I'll be honest. When I first looked into Sunday Riley I was under the impression they were a completely natural brand which is why I initially opted to review the . I have no clue why, but I'm chocking it up to the fact I found their products under the "NATURALS" tab on the Sephora website. Because I normally review completely natural and nontoxic skincare (and that’s the type of content we are all used to) I'm going to preface this review right now by letting you know the ingredients are NOT completely natural and that it does contain Salicylic acid.
That being said, I wouldn't let that deter you from reading the rest of this blog. Their ingredients are fairly clean being vegan, paraben-free, sulfate-free, gluten-free, certified cruelty-free, and fragrance free but it does contain a few added science based- ingredients. I normally wouldn’t review such a product but by the time I realized it wasn't completely natural I was already hooked because girl, let me tell you. IT. WORKS. It really, really works.
I was almost a week into using UFO when I was told " you know it’s a combination of natural AND synthetic ingredients, right?" I didn't. But, since its worked so well on my insanely sensitive hyperreactive acne prone skin, I continued to use it. And seriously, its opened my eyes to a whole new world of skincare possibilities. I've always been an advocate for completely natural, gentle, and effective skincare but this oil is seriously unlike anything else I've ever tried. And by now we all know, I have tried A LOT.
about sunday riley
Sunday Riley is more than a brand name, it’s also the name of the founder and the brand formulator. She has the strong belief that for results to count, they need to be visible and fast. Each Sunday Riley product is developed with highly active ingredients to visibly improve the quality of your skin. Whether your concern is aging, dryness, oiliness, acne, dehydration, visible pores, or spots, there's a Sunday Riley product designed for you. With each product, there's instant results with long term payoff, making for truly game changing skincare.
Their motto is "Powered by science, balanced by botanicals, Sunday Riley skin care provides an immediate transformation with proven, measurable results." And while their skincare formulations may not be 100% natural, by looking at the ingredient list you can undoubtingly tell they're at least using 95-99% natural ingredients plus the added bonus of science. It's like all the goodness of nature with a sprinkle of science for amplified results, pretty cool right?
u.f.o. oil ingredients
U.F.O., otherwise known as ultra-clarifying facial oil, is a lightweight dry oil with 1.5% salicylic acid to bust up any acne in its path. Salicylic acid is a great exfoliator for acne prone skin because it gets deep within the layers to dissolve any acne causing bacteria and breakup the sebum, dirt, sweat, and oil that’s stuck in the pore. Users say technically it's not developed for cystic acne, more for blackheads and whiteheads, but I have seen a huge difference since using this product so, I beg to differ! The Rest of the Ingredients are actually fairly clean, take a look at the comprehensive list below. All synthetic ingredients are bolded.
Full Ingredients List:
Silybum Marianum (Milk Thistle) Seed Oil, Nigella Sativa (Black Cumin) Seed Oil, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Seed Oil, Diisopropyl Sebacate, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Seed Oil, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Linum Usitatissimum (Flax) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Ethyl Linoleate, Hexylresorcinol, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Salicylic Acid, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Chamomilla Recutita Flower Oil, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Neroli) Flower Oil, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Citrus Paradisii (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Melia Azadirachta (Neem) Leaf Extract, Melia Azadirachta (Neem) Flower Extract, Coccinia Indica Fruit Extract, Amino Esters-1, Amber Leaf Extract, Solanum Melongena (Eggplant) Fruit Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Flower Extract, Lawsonia Inermis (Henna) Extract, Ocimum Sanctum Leaf Extract, Ocimum Basilicum (Basil) Leaf Extract, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Corallina Officinalis Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Pearl Powder, Moringa Pterygosperma Seed Oil.
