Well, this one has been a while coming, for me. First, to get hold of it – it’s a staggering, jaw-dropping, wallet-emptying £85 a bottle. That’s sh*tload of money in any currency in the world, but much more so with the plummeting RM. Second, to figure out if this £85 was something my skin would take to.
This, is the very popular cult product, Good Genes by Sunday Riley.
Yes, it costs £85 for 30ml. It’s alright, I’ll wait while you pick your jaw off of the floor :D
Back? :) Ok, I’d read a lot of wonderful things about Good Genes Treatment serum before this, but it wasn’t until I was told by my friend Geek, about how good it was for her, and read how well it works for Tine, that I finally capitulated. Nothing better than actually hearing from someone who has actually used it, and has no vested interests, you know.
So one day, when I was feeling flush, I decided to bite the bullet and get a bottle. I bought mine from SpaceNK although you can also get it from Cult Beauty. Both are UK based websites that I shop at often, and have had good experiences with.
So, what is this serum then? Good Genes is a bit of a multi-tasking product that is aimed at reducing signs of aging, while smoothing, refining, clarifying and brightening the skin while improving on skin thickness and elasticity. Its key ingredient is lactic acid (40%), and contains a load of actives that aren’t quite aimed at anyone with very sensitive skin. In fact, you are warned that you may even experience tingling on your skin when you use it. It is a chemical AHA-based exfoliant so I’m really not surprised.
My friends tell me that this serum is one they can’t do without, and despite the prohibitive price tag, they have even bought replacements once they were done. It keeps their skin feeling and looking smooth, clear and good. In fact, I was told that the difference in NOT using it, is visible. I knew then, I HAD TO HAVE THIS! I’d live on bread and water for a few months, but I had to have this serum!
First though, let me tell you about the smell. Many people had warned about how badly this serum smells. There is no artificial floral fragrance, nor would I call this a pleasure to the senses when you use this. So, I was braced for something really stinky.
The thing is, I didn’t find it super stinky. If you’ve ever used Perricone Cold Plasma, you’d understand what stinky is (it smells of old, rotting fish) but this wasn’t in that league. I found that Good Genes has a strong scent that is metallic and sharp on the nasal senses, with a slightly sourish note, not dissimilar to that of vinegar. Personally, I didn’t find it unpleasant. Unusual yes, but not unpleasant.
If you dislike scents like that, then do be warned. It’s strong, but it will dissipate eventually. I’ve not been bugged by it at all. That said, I’d be more prone to complaining about strong floral scents, so it’s just how my nose works. If you prefer your skincare to smell pleasant and comforting, you’ll hate this.
But if I were you, I’d suck it up, because this is a pretty good product if you don’t already use a lot of acids and retinols in your routine.
Because of how active it is, I only use it at night, and I only use half a pump. The pump locks in place so if you travel with it, you don’t have to fear your precious serum spurting out everywhere in your bag. The pump is also easy to control, so it’s easy to dispense product. I started out using 1 full pump, but I found that it was a bit too much for me. The directions actually specify 2-3 pumps for best results, but it was too much for me (and for my wallet!)
Initially, when I first started using Good Genes, I wasn’t too thrilled with it. I suppose, I was expecting quite a lot out of it. I also started experiencing minor breakouts. That bugged me. I’m not allergic nor sensitive to lactic acid, and I don’t generally have very sensitive skin. In fact, I did not experience any tingling in my skin at all when using this serum.
However, I eventually worked out that if I use it on alternate days, I’d break out less. After about a month, I reduced the amount used to half a pump each evening, and I realised I could then use it nightly without breaking out.
The serum pumps out a white lotion that absorbs easily into the skin and dries quite quickly. I use it after cleansing and toning, applying it to my skin then letting it dry, before following on with facial oils and moisturiser.
Personally speaking, I find that when I use it daily, I notice that my skin does feel smoother, and it looks clearer. When I stop it for a while, and then come back to it, I do notice overnight results, in that tired skin looks a little less tired, and lines are noticeably softened. This is so if I’ve had a late night. This boosts my complexion the next day. Being a chemical exfoliant, this isn’t really surprising. However, while the serum also claims to even out hyperpigmentation, I personally did not experience any improvements in that area. If anyone should notice an improvement, that would be me, but my pigmentation is still there and not shifted one bit.
