How Sunday Riley is transforming the skincare game

It's the brand that A-listers like Lizzo love, but what do you need to know about Sunday Riley?
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The Sunday Riley brand really needs no introduction. Set foot in any Mecca store and you’ll undoubtedly be pointed in the direction of the luxe-looking, results-delivering skincare line. 

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But despite those eye-catching dropper bottles being a permanent fixture on any beauty lover’s vanity, the global success of the company didn’t happen overnight.

It’s all due to the hard work of Texasborn founder Sunday Riley, who chased her dream to “bring about real change in skin”, becoming a bestselling brand creator, product formulator and household name. Here, she shares an insider’s look into what it takes to operate a global beauty company, her own A+ skincare routine (which will shake up everything you thought you knew about layering actives), and what “clean beauty” really means.

Take us back to the beginning – what inspired you to create Sunday Riley?

I’ve always had a passion for skincare. I started a skincare company and began formulating products because I believe that I have an ability to listen to what people want and craft formulas that can actually make a change in the way people look and feel.

Sunday Riley
Sunday Riley is the skincare expert that stars turn to. (Credit: Supplied)

Once you’re up, what does the rest of your day look like?

Every day is different! Not only am I the CEO and founder, but I’m also the product formulator, so I’m always working on product innovation and formulations. On top of that, I’m a mum to four kids and an animal mum to two dogs and a parrot so, needless to say, every day comes with its own beautiful craziness!

We’ve got to know – what does your current night-time routine look like?

I definitely switch it up depending on what we’re making, but my core routine is pretty consistent. At night I’ll use Ceramic Slip to cleanse, then A+ High-Dose Retinoid Serum; sometimes double retinol with Luna Sleeping Night Oil. If I’m tired, I mix them, but if I’m not tired, I’ll layer them. I might apply some Good Genes Lactic Acid, too (if I haven’t used it in the morning), and do something else like maybe listen to an audio book for a minute. Then I add my CEO 15% Brightening Serum. I use that twice a day, morning and night, followed by moisturiser. And I always wake up at least once in the middle of the night, which is when I’ll apply another layer of CEO 15% Brightening Serum and our Ice Ceramide Moisturising Cream.

Sunday Riley Luna Oil
Helena Bonham Carter swears by using the Luna Sleeping Night Oil before bed. (Credit: MECCA)

What does the definition “clean beauty’” mean to you and how is that represented in your product?

Clean to me is ensuring our ingredients are of the highest possible quality as well as the highest possible ethical standards. I always make sure we’re using the absolute best suppliers, giving back to the community and [focusing on] sustainability. The brand recently became B Corp Certified (this measures a company’s social and environmental performance).

Why was it so important to achieve this? It was important to me that we continually evolve and make conscious efforts to use business as a force of good, influencing positive change wherever we have a corporate presence. B Corp is a leader in corporate responsibility, sustainability and brand ethics. Partnering with B Corp to make sure that our practices aligned with our values was a natural fit.

Sunday Riley CEO Glow
Lizzo is a fan of Sunday’s products, including the Luna Sleeping Night Oil. (Credit: MECCA)

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This story originally appeared on our sister site Beauty Crew.

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