Sunday Riley Luna: The Magic That Didn’t Happen Overnight

Sunday Riley Luna Oil, the blue concoction that makes skincare devotees going ga-ga, especially after several famous bloggers stating the wonders that it does after one night of usage.

Well, yeah, it didn’t happen to me. Not in one night, sorry.

I’m not worried though, because every skincare product reacts and affects differently on people, whether it’s the results or the time that it takes. I won’t sweat it.

Before I start, I’d like to state this first. I was very lucky that I won Luna in a Sunday Riley‘s giveaway. I honestly didn’t expect it at all. From the list of prizes, which didn’t have this product in it, I would’ve been very happy if I received anything from the line. So when they contacted me and said that the prize is Luna, I was absolutely over the moon. I believe the product had just been launched by then, so it literally felt like I won a lottery. It still does.

Although I planned on getting Luna eventually, I definitely wasn’t prepared on receiving one so soon. I never used any retinol-based product previously and I had not read anything much about this ingredient. That being said, I somewhat refrained myself from reading reviews on Luna. Just because I want to make sure that I stay neutral in my opinion. And really, to feel the full experience on Luna.

Let’s get to it.

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil.


What it is:

A next-generation retinoid oil to reduce pore size, improve appearance of damaged skin, and help fight wrinkles.

Upon receiving the product, I carefully read the box and the description it entails. I read it over and over again, making sure that I read every bit of discretion and warnings, including the obvious one in bold font:


This is serious matter. I saw a local online shop once and stated that it’s safe for pregnant women. *silent* Talking about pet peeves. I do wish Sunday Riley and other vendors would start stating this particular warning on their websites. Sunday Riley did mention that it’s safe to use when breastfeeding, but please consult with your physician as well.

OK next, the particular for-your-information I was concerned enough is this:

Trans-retinoic acid and its derivatives can cause mild peeling for a few days.

So that’s my cue. If it’s going to dry my skin out, then I need to be prepared.

Keyword: hydration.


If you’re wondering why the oil is blue, it’s mostly from the Blue Tansy and German Chamomile. However, in the ingredient list, Luna has two dye at the bottom: CI 61565 (Green 6) and CI 60725 (Violet 2). When asked, Sunday Riley said that the dyes are added as an indicator to know when the retinol has been massaged in enough. See the screenshot below.

I personally think it’s unnecessary. I hope that the brand will exclude the dyes out of the formulation in the future. That being said, I haven’t found any adverse effects on me or discoloration on my skin in the 6 months I incorporate this oil into my skincare regimen. I don’t have a blue face.

But still, I think they can leave the dye out.

sunday-riley-luna-sleeping-oil-review-swatch-photos-6Screenshot taken from Sunday Riley’s Instagram account.

Reading the key ingredients in the photo below, I am surprised and enamored by the variety of anti-inflammatory ingredients in Luna. It’s great because these calming elements can balance out the retinol that can irritate the skin. In any case, I always need some kind of soothing aspect in my skincare routine to tone down my redness and flare-ups.

This particular aspect of Luna is the first reason of why I love this oil. My skin is always on its best behavior whenever I use this few nights before. It didn’t take long for me to realize this. I started to notice how my face is less red, less inflamed and my pores are in good manners most of the time. While I know that pores can’t get smaller, but they sure can appear more ‘closed’. Hence, a smoother surface on these areas.

I actually relied a lot on Luna when I had my obnoxious breakout a while ago. Aside from Artemis (which I applied at the very last), Luna definitely played a substantial game in alleviating my angry skin. It had a hand in diminishing small(er) blemishes as well. Overall, Luna made the breakout less painful.


It wasn’t until entering the second month that I started to realize something is changing in my complexion.

It’s the TEXTURE.

My skin has retexturized, for the better. Wow. I believe I have never tried any skincare that gives me such result. It’s not that hard to pinpoint because I’ve never encountered it yet. It’s weird and it’s sublime. It’s not exactly radiance or glow, it’s how more refined my skin is but at a completely different ball-game. It’s as if Luna is fixing the skin on a deeper level. The depth of lines is reduced, creating a visibly more uniformed complexion. I don’t want to be overboard, but I feel I was given a new, better skin to work with.