If I spread out its use to alternate days or 3 times a week, as I was doing when I noticed I was getting spot, I noticed that the results were less significant, and you will take much longer to notice results. In that sense, and because I do experience minor spots when I use this too often, I’d personally say that it’s hard for me to tell you to run out and buy it on the strength of testimony alone. You’d have to be fairly patient and in tune with your skin, I feel, to best appreciate this product. Not just buy into the hype because oh yes! There is a huge huge hype surrounding this and most Sunday Riley products.
So, is it worth £85 (RM553 at today’s exchange rate)?
Yes and No.
Yes, if you have the cash and are willing to splurge on skincare. You must also be someone who is in tune with your skin and realise that you may not notice as glowing a result as the next person. I like how it gives my skin a bit of a boost the next day, especially when I’ve not used it for a few days. Then, I notice the results. Sometimes, if I haven’t used it for a few days and my skin looks exceptionally tired or stressed, I give myself a full pump, massaged in all over and topped up with just a night moisturiser. A little like a “mask”. I always look better the next morning. I’m also someone who’s quite willing to splurge on skincare so I may be the exception.
No, if you have very sensitive skin that doesn’t take well to lactic acid, and if the price is too prohibitive. I realise that there’s a lot that one can do with £85/RM553 so this isn’t something you MUST buy or use. If you already take care of your skin with other products (this isn’t one you can use on its own, but is an additional product in your skincare regimen) then you can and possibly will get by without this. You won’t miss what you’ve never had. But you might, if your skin takes well to it and you find it too prohibitive a habit to keep up.
Will I repurchase? Again, yes and no. I will, if I feel like I have the funds and can justify a purchase. But because I don’t notice as significant result and improvement to my skin as many others do (For the uninitiated, I already do take pretty good care of my skin generally speaking) I might divert my funds to try something else unless there’s an offer on Good Genes that I can’t resist because I like using it as a “treatment”. In that sense, you could say that I’m not as sold on this as many people are, although I do like it as a product. Confused? :D
IN A NUTSHELL
Sunday Riley Good Genes treatment is a serum with high content of lactic acid, that helps plump up and smoothen fine lines, boost skin elasticity, and also brighten, refine and clarify. It isn’t recommended for those who have very sensitive skin, and you are warned about a tingling feeling on your skin, although I did not experience it. I found that using a full pump daily (in the evening) can cause me to break out in the odd spot or two. So I use it on alternate days or about 3 times a week, or half a pump if used daily. That seems to work for me. While I found that it does boost skin radiance (especially overnight, if your skin is very tired) and makes my skin feel and look smoother and clearer, it does nothing for my pigmentation. I like it for the boost it gives my skin, and how my skin takes to it, but I don’t personally think this a must have, simply because of the high pricetag. Because of the price, I’d say that it’s a good product to own and use, if you don’t feel the pinch; but otherwise, you probably won’t miss it. You don’t miss what you don’t have!
PROS: High content of lactic acid works well to soften lines and skin, Skin looks and feels smoother, Skin looks clearer and more radiant, Noticeably boosts a tired complexion almost overnight, Lightweight texture, Absorbs quickly with no greasy feeling, Not drying
CONS: The strong, sharp, metallic, vinegary smell may not sit well with many people though I’m alright with it, Very pricey, May cause minor breakouts, Not available in Malaysia
WHO WILL LIKE THIS: Anyone who can afford the high price tag, Anyone who wants a product that can produce visible results to soften fine lines and improve skin texture, Anyone who is in tune with their skin and doesn’t mind a strong smelling serum
This is the ingredient list for Good Genes for anyone interested.
If you look at the directions, it says you can leave it on as a mask and then rinsed off. I’ve toyed with the idea of trying that, but every time, I balk. I just can’t justify washing this off! So, I use it only as a leave on serum – half or 1 pump will do the trick for most of us I feel. 2-3 pumps is A LOT (I tried it the 1st time, following instructions, and was so horrified at how much that was and how quickly that would mean I run through a bottle, that I hastily cut back the next day) and will just be too much for most of our wallets :P
Have you tried the cult Good Genes serum? Are you in love with it?
I’ve been asked quite a lot about this so I figured I’d better get my thoughts out there, jumbled as they appear to be. Like a lot of skincare, it works differently for everyone. I’d love to know if you love it, and whether the scent bugs you, or better yet, tell me if there are other Sunday Riley products I should try! ;)