Pink Drink Firming Resurfacing Essence
Sunday Riley’s Pink Drink Firming Resurfacing Essence is sold as a “power drink for your skin”, which isn’t too far from the truth; we just wish the packaging didn’t present a drawback, and that the all-skin-types formula didn’t contain fragrance ingredients.
The formula is front-loaded with two types of fermented yeast, both of which work with the honey to deliver prebiotics to skin. These are important because prebiotics serve as a food source for the probiotics that make up your skin’s unique microbiome. In essence, these ingredients help your skin make more of the health-promoting probiotics it needs. Having said that, we couldn’t find any research relating to pink yeast having special benefit for skin beyond prebiotic.
Alongside the fermented ingredients are numerous antioxidants, including active compounds from green tea plus replenishing ceramides, restoring and skin-firming peptides, and pollution-neutralizing kelp and other types of algae. It’s an impressive mix, made even better since the fine spray application leaves a sheer, non-sticky veil of hydration. We also found this works well when applied over other serums or treatments, or even misted over makeup that’s looking a bit too powdered.
The clear plastic bottle presents an issue since it exposes the many delicate ingredients to light. You can remedy this by storing the bottle in a dark place (such as a drawer) between uses, but there’s another bigger issue…fragrance.
Sunday Riley opted to add fragrant lemon oil, citrus extracts, jasmine, and rose, all of which create a scent that’s likely to irritate skin. Although the fragrance isn’t perfume-like potent, lemon oil in particular can be very irritating to skin and eyes. Some of this irritancy is offset by the number of beneficial ingredients, but the risk isn’t zero (see More Info).
Check out our list of toners and best face mists for top picks minus a risk of irritating skin (and eyes, given this is a product you spray on your entire face).
- Fine mist leaves a sheer veil of non-sticky hydration.
- Works well under or over serums and other treatments.
- Very good mix of antioxidants and skin replenishers.
- Clear bottle packaging demands careful storage.
- Contains fragrance ingredients that can irritate skin.
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 it 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:
Annals of the Brazilian Journal of Dermatology, July-August 2017, pages 521-525
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
A power drink for your skin, this peptide-infused essence resurfaces, balances, and firms the look of your skin. Fermented honey, pink yeast filtrate, chlorella, and kelp act as prebiotics to support and balance the skin’s natural microbiome. Two skin-firming peptides work synergistically to create a firmer-looking, younger-looking skin surface. Vitamin-rich apricot and cucumber extracts refresh the skin, while EGCG (a super-powered antioxidant from green tea) fights future signs of skin aging. Finally, ceramides nurture the natural moisture barrier, so your skin is left renewed and soft.
Sunday Riley is a brand that has captured the attention of many with its mix of luxury-positioned skincare products and its ties to today's top fashion designers. This coupling, plus the brand's 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 Riley's 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, lady's 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, they're 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 you'll 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.