Algenist GENIUS Sleeping Collagen
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Algenist

GENIUS Sleeping Collagen

2.00 fl. oz. for $ 98.00
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Brand Overview

Algenist’s GENIUS Sleeping Collagen is described by the brand as a “unique beauty cream”, but really the only unique aspect is the vegan collagen this contains. Otherwise, it’s a mixed bag nighttime moisturizer for dry to very dry skin.

Normally collagen is sourced from animals (typically chicken or fish) because pure collagen does not naturally occur in plants. However, plants do contain various levels of protein, and it seems Algenist has extracted those and lab-created what they refer to as vegan collagen. This is exciting if you’re vegan and want to see what a non-animal source of collagen can do for your skin, but if that’s not what you’re looking for, the story becomes less exciting.

Regardless of how much collagen a product contains (or its source), collagen in skin care cannot fuse with or stimulate collagen in your skin. It’s not a “genius” ingredient to look younger, but because of its high concentration here, it can effectively replenish and hydrate skin, so it’s certainly not useless for topical application, either.

A chief problem of this balm-like cream is its translucent jar packaging. Algenist’s patented algae-derived alguronic acid plus other light- and air-sensitive beneficial ingredients simply don’t fare well in this type of packaging (see More Info for details).

From a formulary perspective, this contains ceramides, proven hydrating ingredients, and some intriguing antioxidants, all the more reason this should’ve been packaged in opaque, airless packaging. The algae oil (Chlorella protothecoides) is a rich source of nutrients and skin-soothing compounds, but their benefit will be fleeting in a wide-mouthed jar.

Last, although this isn’t strongly scented, as we detail in More Info, its sweet, slightly citrus scent still poses a risk of irritating skin--and it contains additional fragrance compounds (linalool, phenethyl alcohol, and others) that can trigger oxidation on skin that’s exposed to air. Of course, such exposure is impossible to avoid, so in our estimation it doesn’t make sense to choose skin care that comes with such a risk. Check out our list of best moisturizers for dry skin instead.

Pros:
  • Balm-like cream texture makes dry skin feel protected and soft.
  • Contains ceramides, proven hydrating ingredients, and antioxidants.
  • Algae oil is a rich source of nutrients and skin-soothing compounds.
Cons:
  • Jar packaging won’t keep the air- and light-sensitive ingredients stable once opened.
  • Contains fragrant ingredients that pose a risk of irritating skin.

More Info:

Jar Packaging & Anti-Aging Moisturizers: Beneficial anti-aging ingredients, which include all plant extracts, almost all vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients, are unstable, which means they begin to break down in the presence of air. Once a jar is opened and lets air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate, becoming less and less effective. Routine exposure to daylight also is problematic for these ingredients.

Jar packaging is also unsanitary because you dip your fingers into the jar with each use, contaminating the product. This stresses the preservative system, leading to further deterioration of the beneficial ingredients.

Remember: The ingredients that provide the most benefit in addressing visible signs of aging must be in airtight or air-restrictive packaging to remain effective throughout usage. Buying products in this type of packaging means that the ingredients have the best chance of remaining effective—to the benefit of your skin!

 

References for this information:
Pharmacology Review, July 2013, pages 97–106
Dermatologic Therapy, May-June 2012, pages 252–259
Current Drug Delivery, November 2011, pages 640–660
Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, May 2011, pages 4676–4683
Journal of Biophotonics, January 2010, pages 82–88
Guidelines of Stability Testing of Cosmetic Products, Colipa-CTFA, March 2004, pages 1–10

More Info:

Jar Packaging & Anti-Aging Moisturizers: Beneficial anti-aging ingredients, which include all plant extracts, almost all vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients, are unstable, which means they begin to break down in the presence of air. Once a jar is opened and lets air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate, becoming less and less effective. Routine exposure to daylight also is problematic for these ingredients.

Jar packaging is also unsanitary because you dip your fingers into the jar with each use, contaminating the product. This stresses the preservative system, leading to further deterioration of the beneficial ingredients.

Remember: The ingredients that provide the most benefit in addressing visible signs of aging must be in airtight or air-restrictive packaging to remain effective throughout usage. Buying products in this type of packaging means that the ingredients have the best chance of remaining effective—to the benefit of your skin!

 

References for this information:
Pharmacology Review, July 2013, pages 97–106
Dermatologic Therapy, May-June 2012, pages 252–259
Current Drug Delivery, November 2011, pages 640–660
Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, May 2011, pages 4676–4683
Journal of Biophotonics, January 2010, pages 82–88
Guidelines of Stability Testing of Cosmetic Products, Colipa-CTFA, March 2004, pages 1–10

Jar Packaging: Yes
Tested on animals: Yes

Sleeping Collagen goes to work on your skin overnight, during its optimal recovery time when uptake is at its peak. This unique buttery cream provides intense nourishment to the skin so you wake up with a fresh, glowing, and renewed complexion. An intense concentration of vegan plant collagen, collagen amino acids and ceramides helps provide for a visibly smoother, more cushioned and radiant appearance by morning.

Collagen, Water (Aqua, Eau), Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Cetearyl Methicone, Dimethicone, Cetearyl Alcohol, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Chlorella Protothecoides Oil, Polysorbate 60, Glyceryl Glucoside, Polyglyceryl-2 Stearate, Parachlorella Beijerinckii Exopolysaccharides, Collagen Amino Acids, Ceramide NP, Silybum Marianum Fruit Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Tocopherol, Carnosine, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Caprylyl Glycol, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol, Citric Acid, Lecithin, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Phytate, t-Butyl Alcohol, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Phenoxyethanol, Triethyl Citrate, Vanillin, Amyl Salicylate, Benzyl Acetate, Cedrus Atlantica Bark Oil, Phenethyl Alcohol, Ionone, Linalool.

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 acidso 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 youit 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 team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.

Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.

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