The result, though hard to explain, is so obvious because many people surrounding me has been asking what I use, or whether I had done something differently to my skincare regime. They’ve been saying my skin is looking really good *best compliment ever, btw* There is such a pronounced, peculiar yet unmistakable improvement and I knew then it’s this blue oil’s doing.

The evidence is even clearer when I had my breakout. The problematic areas were of course, despicably repulsive but the rest of my skin was pretty much clear, even and continued to bloom as I keep incorporating the oil in the regime. The contrast, oh the contrast!

I owe it all to Luna.


Many had also asked if they can use the oil with Good Genes. According to Sunday Riley, yes you can. Apply Luna first, then layer Good Genes on top. Or alternate it every other night. I tried the first one and while I quite liked the result, I felt that my skin was pushing it. I didn’t feel comfortable continuing this combination of using them together at once because I’m scared of over-exfoliation. Good Genes is potent on its own, don’t be greedy.

That being said, Luna combined with acid exfoliation will give the optimum results, at least on me. Luna doesn’t give that mother-of-glow, holy radiance I got from my usual AHA products, but the way it retexturizes the skin is even more apparent when the skin is ‘polished’ even more. I still use an exfoliating toner such as PIXI Glow Tonic, First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads or Blemish Patrol Pads (if I have some blemishes) when using Luna, but I don’t use anything stronger than that. I find exfoliating toner helps to slough off some of the dead skin cells, resulting a better absorption of everything else I put on top. In return, I’m still able to retain radiance on my complexion.

Aside from Good Genes, I still use Drunk Elephant Framboos Serum and REN Resurfacing AHA Concentrate. I still need them because they have their own functions and purposes. I just don’t use them together with Luna on the same night.

I will also highlight that Luna is drying. While I never really experienced any real dryness on my face, I did, however, feel some on my hands. After applying the oil (or any oil), I tend to rub whatever is left on the back of my hands and towards the lower arms. I noticed that those areas became drier than usual, sometimes even flaky and parched. It’s not a big of deal though, a proper and constant application of body butter/lotion will fix it. However to me, that looked like a proof of “mild peeling” happening there.

Then how did I escape the same fate on my face? Remember the keyword above: hydration. I can not stress enough how important it is to amp up the hydration and moisture level when using Luna. I personally love to apply another serum on top such as Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum, Aurelia Revitalize & Glow Serum, or KYPRIS Antioxidant Dew (mixed with its Beauty Elixirs). For the final seal on top, depending on what I need during the night, I alternate between applying Artemis, NUDE Overnight Repair Mask or TATCHA Soothing Triple Recovery Cream.

In general, I try to create a comforting, soothing regime whenever I use Luna. Building a nice, happy la la land, sandwiching Luna. I think this trick works well because it allows me to use this oil often, very often, 5 drops per use, without any issues. I can use it almost everyday or alternating. I try to limit myself to not use it more than 7 day-straight. I love using this when I’m on my PMS, when I have blemishes or simply when my face is a bit inflamed due to the heat during the day. The powerful anti-inflammatory ingredients are truly a saver. So you see, it’s hard for me to stay away from this oil!


Luna has quite a strong scent. To my best ability, I’d describe it as earthy, slight floral but not sweet. I personally love it the moment I used it the first time. Massaging it on the skin while inhaling the scent relaxes my senses. It subdues as the oil get absorbed into the skin, leaving me with a very calming sensation from the scent.

Now that we get to the end of it..

Frankly, I couldn’t pick which one I love more, the anti-inflammatory ingredients keeping my complexion in zen mode or the trans-retinol ester doing such fine tuning on my skin. I might lean on the calming effect a little more but I still get the benefits from the other, whether I like it or not. I love it obviously *duh*

Killing two birds in one stone.

That’s how I would describe Luna.


Disclaimer: as mentioned in the beginning, I received Luna as a giveaway prize. All opinions expressed are 100% mine, obviously, as always.


  1. Hmm Im intrigued.. I had a sample of LUNA a while back, and didnt really see any noticable result after using it for 1.5 weeks – while seems like everyone says that they notice something overnight – hence I didnt get the full size. And I actually find it a bit oily on my face. Hmmm..

