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Sunday Riley Good Genes versus Drunk Elephant T.L.C Framboos Glycolic Night Serum

If you're an avid YouTube watcher you've probably heard about these products. Both brands blew up on the skincare seen in short order as expensive, but effective. If you're like me you quickly began to wonder: which is better? Short answer: it depends.

Sunday Riley Good Genes and Drunk Elephant T.L.C Framboos Glycolic Night Serum -

Long answer...

I've mentioned Good Genes a few times before on the blog. This 'all-in-one lactic acid treatment' is raved about by the likes of Stephanie Nicole and Caroline Hirons.

From the box: "Deeply exfoliates the dull surface of the skin for clarity, radiance, and younger-looking skin. Visibly brightens the appearance of age spots and discolorations. Instantly plumps the look of fine lines and wrinkles in 3 minutes*

*Clinically tested and proven to significantly improve the appearance of lines and wrinkles in 3 minutes. Results obtained via profilometry analysis.

With Key Ingredients:

Purified Lactic Acid: One of the most hydrating Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs), Lactic Acid exfoliates the surface layers of the skin, revealing a more clarified, fresher, smoother, younger-looking complexion. Helps fights a build-up of dead skin cells and excess sebum, which can lead to skin bumps, dullness, skin congestion, blackheads, and eventually, acne. Plumps the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Helps diminish the look of discolorations and dark spots.

Licorice: Naturally brightening properties, licorice helps improve skin radiance.

Lemongrass: Astringent and skin refreshing for a toned complexion.

Arnica: Soothes the skin, reducing the feeling of skin discomfort.

Aloe: Soothes, moisturizes without greasiness.

Directions: Apply 1-2 pumps to clean, dry skin as a leave-on treatment. Can be applied on top of Luna Sleeping Night oil, and before your moisturizer.

For sensitive skin, use as a mask. Apply 1-3 pumps to clean, dry skin and leave on for 15 minutes. Rinse well and pat dry.

Ingredients: 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 Ceteareth 20, 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."

At $105USD for 30 ml/1 oz yuh would gotta be committed to skincare to try this. I started out with the half ounce and was quickly hooked. Hooked I tell yuh. I definitely saw the results of increased skin turn over in that, I noticed improvement in my skin's texture. The first couple nights I did use it after their Luna Sleeping Night Oil but I quickly abandoned that. I think skincare layers should be applied in order of viscosity i.e. thinnest to thickest. Now that I'm accustomed to the product, this is often my last step. I wouldn't recommend that for persons with dry skin though; they would need a thicker moisturizer to seal in all the good stuff.

T.L.C Framboos Glycolic Night Serum is also an AHA serum but it contains more acids than Good Genes.

From the box: "A 12% glycolic serum that refines and resurfaces skin and improves collagen production. Formulated with a "dream team" of AHAs designed to reveal a smoother and more radiant complexion, T.L.C Framboos™ enhances the performance of other products by clearing the way for maximum absorption. 

Directions: In the evening immediately after cleansing, apply T.L.C Framboos™ evenly to dry face, neck, chest and backs of hands. Shake before use to reactivate the gel. A slight tingling sensation is normal.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Glycolic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Butylene Glycol, Citric Acid, Lactic Acid, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Aesculus Hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut) Seed Extract, Arctostaphylos Uva-Ursi Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract, Buddleja Davidii Meristem Cell Culture, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae (Yeast) Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Juice Extract, Opuntia Ficus-Indica (Cactus) Extract, Sclerocarya Birrea (Marula) Seed Oil, Allantoin, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Propanediol, Xanthan Gum, Galactoarabinan, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Disodium EDTA, Hexylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Hydroxide (pH adjustor), Phenoxyethanol."

This one is $90USD for 30 ml/1 oz. At first I didn't think much of this product...but then I realised I was using it incorrectly. You absolutely have to shake this before each use, as the directions state. If you compare the ingredients list, the T.L.C seems to be more potent. The jury appears to be out on the lactic acid percentage in Good Genes. Caroline 40% (could that be a typo?). This source says it's closer to 10%. I can tell you that when used correctly I definitely feel the difference. They weren't kidding about that "tingling sensation".

Other differences:


Good Genes comes is a glass bottle with a pump top. There's a twist lock on the full size whereas the half ounce bottle comes with a cap. T.L.C is all fancy with its new airtight, lid-locking top and twist-up pump. The packaging is an opaque plastic bottle. Regular readers know how important it is to keep skincare out of direct sunlight to preserve their ingredients.

Drunk Elephant T.L.C Framboos Glycolic Night Serum -


Good Genes is white thin serum while T.L.C is a transparent gel. Both blend out into nothingness. The T.L.C does feel a little more tacky on the skin after it has absorbed.

Sunday Riley Good Genes and Drunk Elephant T.L.C Framboos Glycolic Night Serum -


Anyone with seriously sensitive skin has to be careful when it comes to chemical exfoliants. On my professional chemical peel journey I discovered that nothing that can be purchased in a store will be as strong as the real deal. That said, these types of serums are good for maintenance.

Before we go any further lemme reiterate that sunscreen is a must. Even more so when you're using chemical exfoliants on a regular. Also, unless you are using these products on your neck, chest and back of your hands - as Drunk Elephant suggests - I'd say one pump is enough. Notably, one pump of the T.L.C does go a longer way. Both of these serums work well with their recommended follow up oils.

Stephanie recommends the T.L.C for oily skin and the Good Genes for dry skin. I agree with that. Though I have repurchased Good Genes and I do have oily skin. The Drunk Elephant serum is cheaper for the same amount of product and it has a great ingredients list. Still, some people say it doesn't work for them. If you are accustomed to chemical peels and/or chemical exfoliants neither of these might give you the results marketed. If you're not, they're a great addition to your routine but I'm sure they're cheaper alternatives.


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