Sunday Riley Good Genes: Is this $105 Lactic Acid Treatment Actually Worth It?
Now that I’m 30 I’ve actually started to give a crap about my skin – while I would like to pretend that the fact that my oily skin and general hatred of the sun will help keep me looking young forever, I know that it just isn’t the truth.
I will admit that I probably wouldn’t have gotten interested in skincare at all if it weren’t for the fact that one of my favorite YouTuber beauty bloggers Stephanie Nicole started a skincare series on her channel. What really caught my attention was that she actually attempted explaining the science behind skincare and how certain acids and oils work on your skin in order to promote cellular health and improve elasticity, which help keep your skin looking younger.
While I won’t go into the science of skincare (comment below if you would like for me to go into a chemistry fueled post about that in the future) what I can say quickly is that there are two main types of acid treatments: Glycolic acids (generally best for oily skin) and Lactic acids (generally work great on dry or sensitive skin). The idea behind face acid treatments is that they help chew through all of the dead surface skin on your face so that your soft & un-textured skin is actually showing on your face.
So How does Sunday Riley Good Genes Actually Work?
Lactic acid is an Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) and is generally used to treat age or sun spots on the skin. Lactic acids are also a natural humectant that your skin should be producing naturally on it’s own. One benefit of a Lactic acid over a Glycolic acid is that Lactic acids tend to be more moisturizing than Glycolics because Lactic acids pull moisture from the air and help lock it into your skin, offering a dewier plumper finish to your skin. Lactic acid is also a derivative of milk (Hence the ‘lactic’ as in ‘lactose’) and will help gently exfoliate the skin that it comes into contact with, allowing your newer radiant skin to shine through.
But Aren’t Acids Supposed to Like… Burn?
Let’s be clear, I am in no way advocating for you to go open up a battery and smear the acid inside all over your face; however, in controlled amounts Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) and Beta Hydroxy/Salicylic acids (BHA) can be safely applied to your skin to help reduce blemishes, smooth your skin’s texture, even out skin tone and promote collagen production and overall skin health.
That being said – Good Genes does cause a slight stinging tingle to the skin, it is after all an acid and it needs to work its way into your skin to accomplish it’s goal. Personally, I strongly recommend asking for a sample of any acid that you plan on purchasing and testing it in small amounts before investing in an expensive treatment. You never know how your skin might react to something, and it is better to have a small irritated patch on your face than to slather your entire face with an acid treatment only to find that your skin just can’t take the heat.
The general rule of skincare still applies: start small, go slow and only build up your treatment when you are absolutely sure that what you are doing is safe and is working until you find your own happy medium. If you ever experience discomfort, stop using the treatment immediately.
Is Good Genes Worth the $105?
In my experience using Sunday Riley Good Genes over the course of two months, I can say without a doubt that my skin does feel far more moisturized, plump and my overall skin tone has evened out beautifully; however, I will note that I still do a physical exfoliation every other day with my Olay Pro X and St. Ive’s Pink Lemon & Mandarin Orange scrub, and after the first few weeks of using Good Genes daily (to break up and brake down the dead skin buildup on my face), I now only use it 3 times a week.
Also after 2 months of use, I still have 3/4ths of the bottle remaining, which leaves me to think that a full 30 ml bottle will last me at least 6 months which, at $17.50 per month seems a bit reasonable to me for clear and healthy looking skin; however, if $105 makes this a luxury purchase for you, I will be listing some alternative Lactic Acid solutions at the bottom of this post.
Personally, I plan on purchasing the Drunk Elephant Glycolic Night Serum during the next Sephora sale just to see if it does anything magical with my face; however, if it turns out to be too harsh on my skin, I will probably stick with Good Genes as my go-to acid treatment in the future.