Complete Eye Renewal Balm

by Algenist  
Price:
$65 - 0.5 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Retinol Products > Eye Moisturizers
Last Updated:
11/18/2013
Jar Packaging:
Yes
Tested On Animals:
No

This fragrance-free emollient eye cream makes all the usual claims of reducing wrinkles while diminishing dark circles, puffiness, and the vague "signs of fatigue." Yet it isn't "complete" in the least, or even helpful if you use it during the day because it doesn't contain sunscreen. Many of the problems around the eye are caused by or made worse by exposure to the sun. The eye area needs sun protection to stay young, just as much as skin on any other part of your face or body.

While this does contain some very good anti-aging ingredients, the choice of jar packaging means they won't remain stable once this eye cream is opened. Please see More Info for details on why jar packaging is a problem.

This eye cream contains several types of seaweed, all of which have water-binding properties for skin. That's nice and the formula itself is suitable for dry skin around the eyes or elsewhere, but the truth is, a separate product labeled an eye cream to take care of the eye area isn't a necessity (See More Info to find out why).

While this product also contains peptides and antioxidants, none of them, including the seaweed and algae, will remain stable thanks to the jar packaging. Once these kinds of ingredients are exposed to air they begin to break down and lose their effectiveness.

As for the anti-aging claims made for alguronic acid (listed as algae exopolysaccharides), it's not the miracle worker it's made out to be, at least not when measured against published research proving the benefits of many other anti-aging ingredients. Refer to More Info for details on alguronic acid.

Pros:
  • Contains some great emollients and skin-repairing ingredients for dry skin anywhere on the face.
  • Fragrance-free.
Cons:
  • Expensive.
  • Jar packaging won't keep the most beneficial anti-aging ingredients stable during use.
  • Alguronic acid isn't a must-have (or even a proven) ingredient for looking younger.

More Info:

The fact that it's packaged in a jar means the beneficial ingredients won't remain stable once it is opened. All plant extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air, so once a jar is opened and lets the air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate. Jars also are unsanitary because you're dipping your fingers into them with each use, adding bacteria, which further deteriorate the beneficial ingredients.

Most eye creams aren't necessary. That's either because they are poorly formulated, contain nothing special for the eye area, or come in packaging that won't keep key ingredients stable. Just because the product is labeled as an eye cream doesn't mean it's good for your eye area; in fact, many can actually make matters worse.

There is much you can do to improve signs of aging around your eyes. Any product loaded with antioxidants, skin-repairing ingredients, skin-lightening ingredients, anti-inflammatory ingredients, and effective emollients will work wonders and those ingredients don't have to come from a product labeled as an eye cream.

You would be shocked how many eye creams lack even the most basic ingredients to help skin. For example, most eye creams don't contain sunscreen. During the day that is a serious problem because it leaves the skin around your eyes vulnerable to sun damage and this absolutely will make dark circles, puffiness, and wrinkles worse!

Whatever product you put around your eye area, regardless of what it is labeled, must be well formulated and appropriate for the skin type around your eyes! That may mean you need an eye cream, but you may also do just as well applying your regular facial moisturizer around your eyes.

Alguronic acid is present in every product from Algenist. The story about this ingredient is similar to that for the algae included in Creme de La Mer products. In Algenist's case, alguronic acid was derived from a specific type of micro-algae originally studied as a source of renewable energy. Not surprisingly, the only information about this ingredient being effective for skin comes from Algenist. There is no independent, published research supporting the anti-aging claims being made, and the studies Algenist claims to have carried out are not available for full review (plus most of the studies were done in a petri dish, not on human skin).

Please keep in mind that, regardless of the claims, skin needs more than one ingredient to help it look and act younger—there is no miracle ingredient that can do it all. Alguronic acid isn't a harmful ingredient, but how beneficial (or not) it is for skin remains to be seen.

