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Algenist Concentrated Reconstructing Serum

Is a Solution for:
Sagging Skin
July 8, 2011 Reviewed by Marta 12 Comments
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.


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.
  • December 28, 2017

    by Lacey

    I know this article is old, but thank you for posting it. Algenist is on sale at ulta. On impulse I bought some products. They are unopened and I was thinking of returning them based on the reviews and this sealed the deal. Thanks again.

  • March 25, 2016

    by Lisa Ehrlich

    Hi...Have you found serums or creams that you have found to be a clean product that actually works? Works to help reduce lines and sagging? Thanks Lisa

  • July 9, 2011

    by Marta

    I working on it Dennis. Believe me, I'm working on it.

  • July 9, 2011

    by Marta

    I'm afraid it was Mad Hippie. They have reformulated it and it is the new one and it just isn't right for me. We've had a good review of their vitamin C serum, so it might just be me.

  • July 9, 2011

    by Dennis

    Julie, isn't it usually the rule, that the worse the product the costlier it is?

  • July 9, 2011

    by Julie Kay

    And still they charge $95... is $100 the price point? I won't pay it. ~jk

  • July 9, 2011

    by Dennis

    I know, Marta! still kind of a bummer! we do look up to you, you know. We need a breakthrough!

  • July 9, 2011

    by Jennifer

    Which eye cream was that, Marta?!! I want to make sure it's not on my list-of-beauty-products-to-buy!

  • July 9, 2011

    by Marta

    Its called aging Dennis. We can't stop the clock, only keep on fighting the good fight.

    Also, although I do try to use the best stuff I can find, I also test a lot products and sometimes I do get setbacks. For instance, recently I used an eye cream that actually started to make me look older and I had to stop and switch back to YBF Correct.

  • July 9, 2011

    by Dennis

    It is a little demoralizing to know that even though you have access to the best products, "faint lines" are still emerging!

  • July 8, 2011

    by Marta

    Thank you Theresa. That is very helpful and it led me to find this patent application about using Hydroxyphenoxy Propionic Acid as a skin lightening ingredient
    The application mentions that it is commonly used as "intermediates for herbicides or dyes". But now I know why it has been included here.

  • July 8, 2011

    by Theresa

    The Hydroxyphenoxy Propionic Acid is a skin lightening ingredient with the tradename Raidanskin. The manufacturer claims it has a good safety profile and that in vitro it has been shown to protect against UVB damage.

    Here are a few links with some information on this ingredient:

    Also, here is a neat write up of the Algenist products which lists all the active ingredients in the products:

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