you test it.

DLori said...

I have a question: I just bought this product as a set with the moisturizer “Good Genes” I believe. I haven’t used it yet but have you heard anything about this set, using both products together as compared to using the Luna Oil by itself. Thanks Much.

Unknown said...

I've tried a travel sample of Luna and did like it. But since I can tolerate a 1% retinol, I use some of her other products. I adore her Juno oil and apply that over my retinoid. I also love her Blue Moon tranquility Cleansing Balm. It is a light scrub that not only cleanses skin, lightly exfoliates any skin from any retinol/retinoid that I may be using and leaves skin soft and very moisturized with various oils without being greasy. My combo/dry skin loves it. I will also rotate putting either Juno, Tatcha Overnight Memory cream, or Sunday Riley's Tidal Brightening Cream over my nightly retinoid. Blue Moon, Juno and Tidal are staples of mine and have done wonders for my skin.

Mamavalveeta03 said...

I've tried it several times (I was fortunate enough to acquire several samples thru different avenues!) and I love it! I find the scent pleasantly herbal and not problematic at all. I'm also one with sensitive skin and was able to use it with no problems. I'm considering a purchase, since I also love love LOVE Sunday Riley's "Good Genes" for the smoothness and glow it imparts to my skin.

Charlestongirl said...

Cindy, makes sense. You can easily overdo retinol.

Charlestongirl said...

DLori, I'm sorry. I have no direct knowledge of the other product in the set. I suspect from what I've read that they are a good combo. Anyone here know?

Charlestongirl said...

MamaVal, I'm very pleased I bought it.

Jill said...

Many people love Good Genes, and it's a very well loved SR product. But for me, it physically hurts on my skin. I think it was Eileen who explained the lactic acid content is unnecessarily high - hopefully she'll chime in. It's turned me off from the whole line sadly. Maybe I'll muster the courage to try a sample of this! Thanks for the review CG :)

meredith said...

Very glad to hear your thoughts on this as Sunday Riley is a brand I've been contemplating for months now. I am all about the 'active' ingredients in skincare (especially at night) but like you, worry about the reaction(s) I've had. Thank you for talking about this-I may just take the plunge!

Nan P said...

Luna Oil sounds interesting - I wish I'd gotten a sample while it was available. I've tried several of Sunday Riley's products since becoming aware of this line about 5 years ago, but the only two I've truly liked enough to repurchase is the Juno facial oil and Good Genes which does cause some temporary very redness for me, but doesn't last and my face is smooth as glass for days afterward. I don't use it more than every other week though, and I dislike the fragrance. Juno is wonderful and I'm sorry the larger body version seems to have been discontinued.

Eileen said...

Hi Jill,

Yes, I was the one who brought up the problem with Good Genes' excessively acidic pH level. I wouldn't let that deter me, though, from trying other products in the line. I'd just be sure to get samples (enough for 3-4 days) to see how well I could tolerate them and I'd definitely read the ingredient labels. "Natural" and "plant derived" does not necessarily mean mild and gentle. After all, strychnine is natural and plant derived! LOL All kidding aside, the Luna oil seems rather benign and contains a nice mix of anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory oils. Unfortunately, it also contains some fragrance and citrus oils that some people might find problematic. For example, I can't tolerate orange or lemon oils. Since I use a prescription retinoic acid preparation, this product wouldn't be suitable for me but it might be good for people who find other retinol preparations too harsh. If you already have a retinoid you love, using Luna might result in a bit of acid overload.

LadyJicky said...

I do not know if anyone is like me but .... I cannot put oils on my face ... my eyes bug up and are so sore and I do not put them right under the eyes either ... on the cheeks and below. Scented or unscented - it does the same , so no oils for me sadly.

Andreea said...

I am so tempted to buy the Luna Oil. Everybody seems to love it. I wasn't sure what to do...It has quite a price tag. But your words convinced. I am going to get it. Thanks for the review. It was great timing for me.

Eileen said...

Hi LadyJicky,

You're not alone. I have a friend who cannot tolerate nut oils (argan,, marula, etc.). If she applies them anywhere on her face, her eyes puff up and redden and her nose drips like a leaky faucet :-( Not exactly the beautiful result beauty oils promise, is it? Fortunately, there are so many other wonderful ingredients that are every bit as skin loving as are many of these nutritious oils. I adore beauty oils and apply them with wild abandon but, in truth, most of my lady friends don't care for them and they have beautiful complexions.

Anonymous said...

Didn't do anything for me I'm afraid (and I like other SR products such as Bionic and Good Genes). Made my skin look duller and greasy in the ams. My dermatologist said the ingredients were nothing special and the use of dye to make it blue disappointing in a premium product.

Charlestongirl said...

It is blue because of Blue Tansy, not a dye.

I'm sorry it didn't work for you, Anonymous, but there are no products that work for everyone. I disagree with your dermatologist. It's odd he or she would say retinol is nothing special. Perhaps your dermatologist sells his own products?

Eileen said...

Hi Anonymous,

I'm going to champion you :-). According to the ingredient list, Luna does, indeed, contain artificial colors; specifically Cl61565 (green 6) and Cl60725 (violet 2). It does get some of its color from the blue tansy and chamomile, but it also gets some of its color from green 6 and violet 2. As for the formula not being anything special, perhaps your Derm was referring to the particular retinol ester that is being used---hydroxypinacolone retinoate---which is a gentler form of retinol. I think most dermatologists go straight for retinoic acid if your skin can tolerate it. I get a formulation prescribed by my dermatologist that is in a very soothing and moisturizing base. I've used it for ages and would never bother with the various OTC retinoids but I do understand that there are some people who simply can't tolerate the stronger retinoids but who want some of the benefits. I think Luna is for people in that situation.

LadyJicky said...

Oh Eileen .... thank God I am not the only one - I thought I was going crazy!!
Everyone just loves the oils and uses them alot!
For the record Eileen - I am not allergic to nuts and can eat peanut butter etc. Weird! LOL

Charlestongirl said...

The two dyes in the product simply changed the shade of Blue Tansy. If you Google that oil, you will find its a deep blue.

BTW, it does not turn your skin blue. :)