5 Night Skin Challenge ft. Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil

Skincare is a multi-million dollar industry. Whether you are looking to brighten up your eyes, slay those wrinkles, shrink your pores or banish excessive oil, there is a product out there for every skin concern under the sun. The problem is: Does it actually work? With so many skincare products promising the world and toting high price tags, finding the right product for your particular skin issue can be quite an exhaustive and costly endeavor. This is why I am especially prudent while hunting down new products for my skincare arsenal.

Lately, I have been wanting to change up my skincare routine. I tend to shy away from doing too many new things to my face because you never know what kind of reaction your skin may have. The last thing I would want to do is manifest a new skin issue while trying to solve another! However, my skin seems to be tired of my current regimen—it’s time to switch things up. Naturally, I headed to Sephora. If you are looking for more choices than you can shake a stick at, Sephora is the place to go. If too much of a selection overwhelms you to the point of breaking out in hives, stay out of that place! Although…they probably have something for that too.

When I started my search for the newest skincare superstar, I didn’t really have anything in particular in mind. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to try or what I wanted to fix. At this stage of my life, my skin is mostly well behaved. As long as I keep it exfoliated and well moisturized, it’s pretty happy. It’s definitely not perfect, but I’m usually satisfied with it. All the same, I’ve been thinking about wrinkle prevention and what products I might want to start using now in order to keep my face looking fresh and youthful in the future. One name that was sort of bouncing around in my head as I browsed the store was Sunday Riley. Though I hadn’t tried anything from the Sunday Riley line, I had heard so much about the products. BUT…It’s highly prized and highly priced.

The product I was originally going to purchase was Good Genes. It’s a lovely little multi-tasker that claims to be everything, a bag of chips, a Coke and a cookie. I was definitely buying the fantasy it was selling, but at $105-158 a pop, I was a little hesitant. Skincare is notoriously pricey, I know, you guys. I’m not living in some dank, dark hole somewhere—I get it, trust me. I’m usually okay up to about $70-80, but after that, I’m going to want to test it out first. This is especially true when it’s a product that has as much buzz as Sunday Riley’s offerings. So, even though I really wanted to try Good Genes, I wasn’t entirely sold. Even seeing a duo kit of Good Genes and Luna for $85 didn’t have me rushing to checkout.

That’s when I remembered that I had gotten a 5-day sample of Sunday Riley’s Luna from Sephora a few weeks prior. Jackpot. I figured that it may be a good idea to hold off on my purchase while I gave the sample of Luna a go. If I liked it, I could purchase the little set and skip off into the sunset with my perfect, pore-less skin. If not, I could cast the sample into the trash without a care and be glad I’d saved my money. So, that’s precisely what I did. For five nights (and five days) I documented my impression of Luna to share with you guys. But first, let’s learn about what Luna is and what it claims to do.


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Photo Courtesy of Sephora

What Is It?

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil is a blue-hued facial oil designed to reinvigorate and improve your skin overnight. In addition to reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, Luna is said to brighten and diminish age spots and hyperpigmentation. Within four weeks of use, users should enjoy improvement of overall skin texture, moisture and tone. Oh, and did I mention it is supposed to help make your pores less noticeable? Yeah, it does that too. What an overachiever!

The main ingredients of Luna include Trans-retinoic Acid Ester, Blue Tansy, German Chamomile and Chia Seed Oil. Let’s see why that matters:

Trans-retinoic Acid Ester

This is essentially a powerful, but less irritating derivative of retinol. When it comes to anti-aging products (and skincare in general), retinol/retinoids are popular additions to the formula. Retinoids help with exfoliation, which keeps pores clear and holds acne at bay. They also combat wrinkles, fine lines, roughness and discoloration.

The downside to retinol/retinoids? Well, they really increase the skin’s sensitivity to sun, so it’s only recommended for use at night. Also, it is not the best choice to use products containing retinol during pregnancy.

Blue Tansy Oil

As you may have guessed, blue tansy is…well, blue. It’s actually what gives Luna it’s ethereal blue tone. However, there is more to blue tansy oil than meets the eye. Not only does it have a sweet scent, but it is known to help soothe skin irritation. It is also good for helping rid the face of redness.

German Chamomile

You know how relaxed and dreamy you get after a good cup of chamomile tea? Well, thin k of the German Chamomile in Luna as a cup of tea for your face.  Thanks to having anti-fungal, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, German Chamomile helps to calm and clean the skin.

Chia Seed Oil

This ingredient is a great source of Omega 3 and alpha-lipoic acid. The Omega 3 is going to keep the skin moisturized and supple. Moisture improves elasticity and good elasticity prevents wrinkles. Alpha-lipoic acid is known to be a powerhouse antioxidant, which will help the skin hold on to its moisture as well.


