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Algenist Genius Ultimate Anti-Aging Cream — A Moisturizer With A Mensa-Worthy IQ


 Since its debut in 2011, San Francisco-based skincare company Algenist has trumpeted the anti-aging properties of alguronic acid, the main ingredient in all their product formulations. A polysaccharide compound that protects the microalgae cell, alguronic acid has been found to increase elastin synthesis by up to 32% and boost cellular regeneration by up to 55% in clinical trials. Having discovered the rejuvenating properties of alguronic acid, Algenist has been experimenting with different ingredient combinations, hoping to find ideal skincare recipes to address women’s varying needs. The brand’s latest offering, the Algenist Genius Ultimate Anti-Aging Cream ($110 at Sephora.com and Algenist.com), may just be its biggest tour de force to date.

First, the Genius cream smells absolutely heavenly — better than any Algenist product to date. The cream smells like buttercream and vanilla extract, a welcoming fragrance that’s reminiscent of Sunday afternoons spent baking sugar cookies (and licking the wooden spoon used to mix the ingredients in the bowl). On a sensory level, then, the experience of massaging the cream onto one’s visage is rather gratifying. It makes a routine act feel like a delight rather than a chore. Similarly, the texture is exquisite: velvety and decadent but lightweight and non-greasy.

As soon as you massage the Algenist Genius Ultimate Anti-Aging Cream to your cleansed face, your complexion feels refreshed but, more remarkably, the sensation seems to come from within —as if you’d turned on some internal irrigation system. And, unlike other creams that require users to withstand a few minutes of discomfort as the balmy, tacky, greasy film on their complexions disappears and the product is fully soaked up by the skin, this one doesn’t involve any unpleasant transitional absorption phase. About two seconds after massaging the cream onto your face, you’ll detect no residue!

What makes this cream so absorbent? Well, it was formulated with alguronic acid and microalgae oil. The latter is rich in three key  anti-aging substances: oleic acid (Omega 9), which is found naturally in the skin, helping it appear supple and firm but which is depleted as we age; phytosterols, which serve as essential building blocks within the dermal cellular structure; and tocopherols that perform important antioxidant functions, protecting skin cells and repairing damage. A plant-based collagen in the Genius cream’s formula, meanwhile, helps to restore elasticity to the skin, diminishing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, softening facial contours (as in jowls and drooping cheeks), and making one’s skin tone appear more vibrant and radiant.

Additional firming, toning, hydrating, and brightening ingredients include: shea butter, which is rife with essential fatty acids and vitamin A, which itself helps boost cellular turnover, stimulate collagen and elastin production, heal wounds and scars, and promote circulation; artichoke extract, said to improve the skin’s luminosity; and iris extract, which is rich in isoflavones that kickstart collagen production and safeguard against protein loss.

The result is a symphony of ingredients that feels, smells, and performs spectacularly. I actually place this cream in the same category as the L’Occitane Divine Cream and the Caudalie Premier Cru, my go-to anti-aging products, which means it’s in an elite category. Call it my skincare Mensa!



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