Overnight Restorative Cream

by Algenist  
Price:
$90 - 2 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Moisturizers (Daytime and Nighttime) > Moisturizer without Sunscreen
Last Updated:
11/18/2013
Jar Packaging:
Yes
Tested On Animals:
No

This emollient, creamy moisturizer for dry skin contains some excellent ingredients to help repair the skin's surface and leave a smooth, radiant finish. Unfortunately (and this is a big letdown given the price), many of the most beneficial ingredients will lose their potency because this is packaged in a jar. Please see More Info for details on why jar packaging is a problem.

Despite the high price, if this had better packaging it would earn our recommendation, but not because Algenist's heavily touted alguronic acid is a must-have ingredient. Listed on the product label as algae exopolysaccharides, there is no substantiated research proving alguronic acid promotes "cell renewal to improve skin structure." Any of the moisturizers on our Best Moisturizers list contain a great range of proven ingredients, plus they're in packaging that keeps them stable during use, which is critically important. In short, alguronic acid isn't the anti-aging answer, though this moisturizer has some great qualities for dry skin.

Pros:
  • Contains some excellent ingredients to improve dry skin and leave a smooth finish.
Cons:
  • Expensive.
  • Alguronic acid isn't a must-have (or even a proven) ingredient for renewing skin.
  • Jar packaging won't keep key ingredients stable during use, so you're getting reduced anti-aging benefits.

More Info:

The fact that this night cream is 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.

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.

An intensely nourishing, restoring night cream that repairs and renews the skin overnight. The regenerative power of Alguronic Acid promotes cell renewal to improve skin structure while peptides nourish the skin and reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

Water, Isopropyl Isostearate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Glycerin, Stearic Acid, Squalane, Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Pentylene Glycol, Algae Exopolysaccharides, Algae Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Citrullus Vulgaris (Watermelon) Fruit Extract), Lens Esculenta (Lentil) Fruit Extract), Oleanolic Acid, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Enantia Chlorantha Bark Extract, Crithmum Maritimum Extract, Silybum Marianum Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ceteareth-20, Dimethicone, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Sodium Hydroxide, Caprylyl Glycol, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Hexylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance, Sodium PCA, Carbomer, Polysorbate 20, Sodium Lactate, Ethylhexylglycerin

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.

Member Comments

Summary of Member Comments

  1. How would you rate the results? (4 = Best)

    4 / 4 Best
  2. Was this product a good value? (4 = Best)

    4 / 4 Best
  3. Would you recommend this product? (4 = Best)

    4 / 4 Best
Page of 1
  1. Amanda C
    Reviewed on Monday, September 29, 2014
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    Great moisturizer
    • I have seen great results with this product. I have been using it for almost a year and am halfway through my second jar. Most moisturizers I have tried are either not hydrating enough (I wake up and my skin is dry again), or contain too-strong or acidic ingredients that cause redness and irritation. I was disappointed that this product contains fragrance, but it hasn't caused any problems for me. My fine lines have almost disappeared and my skin feels more supple. I would definitely recommend.

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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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