    Anyways, great post girl! Really enjoying your reviews… Xoxo


    1. Yeah, no overnight result here either. I keep using it because I love how it makes my face soothed and calmed. Then one day, voilà, results!

      I always mix Avene with any oils, rub together between my hands then massage it on the skin. I feel it creates a better absorption and makes the oil less greasy on the skin :)

      Thank you so much, Aurora 😘😘


  2. Hi tik….

    I still in doubt to try Luna… I read many blogger said that it really good.
    While one of my fave skin care guru Paula Begoun said in her site beautypedia that this is not a good skin care. It has artificial coloring agents CI 61565 (green 6) and CI 60725 (violet 2). A marketing liberty, but it’s the first crack in the façade of this facial oil.

    Tapi kamu juga notice mengenai kandungan warna ini, tapi sepertinya tidak memberikan impact pada kulit kamu ya..

    Buat aku tertarik karena kandungan retinol di luna. Karena aku combo oil skin type dan suka ada jerawat ( When I’m having PMS )

    I know skin care is personal. What’s suit for you or her, might not suit for my skin. Jadi aku cari info sebanyak-banyaknya. hehe

    Anyway, aku suka sekali baca sites kamu ini… Seperti dapat info lebih dalam
    Tapi aku tetap setia liat periscope kamu hahahaa….

    Have a good day tik!


    1. Hi Adindha,

      Well, to be honest I always take a huge grain of salt whenever I read Beautypedia site. In my eyes, most of the skincare products out there are bad according to the site except for Paula’s Choice of course :p

      But yes, it’s always wise to do a lot of readings before committing to a skincare purchase. I’m glad you understand that what works for me may not work for you or other people. It’s all about trial and error.

      Thank you so much for your kind words and support! See you at the next Periscope :D:D


  3. I just started using the Luna & Good Genes combo for 2 days/nights, i did find them together to be a bit dry. I might try to use a more hydrating night cream on top of Luna instead of Good Genes. Thank you for your in-depth review, i find it very educational:)


    1. Hi Silvia,

      Thank you for reading! Yes, I do think it’s wise to just use them at separate nights to prevent dryness on the skin and the risk of over-exfoliating. Good Genes alone is already one potent being :)

      Thank you very much for the kind words!


  4. Love your in depth review so much but I’m still hesitating coz I’ve heard so many bloggers raving about this product and I have also heard some reviews saying that it broke their skin out and when they were trying to keep using the product to let their skin gets used to it, their problem become even worse. I’m really unsure about this product whether it needs some proper applications or is retinoid suits every skin types.


    1. Hi there,

      Apologies for my late reply.

      If you can get a sample of this, then please do so and see if your skin have any adverse reactions or not.

      Ultimately, there isn’t a single product that will suit everyone. And this one has retinol which can be aggressive for some. In the end, there’s this trial and error process that everyone has to go through.

      I do believe the proper applications will reduce any unnecessary risks though. I use Luna before any other serums and it’s as advised in the product’s description.

      Hope that helps!


  5. Hi,
    I am currently trying a sample of this I got from Mecca Maxima (beauty store in Australia), and I do find it slightly dries out my cheeks and I am beginning to get small red bumps. It’s not flaking, but it is irritated.
    Do you think this is the retinol peeling/cell turnover effect and I should stick with it for longer (I’ll have to go back and beg for another sample haha) or it’s inadvisable for my skin? I have normal to combination skin but this feels like it’s made my skin sensitive and slightly dry around the cheek area. I really want to make the right decision because I have never spent so much on one item before so don’t want to get something that fails to work optimally. I also am 20 so not even sure if I need this serum, I was mostly interested in how it said it reduces pore size appearance.
    Thanks for any advice,


    1. Hi Jess,

      Retinol essentially exfoliates the skin, so those issues you’re having could be because of it. As you can read from my review above, I did mention about the dryness caused by Luna. But I can avoid it by layering hydration and moisture as much as I can.
      To be honest, at 20, I don’t think you’d need retinol yet in your regime. I think you can still get away with other milder products. As long as it’s consistent.

      If I may know, what’s your current skincare routine?


