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Algenist Complete Eye Renewal Balm and Alguronic Acid

Is a Solution for:
Sagging Skin, Puffy Eyes
March 9, 2011 Reviewed by Marta 12 Comments
A new brand has recently launched on QVC and Sephora called Algenist, which has as its signature ingredient something called Alguronic Acid™.

The beauty industry – for reasons that I have never quite understood – loves positioning new products as if they were stumbled upon by accident. For example, StriVectin, we are supposed to believe, was designed as a treatment for stretch marks but testers misread the instructions and used it on their faces thereby witnessing the miraculous depletion of their wrinkles. Algenist and Alguronic Acid came about when scientists at a company called Solazyme “unexpectedly discovered alguronic acid after studying thousands of microalgae strains for renewable energy solutions.”

I doubt whether it was all that “unexpected” since Solazyme is in the business of converting algae into something it calls algal oil that in turn is used to make biofuels, surfactants, cosmetic ingredients and edible oils for animal and human foods.

Whether algal oil and alguronic acid are one and the same thing I can’t say, but in any case neither appear in the Algenist product that I (randomly) took a look at, the Algenist Complete Eye Renewal Balm ($65). Solazyme says that Alguronic Acid is polysaccharides extracted from algae and, there, in the Algenist eye cream’s ingredients are “algae exopolysacharides”. Solazyme says that they stimulate collagen and it refers to “women in clinical studies” who had great results, although I couldn’t find any specific information on these trials.

It is a shame that marketing twaddle has got in the way of what is in many ways a very good product. Algenist Complete Eye Renewal Balm has many good ingredients going for it – some of them are on the anti-aging hit parade. There’s the increasingly ubiquitous Matrixyl 3000 (although that isn’t to denigrate what is a good active). Another peptide, dipeptide-2, is thought to promote lymphatic drainage and is, therefore, used in eye creams to combat puffiness. Caffeine may also be helpful in that respect and hesperidin methyl chalcone is used to diminish dark circles.

There are some relatively unusual ingredients here. Undaria pinnatifida extract is phytessence wakame and is still used only rarely in anti-aging cosmetics although it is supposed to help in inhibiting hyaluronidase, thereby preventing the deterioration of the extracellular matrix. Also relatively uncommon is tetrapeptide-21, about which little is known except that its makers (Lipotec) say it prevents DNA damage. Inula crithmoide extract is a totally new one for me, although researching it for this post I have found that it crops up a few hair care products by Alterna. It has antioxidant properties, according to studies. Other antioxidants include raspberry, pea and apple cell culture extract.

It is an impressive line up, especially for a mid-priced product. To be sure, Algenist Complete Eye Renewal Balm has its fair share (perhaps slightly more than) of fillers, silicones, copolymers, steareths, and harsh preservatives, such as chlorhexidine digluconate. They would probably put me off buying this product, but the lack of substance behind Alguronic Acid had already done that.


Water/Eau (Aqua), Stearic Acid, Isopropyl Isostearate, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Pentylene Glycol, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Cetearyl Alcohol, Undaria Pinnatifida Extract, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Algae Exopolysacharides, Alaria Esculenta Extract, Bambusa Vulgaris (Bamboo) Leaf/Stem Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Caffeine, Tetrapeptide-21, Dipeptide-2, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Malus Domestica Fruit (Apple) Cell Culture Extract, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Leaf Extract, Glucosamine HCL, Pisum Sativum (Pea) Extract, Inula Crithmoide Extract, Phospholipids, N-Hydroxysuccinimide, Chrysin, Hesperidin Methyl Chalcone, Lecithin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Steareth-20, Ceteareth-20, Butylene Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Aminomethyl Propanol, Potassium Sorbate, Chlorhexidine Digluconate, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol.
  • October 14, 2012

    by Susan

    I picked up a sample of the concentrated reconstructing serum. I was really amazed at the difference . (one week) .I just turned 58 and one of my coworkers said your skin looks amazing. He thought I was taking supplements.I am going to purchase the whole line...

