When it comes to skincare, few brands find favour with editors, influencers and users the way Sunday Riley has. With its effective-yet-fuss-free skincare philosophy, green technology and absolute transparency, it’s easy to see why the brand has become such a skincare favourite since it launched in 2009. In Singapore to launch her eponymous brand, founder and formulator Sunday Riley shared the one product everyone should be using and the best age to start using an anti-ageing skincare product.
So what is it that makes Sunday Riley a cult favourite?
I think that’s because it’s highly effective and everyone’s able to see results no matter what their skin type is – whether it’s acne-prone, dull, dehydrated or oily. And we have a very strong, viral word-of-mouth [following], so it’s just people telling their friends, siblings and work colleagues that they’ve tried something and it works. It’s been incredibly effective for us.
What are some of the things that make your key products so special?
The first thing I would recommend is Good Genes because as an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA). What it does is dissolve sebum and the glue that binds together dead skin cells. The benefit of exfoliating with an AHA is you remove all of that grime, and over time, you don’t have so much stuff falling into your pores, so your pores appear smaller because they are not congested. You’re going to have healthy radiance, and your skin is going to be much, much smoother. That’s the benefit of an acid versus a physical exfoliant.
I’m a big believer that every single person should be using a vitamin C product, [so] CEO is what I would recommend. It has 15 percent very stable vitamin C. Luna is great if you’re worried about oily skin. Even though it is an oil, it is a retinoid. Retinoids actually increase the rate of healthy skin cell turnover, so it’s a great product to incorporate into your routine for clear skin. If you have congested skin or acne, [try] Martian, which is an antiseptic, [and] has anti-blemish ingredients. UFO has a lot of salicylic acid to go in and clean out your pores, which is critical.
What’s the one product everyone should be using irrespective of age?
Good Genes [because of its exfoliating properties] for every single skin type. For example, for people with dry skin, it removes the top layer of skin where dead skin has been piling up. You can spend three thousand dollars on all the expensive treatments in the world and it won’t ever go in if your skin is clogged. Oily skin just looks gummy, with that heavy sensation. A cleanser washes away makeup and grime, but it won’t remove the stuff that’s holding the grime so you really have to use an acid to achieve that.
Is there an ideal age to start using an anti-ageing product?
It’s great to start at 18. You don’t have to be 18 and using prescription pharmaceuticals, but I think it is a great time to start using something like Good Genes. We know that AHA actually sinks deeper into the skin and helps build stronger, more beautiful skin so it looks more line free. But when you’re 18, you’re not worried about lines, you’re worried about other things that it’s going to help make your skin clearer, blemish-free, smoother and more radiant. It’s a lot easier to prevent something than it is to reverse it.
How can you tell if a serum is good or bad?
I think serums can cost a lot of money – it’s one of those tricky products that people will put on because it makes them feel good. I think serums are very experiential. But if you put the serum on and you’ve been using it for a week [but] your skin doesn’t seem healthier or there doesn’t seem to be any change, then there might not be a lot going on. We always want to be transparent with our clients so if there’s active ingredients, we will put down the percentage. For example, the CEO serum is 15 percent vitamin C, which we declare. So it’s not like we’re giving away our formula, we just let our customers know that they are investing in their skin with this quality of ingredient. A lot of [skincare] says “vitamin C-rich”. If it says vitamin C, what type? Why did they use it? What percentage? I think that’s important.
Sunday Riley is now available at Sephora online and in-store.