These Are the 16 Sunday Riley Products Definitely Worth Trying

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products. Healthcare professionals review articles for medical accuracy. Learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.
Commerce Photo Composite

Byrdie / Lecia Landis

There’s perhaps no other beauty company that better epitomizes the term “fan-favorite” than Sunday Riley. The Texas-based brand has been around for a decade, initially amassing devoted followers quietly and flying somewhat under the radar. But their popularity has skyrocketed in recent years, and this once niche brand is now a major force to be reckoned with. Credit their curated and relatively limited collection of products—currently less than 20—all of which use tried-and-true ingredients to make a noticeable difference in how your skin looks and feels. (Not to mention that the formulas are also free of parabens, phthalates, and artificial fragrances, too.) They also recently announced a partnership with United Airlines, providing their first- and business-class amenities, and are now available at Ulta. The bottom line: If you haven’t yet heard of the brand, mark our words, you will soon.

Jump aboard the bandwagon with any—or all—of the best Sunday Riley products we think are true stand-outs.

Sunday Riley Good Genes All-in-One Lactic Acid Treatment

4.7
Best for Sensitive Skin: Sunday Riley Good Genes All-in-One Lactic Acid Treatment

Sephora

What We Like
  • Boosts radiance

  • Gentle formula

  • Can leave on overnight

What We Don't Like
  • Increases sun sensitivity

If we absolutely, positively had to recommend just one Sunday Riley product, it would likely be this often buzzed about treatment. The Byrdie team is fully obsessed; it's the winner of the best chemical exfoliator award in the 2019 Byrdie Skincare Awards.

The star of the show is, no surprise, purified lactic acid. It gently yet effectively exfoliates to even out and smooth your complexion and is coupled with other plant-based ingredients. New York City dermatologist Dr. Debra Jaliman says that combo of lactic acid, along with the brightening and soothing ingredients, make it a great product for combating fine lines and wrinkles, diminishing the look of dark spots, plumping the skin, and even getting rid of redness. (FYI, that lactic acid does give this a, let’s call it distinct, sour milk scent, but it’s a small price to pay for how well it works.) If your skin is sensitive, use it as a mask and rinse off after three minutes—it works that fast. Otherwise, leave it on overnight and prepare to be amazed when you look in the mirror come morning.

Type: Chemical | Active Ingredients: Purified lactic acid, licorice, lemongrass, arnica, prickly pear extract | Size: 1 oz. or 1.7 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment Review

Byrdie / Jenna Igneri

Sunday Riley Good Genes Glycolic Acid Treatment

Sunday Riley Good Genes Glycolic Acid Treatment
What We Like
  • Can leave on overnight

  • Potent formula

  • Boosts radiance

What We Don't Like
  • Not ideal for sensitive skin

Look carefully, because the packaging and the name of this and the above product are nearly identical. The brand first launched this variant back in 2018; it too is an overnight exfoliant, though slightly more potent, both with a higher concentration of acid and a stronger acid at that. It includes glycolic acid, and it promises to decongest skin, reverse sun damage, and boost your overall complexion. (Though yes, this can come with an increased likelihood of side effects, so this formula is best for those with oily or non-easily irritated skin.)

Type: Chemical | Active Ingredients: Glycolic acid, potassium lactate | Size: 1 fl. oz. or 1.7 fl. oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser

Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser

 Courtesy of Sephora

What We Like
  • Doesn't strip skin

  • Creamy texture

  • A little goes a long way

What We Don't Like
  • Some may prefer something with more lather

This strikes the best face wash balance, cleansing without ever over-drying your skin. Its formula includes plant-based, ultra-gentle soaps, French clay, and rice oil esters, so the mask acts like a magnet to pull out dirt, oil, and other unwanted gunk while maintaining moisture, leaving your complexion balanced. While they call it a foaming cleanser, we find it veers more toward the creamy side of the spectrum, though never leaves behind a residue. Also nice: A little bit goes a long way, so one tube lasts quite a while.

