2017 First Serum Review: Drunk Elephant Glycolic Night Serum vs. Sunday Riley Good Genes

These 2 serums I’m reviewing today were among the most popular skincare items in 2016, and they are the Drunk Elephant glycolic night serum & Sunday Riley Good Genes. Now that I’ve used up both, I do have a favorite and some thoughts around their performance.

P.S. I try to post mini product reviews on Instagram and here is my Instagram ID: skincarejunkie_03 

My skin type: acne-prone combination skin. A bit sensitive from time to time.

Skin concerns: acne, pores, skin texture

I already got rid of the Good Genes bottle but it was included in my older empties posts. I’ve just used up the Drunk Elephant glycolic night serum recently so here is how it looks like in case you are interested.


How did they perform on my skin and which one did I like better?

  • Ingredients & improvement to my skin texture: Both use acids (different choices) as one of the main ingredients and that’s why they are considered “treatment serums” rather than regular hydrating serums. Both are effective on me with gradual and noticeable improvements to my pores and skin texture. No loser, win-win.
  • Keep my acne-prone skin at bay: the Drunk Elephant night serum works better. The Good Genes is great when used together with Sunday Riley Luna oil but is not as miraculous when used on its own.
  • Application: I used Good Genes before Luna oil, opposite to the application order suggested by Sunday Riley and I like it better so I don’t have to wait till Luna is all absorbed before adding Good Genes. I usually use about 2 pumps each time on my face and neck. It stung me a little bit from time to time.

With Drunk Elephant, I’ve found that 1 pump works best. Anything more than that might either irritate or dry out my skin. I think they are on par in terms of application ease & feel.

  • Packaging: both bottles use pumps, which is  the recommended packaging for skincare ingredients that might lose their vibrancy when exposed to air or light. The Good Genes bottle is heavier and looks more luxury but I like the witty twist-up simple packaging from Drunk Elephant. Both are decent but I like Drunk Elephant a tiny bit better for my personal taste. No complaint here.
  • Scent: ugh I hate to be mean but Good Genes smells awful and I don’t even have a sensitive nose. It’s almost unbearable when I first applied it but it doesn’t linger on you luckily. The Drunk Elephant serum is scentless to me and I prefer that. Clear winner: Drunk Elephant!
  • Price: the Drunk Elephant night serum retails at $90 for 1 oz and Good Genes retails at $105 for 1 oz. Not only is Drunk Elephant more affordable but I also feel I need to buy Sunday Riley Luna oil together with Good Genes to maximize the results (based on my experience) so Drunk Elephant wins in this category.

Based on the above, Drunk Elephant is a better choice for my skin and preferences. Let me know in comments what you think if you’ve tried either one or both or have any additional thoughts!

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12 thoughts on “2017 First Serum Review: Drunk Elephant Glycolic Night Serum vs. Sunday Riley Good Genes

  1. Have you used Alpha H liquid gold? I’m normal dry skin and have been using it a year now, a nurse in hospital kept asking me to repeat my date of birth she thought I was 10 years younger! It has made my pores smaller, and helped with fine lines, texture and dryness around my nose. Great review as per usual x

    Liked by 1 person

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