Product Of The Week: Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream

Daley Grace Sweeting


Like a thing of beauty, a good moisturiser is a joy forever. And a good moisturiser can also be hard to find, especially if you have problem skin. I came across Sunday Riley’s Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream for the first time in the spring of this year. I wanted something that would be lightweight during the warmer months, when I find my skin to be more oily, and lightweight is definitely what I got! I would describe it as more of a gel than a cream; thin and almost runny, but not. When first applying it to my skin I was sure I had wasted my money and that I would be dry and flaky in a matter of days but this little pot packs a hyaluronic punch and proved me wrong.

Let’s press pause and have a quick chat about Hyaluronic Acid:

Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is something that naturally occurs in our bodies. When we are babies we have a lot of it but our supply decreases (quite dramatically, if you ask me) as we age. Higher concentrations can be found in our eyes and joints - parts of our bodies with fluid-filled areas. Hyaluronic Acid’s super power is the ability to retain high levels of moisture. Sodium Hyaluronate (HA in its salt form), for example, can hold approximately up to 1000 x its weight in water.

So, now that I’ve bored you with science you didn’t ask for (soz), let’s look at what this all means for skin care. The theory is that the more hyaluronic acid your skin contains, the more water or moisture it is able to hold on to and, therefore, the more hydrated it will be. The biggest challenge to this that I’ve come across is that HA molecules are deemed too big to be absorbed into the dermis. However, this a fairly old finding and scientists have found ways of breaking down HA particles and making them smaller (nano hyaluronic acid) and therefore more easily absorbed into the layers of the skin. Any product with HA is going to work best over long periods of time so it is best to have it in a toner or moisturiser rather than a cleanser that will be rinsed off before it has time to absorb.

Tidal contains both Sodium Hyaluronate and Hyaluronic Acid - which are basically the same thing but in different forms.

Back to my thoughts on Tidal:

In addition to the creams ability to provide a ton of moisture without being too heavy and clogging pores, it also contains fruit enzymes, namely papaya extract to “gently resurface - eliminating dulling dead cells to reveal the more luminous skin cells beneath.” It also contains alpha-arbutin which helps with skin discolouration and acne scarring.

I’m normally skeptical when brands claim to be able to deliver so many things in one pot but, I have to say this really impressed me. After using it for a month, my skin felt well taken care of; it was soft and hydrated but not oily and overall appeared brighter with a definite reduction in the appearance of acne scarring.

I used this Tidal until the pot was empty but didn’t initially repurchase (I was in an experimental phase.) Six months later, I’ve been having issues with breakouts and painful spots and decided to give it another go. Let me tell you, after only 2 days use, my skin already feels and looks different. My complexion is brighter, my blemishes less red and angry. I wouldn’t say this cream alone has the power to clear up problem skin but it definitely works well with the rest of my regime and gives me an overall glow.

The upsides:

My two absolute favourite things about this product are the way it feels and the way it smells. The gel-like cream is very cooling, calming and comfortable on the skin. I actually find it to soothe painful breakouts and help to clear them quicker. Much like the consistency of the product, the scent is fresh and light - not at all overpowering: think cucumber-lemon water. Mmmm.

Special mention goes to the brightening properties.

The downsides:

One 50g tub lasted me 4-5 weeks. At £60 a pop that is not the most economical way to spend my money. I am fairly heavy handed so there’s a chance that I share part of the blame. That said, pretty as the packaging is, I do favour pump bottles over tubs for moisturisers so you can have a more even handle on the quantity used.

Product Rating: 8/10

Despite the hefty price tag knocking a few points off, this product seems to do everything it says it will do and I am seeing improvements in my skin so… can you really put a price on that..?

As for how this works for my skin during winter… I’ll keep you posted!

You can buy Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream and other Sunday Riley products at Cult Beauty, Selfridges and Space NK in the UK, and Sephora in the US.

*This post is not sponsored and my review is based on my honest experience. Comment below if there are any products you would like me to review next.

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