  • March 15, 2012

    by Raquel

    I am 30 years old and just started using this product about a week and half ago. After using other $60-80 dollar eye creams I have to say that the Algenist Complete Eye Renewal Balm is the only one that has minimized my ultra-fine lines underneath my eyes. Obviously, it hasn't gotten rid of the other fine lines but I have noticed a greater difference with this product. Maybe after six weeks of use I will notice a bigger difference. Puffiness has also gone down, but as far as the mild darkness that I have - well I haven't notice a difference there - though I do have olive complexion and without good rest I don't think any potion will rid me of the darkness. I am just happy see improvement on the ultrafine lines - brings me back to mid-20's :) Hope this helps for anyone curious to try the eye cream. Algenist should pay me for this post.

  • May 16, 2011

    by Holly

    I've tried A LOT of eye creams and when I saw the reduced sizes of Algenist being sold on QVC, I decided to give it a try. After about 6 weeks of use, I can honestly say I notice some improvement in fine lines. However, what I like most is that it is very moisturizing but lightweight and works great under makeup. It doesn't fill in the lines around the eyes but it does soften them. I will be purchasing a full size container.

  • April 16, 2011

    by Jan

    Even with all the hype to get us ladies to buy, buy, buy something's nice to know that there are some who are ready to test it and give their honest opinion. I am anxious to try it, or at least read everyones review on this product. Thanks

  • April 15, 2011

    by melissa

    I am an eye cream junkie. I have environmental allergies and my area ages my face beyond its 32 years. I would love to try this product to see if it not only lives up to the hype but works for my sensitive skin. Thanks

  • April 14, 2011

    by Susan

    I'm so thrilled that I found your site; it's intelligent, honest and manages to be entertaining as well. I'd love to try out this product - I wouldn't mind a little "collagen stimulation" around the eyes!

  • April 13, 2011

    by Lesley Anne

    Hi Marta,
    I'm new to your web site and am amazed at the information you have made available. I just purchased a bottle of ReLuma and was considering a side by side comparison with a Philosophy product I had just opened. Knowing what I now know, I had much rather compare it with something that may be worthy of the match. If you don't mind someone so new to your site, I would love to be considered for testing the Algenist product. Thank you.

  • April 13, 2011

    by Kelly Owens

    Marta, between you and Paula Begoun,I have avoided shelling out thousands of dollars on hype and bogus "research." As the owner of an advertising agency, I know EXACTLY how to word a compelling ad for a product without making any substantial promises, and yet I still fall for the dream. I'd love to try the Algenist eye cream, as I have just run out of my hands-down favorite Image Skincare's Ageless Eyes (physician/aesthetician only). And I'll write a review with great grammar and spelling :)

  • April 13, 2011

    by Naheed

    I totally agree with the reviewers above. It's mostly the marketing hype. I would like to see a product to work on my under eye bags and wrinkles n be able to say "the proof is in the pudding". So come on Marta, send me the product and I'll give you my honest opinion about this new "wonder" ingredient. TIA

  • April 13, 2011

    by Janice

    I will never cease to be amazed at what passes for research-are any of these companies aware of the clinical trial process that products undergo to be approved by the FDA? As many times as the FDA has dropped the ball I still wish cosmetics fell under FDA rule here in the US. There is always a "new" ingredient with no "real" genuine research behind it but only anecdotal subjective reviews by people who may likely have a vested interest in saying the product is wonderful.

  • April 4, 2011

    by joe

    just like u dont have a clue if Alguronic Acid does nothing and is another
    marketing gimmick.. you also do not have a clue if it indeed does something.

    so while your research is respectable and admirable, it is not geniune
    research. I guess the whole truth in aging concept, pusdes u in the direction like this but please u dont know what u r writing about.

  • March 25, 2011

    by Emily

    I thought I read it on TIA first!!
    There is a big piece in the Style Section of the Thursday 3/24 New York Times about this line, the big launch, and a variety of comments by dermatologist "experts."
    (Not sure I don't feel more comfortable with TIA's assessment!)

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