Firming & Lifting Eye Gel

by Algenist  
Price:
$68 - 0.5 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Retinol Products > Eye Moisturizers
Last Updated:
11/18/2013
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
No

This lightweight, fragrance-free eye gel contains some excellent anti-aging ingredients for all skin types, but none of them can lift sagging skin around the eyes, and this gel isn’t necessary to get the benefits of anti-aging ingredients. See More Info to find out what you can do to help sagging skin and why you may not need an eye gel.

What about the alguronic acid mentioned in the claims? Is that special? Alguronic acid (listed as algae exopolysaccharides) is present in every product from Algenist. The story about this ingredient is similar to that for the algae included in La Mer products. In Algenist's case, their 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, you guessed it, Algenist. There is no independent, published research supporting Algenist's anti-aging claims, 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).

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.

On the upside, Algenist went beyond their alguronic acid ingredient and formulated this gel to contain a good mix of water-binding agents, antioxidants, soothing ingredients, and some cell-communicating peptides (though the rebuilding claims for these peptides are suspect). Those ingredients are great for skin all over the face, and most of them have reliable research proving their worth. Although you don't need to purchase a special gel for the eye area, if you choose to do so (and your budget allows), this formula deserves our top rating.

Pros:
  • Fragrance-free.
  • Silky texture contains anti-irritants to reduce puffy eyes (assuming eyes are puffy from irritation, not from age-related sagging).
  • Contains a very good mix of anti-aging ingredients.
Cons:
  • Expensive.
  • Cannot make good on its lifting claims.

More Info:

Why You May Not Need an Eye Cream

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.

This lightweight, refreshing gel combines Alguronic Acid + ProPeptide3 to stimulate synthesis of skin’s key structural proteins, rebuilding skin density while firming, tightening and lifting the delicate skin around the eyes.

Water (Aqua), Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Algae Exopolysaccharides, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Medicago Sativa (Alfalfa) Seed Extract, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Seed Extract, Pisum Sativum (Pea) Extract, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Hydrolyzed Lupine Protein, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Tripeptide-1, Acetyl Tetrapeptide-9, Acetyl Dipeptide-1 Cetyl Ester, Tocopheryl Acetate, Glycosaminoglycans, Phospholipids, Caffeine, Squalane, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Dimethicone/PEG-10/15 Crosspolymer, Aminomethyl Propanol, Disodium EDTA, Dextran, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Polysorbate 60, Sorbitan Laurate, Phenoxyethanol, Silica

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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