      1. Thanks for your reply! My routine is currently Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel, then SKII Essence, then an Olay moisturising sunscreen. At night I do the same up to the Essencw, then alternate nights with Alpha H Liquid Gold and a Sukin green clay mask. After that I apply the Luna or any other treatment and then finish with Neutrogena Combination Skin moisturiser. I think my moisturiser definitely needs replacing haha but I haven’t found one that I really like enough to abandon my almost full current one. Also I have a quick qs when applying an exfoliating treatment does it come before or after an essence and toner? Thank you so much for your help, asking in stores I’m a bit sceptical because they’d want to sell products so they usually say it’s good to start anti ageing early etc


        1. Hi Jess,

          From your lineup, it seems you don’t double cleanse at night. Double cleansing is very important and it will make a huge difference to your skin. Properly cleansed skin is the first step to a healthy skin. And you’re missing a hydrating toner! An essence doesn’t replace a toner and it’s essential to have one IMO. Aside from hydration, it can balance the skin out and helps other skincare to absorb better as well. There are a lot of options out there. The best hydrating toner is usually Asian ones, like Japanese. From western brand, the one that I really like lately is Lancome Energie de Vie Pearly Lotion.

          It’s true that taking care of the skin is best to be done as early as possible, but it’s also important to do it accordingly to the skin’s needs. I personally don’t want to expose myself to skincare that has too high of a potency when I don’t need it because first, I may not see the result (because there’s nothing to tackle if there isn’t a problem, yet). Second, I don’t want my skin to accustomed with that kind of potency because if one day I need it, my skin might not respond to it anymore. That would leave me searching for even “higher”.

          If you’re using acid, it’s an absolute must to use hydrating products afterwards. Acid not only slough off dead skin cells, but it also strips off the moisture in our skin. If we don’t replenish it, then the skin most likely will get angry. If it’s an acid toner, then follow with a hydrating toner, essence, serum, etc. Avoid using multiple exfoliating products in the routine or using it too otfen to prevent over-exfoliating the skin. You definitely do not want that. Alpha H Liquid Gold is rather a strong one, you can find other options such as PIXI Glow Tonic or Bravura Revitalizing Ginseng Toner with 5% Glycolic Acid. I have both of them reviewed in the blog as well.

          Try to insert hydrating elements in your routine and double cleanse! See how it works for you then you can start sorting out what to do next :)


  6. I was wondering why i was getting dry patches! I was using the luna and good gene together for 3 nights in a row. So i think that was the main culprit. I’m laying off the combo for now until my skin isn’t as patchy anymore. I just got the IT confidence in a cream because i’ve heard that it’s good for dry skin. What’s a good moisturizer that you would recommend?


    1. Hi!

      Personally I think using Luna and Good Genes together is too much as both are exfoliating products. Good Genes alone is a potent stuff, so I wouldn’t want to risk of going overboard a.k.a. over-exfoliating.

      I’d suggest you to load up on hydration and moisture for the skin to recover first then continue to find the balance. Exfoliating goes hand-in-hand with these two elements. It could come from toner, serum, moisturizer, face oil or even sleeping mask.

      There are so many products out there that you can try, but make sure you read the reviews properly first before going in with the purchase. Good luck!


  7. Hello!
    I read your review and decided to try luna and good genes. I’ve been using both for a week, one day I use good genes and thenext day Luna. adter three days my face stared to react and now I have a few pimples. I wanted to know if this is normal because of the exfoliantion and my skin is just getting use to the products. How much time do you think I need to give this products a try before decide to stop it?

    Thank you!!


    1. Hi Paula,

      I think you need to let the skin comes back to its normal condition first before attempting to try Good Genes or Luna again. It’s always wise to try introduce a new product one at a time, that way you can identify if the product have any reaction on your skin or not.

      There’s also a big possibility that your over-exfoliating the skin. I have mentioned in the review and in the comment section that Good Genes is already a potent exfoliating serum. The retinol in Luna can be harsh to the skin because it’s retexturizing the skin and it’s also quite drying on its own. Adding a proper amount of hydration and moisture is key to prevent dryness and other unwanted reactions. It is also crucial to wear SPF at day time.

      But most of all, please take great caution when dealing with chemical exfoliation. The skin can only take so much. The skin needs to regenerate on its own. If we keep “peeling” the skin over and over again, there will be no protective layer left and well I think you can understand what’s going to happen :)

      Hope that helps!


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