When I first looked at the Algenist line (which recently launched at Sephora and QVC), I said that “marketing twaddle” was getting in the way of what might prove to be a good product line. Undeterred, Algenist’s marketing people sent me some samples and I have been testing the Concentrated Reconstructing Serum ($95) and I am impressed with the results, although I am not completely in love with the formula.

Lesley has been pitting Algenist’s eye cream against ReLuma. In the meantime, I have been using Algenist Concentrated Reconstructing Serum on my crow’s feet, neck and cheeks (where I faint smile line has started to emerge). Almost from the get go, my skin looked a little smoother and more hydrated and I immediately wondered if this was due to any ingredients that impart no more than a superficial effect – such as silicone and emollients.

Certainly silicone is the second most dominant ingredient after water, followed by a very common emollient. But then I was alarmed to discover a weed killer. Hydroxyphenoxy propionic acid is an agrochemical that is used as a herbicide. Propionic acid is a fungicide that in its pure form is corrosive and can cause severe burning and irritation. Obviously, it isn’t at a 100% concentration here, but Algenist has it way too high up the ingredient list – above its key anti-aging active – for my liking.

This is a shame because Algenist has some good things going on. Its signature active, which it calls “Alguronic Acid”, is based on polysaccharides extracted from algae. As I explained in my earlier post on Algenist, this is a proprietary ingredient and there is no independent research on it, but these polysaccharides are supposed to be collagen boosting.

Other useful anti-agers include a new(ish) peptide, tetrapeptide-21, about which little is known except that its makers (Lipotec) say it prevents DNA damage. It seems that most creams launched within the past year boast apple stem cells and Algenist’s Concentrated Reconstructing Serum is on the case. Reminding me a little of Juice Beauty’s apple stem cell serum, it also has apple and citrus extracts. There are also plenty of antioxidants in the form of pea extract, green tea, inula crithmoide and ergothioneine.

Although there is a lot to like here, I could do without the weed killer and, for that matter, the strong irritant sodium hydroxide, the controversial sodium benzoate and phenoxyethnanol and, ultimately, they will put me off buying Algenist.

Ingredients

Water/Eau (Aqua), Dimethicone, Isononyl Isononanoate, Pentylene Glycol, Glycerin, Saccharum Officinarum Extract, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Butylene Glycol, Glyceryl Stearate, Hydroxyphenoxy Propionic Acid, PEG-100 Stearate, Niacinamide, Algae Exopolysaccharides, Tetrapeptide-21, Beta-Glucan, Algae Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Malus Domestica Fruit (Apple) Cell Culture Extract, Inula Crithmoide Extract, Bambusa Vulgaris (Bamboo) Leaf/Stem Extract, Glucosamine HCL, Pisum Sativum (Pea) Extract, Ergothioneine, Cetearyl Alcohol, Lecithin, Sorbitol, Xanthan Gum,  Ethylhexylglycerin, Caprylyl Glycol, Ceteareth-20, Sclerotium Gum, Propanediol, Sodium Hydroxide, Hexylene Glycol, Sodium Benzoate, Disodium EDTA, 1,2-Hexanediol, Benzoic Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Citral, Fragrance (Parfum), Phenoxyethanol.