Sunday Riley review: Can this Vitamin C cream really improve your complexion?

Luxury Skincare

Like many Sunday Riley products, the C.E.O. Vitamin C cream is suitable for sensitive skin because it’s free of common irritants, including gluten, sulfates, parabens, fragrances and soy.

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Sunday Riley C.E.O. Vitamin C Rich Hydration Cream review

Many people want their face to have a radiant glow — but trips to the esthetician are expensive, and moisturizers at drugstores and beauty counters sometimes leave much to be desired. The search for the best face moisturizer can lead to an endless cycle of trial and error. 

The Sunday Riley Vitamin C cream, however, may deliver the glow you’ve been searching for. Touted as a deep hydrator that protects and repairs, it promises to leave skin brighter and smoother. Designed by skincare experts and backed by science, the cream is said to deliver results through a formula of botanical extracts and vitamin C. 

Sunday Riley C.E.O. Vitamin C Rich Hydration Cream

We wanted to see whether the Sunday Riley C.E.O. Vitamin C Rich Hydration Cream could live up to its claim of improving our complexion, so we decided to test it for a couple of weeks. Here’s what we found.

Testing the Sunday Riley Vitamin C cream

We tested the Sunday Riley C.E.O. Vitamin C cream with someone who has combination skin with hyperpigmentation and uneven textures. During the winter months, they used the Vitamin C cream twice daily for two weeks in place of their regular moisturizer.

What is the Sunday Riley Vitamin C cream?

Sunday Riley Vitamin C is a deeply hydrating face cream that claims to leave skin moisturized and luminous. It’s marketed as an ultra-rich, luxurious cream formulated with naturally derived ingredients, such as caviar lime extract. It’s a moisturizer for sensitive skin as well as other skin types that’s designed to restore dehydrated skin and shield it from pollutants that may damage and dry it out. 

How to use the Sunday Riley Vitamin C cream

We used the Sunday Riley Vitamin C face moisturizer as part of our twice-daily skincare routine. In the morning, we applied it to our clean face and neck with our fingertips. After that, we layered the rest of our everyday skincare products over it, including sunscreen and foundation. 

At night, we washed off our makeup and applied the Sunday Riley Vitamin C hydrating moisturizer to our face. To maximize morning results, we sometimes paired it with two more glow-boosting products by Sunday Riley, the C.E.O. Glow Face Oil and Good Genes All-in-One Lactic Acid Treatment

Key features of the Sunday Riley Vitamin C cream

If you’re wondering how the Sunday Riley Vitamin C clean moisturizer works, here’s an overview of the main benefits and ingredients.

  • Brightening: The leading ingredient is vitamin C 5% THD ascorbate, a highly stable vitamin C variety that repairs skin by promoting new collagen growth. Vitamin C is often used as an ingredient in anti-aging moisturizers. It also minimizes the appearance of hyperpigmentation. 
  • Smoothing: Lime pearls extracted from caviar limes contain a natural source of alpha hydroxy acid, a gentle skin exfoliator that helps smooth uneven skin texture and fine lines. 
  • Protection: Exopolysaccharides shield skin from pollution whose particles are as small as PM 2.5, including those found in smog. 
  • Calming: Bisabolol, an ingredient used in baby products for its gentleness, is a chamomile extract that soothes dry, irritated skin and calms redness. 

Other top face creams

Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream

Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream 

This hydrating face cream contains a 30% hyaluronic acid complex that draws in atmospheric vapor and locks in moisture for up to 72 hours. It leaves skin supple and silky smooth.

Sold by Amazon, Macy’s, Ulta and Sephora

Youth to the People Superfood Air-Whip Moisture Cream

Youth to the People Superfood Air-Whip Moisture Cream

A lightweight formula suitable for all skin types, YTTP’s whipped face cream contains cold-pressed plant extracts with powerful antioxidant properties. The cream absorbs into the skin quickly and doubles as an effective makeup primer.

Sold by Amazon and Sephora

Renewal Firming Moisturizing Cream

Burt’s Bees Renewal Firming Moisturizing Cream 

This day-and-night cream firms skin with bakuchiol, a natural retinol alternative. It boosts radiance with vitamin E and smooths over uneven textures and fine lines.

Sold by Amazon and Ulta

Sunday Riley Vitamin C cream price

Sunday Riley C.E.O. Vitamin C Rich Hydration Cream retails for $22 per 0.5-ounce jar and $65 per 1.7-ounce jar. 

Where is Sunday Riley Vitamin C sold?

Sunday Riley C.E.O. Vitamin C face cream

Sunday Riley C.E.O. Vitamin C face cream is available at Amazon, Sephora and SkinStore

Sunday Riley Vitamin C cream benefits

The Sunday Riley Vitamin C cream worked well with other skincare products, including some by the same company. It absorbs quickly and has a lightweight feel that provides the ideal foundation for makeup application. 

It has a pleasant citrus smell, which is a welcomed departure from comparable heavy moisturizers that often have clinical scents or overpowering fragrances. Unlike other fragranced skincare products, the Vitamin C cream didn’t trigger reactions on sensitive skin.

Many people reported results after a couple weeks of use, including notable boosts in radiance, hydration and smoothness. Some individuals with hyperpigmentation felt the cream minimized the appearance of hyperpigmentation and under-eye circles. 

Sunday Riley Vitamin C cream drawbacks

While the Sunday Riley Vitamin C cream made our skin softer and more hydrated, there wasn’t a noticeable boost in radiance or reduction in hyperpigmentation. We recognize this may be due in part to our limited testing period of a couple of weeks.

The Vitamin C cream is a heavy formula that works well in the winter for many people, but some individuals may feel it’s too intense for summertime use. Some felt the cream is better suited for nighttime use only.  

Should you get the Sunday Riley Vitamin C cream?

Based on our experience, the Sunday Riley Vitamin C Cream delivered the deep moisturizing experience its name and branding promises, which helped improve our skin. As a multidimensional product that manages several high-level skincare concerns, the Sunday Riley Vitamin C cream is ideal for individuals willing to spend more on an all-in-one moisturizer with premium ingredients.


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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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