Algenist GENIUS Ultimate Anti-Aging Cream

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I had always believed that a face cream was rather mundane; it should leave your face hydrated and comfortable. Essentially you are purposely creating an occlusive barrier after having ripped it away with cleansing and treatment. To me that is not something that should be difficult, but take a moment to consider how complicated the skin’s moisture barrier’s task is: it has to prevent moisture loss, irritation from environmental aggressors, but yet not be too occlusive so as to form blemishes. With daily cleansing and exfoliating we disrupt this barrier every day, and yet our skin is so resilient that it keeps trying to recover itself. So a face cream is more like the exterior of a space shuttle, protecting our skin through umpteen changes in environment; that is awesome.

Back to the direct topic of face cream; I have been trying quite a few lately, and one that keeps coming back to mind is Algenist GENIUS Ultimate Anti-Aging Cream. It has a rather ‘big headliner’ name, and my skin is still relatively young so I cannot attest to the direct anti-aging benefits, but I can say that this is a face cream to consider if you seem to hate everything else on the market.

Purpose

A face cream to firm, lift, plump, brighten, and hydrate.

What’s so special about it?

Proprietary—and iconic—to Algenist, the GENIUS collection is formulated with alguronic acid and microalgae oil. This specific cream also contains plant-derived collagen, several root extracts, a complex of amino acids, shea butter, a bit of retinyl palmitate, and a ceramide.

How does it work?

Alguronic acid is a compound produced by microalgae (microscopic single-celled organisms) that has been demonstrated to firm, minimize pigmentation, and brighten the appearance of skin. Microalgae oil supports skin cell repair and the natural lipid barrier of skin through its levels of oleic acid (omega 9), phytosterols (similar to cholesterol which maintains moisture levels), tocopherols (vitamin E), and tocotrienols (vitamin E). The overall result of these ingredients should be visibly reduced wrinkles, reduced redness and sensitivity, reduced signs of hyperpigmentation characterized by brown spots, and increased levels of skin elasticity.

How often would I use it?

Twice daily on the face. Algenist says to avoid the eye area, and because this is mildly fragranced I would tend to agree. It works wonderfully over actives like vitamin C, retinoids, or exfoliating acids.

Results and thoughts

I miss this face cream a great deal. The texture was the first thing that caught me; it is this meringue-like texture in the jar but when you touch it and smooth it across the skin is melts into a light milk-like texture. Algenist promises results in 10 days with their product range, and I genuinely noticed a reduction in redness and dehydration lines within that time. When I was trialling this I was using The Ordinary Retinol 1%, which is noted for its high pure retinol concentration that is prone to irritating skin to the point of whole portions of my face having visible peeling. With a few days of using GENIUS Ultimate Anti-Aging Cream I had noticed the majority of that peeling had subsided, and three weeks in I was handling the retinol every day with ease.

As a whole, I think this is a brilliant cream for two categories of people:

  • Those who use other highly-active ingredients like retinoids and acids and want a no-frills face cream to allow their skin to better receive those actives.
  • Those who do not use any other highly-active ingredients, have no interest in them, and just want a face cream that makes their skin feel soft and comfortable.

If you read too closely into that you will realize that just-about covers everyone, and that is because I truly think this is a rather universal product. No this is not a thick product, but because it is so high in omega 9 it would reinforce the moisture barrier of someone with chronically dry skin and treat the issue rather than hiding it under a thick layer of oil. If you hate products with added fragrance you will not like this because it smell delightfully of fresh meringue, and if you are incredibly oily this may take some time to adjust to, but for most people I think this is a face cream to consider.

You can find Algenist GENIUS Ultimate Anti-Aging Cream at Sephora and LookFantastic.

Disclaimer: The product mentioned in this post was given to me free of charge. I receive countless products each month, and say nothing about the majority of them; I will only review a product if I think it is worthy of words, either negative or positive. Links are to the easiest and most common retailer. All opinions are my own and do not reflect those of the companies mentioned, nor my employer.

