Concentrated Reconstructing Serum

by Algenist  
Price:
$95 - 1 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Serums > Serums
Last Updated:
11/18/2013
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
No

Claiming to be an advanced serum, this product is supposed to rebuild firmness and enhance skin's elasticity. It does contain an interesting array of intriguing ingredients (mostly antioxidants) to improve skin texture and moisture retention, but nothing of note that isn't available in other serums that cost a lot less.

Please see More Info for details on why the overhyped ingredient alguronic acid in this product (listed as algae exopolysaccharides) isn't a must-have for your skin.

Despite the mostly impressive formula, what ends up being a deterrent, especially considering the price tag, is the inclusion of fragrant citrus extracts. These potentially put your skin at risk for irritation that will keep it from looking and acting younger; plus, fragrance isn't skin care. Please see our Best Serums list for options that really do reduce signs of aging.

Note: This serum is dispensed via a dropper applicator. Although not the ideal method to dispense a serum that contains light- and air-sensitive ingredients, sometimes this type of packaging is necessary due to formulary requirements. When that’s the case, the goal is to keep the bottle opening as small as possible, the bottle should be opaque or specially coated to protect the contents from light, and you should use the serum up within three months of opening.

Pros:
  • Contains some proven antioxidants and other anti-aging ingredients.
Cons:
  • Expensive, especially given that the first few ingredients are commonplace.
  • Key ingredient alguronic acid isn't proven, nor is it a better anti-aging ingredient than countless others.
  • Contains fragrant plant extracts that put skin at risk for irritation.

More Info:

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, instead of 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.

Irritation, whether you see it on the surface of your skin or not, causes inflammation and as a result impairs healing, damages collagen, and depletes the vital substances your skin needs to stay young. For this reason, it is best to eliminate, or minimize as much as possible, your exposure to known skin irritants, especially when there are brilliant formulas available that do not include these types of problematic ingredients.

A smooth, advanced anti-aging serum formulated with a high concentration of the revolutionary ingredient Alguronic Acid to rebuild skin firmness and elasticity while restoring skin density and elasticity. Wrinkles are minimized and skin radiance is boosted.

Water, Dimethicone, Isononyl Isononanoate, Pentylene Glycol, Glycerin, Saccharum Officinarum Extract, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Butylene Glycol, Glyceryl Stearate, Hydroxyphenoxy Propionic Acid, PEG-100 Stearate, Niacinamide, Algae Exopolysaccharides, Tetrapeptide-21, Beta-Glucan, Algae Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Malus Domestica Fruit (Apple) Cell Culture Extract, Inula Crithmoide Extract, Bambusa Vulgaris (Bamboo) Leaf/Stem Extract, Glucosamine HCL, Pisum Sativum (Pea) Extract, Ergothioneine, Cetearyl Alcohol, Lecithin, Sorbitol, Xanthan Gum, Ethylhexylglycerin, Caprylyl Glycol, Ceteareth-20, Sclerotium Gum, Propanediol, Sodium Hydroxide, Hexylene Glycol, Sodium Benzoate, Disodium EDTA, 1,2-Hexanediol, Benzoic Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Citral, Fragrance, 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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