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Post in Skincare Aware

Bad Experience with Sunday Riley's Good Genes?

Hi there, 


I'm currently trying Sunday Riley's Good Genes and it might not working for me. This product is too popular and it's harder to find solid "bad" experience reviews, so I thought I'm gonna ask here! 


I've been using this only for 3 nights. I know, it's still early. So far it BURNS every time. First morning, I noticed the immediate difference on my skin. It was very slight but looked brighter and smoother. 2nd days, I didn't see too much difference. 3rd day, which was this morning, I saw myself in the mirror and noticed my pores were notionally bigger.  (<- This was exactly when a question mark? popped in my head.)  I started wondering if this product is safe for me to keep using.  


I know a lot of people swear by this.  A Sephora staff who gave me this sample was super excited about this too. But you know, everyone's skin is different. So it's very possible this is not for me. I have (getting-up-there-aging) dry skin and sometime sensitive. 


I want to hear your thoughts! 


PS.  FYI, I used Drunk Elephant's T.L.C. Framboos™ Glycolic Night Serum before as well. This product burnt my skin too but it eventually got better.  However, though, I couldn't see too much difference if it's doing something or not.  (That's why I wanted to try Good Genes.)  

Re: Bad Experience with Sunday Riley's Good Genes?

Good Genes irritated the heck out of my skin and then I found out it has a pH of 2.6!!!  Irritating much?  Plus it has too much fragrance for me.  

Re: Bad Experience with Sunday Riley's Good Genes?

hi @KillahTomato ! the stinging is normal. it should always dissipate rather quickly. i would not use good genes every night, particularly when it (or something like it, the drunk elephant serum is considerably gentler, and a different type of AHA) is new to your routine. start off using it with two nights in between each usage, at the very most. you don't want to risk over-exfoliation.


there are a few things people can expect when introducing a strong dose of lactic acid to their routine:

  • stinging. i'd classify it as a sting more than a burn. if you find it lasts long and/or your face feels like it's on fire / is red, this may be a reaction indicating your skin does not like either lactic acid or just this strong of one. if this is the case you'll likely wake up with noticeably unhappy skin. 
  • white heads, maybe. "purging" is 90% a myth, and a common belief that often misleads people to beating down their skin when it's screaming at them to stop. but with a normal purge--and this does exist--you may see a few non-irritated white heads pop up in areas you are the most clogged (for me, that is my nose !). they will be a little white bump, easily extractable, and--this is key--not red or irritated. the larger pores on your nose may be part of this process. and its a process that does not last long, just at the introduction of lactic acid.

i say, definitely keep an eye on it. only use 2-3 times a week. if your skin ever gets red and angry / you experience a breakout that is unusual, then your skin may be too acidic from it and needs a break (or, alternatively, doesn't like lactic acid. then you'd need to never use again !). there's really no way to know without a bit of time and experimentation, but i encourage you to keep on as the results can be worth it. hope this helps !

Re: Bad Experience with Sunday Riley's Good Genes?

@jemly This is toooootally helpful! Thank you very much for the detailed write up.  I'm gonna give my skin some breaks in between starting tonight, and I'll see how it goes. I prefer to feel good before going to bed by packing on more moisturizing/nourishing things instead of getting irritating sensation. Hopefully it'll go away over time! 

Re: Bad Experience with Sunday Riley's Good Genes?

@KillahTomato awesome ! glad to help. also, you can totally still use  moisturizers etc on top of good genes. i typically wait a minute or two (i've never counted; basically until the sting fades) then go in with a facial oil and moisturizer as per usual.

RE: Bad Experience with Sunday Riley's Good Genes?

you might be overexfoliating especially since you say your skin is gettin a bit drier with age. Lactic acid may work for you if you scale back your usage to just a few times a week instead of every night. I use the TLC Framboo serum this way - alternating it with a moisturizing serum every other night.

Re: RE: Bad Experience with Sunday Riley's Good Genes?

Great call out...what would be a moisturizing serum?  I'm super curious!

Re: RE: Bad Experience with Sunday Riley's Good Genes?

@vaishalirana Makes sense. Good Genes or Framboo, I think I'm gonna have to go easy on it. I'll see! Thank you very much for your reply 🙂 

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