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Sunday Riley A+ High Dose Retinoid Serum


Sunday Riley A+ High Dose Retinoid Serum

Sunday’s latest sought-after launch comes in the form of this A+ High-Dose Retinoid Serum. It was launched in January 2019 as their first concentrated retinol treatment. Sunday Riley’s first try at retinol was the Luna Sleeping Night Oil.

Product Claims:

“Advanced-strength retinoid serum delivers a 6.5% solution of stabilized retinoid blends and botanical, retinol-alternative extracts into the skin. Combining 5% retinoid ester blend, 1% liposomal-encapsulated retinol blend, and 0.5% blue-green algae with natural, retinoid-alternative activity, this serum fights the signs of aging and improves the look of congested and UV damaged skin.” – Sunday Riley Website.

Ingredients: Water, Propanediol, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Triheptanoin, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Hexyldecanol, Disiloxane, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Diheptyl Succinate, Propylene Carbonate, Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate, PPG-24-Glycereth-24, Phenyl Trimethicone, Retinol, Ubiquinone (CoQ10), Honey Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Algae Extract, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Extract, Opuntia Ficus-indica Fruit Extract, Bisabolol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Phospholipids, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Extract, Lecithin, Sodium Acrylates Copolymer, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, 1,2-Hexanediol, 4-t- Butylcyclohexanol, Polyglyceryl-10 Stearate, Caprylyl Glycol, Helianthus Annuss (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Sorbitol, Cetylhydroxyproline Palmitamide, Polysilicone-11, Benzoic Acid, Dehydroacetic Acid, Sodium Phytate, Glyceryl Polyacrylate, Polysorbate, Hydroxyphenyl Propamidobenzoic Acid, Stearic Acid, Brassica Campestris Sterols, PVP, Capryloyl Glycerin/Sebacic Acid Copolymer, Sodium Benzoate, Alcohol, Potassium Phosphate, Decyl Glucoside, Phenoxyethanol, Hexylene Glycol, Potassium Sorbate, Tocopherol 

Price: $85 (approximately N31,000)

Size: 35ml


Sunday Riley’s A+ High Dose Retinoid Serum combines 5% of the new generation retinoid called Granactive Retinoid, a 1% encapsulated retinol blend and a good blend of skin replenishing and restoring ingredients. Retinoids are a class of compounds related to vitamin A. They have been shown to be effective at reducing fine lines and wrinkles, skin roughness, hyperpigmentation, and improving skin texture by increasing cell turnover, preventing collagen breakdown, and thickening the epidermis. 

Although the serum has great ingredients that will tackle the signs of aging, it isn’t as “powerful” as it is made to sound. Granactive retinoid comes in a 90/10 mix of a solvent and Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate (HPR), so a 5% blend means you’re getting 0.5% of the actual retinoid. The “liposomal-encapsulated retinol blend” is also diluted, which means its not pure 1% retinol…so you’re getting a lower strength. This doesn’t mean that the product won’t work because even low-to-moderate doses of retinol and retinoids can still have a great impact on your skin; it’s just that “high dose” claim that’s a little misleading.

HPR is a new retinol derivative with very little research indicating that it can bind directly to skin’s retinoid receptors, thereby enhancing cell production and improved cell turnover. This in turn helps renew skin plumpness, elasticity, hydration and restore skin’s thickness to provide a radiant and youthful look.

Other beneficial ingredients in this serum include antioxidants (Q10), humectants (Sodium Hyaluronate) and skin soothing agents likeHoney, Bisabolol and Cactus Extract to counter the irritating effects of retinol.

All in all, it is a great product, but if you already use higher doses of retinol or Retin-A, it doesn’t make sense to switch to this.

Photo Credit: Mr Whaff

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