Sunday Riley's Tidal Water Cream Rejuvenated My Dry Skin

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Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream

Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream

Alexa Garcia

What We Like
  • Lightweight gel consistency

  • Deeply hydrating

  • Refreshing, cooling feel

  • Reduces the appearance of hyperpigmentation

What We Don't Like
  • Fairly high price point

  • Some may experience pilling

Sunday Riley’s Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream provides instant hydration and retains moisture for over 24 hours, giving you a smooth, radiant complexion all day long.


Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream

Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream

Alexa Garcia

We put the Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.

Genetically, I’m prone to dry skin. While that may seem like a benefit, it’s often exacerbated by my love of coffee and other caffeinated beverages. I’m always on the lookout for moisturizers that work to hydrate my skin from the inside out, but many of the ones I've tried have left me wanting more.

Lately, Sunday Riley has been on my radar, both for the brand's quality and initiatives centered on being more sustainable. I put one of Sunday Riley’s best-selling products to the test—the Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream. 

Does it live up to the hype? Ahead, learn my thoughts after using this cult-favorite twice a day for three weeks.

Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream

Best for: Normal, dry, and combination skin

Uses: A daily moisturizer that hydrates, improves radiance, and helps alleviate dark spots.

Potential allergens: Dimethicone

Hero ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, alpha-arbutin, tamarind seed extract, and papain.

Byrdie Clean?  Yes

Price: $65

About the brand: Sunday Riley is a female-founded brand that creates high-quality skincare with power-packed ingredients. The brand strives to be more sustainable and is cruelty-free.

About My Skin: Dry with occasional stress-related blemishes

As mentioned, my skin tends to be on the drier side. Depending on my stress or hormone levels throughout the month, I tend to experience the occasional pimple or two. Lately, my skin has been breaking out more than usual (likely due to birth control), so I’ve been trying to keep my skincare routine as simple as possible: cleanser, toner, treatment or serum, a moisturizer, and sunscreen. Also, I recently started using a topical retinoid.

The Feel: A lightweight gel

Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream Texture

Alexa Garcia/Design by Cristina Cianci

Sunday Riley's Tidal Water Cream has a non-sticky, jelly-like texture that feels lightweight upon application. It also instantly cools and refreshes upon application, making it ideal in the summer months. Sweep it on using the tiny (yet surprisingly heavyweight) spatula that comes in the box.

The Scent: Light and delightful

To preface, Sunday Riley products contain no synthetic fragrances, so any scent comes from the ingredients themselves. The Tidal Water Cream had a very light, clean scent. I’d consider the scent a delight, although I know some people prefer their skincare to be completely unscented.

The Ingredients: Ultra-nourishing

Sunday Riley's Tidal Water Cream contains a multitude of quality ingredients: hyaluronic acid, which replenishes cell moisture; alpha-arbutin, a gentle relative of hydroquinone that evens skin tone and prevents dark spots; papain (papaya enzymes), which exfoliates and smooths skin; and tamarind extract, which also improves skin hydration. Other rockstar ingredients include glycerin, turmeric root extract, and horse chestnut seed extract.

The Science: Clinically-tested by the brand

Sunday Riley clinically tested the Tidal Water Cream with a corneometer (which measures even the slightest change in skin hydration) and found a 68% increase in skin moisture in merely 15 minutes. This hydration isn’t just a quick fix either—the brand claims your skin will retain moisture for over 24 hours after using this product. If you use it every day, you can imagine the product's potential to transform the condition of your skin.

The Results: Bouncy, radiant skin

Sunday Riley Tidal Water Cream Results on Alexa Garcia

Alexa Garcia

Sunday Riley’s Tidal Water Cream truly hits the mark when it comes to boosting hydration. After incorporating the moisturizer into my skincare routine for a few weeks, I can say that my skin not only appears more radiant, but it also feels deeply nourished and hydrated. I’ve also noticed a visible reduction of dark spots and skin discoloration.

The Value: Slightly pricey, but worth it

At $65 for a 1.7-oz. tub, this product can be expensive compared to other competing moisturizers and water creams. However, if you factor in the Tidal Water Cream's hero ingredients, the value is actually incredible since this cream has a unique formulation that promotes serious hydration benefits that aren’t just superficial.  If you're looking for the type of deep hydration that I was, this is worth the investment for sure.

Similar Products: You've got options

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream: This drugstore alternative ($24) also contains hyaluronic acid and provides similar levels of hydration at a fraction of the cost. However, it doesn’t contain as many quality ingredients and may cause reactions to sensitive skin. 

Glow Recipe Watermelon Pink Juice Moisturizer: This best-selling moisturizer ($39) also contains hyaluronic acid and is known for its instant hydrating benefits. It also contains other ingredients that work to even tone and reduce dark spots, leaving your skin with a healthy, radiant glow. 

Tatcha The Water Cream: Containing powerful Japanese nutrients and botanicals, this popular oil-free water cream ($68) instantly replenishes dry skin and encourages cell turnover.

Final Verdict

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.


  • Product Name Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream
  • Product Brand Sunday Riley
  • Price $65.00
  • Weight 1.7 oz.
  • Full Ingredient List Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Moringa Oil/Hydrogenated Moringa Oil Esters, Glycerin, Propanediol, Hydrolyzed Jojoba Esters, Isododecane, Sodium Acrylates Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Alpha-Arbutin, Cucumis Sativus Extract , Pentylene Glycol, Adipic Acid/Neopentyl Glycol Crosspolymer, Lauryl Dimethicone, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Allantoin, Strelitzia Nicolai Seed Aril Extract, Tamarindus Indica Seed Gum, Aesculus Hippocastanum Seed Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Sodium Hyaluronate, Papain, Carbomer, 1,2-Hexanediol, Algin, Caprylyl Glycol, Lecithin, Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract, Melia Azadirachta Flower Extract, Mimosa Tenuiflora Bark Extract, Coccinia Indica Fruit Extract, Solanum Melongena (Eggplant) Fruit Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Flower Exract, Ocimum Sanctum Leaf Extract, Ocimum Basilicum (Basil) Flower/Leaf Extract, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Corallina Officinalis Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Chlorphenesin, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Tocopherol, Malic Acid, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Titanium Dioxide, Tin Oxide.

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