Sunday Riley CEO Rapid Flash Brightening Serum: Review

I became addicted to Sunday Riley a few years ago with her Good Genes (still my favorite from her line). In general Sunday Riley does what it says it will do. They seem to have been revamping their line, changing the packaging and the products. The Sunday Riley website has been down for some time like it’s being worked on. I grabbed the new C.E.O. Rapid Flash Brightening Serum just to play with a new vitamin C serum. I’ve been using Drunk Elephant for years and wanted to branch out seem if I’m missing anything. Details per Sephora:

What it is:
A highly-potent, fast-absorbing serum infused with 15 percent THD ascorbate (vitamin C) to fight the look of dullness, dark spots, and discolorations, while instantly increasing brightness, radiance, and luminosity.

Solutions for:
– Uneven skin tone
– Dullness and uneven texture
– Pores

If you want to know more…
C.E.O. Rapid Flash Brightening Serum, (infused with 15 percent ultra-stable, advanced vitamin C) rapidly brightens the appearance of the skin with immediate radiance, while fighting the look of dark spots and discolorations at the source. Skin looks firmer and plumper, as youthful bounce and an even tone are restored. The gold standard form of vitamin C, THD ascorbate is both highly stable and oil-soluble, helping it to rapidly absorb into the skin for enhanced tone, clarity, and visible brightening. This hydrating antioxidant formula instantly polishes, protects, and illuminates the skin, while phytosterols help to reduce the look of redness and skin sensitivity. Saccharide isomerate extract diminishes the appearance of pores and reinforces the skin’s moisture barrier for a skin-smoothing glow.

Active Ingredients

-Vitamin C (15% THD Ascorbate): Features superior visible brightening, clarifying, and antioxidant properties; helps fight the first signs of aging caused by stress, lifestyle, sun, and pollution.
-Phytosterols Complex: Isolated from soybeans and containing at least 40 percent beta-sitosterol, it helps reduce the look of redness and skin sensitivity.
-Saccharide Isomerate Extract: Reduces the appearance of pores while reinforcing the skin’s natural moisture barrier for smooth, supple texture.
-Glycolic Acid: Provides mild refinement to the skin; maintains the pH of the serum for maximum vitamin C efficacy, while supporting natural cell turnover and glow of the skin.

The packaging has been changing on Sunday Riley. It used to all come in clear glass bottle with pumps. Now they’re doing plastic jars and other colored kinds of packaging. This particular serum comes in a orange glass jar with the typical Sunday Riley pump. A pump is my favorite way to have a skincare item packaged. Vitamin C in general has extra rules about how it should be stored. That also depends on which form of vitamin C is in the product. This Sunday Riley serum uses Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate a highly stable form of vitamin C. It’s not like L-Ascorbic Acid which is less stable and needs a dark container to keep the light from oxidizing it prematurely. So while this serum isn’t in a dark glass bottle, it doesn’t need to be.

The scent is very orange and citrus from the sweet orange oil. It may be too much for some. Those who are really sensitive to scents might find this to be too much. It was tolerable for me. Strong citrus is OK for me, it’s those powdery floral perfume and strong essential oil ones that get me. The color of the serum is white, it stayed white the whole time I used it no color changes. With this stable form of vitamin C I wouldn’t expect a color change, as that’s only with less stable forms. The texture is a milky light lotion style serum. It’s not as heavy as a lotion, but it’s not as light as a watery gel serum. It was lightly hydrating and took a few minutes to sink in fully.

Vitamin C is good for brightening and evening the skin tone. Helping to lighten dark spots and fade discolorations. It’s also known to increase collagen production especially when used at night. There are a multitude of vitamin C serums on the market and you really could spend all day talking about it. It’s a very personal type of product. What works for me may not work for you. As well as what doesn’t irritate me may irritate you. Vitamin C can irritate the skin. Some forms do better than others. You just have to play around and see what you like best.

My skin is not that sensitive so I can tolerate strong forms of vitamin C. I prefer L-Ascorbic Acid as I get the best results from it. It’s the less stable form so you need a good formula to keep it from going bad prematurely. It’s also the most irritating to sensitive skin types. The vitamin C used in this serum–Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate is very stable and less irritating to sensitive skin types. It’s also less effective for me. This was a slow to start serum. I did get results it just took until I was at least half way through the bottle to see them. While I did see an overall improvement in the evenness of my skin tone, with no irritation or stinging, it wasn’t what I prefer for vitamin C. So I would not buy it again. And at $85 for 1 ounce it’s not cheap either. However, if you are sensitive to L-Ascorbic Acid and want to give Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate a try this isn’t a bad serum. This is really only a vitamin C serum, there’s a few extras in it like glycolic acid but no real other antioxidants. I prefer an antioxidant formula in the day with vitamin C so I can kill two birds with one stone.


Water, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Squalane, PEG-8 Beeswax, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Polyglyceryl-6 Distearate, PPG-12/SMDI Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Acetamidoethoxyethanol, Jojoba Esters, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Glycine Soja Sterols, Tocopherol, Glycolic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Phytate, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Sweet Orange) Oil, Chlorphenesin, Cera Alba, Glycerin, Isosqualane, C30 Hydrocarbons, Saccharide Isomerate.

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