The Ordinary Lactic Acid vs. Sunday Riley Good Genes- Is it a Dupe? 4 Month Results with Before and After Pictures


Today, I’ll be sharing with you my 4 month tests results comparing The Ordinary’s Lactic Acid with Sunday Riley’s Good Genes. I purchased Good Genes during the Sephora VIB sale in the Fall, and I loved the results sooo much, but I just couldn’t see putting out that amount of money every couple of months, so I made it my mition to find a dupe.

I picked up the Ordinary’s Lactic Acid in January. I used The Ordinary on the left side of my face and chest and Good Genes on my right. I used them every other night in between cleansing and my serum, and I’ll tell you what…I was REALLY surprised by my results. So well get right into it…we’ll compare texture and application, and I’ll share with you my before and after pictures.

So let me start of by telling you my skin concerns. My skin is combo to dry-  I can have a shiny T zone, but I get dry patches and flakiness on my cheeks and close to my hair line. As I’m entering my mid thirties, I’ve had some fine lines pop up and darkening hyperpigmentation. I don’t deal with much sensitivity. I get some tingling with acids, but I have yet to get much redness from a product.

I wanted to add a lactic acid into my routine for the brightening and plumping effects. Lactic Acid is an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) that chemically exfoliates the skin. It breaks down skin cells to reveal brighter, smoother skin. It can stimulate collagen to plump your skin, and adds to hydration with its humectant qualities. Dermatologist say the ideal pH or acidity of the product should be between a 3-4. This is rarely on packaging, but you should feel a slight tingle when you use an AHA.

So let’s breakdown each product…

Sunday Riley Good Genes

Cost: $105 1 oz. product

Claims: Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment is formulated with high potency, purified grade lactic acid that immediately exfoliates dull, pore-clogging dead skin cells, revealing smoother, fresher, younger-looking skin. Fine lines appear visually plumped while the skin looks more radiant. With continued use, the appearance of stubborn hyperpigmentation and the visible signs of aging are reduced for a healthier-looking complexion. Perfect for all skin types and all ages, this treatment is enhanced with licorice for brightening, Good Genes clarifies, smooths, and retexturizes for instant radiance.


Opuntia Tuna Fruit (Prickly Pear) Extract, Agave Tequilana Leaf (Blue Agave) Extract, Cypripedium Pubescens (Lady’s Slipper Orchid) Extract, Opuntia Vulgaris (Cactus) Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract & Saccharomyses Cerevisiae (Yeast) Extract, Lactic Acid, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Butylene Glycol, Squalane, Cyclomethicone, Dimethicone, Ppg-12/Smdi Copolymer, Stearic Acid, Cetearyl Alcohol And Ceteareth20, Glyceryl Stearate And Peg-100 Stearate, Arnica Montana (Flower) Extract, Peg-75 Meadowfoam Oil, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus (Lemongrass) Oil, Triethanolamine, Xantham Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Steareth-20, Dmdm Hydantoin.

Key Ingedients 

-Licorice (Glycyrrhiza Glabra): Naturally brightens the appearance of hyperpigmentation.
-Lemongrass: Helps boost radiance.
-Aloe: Helps soothe the skin.  (source: Sephora)

pH of 2.6 per

Application: This milky cream easily spreads over my entire face with half a pump. I notice a bearable tingle that last for about an hour. I actually enjoy the slight “sting”. It makes me feel like it’s actually working. I never have any redness (but again, but skin isn’t very sensitive).

Within about 15 minutes, my skin is more plump, fine lines are filled, and I notice a glow. This is the only product I’ve ever used with such immediate results. I wake up in the morning with smooth bright skin.

I love using this when I have an event the next day. My makeup goes on flawlessly, and my skin looks plump and refreshed.

And for long-term results…

Right Side: Good Genes after 4 Months

Before                                                   After

good genes1

I notice a reduction in hyperpigmentation over my entire face. My large sunspot is lighter and the borders seem to be breaking up. I have less congestion around my nose. I notice a glow in my skin on my cheekbone and under my browbone. I love the overall tone improvement this has given my skin!


The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA

Cost: $6.50 1oz.

Claims: This treatment gently resurfaces the skin to promote a bright, even tone and a smooth, soft texture.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Lactic Acid, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Triethanolamine, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Tasmannia Lanceolata Fruit/Leaf Extract, Arginine, Potassium Citrate, Acacia Senegal Gum, Xanthan Gum, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, PPG-26-Buteth-26, Ethyl 2,2-Dimethylhydrocinnamal, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Ethylhexylglycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol.

Key Ingredients

  • Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer: a form of hyaluronic acid that boosts the skin’s moisture content for a plump, supple, and smooth appearance
  • Tasmanian Pepperberry: a botanical extract that reduces the irritation associated with acid use
  • pH 3.6-3.8 (Source:


Application: I use one squeeze of the dropper for my entire face. The watery gel consistency makes it a little difficult to apply. When you squeeze the product out, you quickly have to work it in, before it drips off your face. It was a little cumbersome to work with at first, but now I’m used to it.

I notice a slight tingle that dissipates pretty quickly. There is a tacky feeling that goes away after 15 minutes, once the product has sunken in. My skin instantly feels hydrated and plump…I almost feel like a I can skip a moisturizer after using it. My skin has an instant glow, but I don’t get the instant tightening action I feel with Good Genes. Although my skin looks bright and feels super smooth in the am.

And for the long-term results….

Left Side: The Ordinary Lactic Acid after 4 Months

Before                                             After


Of the two largest sunspots the top one is lighter, the bottom one looks unchanged. I notice an overall brightened tone, and less congestion and redness around my nose. My skin looks more plump and glowy. Check out that dewiness on my cheekbone!



                     Before                                              After

The Ordinary  |  Good Genes


I noticed an overall lightening and line improvement throughout my entire chest. These results seem equivalent on both sides.


Bottom Line….

good genes chart

Ps- Use at night. You should avoid sun exposure as Lactic Acid increases your skin’s sensitivity to the sun.

Find The Ordinary Lactic Acid here:  ( (out of stock on Beautylish as of 11/4/18)
Find Good Genes here: 

I also featured my results in my latest upload. It will also give you a better idea on the application and texture of both.

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  1. Wow you’ve had some fab results. Really makes a difference when you can actually see a visible difference. I’ve not tried either of these but I’ve got The Ordinary one on my list and You’ve convinced me! I’m
    Currently using my StriVectin Advanced Acids up and been really pleased with them.

    Samantha x


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