Active Ingredients: Green clay, bentonite, white kaolin, rice esters, olive esters | Skin Type: All | Benefits: Cleanses, unclogs pores, hydrates | Size: 5 fl. oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Sunday Riley Auto Correct Eye Cream

Sunday Riley Auto Correct Brightening + Depuffing Eye Cream

Sephora

What We Like
  • Quick results

  • Pump bottle

  • Smells good

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't layer well under makeup

No matter whether you’re trying to combat the effects of a late-night, an early morning, or the dreaded combo of both, reach for their Auto Correct Eye Cream. It includes caffeine and ginseng root, and it promises to take down puffiness almost instantly—try our trick and keep it in the fridge to further up the ante—while antioxidants and hydrating ingredients moisturize and smooth out the look of crow’s feet over time.

Active Ingredients: Caffeine, Brazillian ginseng root extract, acmella oleracea extract, watermelon rind extract, lutein | Benefits: Reduces puffiness, lifts, boosts radiance, reduces dark circles, smooths fine lines and wrinkles, hydrates | Dosage: 1 to 2 pumps | Size: 0.5 fl. oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Sunday Riley A+High-Dose Retinoid Serum

Sunday Riley A+High-Dose Retinoid Serum

 Courtesy of Sephora

What We Like
  • Pump bottle

  • Potent formula

  • Fragrance-free

What We Don't Like
  • Can be irritating at first

There’s no denying that retinoids are the undisputed champions of the skincare world, and this formula relies on a combination of different ones. We’re talking a 6.5% combo of stabilized retinoids and botanicals (a blue-green algae) that act like a retinoid. Soothing ingredients are added to mitigate the potential for any unwanted side effects (read: irritation and redness). Still, as with other retinoids, it’s a good move to start using this gradually to give your skin time to acclimate.

Active Ingredients: Retinoid ester blend, liposome-encapsulated retinol blend, blue-green algae | Retinol Concentration: 5% retinoid ester blend, 1% liposomal-encapsulated retinol blend | Dosage: 1 to 2 pumps | Size: 1 fl. oz. or 1.7 fl. oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Sunday Riley C.E.O. 15% Vitamin C Brightening Serum

Sunday Riley C.E.O. 15% Vitamin C Brightening Serum

Sunday Riley

What We Like
  • Potent formula

  • Absorbs quickly

  • Smells good

What We Don't Like
  • Can feel tacky

Breaking news: Not all forms of Vitamin C are created equal. This rich serum uses a powerful form known as THD ascorbate; it’s stable and oil-soluble, quickly soaking into the skin so that it can reap the benefits, namely boosting radiance (Dr. Jaliman says it works well to combat both discolorations from sun damage and leftover acne marks), line-smoothing, and antioxidant protection. Consider it the best base layer to apply under sunscreen daily. The intense orangey scent is also a nice pick-me-up on sleepy mornings.

Benefits: Boosts radiance, fades dark spots, firms, plumps | Skin Type: All | Dosage: 2 pumps | Size: 1 fl. oz. or 1.7 fl. oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil

sunday-riley-luna-sleeping-night-oil

Sephora

What We Like
  • Reduces fine lines and wrinkles

  • Hydrating

  • Absorbs quickly

What We Don't Like
  • Seeing results may take some time

Infused with blue tansy essential oils, this retinol oil does, in fact, go on blue, though blends in clear when rubbed in. It combines a retinoid complex, blue tansy, and German chamomile essential oil and promises to knock out fine lines and plump skin while combat sensitivity and redness. “It’s very hydrating, so I’d recommend this for someone with mature skin or for those with normal to dry skin,” says Dr. Jaliman, who is a fan. You may notice some positive changes the next day, though for best results give it a good four weeks.

