What is Sunday Riley Good Genes?
Sunday Riley Good Genes is a lactic acid treatment that is said to deeply exfoliate the dull surface of the skin for clarity, radiance, and younger-looking skin. It also visibly brightens the appearance of age spots and discolorations, as well as instantly plumps the look of fine lines and wrinkles in 3 minutes. In this review, we’ll discuss who may benefit from this product, key ingredients used in the formulation, how to use the product, Sunday Riley Good Genes reviews from real customers, and alternatives that you may want to consider.
Who is it for?
Sunday Riley Good Genes can be used by all skin types, but is best for those with dark spots, discoloration, uneven skin tone, dull skin, acne-prone skin, and signs of aging. This product can help with so many different skin concerns thanks to the multi-tasking ingredient lactic acid. We’ll give you all the details on lactic acid and other important ingredients in Sunday Riley Good Genes in the next section.
Sunday Riley Good Genes is fragrance free and does not contain sulfates, parabens, gluten, soy, or phthalates. This product is also vegan and cruelty-free.
One of the key ingredients in Sunday Riley Good Genes is lactic acid. With a hydroxyl group adjacent to the carboxyl group, lactic acid is classified as an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA). AHAs are frequently used in skin care products because they have the ability to exfoliate the skin, stimulate the skin’s natural regeneration process, and help the skin to retain moisture.
Lactic acid has a larger molecular size compared to other AHAs. So why should you care about molecular size? Molecular size matters because the smaller a molecule, the more easily it gets into the skin. For example, glycolic acid is the smallest AHA, which means it penetrates the skin better and faster than all of the others. This is why glycolic acid is considered to be the strongest AHA. However, stronger doesn’t always equal better. If you have sensitive skin or you have never used an AHA to exfoliate, glycolic acid may cause skin irritation, redness, and swelling. Thus, lactic acid is best for those with sensitive skin and for those who have never exfoliated with an AHA before.
The lactic acid in Sunday Riley Good Genes exfoliates skin by breaking down keratin, a protein that acts as a glue to hold together the dead skin cells that make up the stratum corneum. By dissolving keratin, lactic acid helps to slough off these dead skin cells, effectively exfoliating the skin. It also enhances cellular renewal by increasing cell turnover rates in the upper layers of your skin. Ultimately, lactic acid leaves the skin looking brighter with a more even tone.
Sunday Riley Good Genes can also help those with acne-prone skin. Blemishes form due to excess sebum, dead skin cells, and bacteria clogging pores, followed by inflammation and swelling. Lactic acid sloughs away the dead skin cells that can clog pores and cause acne breakouts. There are also several anti-inflammatory ingredients in Sunday Riley Good Genes that can help reduce the redness and inflammation that is typically associated with blemishes. These ingredients include licorice root extract, arnica extract, prickly pear extract, and aloe leaf extract.
Licorice root extract also has the ability to brighten the complexion, as well as help fade dark spots and discoloration. Glabridin, an active ingredient in licorice root, inhibits tyrosinase. Tyrosinase is a key enzyme involved in the formation of melanin (the pigment that gives skin color and also leads to the formation of undesirable dark spots).
Several ingredients in Sunday Riley Good Genes can help to improve the skin’s hydration, such as lactic acid, squalane, and a couple different silicones. Lactic acid improves skin hydration by functioning as a humectant. A humectant is a hygroscopic substance that has a molecular structure with several hydrophilic (water loving) groups. This structure allows humectants to attract and retain the moisture in the air nearby via absorption, drawing the water vapor into or beneath the surface.
Lactic acid is also a key element of the skin’s Natural Moisturizing Factor (NMF). The NMF is primarily composed of free amino acids and various derivatives of these amino acids, for example, PCA, urocanic acid, and inorganic salts, sugars, as well as urea and lactic acid. The role of the NMF is to maintain adequate skin hydration. The NMF can become depleted with age and also from routine exposure to sensitizing ingredients like drying cleansing agents and denatured alcohol. This leads to visibly dry, tight-feeling, flaky skin. Thus, by using ingredients that help to replenish NMF, such as lactic acid, the skin will be better hydrated. Ultimately, the skin will look and feel healthy, smooth, and supple.