Main Active Ingredients:
Tea Tree and Chamomile Oil: include purifying properties and provide soothing support
1.5% Salicylic Acid: clears clogged pores, treats and prevents acne and blackheads
Licorice Root and Hexylresorcinol: naturally brighten the appearance of dark spots and acne discoloration
Let's cut to the chase, because I know what so many of you are thinking, how big is the bottle and how much does it cost? Well, it is a little on the pricey side but honestly, ill dish out the big bucks for skincare if it actually works. For a .5 oz. glass dropper bottle its $40 while a 1.18 oz. bottle is $80 a pop. I personally, own the .5 oz. bottle and after using it for almost a month there's only the slightest dent in it. You only need 2-3 drops for your entire face so in reality I could see the bottle lasting me approximately 3 months.
That's the beauty of Sunday Riley products- they're incredibly powerful so you only need to use a small amount to get results. More usage of a product does not equal better results, in fact overusing products may actually dry out your skin and hinder results. All that being said, I personally don't mind spending $40 every three months on a product that I know delivers continuous results. That's chump change compared to some of the other products I've invested in.
The oil itself is a green color, what the whaaaa? Yup, its green. Kind of a play on the whole U.F.O. acronym but it doesn't contain any fragrances or dyes so it must get its green color naturally through the blend of oils like tea tree and cucumber. Its super lightweight and unlike other oils I've used, it absorbs very very quickly into the skin without leaving a greasy feeling behind. And don’t worry, there's no weird green color or tint left behind, it blends in seamlessly. It's even recommended to mix 2-3 drops into your makeup for added acne fighting power- which I think is a fantastic way to get more bang for your buck.
The smell is sort of a clean scent, like tea tree oil mixed with something else. I can't put my finger on what it is exactly since there's a variety of oils blended into it but let's just say, clean. Some people are going to be completely turned off by the smell while others love it. I'm the latter. I think it smells amazing, brb rubbing it over my entire life. But- if you don't like the smell I wouldn't worry too much because it sort of fades away as the oil is absorbed into the skin.
my experience with ufo
The UFO oil is ideal for those who struggle with acne, hyperpigmentation, aging, dryness, and dehydration. It can be used on all skin types and is especially helpful against fine lines and wrinkles. It's considered an acne treatment serum so it should be applied directly after toning but before moisturizing.
I first began using the UFO oil like I do with any acne targeted product, as a spot treatment on my actives to gauge how my skin would react. After just the first use I noticed my spots significantly decreased in size and overall inflammation, I continued using it as a spot treatment for about a week before I moved into slathering it over my entire face. And, honestly, I've seen more benefits than just clearing up my acne which I totally wasn't expecting.
My scars look less prominent, my hyperpigmentation has reduced drastically, my tone is way brighter, my skin is plumper; my face almost looks like it did pre-cystic acne and I honestly can't believe my eyes. That being said, I look younger too and I'm not mad about it. Even my husband noticed, which he never comments on my skin so that’s saying something. He asked, " Have you been using a new product? Your skin looks really good!" Left me feeling a little glowy on the inside as well as the outside.
Now, I've been using the U.F.O. oil for approximately a month and my results really haven't plateaued. Every day I wake up, I feel like my skin looks better and better. My pimples have become either smaller or nonexistent and cysts have gotten much smaller with a quicker healing time. I did have some breaking out in the beginning since my skin wasn’t used to the salicylic acid but it was all stuff under the surface that would come out eventually anyways.
I will say, if you're new to exfoliators like salicylic acid ease into it- maybe 3 times a week or once every other day, working up to every day to prevent purging. I went full force crazy every single day (because that’s the way I do things) so I did have some purging during the first week or two but I expected it, and without touching it the pimples went away! Your skin may or may not purge- it all depends on the person and whether or not your skin is used to chemcial exfoliators.
This is a keeper, a gamechanger in my skincare routine and definitely staying in my skincare cabinet indefinitely. Well, as long as they never stop making it I'll never stop buying it. Seriously, it's that good.
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Kali Kushner, known as the Instagram alias myfacestory, is a natural beauty advocate in the greater Cincinnati area who is passionate about using organic skincare and holistic remedies to heal acne from the inside out. Her dedication lies in her own chronic acne struggles as she continues to restore herself while helping those around her.