Active Ingredients: Trans-retinol, blue tansy oil, german chamomile oil, cape chamomile oil, avocado seed oil, chia seed oil | Skin Type: All | Dosage: Apply as needed | Size: 0.5 fl. oz. or 1.18 fl. oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream

4.6
Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream

Courtesy of Sephora

What We Like
  • Lightweight

  • Fades hyperpigmentation

  • Cooling feeling

What We Don't Like
  • Unhygienic container

Sure, this does the job of a good moisturizer, using two types of hyaluronic acid to attract water to the skin (and the oil-free, bouncy gel texture that’s innately cooling and refreshing is nice, too). But it doesn’t stop there. It's infused with both papaya extracts and alpha-arbutin, so it also goes to town targeting unwanted spots and hyperpigmentation. And how pretty is the pastel turquoise hue?

Active Ingredients: Highly Purified Alpha-arbutin, papain (papaya enzymes), 2 forms of hyaluronic acid, tamarind extract | Skin Type: All | Size: 0.5 fl. oz. or 1.7 fl. oz. | SPF: None | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

What Our Testers Say

"Sunday Riley's Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream exceeded my expectations—it’s instantly hydrating, refreshing, and brightening, making it the perfect product for my dry skin." — Alexa Garcia, Product Tester

Sunday Riley U.F.O. Ultra Clarifying Acne Treatment Face Oil

Sunday Riley U.F.O. Ultra Clarifying Acne Treatment Face Oil
What We Like
  • Unclogs pores

  • Fades hyperpigmentation

  • Can also use on scalp

What We Don't Like
  • Strong smell

We know, we know, oil and acne treatment sound like an oxymoronic pairing, but trust us, it’s not. This treatment is formulated with salicylic acid, milk thistle, cucumber seed oil, tea tree oil, and licorice, and it promises to decongest pores, hydrate skin, and fade any leftover acne marks.

Active Ingredients: Salicylic acid, tea tree oil, black cumin seed oil, licorice root, hexylresorcinol | Skin Type: All | Dosage: Apply as needed | Size: 0.5 fl. oz. or 1.18 fl. oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Sunday Riley Ice Ceramide Moisturizing Cream

4.4
Sunday Riley Ice Ceramide Moisturizing Cream

Sunday Riley

What We Like
  • Strengthens skin barrier

  • Rich, creamy texture

  • Great for winter

What We Don't Like
  • Unhygienic container

Like a big ol’ glass of water for thirsty skin, this is a choice hydrator for anyone whose complexion skews on the dry side. It works two ways, first pulling in moisture, then locking it in, thanks to ceramides that keep your skin barrier strong and healthy. The results? Plumped skin that’s as soft as a baby’s booty. Rich and creamy, it’s a great pick to use in the dead of winter or pre-bedtime.

Active Ingredients: Ceramides, vitamin F, coconut, beet root extract, red algae extract, pomegranate sterols | Skin Type: Balanced, dry, combination | Size: 1.7 oz. | SPF: None | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Sunday Riley C.E.O. Vitamin C Rich Hydration Cream

Sunday Riley C.E.O. Vitamin C Rich Hydration Cream

 Courtesy of Ulta

What We Like
  • Great for sensitive skin

  • Provides antioxidant protection

  • Boosts radiance

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't wear well under makeup

If you love the C.E.O serum, you’ll appreciate that this heavy-hitting hydrator has that same potent version of vitamin C. But here it comes in a lower concentration, making it a good pick if your skin is slightly more sensitive. Unless your complexion is very dry, save this for bedtime use; it’s definitely heavy and can be a bit too much under makeup.

Active Ingredients: Vitamin C THD ascorbate, exopolysaccharides, lime pearl, bisabolol | Skin Type: Balanced, dry, combination, mature, oily, sensitive | Size: 0.5 fl. oz. or 1.7 fl. oz. | SPF: None | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Sunday Riley Blue Moon Clean Rinse Cleansing Balm

Sunday Riley Blue Moon Tranquility Cleansing Balm

 Courtesy of Sephora

What We Like
  • Removes tough makeup

  • Smells good

  • Boosts radiance

What We Don't Like
  • Some may not like the gritty texture

For those whose skin is ultra-dry, or for those who wear a lot of makeup and are too lazy to use a separate makeup remover (insert hand-raising emoji here), this is a great choice. Thick and luscious, the base is made of cocoa and moringa butter and uses sugar-based cleansers to help cleanse the skin. The vanilla and orange scent coupled with the luxe texture will make you feel like you’re in a spa, transforming run-of-the-mill face washing into the ultimate self-care moment.

