01.27.2015
0
23
Algenist
Gentle Rejuvenating Cleanser
Rating
4 fl. oz. for $25
Category:Skin Care > Cleansers (including Cleansing Cloths) > Cleansers/Soaps
Last Updated:01.27.2015
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Overview

This is a good, though overpriced, foaming lotion cleanser for normal to dry skin. It contains some intriguing anti-aging ingredients, but for the most part, as with any cleanser, they are rinsed down the drain. It's disappointing, though not a deal-breaker, that this cleanser also contains a small amount of potentially irritating ingredients such as witch hazel water and citrus extracts. Although not likely to be problematic because of the small amount included, this cleanser would be better without them. Please see More Info to learn why irritation is a problem.

This cleanser does a good job of removing makeup and rinses without leaving a skin-dulling residue. Aside from the potentially irritating ingredients (but again, they are present in fairly low amounts), the only drawback is the price. Please see More Info for details on alguronic acid (listed as algae exopolysaccharides) and the claims associated with it.

Pros:
  • Cleanses thoroughly and removes makeup without drying skin.
  • Contains ingredients that leave skin feeling smooth and soft.
Cons:
  • Expensive.
  • Contains a small amount of ingredients that put skin at risk for irritation.
  • Alguronic acid isn't a proven superstar ingredient for aging skin.

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.

Claims

This gentle, lathering daily facial wash cleanses and removes makeup without drying the skin. Alguronic Acid promotes cell turnover while oat amino acids and witch hazel remove impurities. The skin is smooth, revived, and radiant.

Ingredients

Water, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Stearic Acid, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone PEG-8 Meadowfoamate, Hamamelis Virginiana Water (Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water), Algae Exopolysaccharides, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Lauroyl Oat Amino Acids, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Pyrus Malus Fruit Extract (Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract), Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract), Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract), Arctostaphylos Uva Ursi Leaf Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract), Jojoba Alcohol, Potassium Jojobate, Glycerin, Lauryl Lactyl Lactate, Butylene Glycol, Benzoic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Sodium Chloride, Xanthan Gum, Ethylhexylglycerin

Brand Overview

Algenist At-a-Glance

Strengths: Good facial cleanser and toner; select serums and moisturizers formulated with an impressive mix of anti-aging ingredients; Targeted Deep Wrinkle Minimizer really does make wrinkles less apparent.

Weaknesses: Expensive; the star ingredient (a modified form of algae) doesn't have reliable research to support its anti-aging efficacy; jar packaging; some of the moisturizers contain eucalyptus oil, which can be a potent irritant.

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.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia 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 Begoun herself.

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