 

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My Experience

As you can see here, my 5-day sample of Luna came in pre-portioned ampules. I really liked that it was packaged this way because it ensured that I couldn’t go product happy and run out prematurely. Of course, ampules can be a bit messy when you go to apply the product to your face. Luckily, Luna actually comes in a bottle with a dropper—much easier to work with.

The directions were short, sweet and straightforward:

“For PM use. Twist open capsule. Massage Luna oil into clean, dry skin until no longer visible.”

Short, sweet and straightforward directions, right? Yeah, I thought so too…AFTER I actually bothered to heed them. I mean, I read the directions, but I initially tried to pat the product into my skin opposed to massaging it in. Technically, it is better for the skin to gently pat products onto your face so that you aren’t tugging on it, creating wrinkles. However, this product makes it imperative that you massage, so just keep that in mind if you end up using it.

My following notes are relatively crude (please don’t judge). I literally scrawled my thoughts down in a notebook (complete chicken scratch), so they aren’t beautifully poetic or even close to perfect sentences.

Night One

Been neglecting normal skincare routine for the last two days in order to ensure accurate results. Felt and examined my face prior to cleansing. Visually, my face has fine bumps around the temples, noticeable pores (gross) along sides of nose and tip of nose, slight lines under eyes (tired?). Some hyperpigmentation and slight redness. A little dry. Based on feel alone, skin is soft, but has been softer. Can feel fine bumps on nose and around forehead. No current blemishes to mention. Overall, skin looks dull right now. Not impressed by skin’s current state. Hopefully, Luna leaves me looking bright and beautiful in the AM.

Cleaned my face with normal cleanser (Cetaphil), my baby washcloth and cool water (the hot water was missing in action). Opened the first ampule. Oil is the same cerulean blue I’d expected. Be careful with it though, it’s runny. Heat from face made it run all over the place, but it didn’t get out of control. It smells okay. Not bad, but not good either. So-so. Was expecting it to have a pretty smell, but it doesn’t. There wasn’t much product in the ampule, but there was just enough. That tiny thing actually had enough product for my entire face and neck. Was probably equivalent to 2-3 drops of oil.

Smoothes well over the face. Leaves you with a glistening appearance, but not greasy. Face feels silky, but that is because it leaves a slight trace of product behind. However, it is oil, so for oil, it absorbed moderately well after prolonged patting.

Morning One

Checked pillow upon rising. No blue stuff. Thank goodness. Washed face with water and washcloth. Examined skin. No noticeable results yet. Pores still alive and kicking. Not brightened. Still looking a bit dull and lifeless (so much for a good night’s rest). Skin texture has not yet improved. I need exfoliation. Badly.

Night Two

Cleansed face prior to Luna. Used warm water, normal cleanser and baby washcloth. Really surprised by how little oil you need to use. Impressive. I’m thinking that a small bottle would last a relatively long time. Having difficulty getting the product to absorb into the skin. Trying to pat, but the instructions say to massage instead. Could this really be the problem? Accidentally dripped oil all over my shirt and bathroom counter. So graceful. Didn’t stain like I thought it would. Good, it’s me-proof.

Examined face after application. No new changes.

Morning Two

Pores still present. Looking slightly bright, but it isn’t drastic. It’s just a subtle brightness. No one else would even notice. Texture is slightly improved on forehead. I’m looking very dry. I’m feeling very dry. So much for providing moisture. So dry. My face looked so moisturized last night, but now? Nope. Noticed a flaky patch on my upper right cheek prior to splashing face with water. Interesting.  Maybe it’s doing…something? Exfoliation, maybe?

Night Three

Decided to change the routine a bit. Used usual cleanser with my cheap spin brush to help with exfoliation. Maybe the product will absorb into the skin better now. Also sat a warm washcloth on my face for awhile to open my pores more. I think it helped.

My face looked noticeably better after applying Luna. Texture along forehead is very smooth. Very few fine bumps left. Still a bit rough on cheeks, for some reason. I think Luna is making my skin turnover or something. A lot of dry patches. My nose is also very rough. Like, ridiculously rough. I finally broke down and compromised with a pat/massage hybrid. The product absorbed a bit better. My chin is quite smooth. Am I finally starting to see results?

Morning Three

Splashed face with water and examined night’s results. Had a new dry patch on lower left cheek. I am noticeably brighter, but it’s still not a mind-blowing glow. My pores are still rivaling the Grand Canyon, but my nose is much, much smoother to the touch. Hardly any fine bumps left. No breakouts despite the stress of the week. That’s a definite plus.

Night Four

Cleansed face the same as last night: Spin brush, cleanser and a warm cloth afterward. Skin texture is still good. Had a small dark spot from an old breakout actually peel off and vanish. TMI? This is helping prove Luna’s case though. Perhaps it really would help with hyperpigmentation over time. My skin is absorbing the product much better than before. There is less residue being left behind now.

