Algenist's Repairing Tint & Radiance Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 doesn't come with a lot of lofty claims, simply stating that it can even out skin tone while providing broad spectrum sun protection. On those counts it absolutely does what it says, which is why this tinted moisturizer skin earns our three-star recommendation. There are a couple of factors, however, that limit its appeal—which is why it fell short of earning our highest rating. On balance, this is a good option for normal to slightly dry skin.
This creamy tinted moisturizer comes in a squeeze tube with a twist-off cap. The formula has a silky feel, thanks to the silicones it contains, and these ingredients help it glide across skin during application. Even though this is labeled as a tinted moisturizer, it's pigmented enough that you don't need a lot to get medium coverage of redness and other skin imperfections.
The finish is slightly dewy, making this a good option for normal to slightly dry skin. If your skin is oily, you'll likely find this emphasizes shine, and very dry skin won't find this quite moisturizing enough, though you can always apply a moisturizer underneath. This wears well throughout the day without fading or highlighting fine wrinkles or pores.
When it comes to ingredients, true to its claims, Repairing Tint & Radiance Moisturizer SPF 30 does provide reliable broad-spectrum sun protection thanks to an in-part titanium dioxide sunscreen that also includes the sunscreen actives octinoxate, octisalate and oxybenzone. Also included are some antioxidants such as vitamin E that will help protect skin from free-radical damage, which in turn helps boost that sun protection. Rounding out the ingredients are some good emollients and skin conditioning agents, like glycerin and algae oil, and they're in packaging that will keep them stable.
There are only two drawbacks to this tinted moisturizer: The scent, and the color options. Though fragrance is one of the very last ingredients included here, this still has a moderate to strong baby powder scent that lingers for a couple of hours, so this isn't a recommended for those who prefer their face products to be fragrance-free.
The second ding is that while the Light and Light-Medium shades offered are natural-looking on their intended skin tones, the Medium and Tan shades have a slight orange cast that is trickier to work with, especially given this formula provides more coverage than the average tinted moisturizer. These caveats aside, if you can find a shade that suits your skin tone and don't have sensitive skin, this is a good tinted moisturizer that provides broad-spectrum sun protection.
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.
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