Do you use and love Sunday Riley Good Genes Lactic Acid Treatment? Although Good Genes has been covered in beauty blogs countless times in the last few years, I can’t help but devote a post to this star product. You can read elsewhere about how wonderful everyone thinks the product is, but is there anything else out there comparable, or are we all destined to spend countless dollars replenishing this bottle more times than we’d prefer? I tried two other lactic acid products and was quite surprised by the results.
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What is Lactic Acid?
First, the technicals. Lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that works as an exfoliant on the surface of your skin. While synthetically produced for products today, lactic acid was originally derived from sour milk. No wonder there are tales that Cleopatra bathed in milk! Luckily lactic acid treatments are much easier for us to use today.
The lactic acid molecule is larger than other AHAs, so it doesn’t penetrate the skin as deeply. Lactic acid may be a good introduction to AHAs if you never used them before or may benefit those with sensitive or dry complexions.
Lactic acid targets fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and may even help acne. It is generally recommended to not mix AHAs such as lactic acid with vitamin C or retinol. I use my lactic acid treatments every other night. I’ll use retinol one night and then lactic acid the next and so on. Currently, I save vitamin C for mornings due to its fantastic antioxidant properties.
It is important to note that lactic acid and other AHAs make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so it is important to wear SPF, clothing and other means to protect your skin for seven days after using these products.
Let’s talk about Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment. The first time I tried Good Genes was about two years ago. I had a sample and was immediately wary after reading that it may cause irritation to sensitive skin. Being that I have somewhat sensitive skin, I decided to use it sparingly and gave it a chance.
It immediately irritated my skin. But instead of quickly washing my face like usual when I encounter a product that my skin does not like, I pushed through, and to my surprise, after a few minutes, the irritation went away. I am SO glad that I gave it a chance because I woke up the next morning and my skin was never so smooth. Even a few minutes after applying it my skin appeared plumper!
Fine lines and hyperpigmentation have become concerns for me, and this product went to work on both. No other product has given me such immediate results. This is due in part to the lactic acid which worked to slough away dead skin cells and plumped my skin, making it appear more radiant. I find that personally, my skin tolerates lactic acid better than other AHA’s.
I did notice that the Captain Marvel edition of Good Genes has not irritated my skin as much as the original version, and I am still seeing great results, especially when I wake up in the morning after using it at night. Some days I wonder why my skin looks better and then I remember, oh right, I used Good Genes! The only drawback for me is the price. It is expensive, even if I use it every other night.
Searching for an Affordable Good Genes Alternative…
Thus, the search for an inexpensive alternative or even somewhat comparable affordable lactic acid-based product. There have been some very reasonably priced lactic acid treatments that have hit the market recently and since my skin has been loving Sunday Riley’s Good Genes Lactic Acid Treatment for such a long time, I wanted to try some options to see if they are viable alternatives.
If you consider the cost to be an important factor in your decision to purchase a lactic acid product, well, let me tell you, The Ordinary and The Inkey List’s products have you covered, as you can purchase them at drugstore prices.
I tried The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA which contains 10% lactic acid, hyaluronic acid, and purified Tasmanian pepperberry to help reduce irritation and sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer that adds moisture for a plumping appearance of your skin.
The Ordinary Lactic Acid comes in a glass bottle with a dropper that dispenses the liquid formula. It’s quite runny, so it’s important to dispense the product into the palm of your hand and gently apply it with your fingers to your face. Otherwise, it could get messy and run off your face and down your neck, although your neck could certainly benefit from this treatment.
I found that the product did not irritate my face and dried pretty quickly. In the morning I found my skin smoother and more refined. I noticed that I did not get the immediate plumping that Good Genes provided, but I kept reminding myself that for the price it did a great job.
On a side note, I’ve read how some use this product to help keratosis pilaris, those annoying bumps often found on the back of your arms. I am looking forward to giving it a try. At this price, I can afford it!
Related: Best of 2019 – Skincare Favorites
The Inkey List Lactic Acid Serum consists of 10% lactic acid and 1% low molecular hyaluronic acid to help the lactic acid penetrate deeper into the skin and for added hydration. It also has a running texture and the plastic squeeze tube became a bit messy upon application.
Unfortunately, it was difficult to control the product, as it would run down the side of the bottle. I understand that due to the price, some concessions must be made, and the packaging is an example of this.
This product did not irritate my skin at all. It felt like the hyaluronic acid kept my skin from feeling too tight or dry. I appreciate the clear instructions on the bottle which indicate that it should be applied first under other serums and moisturizers. I applied other Inkey List serums that I was testing on top of this treatment and it didn’t pill at all. Just like The Ordinary, my skin appeared smoother and exfoliated the next morning.
Related: A Guide to Acids in Skincare
I found both The Ordinary and The Inkey List’s lactic acid treatments very impressive. My skin likes lactic acid and it is one of the only AHAs that does not really irritate my skin. Yet Good Genes creates that immediate plumping appearance that is not present in any other products that I’ve tried. What can I say, it’s special.
Due to their low prices, I would repurchase both The Ordinary and The Inkey List lactic acid serums. I slightly favor The Ordinary since the packaging allows for a better, if not perfect, application of the product. In the meantime, I will reluctantly continue to splurge on Sunday Riley Good Genes, that to me is worth every penny.
Thanks for reading, and until next time…