When I turned 30 a few months ago, I thought it was high time I introduced retinol to my skincare routine. My understanding is that retinol is a generic term for vitamin A, which is typically known as one of the best anti-ageing ingredients on the market. From what I’ve gathered (I am by no means an expert) the Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil contains a quite a mild retinol (a derivative of trans-retinoic acid) making it a good starting place for beginners as there is less chance of irritation compared to more potent formulas. Luna Oil is basically an anti-ageing overnight treatment oil which contains an advanced retinol complex that helps reduce signs of ageing such as fine lines, wrinkles, dullness and age spots while you sleep.
The Luna Sleeping Oil comes with a rather eye-watering price tag; 15ml for £45 and 30ml for £85. It comes in a blue glass bottle with a glass pipette inside. The oil is also artificially coloured blue despite the Blue Tansy contained inside. Simply clean and tone your skin as normal and after your serums, gently warm up a few drops of oil in your hand and gently press it into your skin. It gets to work while you sleep. The higher the percentage of retinol inside, the more likely your skin will become irritated, so it’s recommended you build up your skin’s tolerance. Caroline Hiron’s Q&A video is great for a general overview of retinol. She also has a dedicated series (you can find the entire playlist here) which goes into more detailed information about specific brands and products.
Luna Oil has become a bit of a cult skincare product over the years, largely thanks to its celebrity fans which supposedly include Cameron Diaz, Victoria Beckham and Helen Mirren. It makes some big claims which include banishing wrinkles, reducing pore size, strengthening the skin leaving it more resilient and radiant, protecting against environmental damage from pollution and the sun, reducing sebum, minimising the loss of elasticity and soothing and minimising redness.
“Persea Gratissima (Extra Virgin, Cold Pressed Avocado) Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Organic, Cold Pressed Concord Grape) Seed Oil, Rubus Fruticosus (Cold Pressed Blackberry) Seed Oil, Salvia Hispanica (Cold Pressed Chia) Oil, Dimethyl Isosorbide (And) Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate, Chamomila Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Oil, Tanacetum Annuum (Blue Tansy) Oil, Anthemis Nobilis (English Chamomile) Oil, Eriocephalus Punctualatus (Cape Chamomile) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Neroli) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Blood Orange) Oil, Cananga Odorata Flower (Ylang Ylang) Oil, Vetivera Zizanoides (Vetiver) Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil (And) Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, CI 61565 (Green 6), CI 60725 (Violet 2).” – Cult Beauty
I’ve been using the oil for about three months now and it’s become a staple in my nightly skincare routine. I purchased the 15ml bottle and even though it’s described as ‘travel-sized’, you only need a few drops so it’s definitely a decent amount to get a feel for the product before taking the plunge and purchasing the full-size. So what has it actually done to improve my skin? After every application, I wake up to brighter, plumper and clearer skin. It feels bouncy and fresh. I can definitely see a difference if I skip it. As for fine lines, I’ve noticed a significant difference in the very fine lines around my eyes. My forehead lines (the most prominent) aren’t dramatically different that anyone has commented on their miraculous disappearance, however, I can see a slight improvement and I’m hopeful with continued use they might continue to fade. As I come to the end of the bottle, a part of me is curious to try The Ordinary’s collection of retinol as they are significantly more affordable and clearly state how strong their concentration is and where to move on from once your skin builds up a tolerance. Their starter pack is available from Beauty Bay here which contains a three-month course for only £14.90.
If you’ve tried the Luna Sleeping Oil from Sunday Riley, I’d love to know your thoughts. It’s a luxurious product that improves not just fine lines, but leaves your skin glowing, smooth and plump as soon as you wake up. It also evens out any redness and is surprisingly lightweight. It really is a fabulous product but I can’t help but think (hope?) that there must be a more affordable alternative out there.
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