A rich yet lightweight moisturizing and soothing balm for the eye area formulated with the revolutionary anti-aging ingredient Alguronic Acid to diminish signs of aging and fatigue, decreasing the appearance of puffiness and dark circles while tightening and firming the skin around the eyes.

Water, Stearic Acid, Isopropyl Isostearate, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Pentylene Glycol, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Cetearyl Alcohol, Undaria Pinnatifida Extract, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Algae Exopolysacharides, Alaria Esculenta Extract, Bambusa Vulgaris (Bamboo) Leaf/Stem Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Caffeine, Tetrapeptide-21, Dipeptide-2, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Malus Domestica Fruit (Apple) Cell Culture Extract, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Leaf Extract, Glucosamine HCL, Pisum Sativum (Pea) Extract, Inula Crithmoide Extract, Phospholipids, N-Hydroxysuccinimide, Chrysin, Hesperidin Methyl Chalcone, Lecithin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Steareth-20, Ceteareth-20, Butylene Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Aminomethyl Propanol, Potassium Sorbate, Chlorhexidine Digluconate, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol

Algenist is a small, rather expensive range of skin-care products sold at Sephora with a focus on anti-aging. Like several other cosmetics companies, Algenist has based their brand on a single ingredient, an ingredient they claim has superior benefits for skin and that, therefore, is worth the steep price tag. In this case, it was the "accidental" discovery of a substance found in algae. As the story goes, a group of biotechnology scientists were looking for ways to use something called microalgae as a renewable source of energy when they stumbled upon a compound known as alguronic acid. Their research revealed that alguronic acid is one of the compounds responsible for regenerating and protecting algae cells.

Figuring they were on to something, the company did further in vitro testing (although the details of their tests are not available, so you only have a science-fiction style story, not facts) and, of course, found that alguronic acid had anti-aging benefits on skin, too. Aside from having no idea what their studies did or didn't really show, in vitro means this ingredient was examined in a petri dish, not directly on human skin. They did limited testing on human skin, but many key details of these "studies" are not available. Instead, we're asked to accept that their ingredient made a remarkable difference. At the time of this writing, there isn't a single published study attesting to the claims Algenist makes for alguronic acid—so you're taking an expensive leap of faith in buying these products!

Before you get seduced by Algenist's claims and their explanation about how algae reproduces, let us tell you—it has no relation to how human skin works. Algae is about as related to human skin as a 747 jetliner is to roller skates.

Whether the story about alguronic acid being the answer for your skin is true or not, it is critical to keep in mind that skin, and skin care, is far more complex than one allegedly miraculous ingredient. Think of it like your diet: As healthy as green tea is, if that's all you consumed, you'd soon be malnourished. Just like your diet should contain a healthy mix of nutritious foods, your skin (which is your body's largest organ) needs a wide array of helpful ingredients to become and remain smooth, healthy, and, yes, able to look and act younger.

To Algenist's credit, their products contain more than just alguronic acid. Most of them have a good blend of skin-repairing and antioxidant ingredients, although the ones they call out as key ingredients (such as apple stem cells) have no real published research proving their efficacy. Despite the fact that their products contain some tried-and-true anti-aging ingredients, Algenist makes the same mistakes as many other lines, such as using jar packaging (which won't keep any of the beneficial ingredients stable during use) and including fragrance or fragrant plant extracts to give the products an appealing scent. Fragrance isn't skin care and, in fact, more often than not, will cause irritation that hurts your skin's ability to look and act younger!

In the end, Algenist is not a must-have line, and it certainly isn't worth expanding your beauty budget to afford. There are some acceptable to impressive options for those who don't mind spending more than they need to for effective products, but you'll find a wider, often better range of options on our list of Best Anti-Aging/Anti-Wrinkle Products.

For more information about Algenist, call (877) 650-1837 or visit www.algenist.com.

Note: Algenist lists the alguronic acid in their products as algae exopolysaccharides, which is the accepted cosmetic labeling name for alguronic acid.

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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