Squalane helps to maintain hydration and keep skin healthy and soft. Your skin contains its own version of squalane known as squalene (note the e). It is produced by the oil glands in the skin, and plays an important role in skin lubrication and protection. However, the amount made and retained in the skin decreases over time. It peaks in our teens and then starts to decline in our 20’s, leaving skin rough, dry and vulnerable. Squalane is a saturated and stable hydrocarbon that mimics squalene. It helps to replenish the skin’s lipid barrier, which is composed of corneocytes (dead skin cells) held together by a mixtures of lipids (ceramides, cholesterol, fatty acids, squalene, etc.). A strong, intact barrier is important to keep moisture in and keep things like allergens, bacteria, and irritants out. When the barrier is weakened, these intruders can pass through the top layer of skin, causing damage that ultimately leads to common skin conditions such as acne, rashes, sensitive skin, and even signs of aging.
There are two different types of silicones used in the Sunday Riley Good Genes formula: cyclomethicone and dimethicone. Silicones improve product spreadability and give the skin a silky, smooth feel. Silicones have wide spaces between each molecule, which form a molecular lattice. Upon application to the skin, this lattice enables silicones to form a film on the surface while still allowing skin to “breathe”. Oxygen, nitrogen, and other nutrients can still pass through the film formed by silicones. However, most silicones do not allow water to pass through, which is an ideal quality for preventing transepidermal water loss (TEWL) – a leading cause of skin dryness and dehydration.
Sunday Riley Good Genes is claimed to “instantly plump the look of fine lines and wrinkles in 3 minutes” because lactic acid also provides anti-aging effects. One way lactic acid provides anti-aging effects is due to its function as a humectant. Humectants provide temporary anti-aging effects because the extra hydration is extra volume, which effectively plumps out the skin and makes lines and wrinkles less noticeable. However, this effect is transient – as soon as the moisture content in skin decreases, lines and wrinkles will return to normal size. Fortunately, lactic acid does have the ability to reduce the appearance of lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging over time by stimulating collagen synthesis. Collagen is a structural protein naturally produced by the body that is responsible for keeping skin strong and firm.
How to use
One to two pumps of Sunday Riley Good Genes should be applied to clean, dry skin as a leave-on treatment before your moisturizer. It can be used day or night. Even though lactic acid is typically well tolerated by those with sensitive skin, the brand recommends that those with sensitive skin use Sunday Riley Good Genes as a mask. In this case, apply one to three pumps of the treatment to clean, dry skin and leave on for 15 minutes. Rinse well and pat dry.
Sunday Riley Good Genes reviews are overall very positive, however, there are currently only 18 customer reviews on the brand’s website. The product has earned an average of 5 out of 5 stars after these 18 reviews. Many of the reviews mention that Sunday Riley Good Genes helps to promote smoother, more youthful skin.
What are some alternatives to Sunday Riley Good Genes?
Sunday Riley Good Genes contains several beneficial ingredients that can help to exfoliate and brighten the skin, but it comes with a hefty price tag: $105 USD for only 1.7 fluid ounces. That’s why we recommend considering Formulyst Retexturing and Perfecting Serum.
Formulyst Retexturing and Perfecting Serum is a lightweight, non-drying serum that is expertly formulated to gently exfoliate, clean, and refine pores, as well as help remove dead cells and visibly reveal the brighter, healthier skin beneath. Similar to Sunday Riley Good Genes, Formulyst Retexturing and Perfecting Serum contains an AHA: glycolic acid. As mentioned above, glycolic acid breaks down dead skin cells to reveal smoother, brighter skin. Plus, glycolic acid also helps to improve skin hydration and stimulate new collagen production. Overall, Formulyst Retexturing and Perfecting Serum delivers perceptible improvement to the tone and texture of your skin, while also helping to reduce signs of aging.