The Gold & the Beautiful: Sonia Kashuk Radiant Boost Restorative Facial Oil Review

01 Sonia Kashuk Radiant Boost Restorative Facial Oil ReviewOlive 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.

02 Sonia Kashuk Radiant Boost Restorative Facial Oil IngredientsThe 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.

05 Sonia Kashuk Radiant Boost Restorative Facial Oil ReviewMy 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.

03 Sonia Kashuk Radiant Boost Restorative Facial Oil Review

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!

04 Sonia Kashuk Radiant Boost Restorative Facial Oil Review

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.

28 Replies to “The Gold & the Beautiful: Sonia Kashuk Radiant Boost Restorative Facial Oil Review”

    1. It’s such a bargain every time I think of how much is in there and the packaging–compared to the more boring oils at the health food store, this really offers much more. Aaaah…but I shouldn’t enable you…☺️

      1. No no! I’ve been looking to add something like this into my routine for a while. I was looking into the one Nyx made for a while but eventually saw people were having bad results.

  1. *makes grabby hands* Do I need a facial oil? No, and yet.. I’m such a Sonia Kashuk fangirl, her brushes do not disappoint, so I’m glad this works well too ^^

  2. Jasmine scent, eh? I’ve been circling around blossom jeju for (lost count of times I’ve visited the brand site, anthropologie, and glow recipe). So might this oil tide me over until I can justify a $45 toner? I already have an SK II addiction but I can buy those in sample sizes….

  3. This sounds like a lovely combination of different oils! I’ve also found that I usually like the scent of Jasmine or lily in my products!

  4. Thank you very much for this review and for your blog. Your blog is most excellent – and quite entertaining!

    I have been using this oil for about a year, having discovered it from a FOTD post – sporting lovely rosy cheeks and quite radiant skin – on r/AB. I’d have to say this is the best bargain out there in facial oils and I’m on my THIRD bottle! I typically only use it at night after moisturizer and before a sleep mask, if I elect to use one. It never fails to provide me with bouncy, resilient skin with a most pronounced AB glow the next morning.

    I was quite intrigued by your idea of mixing this oil with HL Lotion (what doesn’t work better with this?) and the LJH Propolis ampoule. Now, I usually don’t apply any facial oils except before bed, but I made an exception this time as it was rather chilly outside and I had a “hot date” last evening with my very favorite (and very only) young lady (“of a certain age” of course, just like me!). She rather likes it when my skin is super soft and super smooth with a healthy AB glow, so I threw all caution to the wind. As I didn’t have a lot of time for my “pre-date” routine, I used the mixture as a sort of “AIO” lotion/serum/ampoule after toner and before emulsion.

    And… It worked – big time! I was delighted with how soft, smooth and glowing my face turned out. Not only that, but my dearly beloved (of 35+ years) ran her hand over my face before we went out and said “Nice face” (which, even after all these years, never fails to thrill me!).

    So, again, thank you – thank you very much – for your blog, your review of this product, and your wonderful idea of mixing it to supercharge one’s AB glow.

    1. Hi Jimmy! An AIO is an apt description. As someone who has admired your radiant skin on AB Reddit, I’m completely flattered by your sweet comment and “approval” of this mix. Thanks for reading, and I’m glad you had a *glowing* date with your sweetheart.

      1. Thank you for your kind words! I am feeling completely flattered as well!
        I do have to ask…
        I noticed you put “RIP” after the LJH ampoule. Is this being discontinued? It’s still listed on the GlowRecipe web site and I bought it from them. I rather like this ampoule for travel because it is so small – small but mighty I might add!

      2. No, not discontinued. Was that an undertone of panic I sensed? 😀 I meant RIP for my own bottle, which I’ve exhausted. I haven’t restocked because I’m on a no-buy and I *really really* miss it!

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