Welcome to Part 2 of my Special Snowflake edition of Actives and You: how to use them if your skin is super-sensitive. As i said in my last post, oils might be the answer for you, as they were for me!

In this post, we’ll be looking at Sunday Riley’s U.F.O oil, which treats breakouts with Salicylic Acid suspended in a whole lovely stew of good-for-your-skin oils. Now, i’ve mentioned that if your skin is sensitive, it’s important to be careful of essential oils – because some of them can trigger sensitivities. In particular, oils like lavender, basil, and tea tree can all be irritating for some people. And this oil contains both basil and tea tree.

On the other hand, tea tree oil is well known for helping many acne sufferers with their skin woes – and basil, while lesser-known, can do the same. So it’s really a case of Your Mileage May Vary, depending on your own particular skin issues. This oil is specifically made for those with acne issues, and every oil chosen is done so with that in mind. Every essential oil in it is one i’ve used in the past when i used to make my own facial oils, so i know that i don’t react badly to any of them.  If you look it up on COSDNA, you’ll find that it rates fairly low on the acne-trigger scale.  As a rule, i always recommend doing a search on COSDNA with everything you use on your skin to see how your products rate in terms of acne and sensitivity-triggering ingredients; it’s a good way to learn to track your skin’s triggers, as well!


U.F.O – appropriately enough, it’s green!


This oil is slightly viscous, and has a very strong, herbal, “green” scent, which leans strongly in the tea tree oil direction. I also detect the rosemary, as well as the basil, even though the basil is far down on the list (basil is VERY pungent). To me, it’s far from unpleasant – even though i used to HATE the smell of tea tree oil – a throwback from my teen years, when i had horrible acne and used the stuff every day for like…a good 5 or 6 years. It’s like that time in Jr year when you drank that 1/2 a fifth of Peach Schnapps, and now the very scent of peach makes you want to vomit…

Anyway, i’m over it now.

And tea tree oil really is effective against the nasty spots – and mixed with Salicylic Acid, as well as all the other goodies in here to help keep your skin hydrated, healthy, calm, and balanced? It’s like a dream come true for Sensitive, Special Snowflakes like Yours Truly.

Let’s take a look at what’s in the oil itself, shall we?

Sunday Riley U.F.O Oil (in order of appearance):

  • Milk Thistle Seed Oil – an anti-oxidant, containing vitamin-E; helpful for sensitive skin due to linoleic acid and silymarin content, both of which are strong anti-inflammatory ingredients. Also thought to be helpful in fighting acne.
  • Black Cumin Seed Oil – scientific studies have shown this oil to be effective in fighting acne pustules, as well as being helpful in wound healing. It’s also an anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-oxidant.
  • Cucumber Seed Oil – rich in Oleic acid, Linoleic acid, and Omega 3, this is oil is very moisturising without being comedogenic; it can be effective in treating psoriasis, eczema, and acne.
  • Diisopropyl Sebacate – a diester of isopropyl alcohol and Sebacic Acid, both an emollient and solvent (i.e. NOT the same as alcohol denat., which is drying)
  • Pomegranate Seed Oil – contains “punicic acid”, an omega 5 fatty acid, which has strong anti-inflammatory properties
  • Cranberry Seed Oil – contains flavenols which prevent cell stress and death; also a powerful anti-oxidant, as well as containing anti-inflammatory properties
  • Dimethyl Isosorbide – solvent, helps to increase penetration into skin
  • Flax Seed Oil – anti-inflammatory, balances skin’s oil production; helpful for treating skin conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, and rosascea
  • Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides – emollient/solvent
  • Ethyl Linoleate – fragrance/skin conditioning agent
  • Licorice Root Extract – natural skin-lightener, good for hyperpigmentation – can be used even by those with sensitive skin. Also regulates sebum production, and is a powerful anti-oxidant.
  • Salicylic Acid – *the active ingredient. A BHA which sloughs away dead skin cells by “ungluing” the substance which causes them to stick together, encourages cell turnover
  • Apricot Kernel Oil – rich in Oleic Acids, Linoleic Acids, Alpha-Linolenic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, Vitamin A, and Vitamin E; deeply penetrates the skin; highly emollient
  • Chamomilla Recutita Flower Oil – anti-inflammatory, soothing to sensitive skin; anti-bacterial and anti-septic
  • Neroli Flower Oil – skin rejuvenating and regenerating benefits; anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties; helps to maintain moisture levels in skin
  • Tea Tree Leaf Oil – antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic, and antiviral
  • Sunflower Seed Oil – High in vitamin-E, is extremely emollient; protects against UV light
  • Rosemary Leaf Extract – Protects against free-radical damage; antiseptic and disinfectant
  • Grapefruit Peel Oil – disinfectant, stimulant, antiseptic, lymphatic, and tonic. Can leave you somewhat photo-sensitive, so, as always, USE SUNSCREEN
  • Neem Flower Extract – an anti-microbial and disinfectant, it also keeps skin hydrated; has been used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat eczema, psoriasis, and acne
  • Coccinia Indica Fruit Extract – anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant, and skin conditioning agent
  • Amino Esters-1 – skin conditioning agent
  • Amber Leaf Extract – oddly I cannot find a description for what the heck this does…?
  • Eggplant Fruit Extract – has “skin conditioning benefits”, but from what source, i’m unsure
  • Aloe Flower Extract – well-known healing and moisturizing benefits
  • Henna Extract – anti-microbial benefits
  • Basil Leaf Extract – rich in anti-oxidants; soothing for irritated skin
  • Tumeric Root Extract – anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial; helps reduce redness
  • Corallina Officinalis Extract (seaweed) – skin conditioning and anti-aging benefits
  • Jojoba Seed Oil – healing for sores, bruises, and acne
  • Pearl Powder – stimulates regeneration of collagen; powerful antioxidant
  • Moringa Pterygosperma Seed Oil – anti-oxidant; skin conditioning agent