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Skincare Journal No. 6

As usual, I have overdone it with trying new skincare products in the last few weeks and my skin has been none too happy about it. For those curious, outside of what I have already posted about I have managed to try:

  • Algenist Algae Brightening Mask
  • Algenist GENIUS Ultimate Anti-Aging Bi-Phase Peel
  • Algenist GENIUS Ultimate Anti-Aging Melting Cleanser
  • Perricone H2 Elemental Energy Firming Face Mask
  • Perricone High Potency Face Firming Activator
  • La solution 10 de Chanel
  • Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer
  • Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation
  • Hourglass Illusion Hyaluronic Skin Tint
  • Hourglass Veil Fluid Makeup
  • Estée Lauder DoubleWear Nude Cushion Stick
  • Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Foundation

I actually enjoyed each of them for different reasons, but my skin just did not enjoy the multitude of new things happening all at once. I have went back to my tried-and-true routine: NIOD LVCE, NIOD CAIS, NIOD MMHC, and Differin. I have even taken to photographing my face each day to see the results, and after a week of stripping it back I have noticed a strong reduction in surface redness and blemish severity. In fact, I have not had any new blemishes all week. So while my routine may be boring, it seems to work. Maybe next week I will slip in something exciting…

Latest Launches No. 1

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Perricone MD CBx for Men

What is it: A science-based skincare collection for men.
Signature technology: Phytocannabinoids, which visibly calm irritation, balance oil production, and promote moisture-retention.
Who is it for: Men with the beginnings of fine lines, unbalanced oil, topical redness, and whose skin is often subjected to the environment and aggressive shaving.
How does it work: Cleanse skin with Super Clean Face Wash, a gel-to-foam cleanser featuring a gentle surfactant, vitamin E, aloe leaf juice, and glycerin. If you are shaving, do so and then follow with Soothing Post-Shave Treatment which features witch hazel, aloe leaf juice, ginseng root extract, barley seed extract, and green algae. Finish with Lightweight Moisturizer, a lotion-like cream high in cannabis sativa seed oil, shea butter, palmitoyl tripeptide-5, and sodium hyaluronate.
Thoughts: PRE:EMPT is a brilliant collection of products that I think anyone can use, and this seems to be built from the same concept; a simple formula with star antioxidants. My only worry is the fragrance, as this does have a woodsy scent which I always associate with irritation, but I have yet to go hands-on with the collection so we will see. From a marketing perspective, Perricone is one of the most universal skincare brands; they cater to all genders, and nearly every concern, and this and PRE:EMPT are great gateway collections to the brand. Now if only they would make a dedicated treatment collection for acne…
Shop: Perricone MD.

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StriVectin Advanced Acid

What is it: A trio of acid-based skincare products.
Signature technology: NIA-114 is featured in every product, paired with either hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid, or oleic fatty acid.
Who is it for: Those looking for targeted products to address the first signs of aging, including dryness, loss of elasticity, rough texture, dullness, and fine lines.
How does it work: NIA-114 is a proprietary niacin molecule to StriVectin that has an enhanced ability to penetrate the skin as compared to traditional niacin and niacinamide. NIA-114 stimulates the repair of DNA, strengthens the skin’s moisture barrier, encourages cell growth, and reduces pigmentation. The Advanced Acid collection has three products, each pairing NIA-114 with a potent acid. Glycolic Skin Reset Mask features micro-encapsulated glycolic acid to refine texture and fine lines, Hyaluronic Dual-Response Serum features 6 forms of hyaluronic acid plus ceramides to enhance moisture retention, while Oleic Rapid Recovery Milk features oleic fatty acid to restore the skin’s lipid barrier and restore plumpness and comfort.
Thoughts: People are often terrified of the word ‘acid’, but this collection shows the variety of acids available in skincare. Glycolic acid has years of research backing-up its ability to exfoliate and stimulate repair, hyaluronic acid in 6 forms plus ceramides is a comprehensive upgrade from the usual 1-form-of-hyaluronic formulas we often see, and a milky serum with omega-9 fatty acids to restore oil to the skin is something rare. Once I finish my current exfoliators, the Glycolic Skin Reset Mask will be up next.
Shop: StriVectin, BeautyBoutique, Ulta.

