If it hurts, it works – Sunday Riley Good Genes

You know the saying: If it hurts, it works?
Or: Medicine has to taste bitter to be effective?

Well, in the case of Sunday Rileys Good Genes Serum and Mask, the saying must be something like:
If it stinks, it brings.
Results, that is.

Sunday Riley Good Genes Serum and Mask (Sample size pictured, not the original bottle!)

Because it really is good skin in an instant. But it stinks like someone puked into your bottle.

What Sunday Riley claims:
A multi-purpose treatment, Good Genes works hard to un-do the damage caused by sunlight, acne, pollution & less-than-healthy lifestyle choices! The potent blend of ingredients combine to plump fine lines, fight hyper-pigmentation, heal scar tissue & boost circulation so skin looks smoother, younger & more vibrant. It can be used daily to give your complexion a moisture & radiance boost, or applied as a treatment mask to increase circulation & get skin glowing ahead of a special occasion.

I am not going to lie, this is one of the expensive treats to get yourself. One bottle contains 30 ml and retails for 117 € here.
The serum itself is of a creamy consistency, white and stinks horrendously.
I got a sample size first to see how I liked it and used it about three times a week on top of my usual night time routine.
For reference, the included 10 ml lasted me for three and a half months, so I reckon you´ll get about a years worth when purchasing the full size.

Looks more like a cream than a serum. Not pictured: The smell!

Favorable ingredients:
– Prickly Pear Extract: Smoothing, firming
– Blue Agave Extract: Antibacterial
– Lady’s Slipper Orchid Extract: Moisturizing
– Cactus Extract: Antioxidant, rich in fatty acids
– Aloe Leaf Extract: Soothing, moisturizing
– Lactic Acid: Resurfacing, moisturizing
– Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride: Lipid balancing
– Stearic Acid: Lipid balancing
– Glycyrrhiza Glabra Extract (Licorice): Antioxidant
– Xanthan Gum: Firming

Unfavorable Ingredients:
– Silicones
– DMDM Hydantoin: preservative, can be irritating
– Triethanolamine: Can lead to cancer in high concentrations (way higher than used here)
– Emulsifier

The main player here is Lactic Acid.
Compared to the other, widely used acids (Salicylic, Malic, Glycolic, PHA) this one works more on the surface, making it less irritating and leading to immediate results. Apart from that, it has some moisturizing benefits, making it a suitable acid for dehydrated as well as sensitive skins.

Does it live up to its claims?
I love the immediate effect it has on my skin and I believe in the long term benefits when looking at the ingredient list.
It is my go-to serum when nights have been to short and days jam-packed with work and errands, when I have been neglecting my water bottle or opted for the quick and easy lunch on-the-go instead of a plate full of greens.

Will I rebuy?
It stinks, it is expensive and beyond any doubt I need it in my life.

Who do I recommend it to?

Basically anyone.
It is suitable for sensitive skins having trouble with other acid toners, it works on acne prone skin as well as on dehydrated skin and it gives you immediate results.
If you are overly sensitive to smells though… Maybe get a sample first.
Have you tried anything from Sunday Riley before?
Does a smelly product put you off? Or do you prefer it over scented ones, knowing it hasn’t got any added fragrance?
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