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Sunday Riley A+ High Dose Retinoid Serum Review

20th May 2019 in Skincare, Treatment - 5 Comments - 3 min read

Sunday Riley A+ High Dose Retinoid Serum Review

20th May 2019 in Skincare, Treatment - 5 Comments - 3 min read >/div>
Sunday Riley A+ High Dose Retinoid Serum Review

Welcome, Skintellecuals!

If there is one product, I love more than anything; it has to be retinol because you can achieve so much with this. If you’re looking for actual results, then retinol is for you.
I know a lot of people can be somewhat wary of using retinol, but there is honestly nothing to worry about so long as you approach it correctly instead of just blitzing your skin.

The first retinol I ever used was Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil, which is a trans-retinoic ester (Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate), and I loved it was what got me obsessed with retinol. (If you are interested in starting using retinol check out my So you want to start using retinol?” post)

Sunday Riley A+ High Dose Retinoid Serum Review

Sunday Riley recently launched an all-new retinoid serum called A+ High Dose Retinoid Serum (£70), while I think the product is good the name is a bit misleading as someone who doesn’t use retinol might believe this is a potent retinol, but it isn’t.
Sunday Riley claims this is a 6.5% serum but its more like 0.05% as it is a trans-retinoic ester, it would be comparable with The Ordinary 5% Granactive Retinoid.

As you can see from the ingredients it is said to contain 5% trans-retinoic ester, retinoid-like botanical extracts, stabilised retinol blend (1 %), and blue-green algae with retinoid-like activity (0.5%)

To me personally, this is bullshit I would never consider “retinoid-like botanicals” as effective as retinol. You will notice that they don’t even describe what botanicals are retinoid-like and since i cant see Bakuchiol in the INCI list which is the only botanical that’s shown to have retinol potential you can count this out of the formula.

Sunday Riley A+ High Dose Retinoid Serum Review

Ingredients:

Water/Eau/Aqua solv, Propanediol solv|h, Dimethyl Isosorbide solv, Triheptanoin emo, Dimethicone emo 0 1, Glycerin sii|h 0 0, Pentylene Glycol solv|h, Hexyldecanol emo, Disiloxane, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone emu|surf, Diheptyl Succinate emo, Propylene Carbonate solv|vc, Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate cci, PPG-24-Glycereth-24 emu|solv|surf, Phenyl Trimethicone emo, Retinol cci, Ubiquinone (Coq10) aox, Honey Extract h, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer sii|aox|h, Algae Extract emo|h, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Extract, Opuntia Ficus-Indica Fruit Extract so|h, Bisabolol so, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter emo, Phospholipids sii|emo, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Extract h, Lecithin emo|emu, Sodium Acrylates Copolymer vc, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene emo 2 1, 1,2-Hexanediol solv, 4-T- Butylcyclohexanol so|cci, Polyglyceryl-10 Stearate emu, Caprylyl Glycol h|emo, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil emo 0 0, Sorbitol h 0 0, Cetylhydroxyproline Palmitamide emo, Polysilicone-11, Benzoic Acid pres, Dehydroacetic Acid pres, Sodium Phytate chel, Glyceryl Polyacrylate, Polysorbate, Hydroxyphenyl Propamidobenzoic Acid so, Stearic Acid emo|vc 0 23, Brassica Campestris Sterols emo, PVP vc 0 0, Capryloyl Glycerin/Sebacic Acid Copolymer, Sodium Benzoate pres, Alcohol amic|solv|vc, Potassium Phosphate buff, Decyl Glucoside surf, Phenoxyethanol pres, Hexylene Glycol emu|solv|surf 01 02, Potassium Sorbate pres, Tocopherol aox 03 03
Hover the mouse / tap over an ingredient for short explanation. Read more on INCIDecoder.

While the formula itself is fine, I do like that they have included ingredients like CoQ10, Honey, Sodium Hyaluronate (water-soluble salt form of hyaluronic acid) and 4-T-Butylcyclohexanol which is also known as SymSitive, a soothing molecule whose unique feature is to decrease stinging and burning sensations instantly, as well as the formula is packed full of antioxidants. I honestly don’t have a problem with it I have been using this every night for the past few months and while I think its an alright retinol I wouldn’t say you have to go out and get it now as there are others similar on the market with the same technology but more affordable.

I can’t honestly tell you to go out and buy this when I wouldn’t buy it for myself. I did expect more from this, but the more I researched it, the more disappointed I got. While this retinol might tick boxes in terms of anti-ageing and antioxidants, it certainly isn’t as potent as it’s claimed to be.

Sunday Riley A+ High Dose Retinoid Serum Review

You can find the Sunday Riley A+ High Dose Retinoid Serum online and instore at spacenk.com for £70*

What do you think of A+?
What retinol do you use?
Leave a Comment!

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Andrew James

Scottish science nerd obsessed with all things beauty! Creator of The Skincare Saviour, a skincare blog covering everything from reviews, tutorials to busting myths, finding dupes and breaking down trends.

