Sunday Riley Good Genes: Is It Worth the Money?

a girl putting the serum in front of her face

Because I wanted to see if this product really is worth the hype (or not)…

Sunday Riley Good Genes review with products around it

So I’m pretty late to the party on Sunday Riley and I have to start by saying I AM SORRY.  The hype? Yep, it’s real.  I knew that Sunday Riley Good Genes had a cult following, so it’s not super surprising that I became instantly obsessed, but still- I had to see the results for myself.

So what exactly makes this serum so special, you ask?

It’s an all-in-one AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) treatment, powered by the sensitive skin-favorite exfoliator – lactic acid.  It helps clarify, smooth and re-texturize your skin and it’s good for ALL skin types, yep.

When I saw their claim I legit rolled my eyes: “Good Genes is clinically proven to plump the look of fine lines and wrinkles in as few as three minutes.


As someone who has worked in the beauty industry for more than 10 years, I tend to have a really skeptical outlook on claims like that…you know, the ones that seem totally made up, ha. But, let me tell you, they are NOT KIDDING.

In a clinical study:

– 100% of women said their skin looked and felt significantly smoother and more radiant, with visibly reduced lines and wrinkles after application.
– 100% of women said this was the most effective skin-plumping product they have ever used and would definitely recommend this product to a friend.

These are really impressive results.

Sunday Riley serum with a shirt in the background

The first time I tested this serum I was slightly nervous, only because my skin is classified as “sensitive” (since I have mild rosacea), but the brand actually noted that anyone with sensitive skin can use Good Genes as a mask – leave it on for 15 minutes and then rinse it off. Well I waited the 15 minutes thinking I’d have a harsh reaction but I was totally fine and, in fact, my skin really DID look smooth and glowy after about three minutes! The claim is LEGIT.

Here are allll the reasons that I’m officially a Sunday Riley Good Genes convert…

Lactic acid is great but it’s the combination that makes this stuff really work.

Good Genes boasts other next-level ingredients like purified, unneutralized lactic acid and surgical-grade filtered water.  And if you’re wondering what exactly makes lactic acid so good, it’s because the lactic acid molecule is actually larger. This means it can’t penetrate super deep into your skin.  Instead, you’re getting more surface treatment (polishing, firming, exfoliating, etc.). Therefore, those with sensitive skin will be able to tolerate this kind of acid better since it doesn’t penetrate as deep.

It works in as little as three minutes.

Like I said above, the claim is for real. This is what makes this product a great go-to for when your skin is looking a little ruddy. Instant glow up.

You can use it to DIY your own facial.

The brand states then when you mix equal parts Good Genes with their (also super popular) Ceramic Slip Cleanser, you create a “flash facial.”  Leave the combo on for up to 10 minutes then rinse clean.

You can use it day or night.

Unlike retinol and other AHA products, you can Good Genes any time.  Of course, if you DO you it in the morning, you still need SPF over it but it certainly won’t be too crazy on your skin. Personally, I like to use it at night (right before my moisturizer), but just make sure not to mix too many active ingredients because Good Genes IS an exfoliator after all. Example: If you use Good Genes at night, then skip the retinol or vitamin C product.

It will unclog pores and make your skin look and feel smoother.

One of the main things I noticed after using Good Genes is that my makeup sat on my face flawlessly.  It truly does make your skin smoother, which means you might even be able to get away with using less foundation.

Have you guys tried Good Genes?  Tell me your thoughts below in the comments! I’m all in.

Sunday Riley Good Genes review of the serum with other lux products in the background


Photos by Felicia LaSala

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