So, once again, we can see that Sunday Riley manages to pack a whole bunch of amazing goodies (albeit potentially irritating to some – again, YMMV) into this acne-fighting oil – with enough soothing ingredients to counteract the irritating effects of the Salicylic Acid, at least theoretically. SO – how did it work on my Snowflakey Skin?

I have to say – it works GREAT.

A little about my breakouts, lately; I’m hardly a teenager – but my acne IS hormonal. I tend to get them around my Crimson Wave, or as the result of messing around with new skincare or makeup products –  usually in the same general areas. As far as it goes, my skin problems aren’t serious; a few spots here and there, around the nose, chin, and upper cheekbones. I get the occasional cystic acne breakout, one or two bumps, generally as a result of dietary stupidity or autoimmune flare-ups.  As a rule, Salicylic Acid has been THE gold standard for clearing up my mild breakouts in the past  – except the my skin has gotten so sensitive, that i can’t take it straight anymore.

Enter Sunday Riley U.F.O Oil. When i read about this stuff online, i thought “OMG, you’ve got to be kidding me, this is bloody GENIUS!” Then, being the curmudgeon that i am, i thought – “it’s probably too good to be true…” sadface

However, after sifting through the ingredients and looking each and every one up like the obsessive little monkey that i am, i decided that indeed, this stuff would probably work out pretty well – and within a week of using it every other night, my Chanel Blue Serum sample-induced breakout (aaaaaall over my face) was completely cleared up. Now, i caught the breakout right at the start, and i never, ever pick at my skin. I think those things are key, as well. But since then, i’ve had one more Crimson Wave-related breakout come and go, and this stuff is The Bizness. Yes, it made my skin purge a bit, but like…right away everything came up and then it was GONE.

Since it’s got Salicylic Acid, i can feel it – but it’s nowhere near as irritating as what you’d expect with your usual SA product. The oil itself feels, overall, good on the skin for the most part. If i feel a little too much irritation (around my period i tend to be more sensitive), i’ll just pat on some of my CosRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence on top, and it’s all good.


Check out those unglued, sloughed skin-cells, baby!


Up-close and personal…

This is just a week after the unfortunate Serum Incident left my skin looking like i was 16 again, and NOT in a good way.  So yeah, i’d say the Sunday Riley U.F.O. Oil is definitely a win.

Again, i know that a lot of people bitch about her skincare being pricey, but you’re getting a LOT of good, quality ingredients in her products; at least in her facial oils. As i mentioned in my last post, i’m very familiar with the wholesale prices of essential oils, and production costs, et al, of this kind of product- so i’m not faulting her with the pricing of her facial oils. Especially not when they work so bloody well, and i don’t have to put up with breakouts anymore, just because my skin is so blessed tetchy.  Also, just a few drops will do for the entire face, so the smaller-sized bottle will last you a long while – and seeing as i only use this when my skin is being emotional, that’s quite a long time, indeed.

The Last Word? Another 5/5 for a quality product by Sunday Riley.

And as always, what-all makeup i’m wearing in this post;

I hope this review was helpful in deciding whether or not to try out this wonderful oil. Definitely get a sample, if you can.   I was so happy i found Sunday Riley’s facial oils; my skin is able to reap the benefits of Retinoids and Salicylic Acids, without turning me into a beet-faced lizard – so i’m definitely a happy Sick Chick. I think you will be too!

XO – Monday