Sunday Riley Space Race Review

Reviews, Skincare

Sunday Riley Space Race Review


First off – I know right now a lot of people are rightfully upset at Sunday Riley because of the whole Sephora review debacle. In case you missed it, here’s a short summary:

  1. A redditor & former employee of Sunday Riley (unconfirmed, as far as I know) posted a memo to employees instructing them to leave positive reviews on the Sephora website, along with instructions on how to game the system to avoid getting the reviews pulled.
  2. Sunday Riley issued the sort of non-apology that’s pretty much standard in any sort of beauty industry uproar. I can’t find it to link to it though. 
  3. Sunday Riley followed up with this post outlining the steps they’re going to take in the future, including disclosing when something is written by an employee and having a third party audit their business practices. 

Anyway, before that whole situation blew up, I bought the Sunday Riley Space Race kit. I already love their U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil so I intended to review the kit, and well, I’m not going to let their PR snafu stop me. But since they’re under a bit of scrutiny regarding reviews right now, I’ll go ahead and say: this post uses affiliate links (via a large multi-retailer network) but I purchased the product myself and have no direct relationship with the Sunday Riley brand. 

So. Now that’s finished….

I ran across the Space Race set when I popped into Sephora to restock my UFO oil and spied the kit sitting next to it. It’s a trio of acne-fighting products, which is perfect for me since I recently started taking a new medication that has breakouts as a side effect. The struggle is real.

IMO the set is a really good deal. For $65 you get a .5oz of the U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil, .67oz Saturn Sulfur Acne Treatment Mask and 1.7oz Martian Mattifying Melting Water-Gel Toner. To get the UFO & Martian in the same sizes separately would be 65 bucks, so basically you get the sulfur mask for free. All the products are a good size and will last plenty long enough for you to do a thorough test to see if they really work for you.

The only real criticism I have of the set overall is the packaging. They’re all TSA-allowed amounts, but the packaging is so squat and bulky that there’s really no chance of getting them in your liquids bag – at least, not if you want to take anything else. I’d rather see them in slimmer and/or flatter containers; it would make them way more useful to me. 

U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Facial Oil

I’ve been using this for several months, and it quickly become one of those can’t-live-without products for me. In fact, I’m almost through my second bottle of it, which is pretty unusual with me & skincare since I like to try out different stuff. 

The star ingredient in the UFO oil is 1.5% salicylic acid for helping prevent congested pores. It also has tea tree and black cumin seed oils (antibacterial & anti-inflammatory), milk thistle and cucumber seed oil (moisturizing) and licorice (brightening). For me it’s been a good maintenance product, helping keep my pores clear without drying me out. I’ve also discovered using a little bit extra for an oil massage can help dislodge small clogs.

The bad? The cumin scent is really prominent, prompting my husband to forever call it my ‘taco oil’. 

Saturn Sulfur Acne Treatment Mask

Sulfur has been a really effective ingredient for me in the past, so when I saw this stuff, it made me thing “why haven’t I tried sulfur in a while?”.

Oh yes. Because this stuff smells awful.

For me, it’s worth it. After my first time using the mask, by the next morning I noticed the breakouts along my jawline & chin were noticeably less red and angry-looking. Several of the spots went away within a few days after, even though most blemishes for me usually hang around a good while. I also tried it as a spot treatment for a particularly stubborn spot on my neck (seriously, it had been there for months) and it also started healing up within a few days. 

Aside from stinky sulfur, the mask also has niacinamide (anti-inflammatory/redness reducing) and zinc PCA (oil absorbing). 

Martian Mattifying Melting Water-Gel Toner

Unlike the other two products in the set, the Martian toner actually has a fairly pleasant smell – praise be! It’s still a fairly distinct herbal smell, but it doesn’t linger too long and it won’t inspire anyone to (affectionately) call you taco-face when you use it.

Aside from that little perk, Martian is the toner I never knew I always wanted. The bentonite clay in it gives your skin a matte finish without drying (excellent for oily skin) and there are tons of redness-taming ingredients. Green tea, marshmallow, cucumber… Manuka, cumin oil and magnolia bark extract also help manage breakouts. 

At first I wasn’t sure where in my skin routine to use this, and I finally settled on between cleansing and moisturizing. In my experience it’s best under a light moisturizer (right now I’m using Saturday Skin Glacial Water Cream) to avoid cancelling out the mattifying benefits. Bonus: it’s really nice as a light primer under makeup. 

In short: Despite some *ahem* interesting fragrances, this set is a complete success for me. 

Sunday Riley Space Race ($65) is available at

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