Morning Four

Splashed face with water. Applied favorite moisturizer. Skin was super smooth, but it inhaled the moisturizer. I’m not sure that Luna moisturizes that well. No more dry patches or flaking though. Can count the fine bumps on one hand—next to none. The lines under my eyes are much improved (haven’t gotten any better sleep than before), but my pores are still enlarged…eye roll. I am a lot brighter now though, so I like that.

Night Five

Really starting to enjoy Luna. My texture is much improved and the brightening effect is really nice. I look wide awake even when I’m not. My makeup went on great today. It was a very smooth application. I was actually sad to see the last ampule go into the trash. It would be nice to see the effects after 30 and 60 days.

Morning Five

After cleansing my face with water, I applied my favorite moisturizer and a little foundation. The foundation looked extremely natural, as though I had nothing on. The skin itself felt smooth and silky after moisturizing. I still don’t think Luna does anything for me when it comes to adding in moisture, but I think it is good for sealing in moisture. There were zero fine bumps and no roughness today. And finally, I have seen a slight decrease in pore size. It took five days, but I’m finally seeing the slightest improvement.  Interesting product. Very, very interesting.


Final Thoughts

Tonight will be my first night without Luna. 😦 Aww. It feels so weird, but I totally got used to my little nighttime routine. I haven’t been doing anything special to my face at night for the last…two or three months, so I’m surprised that I actually kept up with using Luna at all. Perhaps that is one of the things I liked most about it: it’s easy. Clean your face, slap it on, massage it around and go. I definitely think that ease of use is a major plus when it comes to skincare products because having a lot of steps can be rather time consuming. If one product can sufficiently take care of a multitude of skin concerns in one, easy step, that’s awesome.

One gripe about Luna? The smell. I know that some people don’t like their skincare or makeup to have a particular scent, but I’m a huge fan of products that smell indulgent and beautiful. I view my skincare routine as a time to pamper myself, so it would be nice if it had a pretty fragrance. Is it a deal breaker? Absolutely not. It just would have been a pleasant bonus.

As far as the texture and consistency goes, I was pretty happy with it. Yes, the oil is rather runny, but I think I only had as much trouble as I did because of the way I had to apply it. The regular product has a dropper opposed to ampules, so I think application would be fairly easy in comparison. The feel of the product is really silky and nice. It’s not sticky or tacky at all. I never felt the need to rush and rinse my hands afterward, which is something I have had to do after applying other face products. The consistency makes it so easy to smooth around your face. Getting into the corners of your nose is really easy and you don’t have to force the product to move, which helps you be more gentle with the skin.

Now for the million dollar question: Do I think it’s worth the money? That’s a good question. I’m leaning towards “yes”. I’m intrigued by the product, for sure. I was impressed that I saw any kind of change in my skin within five days. Five days is a drop in the bucket in comparison to the four weeks Sunday Riley recommends. Most skincare products suggest a waiting period of six to eight weeks before seeing noticeable results, so four weeks is a pretty quick turnaround time. Sunday Riley seems to pride themselves on having products that work really well, really fast. So, as far as that is concerned, I do believe that Luna probably yields some nice results at the four week point and beyond. If I noticed a difference in my skin in only five nights, I can only imagine what I would think after four weeks.

Would I say that I am completely blown away by my results? Not particularly. I’m definitely not excited about Luna like I have been about other products, but I like it and I’d love to see more of it. Of course, hyperpigmentation is my number one skin concern, so I naturally would have loved to see a change in that regard. However, I know that this product is going to take more time to correct things like hyperpigmentation and fine lines. I don’t think it matters what product you use either—those two issues simply take time. I also would have liked to see more of a change in my pore size, which is my second biggest skin concern. Though I eventually saw a change, I was a little surprised at how many days it took. I also wish that Luna had been more moisturizing than it was. I know its primary function isn’t to moisturize, but I would have thought that dryness would have been less of an issue.


Overall, this product probably works really well to earn its price tag. You will simply need the dreaded “p-word”: Patience. Just based on the effects I managed to get in five days, I definitely think prolonged use would produce some beautiful results. In only five days I got rid of my pesky fine bumps, smoothed out my nose, brightened my skin and experienced a slight bit of pore minimization. The ingredients are very sound as well, so I have confidence that this is more than just a pretty oil inside of a pretty bottle. Will I be picking up the duo kit of Luna and Good Genes in the future? Absolutely. Sunday Riley certainly has my attention now.

If you guys know of any other great skincare products I should check out, feel free to let me know. I have a few new serums en route to me as I speak, so stay tuned to find out what they are and what I think of them. ‘Til next time, golden girls!

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