Sunday Riley is correct in one of its claims about this facial oil on its website: It's certainly "lemon-scented." The bad news, though, is that that potent scent, while pleasing to the nose, won't make your skin happy!
The company says Artemis Hydroactive Cellular Facial Oil clarifies and tones the skin, but it has only limited benefits. There is some research showing that black cumin seed oil can help improve the signs of eczema, and that pomegranate oil has antioxidant properties.
The bad news is that there are many more fragrant plant oils present than there are either of those beneficial ingredients. The first two of those fragrant plant oils listed are lemon ironbark and lemon myrtle, two plants composed in part of the irritating fragrance ingredient citral (Sources: Food and Chemical Toxicology, October 2003, pages 1409–1416; and Journal of Essential Oil Research, volume 12, issue 6, 2000). There is research showing that citral has the potential to cause skin irritation. Adding to this potential issue is the inclusion of grapefruit oil, which may cause contact dermatitis and/or a phototoxic reaction when skin is exposed to sunlight (Source: www.naturaldatabase.com).
Because the potential risk for irritation is greater than any benefit you would derive from this facial oil, it's one we do not recommend. Instead, consider mixing your own facial oil from a blend of non-fragrant oils, such as jojoba, safflower, olive, and evening primrose, or consider one of our Best Facial Oil options here.
Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin's ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way to go for all skin types. If fragrance in your skin-care products is important to you, it should be a very low amount to minimize the risk to your skin (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135, and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22).
This bright, lemon-scented serum helps balance the complexion while providing clarifying and toning benefits. An essential oil complex of Australian medicinal plants, Lemon Ironbark and Lemon Myrtle provide anti-inflammatory, purifying, and cleansing support to the skin. Milk thistle seed oil, black cumin seed oil, and pink grapefruit essential oil help fight redness and premature aging caused by toxins and inflammation.
Artemis Essential Oil Blend [Eucalyptus Staigeriana (Ethically Farmed Lemon Ironbark) Oil, Backhousia Citriodora (Organic Lemon Myrtle) Oil, Citrus Paradisii (Organic Pink Grapefruit) Oil, Punica Granatum (Organic Pomegranate) Seed Oil], Nigella Sativa (Organic Black Cumin) Seed Oil, Silybum Marianum (Organic Milk Thistle) Seed Oil, Linum Usitatissimum (Flax) Seed Oil
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.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
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