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NIOD RE:PIGMENT

What is it: A multi-ingredient brightening serum.
Signature technology: A blend of new technologies that target future and existing pigmentation.
Who is it for: Anyone looking to address brown and red pigmentation with a formula more targeted than vitamin C.
How does it work: Diglucosyl Gallic Acid blocks the melanogenesis process by interacting with the skin’s natural microbes. Acetyl Glycyl Beta Alanine inhibits the production of tyrosinase (which produces pigmentation) and the process of pigment being pushed up to the visible top layers of skin. Potassium Azeloyl Diglycinate is a new derivative of azelaic acid and glycine; it focuses on both red and brown pigmentation, as well as hydration.
Thoughts: Vitamin C is always touted as the gold standard at brightening, but so many people find it irritating, it destabilizes, or it is often paired with fragrance which further exacerbates the irritation. And while vitamin C can brighten the skin, there are far more effective ingredients to reduce pigmentation. RE:PIGMENT features a wide assortment of ingredients that all target pigmentation in different ways, which theoretically gives you a greater chance of seeing results. I currently use NIOD CAIS 1.00% in the morning and have seen a steady reduction in red marks, but once my bottle is done I think I will give RE:PIGMENT a try for a more targeted approach.
Shop: Deciem.

Updated Iconic Serums

In the world of skincare, serums are where the modern individual looks for results. A serum is typically in an aqueous base and focuses on delivering a clear benefit to the skin. They tend to be more concentrated with active ingredients as less volume in the formula is spent on the emulsifiers and conditioning agents so necessary to making a face cream. Now that does not mean that face creams cannot show results, and that does not mean that all serums are awesome; remember, most active ingredients like acids and retinoids perform the best in comparably lower concentrations. That being said, a serum may offer a greater assortment of different actives. In your routine, a serum is where you realistically should be spending the bulk of your money but also the product you should be the happiest about.

Lately there have been quite a few modernized face serums, enough to warrant a bit of discussion on what is new and who each formula is tailored for.

Clarins Double Serum Complete Age Control Concentrate

clarins-double-serum-2017-versionDear Double Serum has received a bit of a face lift as of late, and while the most dramatic (and obvious) change is the elimination of mineral oil, if you actually compare the ingredient lists nearly everything is different. Double Serum makes use of over 30 years worth of research, has both a water- and oil-soluble component for maximum bioavailability, utilizes 21 active ingredients, and has a dial-pump system that allows you to customize the amount of product it disperses according to age, skin type, and lifestyle.

Who is it for? Anyone over 25 (or younger if you have a harsh lifestyle) who wants a good ‘general’ serum, especially those with a busy lifestyle.
What does it do? Strengthens dermal fibres, preserves the epidermis’ ability to proliferate new cells, improves oxygenation, protects microcirculation, stimulates cellular energy production, strengthens lipidic ‘cement’ that binds skin cells together, enables skin to hold hydration longer, protects against free radical damage, offers an instant lifting effect.
What should I notice? Radiance, diminished fine lines and enlarged pores, smoother texture, a more rested appearance.
What is inside? Banana, avocado, myrothamnus, red jania, teasel, goji berry, beautyberry, horse chestnut, kiwi, mary’s thistle, leaf of life, quinoa, marsh samphire, cocoa tree, mango tree, huang qi, ginger lily, edelweiss, orthosiphon, organic oat.
Natural or synthetic? 9 organic active ingredients, 3 fair trade active ingredients, recyclable container.
How does it work? The new Double Serum focuses on protecting the ability for cells to communicate with one another. University of Kent has a fantastic article on cellular communication, but essentially cells communicate with one another through sending signal molecules which then bind to receptor proteins on the target cell. A multi-step process follows, resulting in the target cell changing its behaviour. Double Serum uses turmerone, a specific extract of turmeric not often used in skincare, to protect this ability to communicate.
Where can I find it? Clarins, Sephora, Hudson’s Bay, Nordstrom, John Lewis.
Continue reading “Updated Iconic Serums”

Filorga

Filorga began in 2007 as a skincare brand inspired by aesthetic medicine. For the consumer that means Filorga is result-driven, focused on both visible signs of aging and invisible forms of damage. Their most notable innovation is their NCTF Complex which is composed of vitamins, amino acids, coenzymes, nucleic bases, minerals, and an antioxidant; the goal is to supplement skin with materials it lacks internally, which then results in a heightened ability to repair itself and make use of other treatment ingredients like retinoids and exfoliating acids. To ensure efficient absorption of NCTF and hyaluronic acid, Filorga encapsulates both within ‘chronospheres’, which I infer as similar to liposome technology.

