Best Melasma Treatments & Skincare

Best Brightening Sunday Riley Products for Melasma and Hyperpigmentation

Sunday Riley's new the Influencer clean longwear foundation review - it helps to hide my melasma, hyperpigmentation, dark spots and vitiligo. I use #120 and #140. Sunday Riley's Good Genes treatment is just OK.

Update Jan 2020: Don’t forget to check out my dark spot and melasma routine guide by budget ; my natural sunscreen guide (30+ reviews 🙂 and my review of the new Sunday Riley ICE cream.

Finally reviewing the Sunday Riley products I’ve tried over the past 2 years.

Sunday Riley is a featured brand at Sephora which makes it easy to collect samples and minis to try before you buy. You might be surprised about items on NOT on this list…I’m even guilty of a little #skincareblashphemy. Don’t care if my opinions aren’t popular if they are authentic.

DermStore also sells Sunday Riley. They are having a 20% off sale during Memorial Day weekend but unfortunately, Sunday Riley isn’t included in their sale. You can save on Sunday Riley by subscribing instead of orders once.

New Sunday Riley the Influencer Clean Long Wear Foundation Review (Update: this product was discontinued)

I scooped two shades of this up the week they debuted! I use #140 and #120. These shades are very similar.

What I love about the Influencer Foundation:

  • This light to medium talc-free relatively clean foundation doesn’t smell like anything! Hooray!
  • It really creates a nice canvas for the rest of makeup.
  • Color selection is nice but honestly too subtle for the shades that worked best for me.
  • Great balance of blend-ability vs absorption.

What could be better:

  • Coverage is slightly buildable but you won’t get full coverage out of this Sunday Riley foundation.
  • If you have major items to conceal like melasma or hyperpigmentation, consider using this as a tinted primer instead.
  • I would suggest thinking of this more as a light-weight very good tinted moisturizer without SPF.

Because the coverage is medium at best, it’s difficult for me to tell what the staying power is. Best case for this product is if you’re skin is already pretty even and you don’t where a ton of makeup but just want a natural, slightly enhanced version of your complexion that is easy to apply.

This foundation is so comfortable to wear and it’s made without cyclopentasiloxane, synthetic fragrance, talc, and gluten. Like most foundations it does contain dimethicone.

Sunday Riley Good Genes All-in-One Lactic Acid Treatment Review

Ok get ready. I understand this is an HG “holy grail” in skin care but I don’t recommend this product for melasma, dark spots and hyperpigmentation. There. I said it. #skincareblashphemy. Now I can sleep at night knowing I spoke my truth.

I don’t like the scent. I don’t like that SkinDeep has dmdm hydantoin is a formaldehyde releaser. And more importantly don’t like that it makes my pores appear LARGER. How is that even possible? To be fair, this isn’t something with Sunday Riley itself, just something with me, my skin, my pores and lactic acid. Too much lactic acid is not good for me. I’ve gotten so many minis and samples of this from Sephora and each batch confirms not great affects on my skin.

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil Review

I heard such good things about this oil I had to give it a try – I’ve gotten multiple samples over the past 2 years. But this products has 2 strikes against it for me: I’m not at a point in my life where I feel ok using synthetic retinol and the blue tansy in this oil is soooooooo intense. Yes I know it’s everywhere in green beauty right now but I can’t handle blue tansy. I’m sure this anti-aging oil works wonders for some, but the fragrant oils gave me a headache. Herbivore Lapis Oil is another major offender.

Sunday Riley Good Genes Review - Good Genes lactic acid all in one treatment is not a holy grail skincare product in my opinion for melasma, dark spots and hyperpigmentation. Sunday Riley Tidal brightening cream works much better!
Sunday Riley Good Genes lactic acid all in one treatment is not a holy grail skincare product in my opinion for melasma, dark spots and hyperpigmentation. Sunday Riley Tidal brightening cream works much better!

Sunday Riley C.E.O. Rapid Flash Brightening Serum Review

I quickly emptied this lightweight serum last summer when I used it almost every morning. I can’t say for sure that it improved my melasma, dark spots and hyperpigmentation, but I do believe it helped prevent more from forming. I changed my skincare routine last year when I was pregnant and this was a gentle hyperpigmentation treatment and protection I used daily. It has a slight orange scent that was manageable for me.

This potent vitamin C serum (5% THD Ascorbate) worked well on my sensitive skin. I’m also trying to use more products with squalane and this does contain isosqualane. (more on that another time).

Sunday Riley C.E.O. C + E Antioxidant Protect + Repair Moisturizer Review

I also got to experience this Sunday Riley brightening product through samples and minis from Sephora. I do think most people would love this brightening moisturizer – the texture is fantastic and creamy. But the scent is too artificial and long lasting vs the sweet orange oil used in the rapid flash serum.

Sunday Riley brightening moisturizer reviews and swatches. Sunday Riley Tidal Enzyme Brightening Water Cream is very watery and light vs the cream CEO repair moisturizer with vitamin C.
Sunday Riley Tidal Enzyme Brightening Water Cream is very watery and light vs the cream CEO repair moisturizer with vitamin C.

Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream Review

This was the first Sunday Riley product I bought and honestly, it’s still my favorite. It’s technically a cream, but it’s not very moisturizing. It’s really a brightening treatment lotion. I always used a true moisturizer on top.

I’m surprised by the claims this increases hydration, but I can say that it’s brightening affects more than likely make an impact. This was one of the products I used when I did see improvement in my melasma and dark spots last year.

Tamarind and hyaluronic acid are supposed to be the moisturizing powerhouses in this cream, while papaya enzymes and alpha-arbutin brighten. (more on alpha-arbutin later). It also has lots of exotic ingredients like Bird of Paradise extract, amber extract and holy basil.

If you are going to buy a Sunday Riley brightening treatment, I highly recommend Tidal enzyme cream for melasma and hyperpigmentation! It’s also significantly less expensive than Sunday Riley Good Genes, at only $65 for 1.7oz.

Sunday Riley Martian Mattifying Melting Water-Gel Toner Review

OK so this isn’t really for brightening but I did try it because I had a mini. This review will be short and sweet: ick. Yes it is mattifying, but it’s not worth dealing with the gross scent. I think it’s just a bad mix of cucumber and flower extracts.

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