SUNDAY RILEY: GOOD GENES ALL-IN-ONE LACTIC ACID TREATMENT
This is truly the little bottle that could. A lot has been said about this lactic acid product. A lot of hype and general excitement just seems to circulate around the Sunday Riley products overall. But whether you subscribe to the frenzy or somehow stumbled upon the results of their skincare marketing and branding strategy – one thing is clear, Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment is a force to be reckoned with.
I first started seeing this product pop up in various YouTube “hauls” and “holy grail” type posts. This initially intrigued me.
What was this product? And why was everyone so weak at the knees for it?
When I first walked into Sephora to attain a testing sample – I noticed the price – A WHOPPING $105 for a 30 mL bottle! Good grief!
The first two things that came to my mind was – 1) this product better be ALL that it claims to be with those price points and 2) who in their right mind can splurge to afford such a product?
And knowing how LONG it often takes for non-medical grade or non-therapeutic grade products to not only saturate the skin – but to also provide any significant immediate result to any consumer. But what do I know – right?!
So off I went with my sample in tow – laughing at the prospect that this expensive tester would actually do anything to improve my skin or have any effect.
Well, after one week of consistent use with what little (and I had very little) sample I had – I did, in fact, notice a difference in my skin. At this point, not only was I intrigued – I was fascinated. I needed to know what was in this silky-white concoction and how did the synergy of ingredients pack such an impact. At least for me!
Note: The first five ingredients listed is Sunday Riley’s NV-5 Ageless Complex botanical blend: Opuntia Tuna Fruit (Prickly Pear) Extract, Agave Tequilana Leaf (Blue Agave) Extract, Cypripedium Pubescens (Lady’s Slipper Orchid) Extract, Opuntia Vulgaris (Cactus) Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract &
Saccharomyses Saccharomyces Cerevisiae (Yeast) Extract.
Ok, the claims as detailed on the Sephora website since Sunday Riley did not have a proper website at the time of this post — c’est la vie.
“A clarifying, line smoothing lactic acid treatment.”
“Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment is formulated with high potency, purified grade lactic acid that immediately exfoliates dull, pore-clogging dead skin cells, revealing smoother, fresher, younger-looking skin. Fine lines appear visually plumped while the skin looks more radiant. With continued use, the appearance of stubborn hyperpigmentation and the visible signs of aging are reduced for a healthier-looking complexion. Perfect for all skin types and all ages, this treatment is enhanced with licorice for brightening, Good Genes clarifies, smooths, and retexturizes for instant radiance.”
Ok, let’s parse this baby to its bare bones based on its ingredients:
|Substantiated||Claims||What's the Problem?|
High potency, purified grade lactic acid: Immediately exfoliates dull, pore-clogging dead skin cells.
High potency, purified grade lactic acid: Revealing smoother, fresher, younger-looking skin
Fine lines appear visually plumped while the skin looks more radiant.
I could only vouch for myself with this claim.
Reduction in stubborn hyperpigmentation.
Visible signs of aging are reduced for a healthier-looking complexion.
Perfect for all skin types and all age
Enhanced with licorice for brightening
Clarifies, smooths, and re-texturizes for instant radiance.
I could only vouch for myself with this claim.
SKIN TYPE & USE
Normal, oily, combination, and dry skin.
THE GOOD & THE BAD
Before we begin with the good and the bad — I want to first state that I’ve used this product off and on since its initial launch. It wasn’t very consistent, as I didn’t initially find the product to be that effective when it came to improving the texture or tone of my skin.
Then I came out to California for a consulting project and my skin went nuts. I mean it was awful. I went from having oily/combination skin (living in Boston) to dry and slightly scaly – overnight! Ya gotta love California for its beautiful weather, scenery and friendly folks – but my skin did not appreciate it. Not one bit.
So after trying all my normal “holy grail” standbys, I decided to give Sunday Riley products another chance. More specifically, I decided to try the Sunday Riley Good Genes & Luna Sleeping Night oil duo. And within a week of consistent usage, my skin actually showed a significant change in its texture, its radiance, and its buoyancy! To say I was a convert would hardly be true. And although the combination of the two seems to provide some sort of mysterious synergistic effect – I really can’t get over how EXPENSIVE this tiny little product is! By comparison, there are other “lactic acid” type serums out on the market that could be just as competitive. But somehow Sunday Riley has successfully marketed its products really well. Whether it’s worth the investment – is likely a personal decision.
The good: If we go purely by overall ingredients relative to claim substantiation, Sunday Riley Good Genes does provide around 60% “potential” ingredient combination foundation behind its formulation.
Yet, some have been skeptical at the actual percent of lactic acid included in the formulation. Some sites have speculated that the actual percentage may range from 5-10% relative to its actual pH. And that effectiveness is contingent upon the synergistic sweet spot of % and pH levels.
The bad: As much as I want to keep buying this product for the rest of my life – the frugal and sensible side of me feels like (in the long run) more research needs to be done on alternative finds that can provide similar if not as equally potent as Sunday Riley Good Genes.
Other than that – I’m a big fan of this little guy packing a big punch to my skincare regimen. It somehow brightens a dull complexion, which I tend to have.
THE UGLY (PRICE)
DO I NEED THIS?
If the steep price still gets to you — head into your local Sephora and ask for a small sample – but the minuscule amount they provide would hardly provide sufficient time to truly test the worth of this product on your skin. Your next bet is to wait (patiently) for sales or promotions where you can actually purchase Good Genes at a discount. Basically lessening the blow to your already gutted purse strings. Or try the travel size options!
Whatever your opinion is on this product, I do think it’s worth a try. But again, I’m still on the hunt for a more affordable dupe. And will report back if successful!
HOW TO MAXIMIZE THE BENEFITS?
The best way to utilize this serum is to use it after you’ve completed your cleansing routine – morning and night. If used during the day, follow this in combination with your normal regimen with SPF protection. If used at night, you may follow this with your Luna oil – but it’s not necessary. As with anything, consistent application is key to any product.
ARE THE CLAIMS BACKED BY SCIENCE?
For the most part, most of these ingredients have properties, which would provide evidence that supports the product claim. Whether it’s truly substantiated – remains to be seen.
If you dig real deep and take each individual ingredient that may promote some sort of skin-beautifying purpose of the skin surface – then their claims would be true. But even if you technically take each ingredient for its face value research-based data separately – whether that evidence is applicable to their claims (again) synergistically remains to be seen. There is obviously no evidence that can support their combined claims.