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.
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.
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.