Nothing induces Beauty Geek envy like the genetic blessing of naturally flawless skin. A smooth, unblemished complexion without a smidge of cosmetic cover-up… some of us can only dream! But with the help of Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment, could it become a reality?

The claims

Sunday Riley has dubbed this a corrective product that will get to work on a long list of skin scourges. It claims to hydrate the skin and plump fine lines, whilst supporting the skin’s circulation to improve its radiance at the same time. We’re also excited about its longer-term promises: to reduce scarring, hyperpigmentation and the depth of wrinkles! Before we open our purses, let’s see if the formula is worth our pennies!

Lactic acid

This ingredient is one of a number of alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), which are becoming very popular in skincare for their exfoliating properties. By binding the calcium ions that are essential for cells to stick to each other, AHAs are thought to weaken the interactions between cells. This makes it easier for the top layer of dead skin to be shed, revealing the smoother new skin underneath. This could also be the answer to patches of hyperpigmentation: faster turnover of cells means that melanin (the skin’s natural pigment) does not linger for as long. Combine this with evidence showing its ability to inhibit melanin-producing enzymes, it looks like lactic acid will gradually help to smooth out our skin tone and help give a healthy glow.

Liquorice extract

We love it when ingredients can come together to tackle beauty bothers. With liquorice extract in the mix, lactic acid will definitely have some back-up in the fight against hyperpigmentation. This ingredient contains isoflavenes and chalcones (we won’t test you on these!), which, together with lactic acid, work to inhibit tyrosinase enzymes: the little devils responsible for excessive melanin production. Liquorice extract also has some serious anti-inflammatory prowess, which could tone down any patches of redness. Not only could this relieve some of us of our persistent post-spot blemishes and scars, but it could even offer some respite from pigmentation disorders such as melasma and inflammatory conditions like psoriasis. We’re very impressed!

Caprylic/Capric triglyceride and Squalene

Next up are our moisturising ingredients! Caprylic/capric triglyceride is an excellent emollient and helps to restore the skins barrier function to improve its hydration. Squalene is a lipid that easily sinks down into the skin and behaves as an emollient: improving the skin’s barrier function to reduce transepidermal water loss. With less water escaping from the top layers of our skin, moisture levels will gradually increase and skin will feel smoother and look a lot fuller too. This could offer a quick fix for fine lines, but we have more faith in the gradual improvement of wrinkles provided by the action of AHAs!

What about the NV-5 Ageless Complex?

Most Sunday Riley products contain this ingredient: a blend of five botanical extracts (prickly pear, blue agave, orchid, cactus and aloe) that apparently fight ageing. Unfortunately, the only two we’re really enamoured with are the prickly pear and aloe. Both of these extracts have anti-inflammatory activities, but prickly pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) extract also contains anti-oxidant molecules: BBTG faves that mop up the free radicals that can cause premature ageing! So yes, we can see where Sunday Riley is coming from with the ‘ageless complex’ idea, but for us there are definitely more impressive age-defying ingredients than the ones in this complex.

The Verdict

Having looked at the science, we think Sunday Riley is onto something good here. It’s light weight formula including lactic acid and liquorice really shine in their ability to fight hyperpigmentation and fine lines. Teaming this with the hit of moisture and a dose of anti-oxidants, we think it will deliver on it’s promise of a smooth, radiant complexion. However, we were less than impressed with the NV-5 Ageless Complex and for £85.00 it is more of a splurge than a staple, lacking the wow factor for us compared to some cheaper products on the market. Having said that, if you do choose to indulge then you won’t be disappointed as it is does contain some fab ingredients.

If you want to indulge yourself, click here to get Good Genes!

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