Olive a good face oil. My latest oil is Sonia Kashuk’s Radiant Boost Restorative Facial Oil. To sum up in one sentence, it’s a bargain version of $170 Rodin Olio Lusso with a retinol boost a la Sunday Riley Luna and the clever packaging of Tarte Maracuja Oil. Basically, Sonia Kashuk combined the most appealing elements of several products into one.
Available at Target for only $15.99 (for 1 oz./30 ml), this oil is a worthy addition to a dry-skin/winter-skin wardrobe and a worthy competitor of higher-end oils. The oil’s actually a mix of multiple oils and other ingredients. One intriguing oil was the “Gold of Pleasure Oil,” but Googling reveals that as the less-sexy-sounding camelina sativa seed (wild flax seed) oil. Retinol is fourth from the bottom of the ingredients list, and the brightener diacetyl boldine and antioxidants tocopherol and sodium ascorbate are right behind.
The oil is best suited to dry skin and leaves a moisturized shine behind. It’s light gold and a medium weight–lighter than Rodin Olio Lusso, heavier than Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses oil, and about the same as Tarte Maracuja Oil ((if memory serves correctly). It doesn’t immediately run off your hand but runs down pretty quickly when you tilt it.
My favorite way to use it is to mix 1-3 drops with a bit of Hada Labo Gokujyun Lotion (or any hydrating toner) in my palm and then smear all over. Before I ran out of it, I liked to add 2-3 drops of Leejiham Vita Propolis Ampoule (R.I.P.) as well. The results? Welcome to GLOW-town! The lotion and ampoule preserve and even amplify the glow while thinning out the oil’s consistency, making it easier to spread.
I also sometimes pat the tiniest drop of oil under my eyes before applying sunscreen, which helps with dryness and flaking makeup in that area.
Sonia Kashuk Oil as Dupe for Rodin Olio Lusso?
The scent is Rodin Olio Lusso-esque, a jasmine/blooming lily scent. It smells less complex and more artificial than ROL (even though there aren’t any artificial fragrances in it) and I personally dislike jasmine/lily scents, but I think most people will enjoy this luxe touch.
The scent is noticeably weaker than ROL and fades within several minutes of application, which I appreciate because catching whiffs of ROL throughout the day was unpleasant. Now that I’ve had my bottle open for several months, the scent seems to have faded a little, whereas ROL’s stench was good to the last drop (heh heh, can you tell I really didn’t like the smell?).
Bottom line: If you’re looking for a dupe of ROL, this is not it. The oils aren’t even the same for the most part. It’s a blatant imitation of the ROL experience, but for $155/90% cheaper, one can probably overlook the differences. Plus, the differences aren’t negative. They don’t make Sonia Kashuk’s oil inferior to ROL–just different. In fact, Sonia Kashuk’s lighter scent means I’d repurchase it whereas I couldn’t stomach another bottle of ROL.
The packaging is smart and streamlined with a button dispenser built into the cap. Just like with Tarte Maracuja Oil, the button lies flush when the cap is screwed closed and pops up when the cap is unscrewed. Pressing the button releases the oil. Very neat!
Sonia Kashuk Oil as Dupe for Sunday Riley Luna?
The retinoid aspect is where Sonia Kashuk overlaps with Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil. They’re very dissimilar in all other respects and aren’t close to being dupes.
Sonia Kashuk boasts of stabilized retinol whereas Luna uses a trans-retinoic acid ester called “dimethyl isosorbide (and) hydroxypinacolone retinoate.” What’s that? A cursory Google search leads me to articles about granactive retinoid, which has the effectiveness of retinol without the irritation, and better oxidative stability than traditional retinol.
What I got from that is that
I should have paid more attention to science in school Sonia Kashuk and Sunday Riley use two different forms of retinoids and so aren’t directly comparable. I haven’t used Luna other than playing with it at Sephora, but from using Sonia Kashuk on my neck (usually diluted with Hada Labo Gokujyun Lotion), I have to say that it’s not powerful enough to erase neck creases but of course the moisture from the oil helps temporarily plump them. Perhaps they’d diminish with longer term use or with a direct dose.
On the plus side, I’ve never experienced any irritation or flakiness from it either–even when used straight up. Maybe the concentration of retinol is weak or maybe the oil buffers against irritation. In any case, the oil is super-moisturizing and sleekly packaged, and the retinol is just a lovely bonus.
(I’m not mentioning any effects on my face because I use prescription-grade retinoid (0.06% tretinoin) in my Curology formula, which would outweigh anything OTC retinol could do.)
Pros: Moisturizing, luxurious, and worthy of pricier competitors. Retinol without irritation.
Cons: Jasmine/lily scent if you’re not into it. Can’t tell whether the retinol’s effective.