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Welcome to fellow skintellectuals to The Skincare Saviour, a skincare blog covering everything from reviews, tutorials to busting myths, finding dupes and breaking down trends. All posts marked * have been sent to The Skincare Savior for consideration for review. All opinions on these products are my own. Read More

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  • (#gifted) I was sent CE Ferulic by @skinceuticals_uki a couple of weeks back and I've been using it religiously since apart from the weird smell I'm loving it! 
Usually I can't use the pure version of L-ascorbic acid because it tends to irritate my skin but by some sort of miracle I can use this! 🙌🏼 As you might be able to tell this product contains 15% L-ascorbic acid, Vitamin E and Ferulic acid. 
I have to admit ferulic acid was completely new to me I knew people who used it but I never really knew what it did. If you were like me, ferulic acid is a antioxidant that helps to protect the skin against oxidative damage much like Vitamin C does. 
When you add ferulic acid and vitamin E to vitamin C it not only helps to stabilise the formula but it also doubles the photoprotection abilities. 
I usually apply this then an SPF 50 sunscreen, I feel like this gives me the best protection. .
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#vitamincserum #ferulicacid
  • I don't often talk about my AM routine but if I had to choose one thing that I think makes a big difference it would be the powerhouse combination of sunscreen and vitamin c.

Whilst the sunscreen protects against the UV rays, the vitamin v helps to prevent oxidative damage through out the day. 
Vitamin c doesn't just prevent oxidative damage it also helps to lighten and brighten the skin. Lately I've been using the @skinceuticals_uki CE ferulic acid. I am absolutely loving this combination it's the first L-ascorbic acid product I've use that skin hasn't hated! 😭🙌🏼😱
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  • Hyaluronic Acid is probably one of my most favourite ingredients in skincare. 
I feel like a lot of people tend to underestimate how important hydration can be for the skin! It's the difference between looking plump and not.

Hyaluronic acid is really fascinating it can hold 1000 times it's own molecular weight in start. HA occurs naturally in the skin and helps not only with the firm, plumpness of our skin (think of it like a sponge) HA also helps to maintain our skims elasticity and help to regenerate the skins protective barrier. 
HA comes in different forms namingly high and low molecular weight. High molecular weight works on the surface level of the skin and helps to hydrate the skin where as low molecular weight works deeper in the epidermal layers.

While HA occurs naturally in the skin it's often found in many products created either naturally or synthetically. I have to mention one is not better than the other they are molecularly the same natural HA is not better or worse than synthetically made HA.

When looking for products containing HA look for both low and high molecular weights this will give a more rounded. 
Anyone can use Hyaluronic acid as it's not the same kind of acid as a glycolic or lactic. The most sensitive, reactive skin types can really benefit from HA.

There is one caution though if you are living in a dry arid country be careful as HA is hygroscopic it will draw moisture from the air into your skin but when there is no moisture in the air it will draw it from deeper in your skin causing dryness to get worse. 
To combat this I would suggest using HA and while your skin is still "wet" use a moisturiser on top to seal everything in this way the HA has something to draw from. (Credit to @incidecodercom for the image)
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  • It's just amazes me the amount of misinformation there is around  natural brands these days.

No matter what a brand says to you, no matter how scientific it sounds, 
NATURAL DOES NOT MEAN BETTER OR SAFER AND SYNTHETIC DOES NOT MEAN TOXIC OR WORSE FOR YOUR SKIN

It really does annoys me when I see brands talking about how natural and how safe their products are. The one that gets me the most is "chemical free" nothing is chemical free because it's impossible even natural products contain combinations of tons of different chemicals.
Chemical is not synonyms with toxic or dangerous. 
As well with the term synthetic just because something is synthetic it doesn't mean it's dangerous or worse than natural, brands just want you to think this so you'll buy their products 
If you take something like zinc for example if you found it in nature and then made it in the lab synthetically when you examine them they will be chemically the same because zinc is zinc no matter how it was created if the zinc that was created synthetically was different then it wouldn't be zinc anymore 
Where brands often say natural skincare is better for sensitive or highly reactive skin this just insnt trust the opposite is often true when you create ingredients synthetically you can edit out any allergens or irritants where as you wouldn't be able do this with natural products because in nature there is always going to be deviations because nothing is the same.
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#nontoxicskincare
  • *UPDATED SKINCARE ROUTINE* 
I think most of the products in my routine have changed apart from the @stubborncosmetics  Custom Made Moisturiser

Cleanser - @merumaya Melting Cleansing Balm - This is only a sample size but I love it! I love the texture of it which is a big thing for me. It makes a great first cleanse for removing makeup and SPF.

Exfoliator - @drdennisgross.uk  Professional Grade Resurfacing Liquid Peel *gifted* - I've used this a few times now and if I'm honest it's not as strong as I would have expected, don't get me wrong the results are great it really does smooth out the skin beautifully.

Serum - @skinceuticals_uki H.A Intensifier *gifted - This is completely new brand to me. So instead of being a bog standard hyaluronic acid this serum actually helps to amplify the skins natural hyaluronic acid levels which I find fascinating. It contains high levels of HA as well as Proxylane and purple rice extract.

Treatment - Kate Somerville +Retinol Vita C Serum Intense *gifted - Now this is a combination of retinol and vitamin c usually I would apply vitamin c in the morning which I still do but it's nice to get an extra hit of vitamin c. I don't know if it's because I'm used to retinol now but I honestly don't feel any irritation or see any redness from using this.

Moisturiser - @stubborncosmetics
Custom Made Moisturiser *gifted - I have said this many times but I'll say it again, I have so much love for this moisturiser it's so good to find something customised to you rather than just hoping something will work. .
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  • I don't know about you but I don't like the term "clean" not only because of the implications that it means other skincare ingredients are "dirty" but brands often use term clean skincare to play on people's fears.

There is no such thing as clean skincare it's basically a new version of the "natural Vs synthetic" argument.

The idea that there are toxins in skincare products is completely unfounded and uses people's fear to sell products as does using clean it plays on people's fears of toxins to sell products
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