Active Ingredients: Moringa butter, cocoa butter, sugar-based cleansers, blue tansy oil, german chamomile, tangerine essential oil, sweet orange essential oil | Skin Type: Balanced, dry, sensitive | Size: 3.5 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Sunday Riley Saturn Sulfur Acne Treatment Mask

Sunday Riley Saturn Sulfur Acne Treatment Mask

 Courtesy of Dermstore

What We Like
  • Great spot treatment

  • Works quickly

  • Potent formula

What We Don't Like
  • Strong smell

Dealing with a galaxy-sized pimple? Dab on this mask, packed with 10% sulfur to dry up blemishes, plus anti-inflammatory niacinamide to reduce redness and anti-bacterial tea tree oil, among other ingredients. (Plus, the green hue makes for a great Insta’ masking content.) It contains sulfur, so fair warning, it is going to be smelly, but the benefits are worth it.

Benefits: Clears acne, prevents future breakouts, boosts radiance, unclogs pores, calms redness | Active Ingredients: Sulfur, niacinamide, zinc PCA, tea tree oil, manuka oil, bentonite | Skin Type: Acne-prone, combination, dry, balanced, oily | Size: 0.5 fl. oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Sunday Riley Pink Drink Firming Resurfacing Essence

Sunday Riley Pink Drink Firming Resurfacing Essence
What We Like
  • Lightweight

  • A little goes a long way

  • Layers well under other products

What We Don't Like
  • Results aren't drastic

While many of the products in the line are focused on the texture of the skin, this serum focuses on elasticity instead. Its formula includes peptides, probiotics, and a green tea-derived antioxidant—one of the most potent ones out there.

Active Ingredients: Firming peptides, ceramides, fermented honey, chlorella, kelp, sea water, pink yeast filtrate, EGCG | Skin Type: Balanced, dry, combination, oily | Benefits: Resurfaces, balances, firms, hydrates | Size: 1.7 fl. oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Sunday Riley Clean Rinse Clarifying Scalp Serum

Sunday Riley Clean Rinse Clarifying Scalp Serum

 Courtesy of Ulta

What We Like
  • Potent formula

  • Smells good

  • Quick results

What We Don't Like
  • Not ideal for sensitive skin

Let’s not forget that your scalp is skin, too, and as such deserves equal time and attention. Enter this treatment, unlike any we’ve ever seen. An AHA/BHA combo (glycolic and salicylic acids, to be exact) deeply exfoliates the scalp, removing excess oil, product build-up, and other grime. Leave it on for anywhere from three to 30 minutes before washing hair as usual, up to a few times per week.

Benefits: Exfoliates, dissolves buildup, promotes healthy hair growth, rebalances, hydrates | Hair Type: All | Dosage: Create small sections and apply as needed | Size: 4 fl. oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Sunday Riley Charcoal Smoothie Body Scrub

Sunday Riley Charcoal Smoothie Body Scrub
What We Like
  • Doesn't strip skin

  • Helps with KP

  • Smells good

What We Don't Like
  • Can stain shower

The brand’s only product meant for your body, this scrub combines both mechanical and chemical exfoliants, namely exfoliating powders plus salicylic acid and lactic acid. It's also formulated with charcoal, coconut water, and avocado oil, and it promises to be effective without over-drying the skin. It is especially ideal for combatting KP, or so-called chicken skin, on the backs of your arms.

Type: Physical and chemical hybrid | Active Ingredients: Activated charcoal, salicylic acid, biodegradable wax, niacinamide, zinc PCA, coconut water, manuka branch and leaf oil, jojoba seed oil | Size: 7 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

What to Look For in Sunday Riley Products

Active Ingredients

When choosing Sunday Riley products, look for active ingredients known to provide results. Popular high-performing ingredients include AHAs, retinol, hyaluronic acid, clays, plant oils and extracts, vitamins, enzymes, and algae. Check the labels and do some research to find out what these active ingredients can do for your skin.

