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Sunday Riley

C.E.O. Rapid Flash Brightening Serum

1.00 fl. oz. for $ 85.00
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Ingredients

Brand Overview

C.E.O. Rapid Flash Brightening Serum contains a high amount of a stable, effective form of vitamin C known as tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate. But despite that impressive attribute, there are three issues that make this serum one to leave on the shelf.

The first concern is the lack of other ingredients skin needs to look and act younger. Vitamin C is wonderful, but there isn't much else here to make this serum worth considering over many others on our list of Best Vitamin C Products in a more exciting formula.

Concern number two is this serum's esthetics: Although it spreads well, it sets to a finish that feels thick, wax-like, and "draggy" on skin—good luck applying anything over this without experiencing performance issues!

The third strike is the inclusion of sweet orange oil, a fragrant ingredient that poses a strong risk of irritating skin. A vitamin C treatment doesn't need to smell of oranges or other citrus fruits to be effective: see More Info for details on how irritating ingredients are a problem for all skin types.

One more comment: The form of vitamin C this serum contains is great, but isn't the "gold standard" among vitamin C ingredients. Most forms of vitamin C can benefit skin so there is no need to look for the best one.

Pros:
  • Contains a high amount of vitamin C.
Cons:
  • Doesn't contain much else of what aging skin needs to look younger.
  • Fragrant sweet orange oil poses a risk of irritation.
  • Sets to a finish that feels thick, wax-like, and "draggy" on skin.
More Info:

Irritating Ingredients: We cannot stress this enough: Sensitizing, harsh, abrasive, and/or fragrant ingredients are bad for all skin types. Daily application of skincare products that contain these irritating ingredients is a major way we unwittingly do our skin a disservice!

Irritating ingredients are a problem because they can lead to visible problems, such as redness, rough skin, dull skin, dryness, increased oil production, and clogged pores, and they contribute to making signs of aging worse.

Switching to non-irritating, gentle skincare products can make all the difference in the world. Non-irritating products are those packed with beneficial ingredients that also replenish and soothe skin, without any volatile ingredients, such as those present in fragrance ingredients, whether natural or synthetic.

A surprising fact: Research has demonstrated that you do not need to see or feel the effects of irritants on your skin for your skin to be suffering, and visible damage may not become apparent for a long time. Don't get lulled into thinking that if you don't see or feel signs of irritation, everything is OK.

Generally, it's best to eliminate, or minimize as much as possible, your exposure to ingredients that are known to irritate skin. There are many completely non-irritating products that contain effective ingredients, so there's no reason to put your skin at risk with products that include ingredients research has shown can be a problem.

References for this information:

Journal of Dermatological Sciences, January 2015, pages 28–36

International Journal of Cosmetic Science, August 2014, pages 379–385

Clinical Dermatology, May-June 2012, pages 257–262

Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175

Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80

Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135

Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446–475

American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, pages 789–798

Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: No
C.E.O. Rapid Flash Brightening Serum, (infused with 15 percent ultra-stable, advanced vitamin C) rapidly brightens the appearance of the skin with immediate radiance, while fighting the look of dark spots and discolorations at the source. Skin looks firmer and plumper, as youthful bounce and an even tone are restored. The gold standard form of vitamin C, THD ascorbate is both highly stable and oil-soluble, helping it to rapidly absorb into the skin for enhanced tone, clarity, and visible brightening.
Water, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Squalane, PEG-8 Beeswax, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Polyglyceryl-6 Distearate, PPG-12/SMDI Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Acetamidoethoxyethanol, Jojoba Esters, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Glycine Soja Sterols, Tocopherol, Glycolic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Phytate, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Sweet Orange) Oil, Chlorphenesin, Cera Alba, Glycerin, Isosqualane, C30 Hydrocarbons, Saccharide Isomerate.

Sunday Riley is a brand that has captured the attention of many with its mix of luxury-positioned skincare products and its ties to todays top fashion designers. This coupling, plus the brands cult-like status among beauty editors, has led many of our readers to ask us whether Sunday Riley products are deserving of the hype. The answer: Yes and no.

Often noted in Sunday Rileys products is the NV-5 Ageless Complex. Despite the number 5 in this trade name, the complex contains a mix of seven plant ingredients: prickly pear extract, blue agave, ladys slipper orchid extract, opuntia tuna fruit, cactus extract, aloe, and a type of yeast extract (Saccharomyces cerevisiae).

We explored the research on each of the ingredients in the NV-5 Ageless Complex. While all of them have some benefit for skin, theyre not ingredients that have comparative benefit to long established ingredients such as retinol, vitamin C, and niacinamide, for example.

This brand has some intriguing products and many of them contain beneficial ingredients that are packaged to maintain their effectiveness, but there are a few missteps in terms of highly fragrant formulas. Even the highly rated products are on the pricey side for what you get, but at least if you choose to indulge youll know which products are worth buying.

Sunday Riley products are available at several online retailers, as well as at Sephora stores.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.

Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.