Beauty, Product Review, Skin Care

Sunday Riley-Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream | Review

I admit Tidal has its fair share of hype surrounding it and the steep price is also something that needs to be thought about. I won this product in a giveaway and to be absolutely honest if I were to buy this I would have expected the moon and stars at that price point. Getting it not as a part of PR and without spending the money has perhaps helped me look at it it from a new and more objective standpoint.

Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream Review India

Sunday Riley: Tidal – Brightening Enzyme Water Cream | Review

To be able to do justice to the review I have waited for a long time to create a skin care routine which is primarily dependent only on a few products so that I can understand the efficacy without any bias.

The Brand:

Sunday Riley has been receiving a lot of positive reviews and praise for its effective and quick result driven product offerings. Her beauty oils are a cult favorites and are loved by many industry experts. I have always been a fan of women run businesses and my appreciation towards this brand has only increased after learning her unique approach towards skincare and product formulations.

Sunday Riley: Tidal- Brightening Enzyme Water Cream | Will it work for you

Sunday Riley | The Brand


65 USD for 15 ml.

Buy Online:


Product Description:

  • A lightweight, oil-free gel-cream for instantly glowing, dewy skin. Two forms of advanced hyaluronic acid infuse water into the skin. Gently refining papaya enzymes smooth the look of textured or dehydrated skin, for a baby-soft complexion. Alpha-arbutin brightens the appearance of discolorations for clear radiance.  
  • Cruelty-Free, Sulfate-Free, Paraben-Free, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Phthalate-Free, Fragrance-Free, Vegan
  • 15 minutes: Skin looks and feels smoother, and hydration is significantly increased.
  • In 4 weeks: The appearance of dark spots, age spots, and uneven tone are visibly diminished.
  •  Tested by Corneometer* and found 68% increase in skin moisture in 15 minutes  and Retain moisture for over 24 hours
*The Corneometer® indicates the hydration level of the superficial layers of the skin (stratum corneum) via measurement of skin dielectric properties.The measurements are performed by the application of a probe to the skin surface. Upon contact, an electric field passes through the stratum corneum and the dielectric constant is obtained.The value of the dielectric constant (in arbitrary units) is directly proportional to the level of skin hydration.
Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream Review India _ Claims

Sunday Riley: Tidal – Brightening Enzyme Water Cream | Claims

Key Ingredients:

Hyaluronic Acid: A powerful humectant, pulls water into the skin for increased hydration.

Alpha Arbutin: A relative of hydroquinone, brightens the appearance of dark spots and discolorations.

Tamarind Seed Extract: Promotes hydration by holding onto water molecules. A great partner to Hyaluronic Acid.

Papain: Papaya enzymes exfoliate the top layers of the skin for increased softness and a refined, smoother texture.

Horse Chestnut Seed Extract: Helps tone the skin.

Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream Review India_ Ingredients (11)

Sunday Riley: Tidal- Brightening Enzyme Water Cream | Ingredients

All  Ingredients:

Water/Eau/ Aqua, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Moringa Oil/Hydrogenated Moringa Oil Esters, Glycerin, Propanediol, Hydrolyzed Jojoba Esters, Isododecane, Sodium Acrylates Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Alpha-Arbutin, Cucumis Sativus Extract , Pentylene Glycol, Adipic Acid/Neopentyl Glycol Crosspolymer, Lauryl Dimethicone, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Allantoin, Strelitzia Nicolai Seed Aril Extract, Tamarindus Indica Seed Gum, Aesculus Hippocastanum Seed Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Sodium Hyaluronate, Papain, Carbomer, 1,2-Hexanediol, Algin, Caprylyl Glycol, Lecithin, Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract, Melia Azadirachta Flower Extract, Mimosa Tenuiflora Bark Extract, Coccinia Indica Fruit Extract, Solanum Melongena (Eggplant) Fruit Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Flower Exract, Ocimum Sanctum Leaf Extract, Ocimum Basilicum (Basil) Flower/Leaf Extract, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Corallina Officinalis Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Chlorphenesin, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Tocopherol, Malic Acid, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Titanium Dioxide, Tin Oxide.

Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream Review India _ Directions of Use(6)

Sunday Riley: Tidal – Brightening Enzyme Water Cream | Directions of Use

Formula = Price

When it comes to understanding a skin care products price many factors come into play,  out of which Formulation is key! Developing a stable and effective formula requires time and effort which ultimately has a big impact on the cost.

Tidal’s formulation is different from the generic moisturizing cream you might find in the supermarket. It uses jojoba esters and several other humectants to create a superior watery texture which absorbs into the skin quickly and is still capable of serious moisturization. The ingredients within this formula also allow for the hydration to remain on the skin for up to 24 hours.

Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream Review India_texture (9)

Sunday Riley: Tidal- Brightening Enzyme Water Cream | Formulation

Along with moisturizing benefits, it also serves as a treatment product that specifically creates brightness into the skin. The formula contains 1% hydroquinone in the form of alpha arbutin, which is a powerful skin lightening and brightening agent that helps with reduction of  hyper-pigmentation, dark spots and age spots. Another noteworthy ingredient used is papaya enzymes which is great for cell turnover. It is an a natural exfolient which help removes dead skin creating a smoother complexion without the abrasiveness of a scrub.


Tidal comes comes packed in a heavy plastic tub. If you are a regular you know how much I detest tub packaging because dipping in your fingers contaminates the product and reduces the shelf life. At this price point I want to get maximum bang for my buck so I would have preferred a medium that avoids contact with air or dirt on my hands – like a pump perhaps!

Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream Review India_ tub packaging (5)

Sunday Riley: Tidal- Brightening Enzyme Water Cream | Tub Packaging

Colour, Texture & Consistency

Its a lovely shade of icy blue, very cool to look at at take those #TextureTuesday Pictures. The cream in itself is of a very interesting consistency – gel like with a water suspended  over it.  When you whip up a fresh batch of pesto you know you have hit the right proportion when you see some olive oil floating above the green – exactly like that!

It has a thick bouncy feel and you need very little in one go because it glides over the skin (even when it is bone-dry) really well. Little bit is enough to cover the complete face and neck. It is perfect if you love to do face massage because it is slippery enough for the time you need to do a short face massage before it gets completely absorbed.

Sunday Riley: Tidal - Brightening Enzyme Water Cream | Colour  & Texture

Sunday Riley: Tidal – Brightening Enzyme Water Cream | Colour & Texture


The scent for me was quite overpowering until I got used to it. It smells like cucumber – very herbal! The scent lingers for quite a while (to add to my disappointment).  I don’t like it but scents are a very subjective and there are many others I know who love this smell and look forward to it.

My Routine with Tidal

I started using it in the summers which in itself was a bad idea knowing how hot summers are in India. (40+ Degrees & some humidity to add to the misery) To be able to give an unbiased feedback I almost went on a skin care sabbatical for a bit and finished all my old products and only then started using Tidal. I have tried this both in AM and PM skincare routine but over time I realized it best worked for me in the AM.

In the mornings I apply this on cleansed skin. It takes a while to get completely absorbed, during which the skin feels slightly warm and a little tacky but after 10 minutes it feels moisturized and slightly dewy. After this I put my sunscreen and that’s it for my AM routine.

I spend most of the day in a centrally air conditioned closed office during which the skin feels sufficiently hydrated. I have an oily combination skin so by mid day I get oily on my T-zone but the rest of the face looks hydrated till the end of the day.

Sunday Riley: Tidal- Brightening Enzyme Water Cream | Skin Before & After

Sunday Riley: Tidal- Brightening Enzyme Water Cream | Skin Before & After

Sunday Riley: Tidal- Brightening Enzyme Water Cream | Skin Before & After

Sunday Riley: Tidal- Brightening Enzyme Water Cream | Skin Before & After

As an Indian with a combination skin I have found this to be very heavy and oily during the hot summers and humid monsoons. But my skin loved it during the dry colder times. I have no doubts about this cream’s superior moisturization capability. Its a very good moisturizer and makes my skin feel laden with hydration.

As far as Tidal’s claims for skin brightening are concerned, I have not seen any perceptible difference. I am 33 years old and my skin definitely has lost some brightness over the years but at this point I cant say if this made any difference. But I intend to periodically update this blog (like I did this one) as the seasons change.


  • Sophisticated Formula
  • 2 in 1 product – Treatment along with Moisturizer


  • Jar packaging
  • High price tag
  • Not easily available in India
Sunday Riley: Tidal- Brightening Enzyme Water Cream | Will it work for you

Sunday Riley: Tidal- Brightening Enzyme Water Cream | Final Thoughts

Is Tidal for you?

Tidal is a 2 in 1 product; a moisturizer and a treatment. So if you are looking for a heavy dose of moisture along with some brightening treatment this will work for you. The light gel and water creams are considered suitable for all skin types but if you are some one with mature dry skin this will be most effective for you.

Younger skin is naturally plump and can still hold moisture so although the brand claims it is for everyone but it is overkill for the folks below 30 years of age. If you have very oily / acne prone skin you might find this a little overwhelming.

The climate will also make a difference in how your skin will react to this. If you are in a colder and drier climate this will feel very comforting and luxurious.

Closing Thoughts:

I enjoyed using Tidal mostly because it is highly effective in providing a big dose of moisture to the skin. I was disappointed that I was not able to notice any visible brightening but I intend to post updates periodically and am still hoping for the best.

I would love to know your experience if you have tried this product. Check out some other great options I have tried here & here. Also find me on Instagram here and lets discuss beauty. ❤


24 thoughts on “Sunday Riley-Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream | Review

  1. This looks like a great product. My skin is always in need of hydration and a bit of brightening, and I’m a huge fan of women-owned businesses! I think I might have to check this out next!

  2. Linda says:

    Never tried this one but might work here in Sweden as a usually cold here. Need a moisture bomb and some glow too! Agree about the package! Pump it should be

  3. Now I would love to win such a product too! I mean, no sulphates and parabens, and also gives such a deep nourishment with hyaluronic acid and papaya? It is worth the catch!

  4. Joanna says:

    It is very interesting how the product acts differently when the weather changes. I can’t stand products that are heavy on my face, especially in summer. It just feels like they melt down.

  5. cfaulkner2411 says:

    I love me a good moisturizer, and this product looks like one that could work well for my skin. I really never thought about the tub packaging though. That is a really interesting point and something I will consider moving forward, especially when purchasing the pricier beauty products!

  6. Based on this article, it sounds like a really great product. I have been doing a lot of experimenting with skincare products lately so I will have to add this one to my list.

  7. Taryn says:

    This product looks really high quality. I’ve heard so much about hyaluronic acid but have yet to try it. I might need to give this a shot!

  8. Geraline Batarra says:

    It sounds really nice..! I really need a product like this, it seems to be so effective and easy to use.

  9. Alexandra Cook says:

    I’ve never heard of this brand, but your in-depth review made me interested. Seems like an affordable option for quality skincare.

  10. Preet says:

    I’ve heard so much about this Sunday Riley . My friends using this and introduce to me. I always wanted to try this

  11. Gervin Khan says:

    I do love the beautiful packaging of this product and it sounds like a great skin care product to try. I will definitely share this with my sisters and I am sure they are going to love it, too!

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