Sunday Riley: Good Genes/Bad Ingredients

Well, well… Sunday Riley has been in a bit of controversy recently huh? Their fake comment scandal is still fresh in the Beauty Community’s minds (and sad hearts). I’m not here to throw shade at them for that dispicable behavior though; I’m sure they’ve had more than enough genuine comments thrown their way for their disappointing behavior…I’m here for the skincare, after all.

But when I was scrolling through Instagram last night and saw a post by cyrille_laurent on Instagram talking about Sunday Riley’s Good Genes having some (new) drama, I knew I had to look further into this.

It looks so luxe and innocent… but read on. You’ll change you mind soon enough.

The thing is this… Sunday Riley touts themselves as a Clean Beauty brand, but their bestselling exfoliating serum/mask contains formaldehyde…??!?? Not exactly; but the preservative they chose to use in Good Genes, DMDM Hydantoin, is a controversial preservative that has formaldehyde-releasing properties. Say what!?

Hell to the NO!!!!!

…that’s the same chemical used as a preservative in mortuaries and medical laboratories; y’know, the same one clinically proven to be linked to cancer?? Yeah, that one. DMDMH itself has been linked to dermatitis (aka rashes and other skin irritations) in patch tests performed in a lab…and you can develop an allergy to it over time! Seriously though; is that really something you want in a product?? Especially one coupled with AHAs that can penetrate that unsettling chemical deeper into your skin? 

Well, DMDMH is reported to work great against bacteria and has mild fungicide abilities… thus making it a disturbingly common ingredient in skincare here in the US of A, apparently. That’s right my friends; about 20% of cosmetics and personal care products made here in America contain a formaldehyde-releaser of some sort. It’s supposed to be safe in extremely low percentages… but if you’re using multiple products wiht it in it (you remember that 20% dontcha? It’s bound to be 1 in 4 personal care products made in the USA that has some), can’t you reasonably deduce that it can increase your risk of higher level formaldehyde exposure?? #foodforthought

Their use of this ingredient is more infuriating when you consider the fact that the serum in question (Good Genes) is $105 for 30ml of product….really?? It’s fucking lactic acid with some basic ass moisturizers, dimethicone, and plant extracts as filler–That’s basically it. I’m not saying it isn’t worth it… but it seriously isn’t worth it from an Esthetician’s point of view. I’m tired of these brands that don’t give a fuck about our health just as long as they can make some money off us. It’s really insulting; not to mention disheartening. There are so many other (lower priced) lactic acid products on the market without formaldehyde releasers that you don’t have to worry about finding an alternative that is safer.

Oh yeah, they claim to be a Green Beauty luxury brand too. Riiight, gotcha. So they coudn’t spring for a better, greener preservative huh?? Oh, profits first! Of course!!!

Skincare companies are just like this with our money, I swear 😂

This scandal brings up an important piece of skincare advice:

Do your research before you purchase any skincare.

Before you blindly buy whatever latest product an influencer is trying to sell you, look up the products you buy. Read the ingredients, look up anything you’ve never heard of. Read reviews on your favorite shopping sites (…or not I guess? Ahem.) Don’t just look at reviews from one site; look at a few opinions on either side before you decide. Hell, read a blog or two (same caution applies…). Google is your BFF, I swear! This applies not only to high end beauty products (but you should definitely do that to make sure it’s worth it to you; there might be a lower cost dupe around), but for anything you plan to introduce to your routine.

Some might say this isn’t a big deal; but again, why use a preservative that releases formaldehyde when there are other (safer) alternatives on the market? How can you call yourself Green Beauty when you have something that releases a known carcinogen in your products, even if it’s perfectly legal?? Hell…cocaine was once used as a cure all; that changed though didn’t it?? It really boils down to: why take the risk of future harm?? It’s really ridiculous. I have NEVER heard of an Asian Beauty company (high end or otherwise) that uses this preservative! Only in America dears *eyeroll*.

I hope you found this rant post informative… I am not the Skincare Police, but if you’re going to invest (in this case…) serious cash in your skincare, shouldn’t you make sure that the products you buy won’t hurt you in the long run? I’m not against preservatives (or Sunday Riley and other high end beauty brands)… just the ones that have potentially life threatening results/ingredients #justsaying.

Let me know what you think about DMDMH + Sunday Riley’s use of it! Do you use any of their products? Are they worth the hype? I have a bunch of deluxe sized samples (includng Good Genes *gulp*) that I’m really hesitant to use now. I mean… I want great skin and to preserve my youthfulness forever, but where do we draw the line?

Do you use Good Genes and will you stop? Let me know below 💜

Souces/Read More:

Book: Milady's Standard Esthetics: Fundamentals; by Joel Gerson

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