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Sunday Riley Bionic Anti-Aging Cream

Is a Solution for:
Sagging Skin
May 9, 2011 Reviewed by Marta 5 Comments
I started out in two minds about Sunday Riley’s Bionic Anti-Aging Cream ($225). I loved the luxurious packaging, matched entirely by the feel of the rich moisturizer. But I couldn’t help wondering if there was more style than substance. A month or so later, I find myself reaching for Bionic Anti-Aging Cream more and more and finding that the dry skin on my hands and neck are thirstily drinking it up. I am always being asked if I can recommend a rich moisturizer and now I can, albeit with some reservations.

The key reservation is, of course, the price. Still, if you have the means, are a sucker for packaging (Sunday Riley’s look is Barney’s-worthy chic) and like a cream that is rich and unctuous then Bionic Anti-Aging Cream is worth a flash of your flexible friend.

I have found Bionic to be very hydrating and it leaves my skin looking silky but matte. I even rub it into my finger nails, which are emerging from winter looking a little dry.  Having said that, my other reservation is that I am not yet sure of its anti-aging potency. I will certainly give it more time (I have barely used a quarter of the bottle), but I remain less than completely convinced by Sunday Riley’s secret sauce, NV-5 Ageless Complex.

This is made up of five plant extracts: prickly pear, blue agave, lady’s slipper orchid, cactus, aloe. Of all of these, prickly pear, or cactus pear (opuntia tuna) is the most convincing. Perhaps that’s why it appears twice in the formula’s listing. It is also something you might recognize as cropping up in Skin Nutrition products and it is one of those “better than vitamin C” actives (according to one study). Cactus pear has plenty of antioxidants, such as ascorbic acid, carotenoids, reduced glutathione, cysteine, taurine, and flavonoids such as quercetin, kaempferol and isorhamnetin.

Unfortunately, some of the other components of NV-5 have less convincing pedigrees. Blue agave, from which tequila is made, doesn’t have much research to back it up and I could find no supporting evidence as to its role in skincare. Lady’s slipper (cypripedium pubescens) has primarily been used as a sedative. Again, I can’t find any information about its role in skincare or anti-aging beyond another cosmetic company saying it was used for its relaxing properties.

Aloe, of course, has lots of good things going for it. It is an effective anti-inflammatory and is ubiquitous in beauty products (it would probably be easier to name ones without it).  Also in fairly widespread use are the actives that come after the silicones, pegs and what not. They are non the worse for that and include antioxidant resveratrol and green tea, plus its most active component, EGCG, as well as Matrixyl (palmitoyl oligopeptide) and copper tripeptide-1 (also in Skin Nutrition). Indeed, there are several other ingredients that are also used in Skin Nutrition, including saccharmyces ferment lysate filtrate. But don’t go thinking that you’ll get them on the cheap. Like Sunday Riley, Skin Nutrition is on the pricey side.

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NV-5 Ageless Complex (prickly pear, blue agave, lady’s slipper orchid, cactus, aloe), yeast extract, urea, sunflower seed oil, caprylic/capric triglyceride, butylene glycol, glyceryl polymethacrylate, squalane, cyclomethicone, dimethicone, centella asiatica extract, PEG-75 meadowsol, PPG-12/SMDI copolymer, stearic acid, propylene glycol, cetearyl alcohol and ceteareth 20, shea butter, glyceryl polymethacrylate, glyceryl stearate and PEG-100 stearate, saccharmyces ferment lysate filtrate, CoQ10, resveratrol, retinol, EGCG and green tea, xanthan gum, pomegranate extract, steareth-2, palmitoyl oligopeptide, copper tripeptide-1, stearyl glycyrrhetinate, cholesteryl noanoate, cholesteryl oleyl, cholesteryl chloride, butylated hydroxytoluene, methyl paraben, propyl paraben, DMDM hydantoin.
  • May 12, 2011

    by VickyL

    Thanks Marta,
    I am excited about the upcoming La Vie Celeste products. I loved the La Vie products last summer and look forward to trying the new moisturizer plus all the wonderful products from that line.
    The Eminence and La Vie lines seem to be the most sympatico products for my skin along with help from some YBF of course.
    Just wish that YBF didn't use propylene glycol in the antioxidant concentrates. I had a very bad reaction to propylene glycol in the past so I stay away from products with it now. I'm using Boost instead.

  • May 12, 2011

    by Marta

    Thanks for the Eminence tip VickyL. Also have on your radar that La Vie Celeste is coming out with a new rich moisturizer.

  • May 11, 2011

    by VickyL

    For a rich moisturizer, that is perfect for winter weather or very dry skin, try Eminence Organics Linden Calendula Treatment. The packaging isn't glamorous (it comes in a jar) but it includes a non-porous dishwasher safe spatula so you don't have to stick your bacteria laden little fingers in there.
    At 2oz for $60 it seems like a bargain compared to Sunday Riley. This winter it was the only cream that soothed and moisturized my painfully dry face, neck, and décolletage without breaking me out (I don't use on nose or chin). I apply whatever serum I'm using and YBF correct for eyes, of course, and let those penetrate. Then I pat on the linden calendula over all the dry areas. A little goes a long way. It might seem heavy at first but it easily melts into my medium olive, combination, and over 60 skin.
    There are two versions of this cream. The one called the tradition series is heavier of the two. You can buy Eminence samples to see how your skin likes it.
    Linden, Linden Extract, Calendula Oil, Paprika Extract, Beeswax, Bioflavonoids, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Sorbitol, Plant-Based Diglycerin, Lactic Acid, Vegetable Lysine, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Sodium Cetearyl Sulfate, Corn-Derived Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate, Coco Caprylate, Glyceryl Palmitate, Vegetable Squalane, Coenzyme Q10, Vitamin E, Vitamin C Ester, Vegetable Glycerin, Corn Germ Oil, Soybean Oil, Salicylic Acid

  • May 9, 2011

    by Junko

    Marta, do let us know if this cream does anything other than hydrate/mosturize well ** Julie ** checked ebay and the only Sunday Riley product being sold is a tiny 3ml sample serum for $24. Sunday Riley products won't end up in my cabinet either ~

  • May 9, 2011

    by Julie Kay

    Sadly, this moisterizer wont likely live in my cabinet. I save (and save) for YBF Correct, the most expensive potion I kick out the bucks for. And likely to remain so. I get entirely frustrated by pricey potions, ones you actually recommend. My flexible friend is quite inflexible per the big guy roaming the halls of my home! =) ~jk

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