Skin Type

Your skin type determines which types of Sunday Riley products you should choose. Look for products designated for your skin type, whether that be acne-prone, dry, balanced, sensitive, or combination. If you have aging skin, you may wish to choose products that combat signs of aging, such as fine lines, wrinkles, loss of elasticity, etc. It’s best to avoid more harsh ingredients or ones that may clog your pores if you have sensitive skin or if certain ingredients cause breakouts.

Benefits

When choosing a Sunday Riley product, you likely want your purchase to go the distance. Look for products that provide the best benefits for your needs. All-in-one formulas, like Good Genes, are packed with many highly effective ingredients and can be a time and money-saving choice.

FAQ
  • Why is Sunday Riley so good?

    Sunday Riley uses clinical testing and evidence-backed ingredients in its products and appropriately high concentrations of active ingredients, so you can actually see results. They are also carefully crafted for specific skin types and skincare needs.

  • Is Sunday Riley good for acne?

    Sunday Riley is good for acne since they craft products specifically addressing acne-prone skin. Sunday Riley U.F.O. Ultra Clarifying Acne Treatment Face Oil works wonders to unclog pores and treat active breakouts. Sunday Riley Good Genes contains lactic acid, an excellent ingredient for those with acne-prone skin. It provides gentle exfoliation to unclog pores and turn over skin cells for radiant, clearer skin.

  • Does Sunday Riley Good Genes really work?

    Sunday Riley Good Genes really works for many people. The brand has become so popular because its products live up to claims. Good Genes is one of Sunday Riley’s most popular products because consumers love it and buy it consistently.

Why Trust Byrdie?

Byrdie contributor Melanie Rud has over a decade of experience in the beauty industry, writing for some of the biggest magazines and websites out there. While she was admittedly late to start using Sunday Riley products, she’s now a total convert.

Meet the Expert

Dr. Debra Jaliman is a New York City board-certified dermatologist. She’s an Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Icahn School of Medicine Mount Sinai and the author of Skin Rules: Trade Secrets From a Top New York Dermatologist.

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. Swindell WR, Randhawa M, Quijas G, Bojanowski K, Chaudhuri RK. Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (THDC) Degrades Rapidly under Oxidative Stress but Can Be Stabilized by Acetyl Zingerone to Enhance Collagen Production and Antioxidant EffectsInt J Mol Sci. 2021;22(16):8756. doi:10.3390/ijms22168756

  2. Draelos ZD, Diaz I, Namkoong J, Wu J, Boyd T. Efficacy Evaluation of a Topical Hyaluronic Acid Serum in Facial PhotoagingDermatol Ther (Heidelb). 2021;11(4):1385-1394. doi:10.1007/s13555-021-00566-0

  3. Tokudome Y. [Improvement of the Skin Barrier Function with Physiologically Active Substances].Yakugaku Zasshi. 2019;139(12):1549-1551. doi:10.1248/yakushi.19-00181-1

  4. Decker A, Graber EM. Over-the-counter Acne Treatments: A ReviewJ Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2012;5(5):32-40.

  5. Bains P, Kaur M, Kaur J, Sharma S. Nicotinamide: Mechanism of action and indications in dermatologyIndian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2018;84(2):234-237. doi:10.4103/ijdvl.IJDVL_286_17

  6. Mazzarello V, Donadu MG, Ferrari M, et al. Treatment of acne with a combination of propolis, tea tree oil, and Aloe vera compared to erythromycin cream: two double-blind investigationsClin Pharmacol. 2018;10:175-181. doi:10.2147/CPAA.S180474

  7. Tang SC, Yang JH. Dual Effects of Alpha-Hydroxy Acids on the SkinMolecules. 2018;23(4):863. doi:10.3390/molecules23040863

  8. Arif T. Salicylic acid as a peeling agent: a comprehensive reviewClin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2015;8:455-461. doi:10.2147/CCID.S84765

Related Stories