Sunday Riley’s Good Genes has become a cult favorite. The brightening effect on hyperpigmentation, the glow from the sloughing away of dead skin cells, and the sensitivity to skin… *chef’s kiss*
But with Good Genes’ price of $85 for one ounce at Sephora (and $122 for one-point-seven ounces – uhhhh), QUILL has taken it upon itself to find the best dupes for this Sunday Riley gem. We’ve even found some that excluded lactic acid, should your skin be a lil tooooo sensitive for an AHA. Read on for our fav 13!
We’re starting off strong (and ridiculously affordable) with The Ordinary, because it would be wrong not to include their Lactic Acid 10% and HA 2% Exfoliating Serum.
Packed with – you guessed it – Lactic Acid, this Good Genes dupe exfoliates to the max, sloughing away dead skin cells and revealing a softer, brighter complexion.
Tasmanian pepperberry comes in to battle irritation post-exfoliation, giving you the treatment and the after-care all in one.
Sleep it off and reap the results, okay?
Biossance’s Resurfacing Night Serum combines 10% lactic acid with squalane, so you have the solid AHA exfoliation paired with the calming treatment.
Clover also joins the party, partnering with lactic acid for exfoliating properties and rejuvenating skin after a day of environmental stressors.
Lactic acid? Not enough for Paula’s Choice, which combines this acid with its fellow AHAs: glycolic, malic, and tartaric acid. The result is total exfoliation. Like, you might as well be wearing new skin, because that top, dead layer? It’ll be gone.
But don’t be worried about feeling raw – Paula was kind enough to involve allantoin, oat extract, and licorice extract to soothe post-acid-wash. Throw in chamomile, grape seed extract, and green tea to protect and firm, and you have Sunday Riley x1000.
Peach & Lily choose the best ingredients for their products – each one is chosen carefully for maximum and complementary effects.
Lactic acid – 10%, specifically – is paired with 12 botanical extracts for a full-blown exfoliation and rejuvenation. The key offerings: red algae, which helps with firmness; black ginseng extract, which renews and rejuvenates; and a prebiotic and probiotic complex that balances the ‘biome and stops the burn.
Summer Fridays’ dupe grasps to the good vibes of lactic acid just like Good Genes, though it soothes and fights fine lines differently.
Instead of licorice and lemongrass for brightening dark spots, Summer Fridays uses fellow AHA glycolic acid, which performs double duty by exfoliating and unclogging while also brightening and evening out discoloration.
Throw in niacinamide to minimize pores and soothe like Good Genes’ prickly pear, and you have a Sunday-Riley-worthy dupe.
When lactic acid, aka one AHA, isn’t enough, why not throw in four more? At least, that’s what Honest believes.
Five AHAs – including lactic, glycolic, and citric acids – come together to exfoliate, unclog, brighten, rejuvenate, and add radiance to otherwise dull skin.
But the irritation doesn’t last, because the Good Genes dupe also features hyaluronic acid, trapping every bit of moisture into the skin to keep redness and flaking at a minimum. Aloe helps soothe excess irritation, too.
We haven’t talked about it much, but kojic acid is kind of a big deal when it comes to dealing with hyperpigmentation. Combine it with acids like lactic, glycolic, and azelaic, all of which slough dead cells and dirt from the ‘dermis, and you have a glowing complex.
Don’t freak out when you feel a slight tingle – that’s just the toner working its magic and lifting those dark spots up and away.
If you can’t have a gin and tonic at 8 am while applying skincare, you might as well use a tonic that will give you a tipsy flush.
BYBI uses lactic acid to strip away the shitty stuff and bring your radiant cells to the surface, while reishi (which Lexiss wrote about in-depth!) and shiitake mushrooms give your skin a brightened, dark-spot reduced canvas.
That dewy, post-workout-glow-minus-the-salty-sweat flush comes from Melissa floral water, so you have a soothed and smooth base.
Yeah, you’ve heard of citric acid and glycolic acid five billion times over. So, Sacheu decided to switch things up on ya and keep you on your toes – and your skin alert.
Instead of the usual AHAs, find lactic acid paired with malic acid and tranexamic acid, working together to brighten skin tone and lighten any dark spots. This is thanks to lactic acid’s gentle exfoliation, malic acid’s AHA and BHA properties, and tranexamic acid’s ability to prevent darkening and fight discoloration over time.
Hyaluronic acid sneaks in to keep things hydrated, locking in moisture so the acids don’t leave you dry.
Like Sunday Riley’s Good Genes, this dupe from Youth to the People has prickly pear extract to soothe inflammation and redness and give a little TLC to sensitive skin.
Unlike Sunday Riley’s Good Genes, however: the dupe also includes maqui, which battles free radicals, and goji, which fights fine lines.
Vitamin C gives a boost of brightness, while omega oils from acai and squalane hydrate and plump up deflated skin.
Correct: no AHAs in here. Just healthy and hard-working nutrients to give you an undeniable glow without any irritation.
Indie Lee’s Brightening Cream, like Youth To The People’s option, also lacks lactic acid, replacing it with citric acid instead for that lit-up look.
The glow is amped up by ingredients like strawberry leaf extract and centella asiatica, both of which contain major amounts of antioxidants to hype your skin and protect it from environmental stressors.
At the same time, sodium hyaluronate and squalane arrive to keep hydration in, so you’re not sacrificing moisture for magnificence.
Prickly pear extract reveals itself in this Sunday Riley dupe, just like in the OG Good Genes.
Instead of lactic acid, find the other skin-rejuvenating AHA, citric acid, here to take on any dark spots and uneven skin tones.
You’ll feel ultra-hydrated and nourished with the combo of aloe, sodium hyaluronate, and glycerin, while hibiscus flower acids work with the prickly pear to give refreshed texture.
Finally, Tamarind Polysaccharides – aka sugar molecules – work to aid elasticity and fight signs of aging.
Bringing back the lactic acid, Freck makes the ingredient the star of the show in their toner.
Dance away from discoloration and embrace evenness thanks to the AHA, which works with kelp extract to provide antioxidants. The result: a protective barrier that also offers brilliant brightness.
Cactus flower extract is included to calm and keep away any redness, so your glow won’t be impacted by skin irritation.
Do you have a sacred dupe for Sunday Riley’s Good Genes? Drop it in the comments!