I have been trying Filorga skincare for the last few months, partially because it became available locally in Canada at BeautyBoutique, it was something new, and the technology seems interesting. Overall I am incredibly impressed by the results I have seen, especially when you consider that comparable products are typically 1.5x-2x the price of Filorga.

Filorga Foam Cleanser

filorga-foam-cleanser-hydra-filler-time-filler-optim-eyes-1Purpose: Cleanse the skin.
Iconic feature: Hyaluronic acid, which should minimize dehydration commonly associated with sulphate-based cleansers.
Who is it for: Those not prone to dehydration, or those with a strong hydrating routine after cleansing.
Usage: Twice daily as a second cleanse, though it can remove makeup if used twice.
Ingredients: CosDNA.
Thoughts: This was the last product I tried from Filorga, and while I found it far less dehydrating than Drunk Elephant Beste I still found it to be too dehydrating for my skin. My skin did not feel tight or dry to the touch though, it was more that I noticed blemishes forming in areas of my face where I have learned they only appear when my skin is over-stimulated or dehydrated. The texture of this foam cleanser is what is making me wish it had worked wonders for me; the foam is so dense and softening.
Recommendation: Not unless you follow it with a toner, hydrating essence or serum, and a hydrating cream, and do nothing else to dehydrate your skin.
Alternatives: Estée Lauder Perfectly Clean Triple-Action Cleanser/Toner/Makeup Remover.
Continue reading “Filorga”

GlamGlow GravityMud

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The only true way to use a face mask is to integrate it into your skincare routine. None of this ‘oh I use this one day, this one another day, I use them for fun’ nonsense. A face mask should be a treatment, a necessary component to your regular routine that gives your skin a boost. Does that mean you have to use the same masks all year round, no, but it does mean you should pare down your collection and stick to one for a long while to avoid throwing your skin out of balance.

Inherent in this is the assumption that the mask that you choose does something to your face. Maybe it removes impurities (NIOD FM, anyone?), hydrates (all eyes on this NeoStrata Hydrating and Plumping Sheet Mask), or topically exfoliates (Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask is a gem); it should do something. Now, there is an exception to this rule, and that is GlamGlow GravityMud Firming Treatment which does little for my skin but I love it nonetheless.

Purpose

To firm, lift, and tighten skin while softening fine lines.

What’s so special about it?

A load of trademarked terms for common ingredients. Vizitight (firming matrix?, marine algae plasma, biodefine polymers?), Teaoxi Complex (licorice and marshmallow leaf), Lunarlift (soy isoflavone liposome red algae extract), and Cosmiplexion (Icelandic kelp, hyaluronic acid, glacial clay).

How does it work?

From the ingredient list I assume the ‘tightening’ effect comes from alcohol, witch hazel, clay, and polymers. Essentially this is tightening the skin by removing topical oils but compensating for that by infusing the skin with hyaluronic acid and drawing water to the skin with glycerin.

How often would I use it?

They recommend using it twice a week to maintain the results, and I would tend to agree.

Results and thoughts

Honestly the only reason I use this is because nothing bad happens when I wear it and I look damn good while doing so. I find my skin appears to be more even in texture and tone after wearing this, and yes I do feel a tad bit more lifted, but I would not say the results are dramatic enough to warrant the price. Realistically this is a mask I grab when I am feeling less-than-hot because I think the metallic silver is sexy to wear.

Find GlamGlow GravityMud Firming Treatment at Sephora.

Disclaimer: The product mentioned in this post was given to me free of charge. I receive countless products each month, and say nothing about the majority of them; I will only review a product if I think it is worthy of words, either negative or positive. Links are to the easiest and most common retailer. All opinions are my own and do not reflect those of the companies mentioned, nor my employer.