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Sunday Riley is one of those cult favorite skincare labels that you see in every luxe #shelfie post and all of the vanity displays that I love to scroll through on Instagram. Their iconic Luna Sleeping Oil is their best-selling and arguably most beloved product, and it’s not just because it looks pretty alongside your other holy grail skincare in your curated medicine cabinet. The lightweight, quick-absorbing oil glides over the skin, while it’s impressive active ingredient profile puts in major work over time. The star ingredient in the Luna Oil is its Trans-Retinol Ester (basically, a more gentle form of retinol) that helps skin renew over time, softening fine lines, smoothing texture and refining pores.
Alongside the retinol, it also contains a slew of other skin-loving ingredients, including calming chamomile and blue tanzy to target redness and inflammation, and Omega 3-rich Chia Seed extract to target the appearance wrinkles and lines. While retinols have the innate tendency to cause irritation, redness, and major flaking (that’s why they’re gold standard when it comes to exfoliating your way to fresh skin), the Luna Sleeping Oil is suspended in a moisturizing a lightweight oil base, that feels hydrating, but never greasy (and trust me, I have super oily skin).
Like seemingly everyone else on the planet that’s into skincare, I too, am a huge fan of Sunday Riley’s ubiquitous retinol oil, but with its steep price point, I’m not the biggest fan of the lofty price tag. Fortunately, seeing as how I live to find dupes that perform like higher-end counterparts, I’ve rounded up a few favorite that perform almost as well (and in some cases better) than the O.G. Sleeping Oil.
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1. Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Skin Therapy Oil
To be honest, I’m so surprised this powerhouse drugstore facial oil doesn’t get more attention. I randomly discovered this on a trip when I forgot all of my skincare product, and figure this was a wallet-friendly way to get the most benefit without buying multiple creams and serums. It contains retniol, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E, and like the Luna Oil doesn’t cause irritation or feel overly greasy. It’s truly a drugstore gem.
2. Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Retinol Oil
Neutrogena is one of the best drugstore brands to choose from when it comes to investing in an effective retinol treatment. Now, the brand’s retinol line offers an oil version for those with super dry and reactive skin types. It’s formulated with Retinol SA, a concentrated, sustained retinol that renews skin continuously throughout the day. I also like that it absorbs into the skin super fast, so you can apply it day or night.
3. Geneva Anti-Aging Retinoid Facial Oil
When it comes to active ingredients and formula, Geneva’s affordable retinoid facial oil is the closest match for the price point. Like the Luna Oil, it’s infused with soothing chamomile oil to combat surface redness and soothe irritation, blue tansy to even out tone, and a potent retinoid complex to smooth the look over fine lines and texture without over-drying the skin.
4. Herbivore Lapis Oil
Okay, so Hebrivore’s Lapis Oil isn’t exactly the most inexpensive, but it is one of the closest dupes to Sunday Riley’s, and it is still much cheaper. Besides, this is truly one of my favorite skincare products that I’ve ever used — dupe or not. I wear it during the day under makeup, and it doesn’t leave my oily skin feeling greasy. It just adds a nice glow and I feel like it’s really evened out my skin tone after using it for a few months. It feels just like The Luna Oil, but it actually doesn’t pill up under makeup like Sunday Riley’s.