Algenist

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Algenist
Algenist

Algenist is a new range of products launched in March 2011, based on a new star ingredient : Alguronic Acid.

Algenist range is made of 4 formulas :

– a Concentrated Reconstructing Serum

– a Regenerative Anti-Aging Moisturizer

– a Regenerative Anti-Aging Moisturizer SPF 20

– a Complete Eye Renewal Balm

Algenist Concentrated Reconstructing Serum

Formula Structure

O/W emulsion, emulsified with Glyceryl Stearate / PEG-100 Stearate (Croda Arlacel 165) / Ceteareth-20, helped with Cetearyl Alcohol, thickened and stabilized with Xanthan Gum and Sclerotium Gum.

The oil phase is made of Dimethicone, Isononyl Isononanoate and Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides.

The aqueous phase contains several glycols and polyols: Pentylene Glycol, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Sorbitol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Caprylyl Glycol, Propanediol, Hexylene Glycol and 1,2-Hexanediol. Most of them are used as co-preservatives.

Preservative System

The formula is protected against microbiological growth by Sodium Benzoate, Benzoïc Acid, Potassium Sorbate and Phenoxyethanol. This preservative system is helped by several polyols with preservative properties : Pentylene Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Caprylyl Glycol, Propanediol and 1,2-Hexanediol.

Active Ingredients

The formula contains the following active ingredients :

–          Saccharum Officinarum Extract
–          LS Radianskin PW LS 9918 (Hydroxyphenoxy Propionic Acid) : it claimed to provide visible skin lightening/whitening effect combined with skin tolerance. It is a pure molecule claimed to have a mechanism of action other than tyrosinase inhibition, no color impact on the formulation and a good safety profile. Radianskin is said to help protect the skin against damage by UV-irradiation with a clinically proven skin lightening effect.
–          Niacinamide
–          Solazyme Alguronic Acid (Algae Exopolysaccharides)
–          Evonik Tego Pep 4-17 (Tetrapeptide-21) : it is a peptide with collagen boosting activity, claimed to prevent and minimize the appearance of skin aging.
–          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
–          Mibelle PhytoCellTec Malus Domestica (Malus Domestica Fruit Cell Culture Extract (and) Xanthan Gum (and) Glycerin (and) Lecithin (and) Phenoxyethanol (and) Aqua/Water) : it is a liposomal preparation based on the stem cells of a rare Swiss apple, claimed to protect human stem cells and to have age-delaying and anti-wrinkle effects.
–          Inula Crithmoide Extract : very probably Kervita Golden Samphire
–          Barnet Derm SRC (Bambusa Vulgaris (Bamboo) Leaf/Stem Extract (and) Glucosamine HCl (and) Pisum Sativum (Pea) Extract) : previously sold under the tradename Dermox, it is claimed to enhance cell turnover; smooth skin; and boost the production of key skin proteins such as collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid.
–          Ergothioneine : this active ingredient is supplied by two suppliers, Barnet Products Corporation and Oxis Group. Barnet supplies it under the tradename Thiotaine, and is claimed to have a role in skin energy production and fatty acid transport, to be an anti-oxidant, especially protector of mitochondria, to be an “anti-stress” molecule, and to have skin clarifying properties. It has been seen in Clinique Laser Focus Serum, studied on Cosmetoscope.

Algenist Regenerative Anti-Aging Moisturizer

Formula Structure

O/W emulsion, emulsified with Sorbitan Stearate / Croda Arlacel 165 (PEG-100 Stearate (and) Glyceryl Stearate) helped with Cetyl Alcohol / Stearic Acid as co-emulsifier, thickened and stabilized with Carbomer / Xanthan Gum.

The oil phase is made of Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dimethicone, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Di-C12-15 Alkyl Fumarate (sold by Bernel as Marrix SF), Lecithin. Dimethicone/PEG-10/15 Crosspolymer, sold by Shin Etsu as KSG-210, is a silicon crosspolymer surfactant, usually used to prepare W/S (Water in Silicone) emulsion. However, in this formula, due to its position in the ingredient list, it is more probably used only for its impact of the skin feel. Indeed, KSG-210, and more generally silicone crosspolymers, are known to impart smooth and silky feel to formulas.

The formula contains another silicone crosspolymer : Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, sold by Shin Etsu as KSP-100. It is a powder, that helps to improve skin feel and skin appearance.

The aqueous phase contains glycols and polyols : Butylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Glycerin, Mannitol, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin and Hexylene Glycol. Most of them are used as co-preservatives.

Preservative System

The formula is protected against microbiological growth by Phenoxyethanol helped by Disodium EDTA. This preservative system is helped by several polyols with preservative properties : Pentylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol and Ethylhexylglycerin.

The pH of the formula is adjusted with Aminomethyl Propanol.

Active Ingredients

The formula contains the following active ingredients :

–          Solazyme Alguronic Acid (Algae Exopolysaccharides)

–          Mibelle PhytoCellTec Malus Domestica (Malus Domestica Fruit Cell Culture Extract (and) Xanthan Gum (and) Glycerin (and) Lecithin (and) Phenoxyethanol (and) Aqua/Water) : it is a liposomal preparation based on the stem cells of a rare Swiss apple, claimed to protect human stem cells and to have age-delaying and anti-wrinkle effects.
–          Barnet Derm SRC (Bambusa Vulgaris (Bamboo) Leaf/Stem Extract (and) Glucosamine HCl (and) Pisum Sativum (Pea) Extract) : previously sold under the tradename Dermox, it is claimed to enhance cell turnover; smooth skin; and boost the production of key skin proteins such as collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid.
–          Evonik Tego Pep 4-17 (Tetrapeptide-21) : it is a peptide with collagen boosting activity, claimed to prevent and minimize the appearance of skin aging.
–          Sederma Evermat (Enantia Chlorantha Bark Extract (and) Oleanolic Acid) : claimed to be seboregulating, reducing and controlling oil and reducing pore size. Evermat contains an extract of Enantia Chlorantha, that has been studied for its antibacterial properties.

–          BioTechMarine Kalpariane (Alaria Esculenta Extract) : extracted from brown and Breton seaweed, it is claimed to help skin to combat elastase and collagenase, reinforcing the hydrolipidic barrier and providing suppleness and elasticity to the skin. It shall prevents, amongst others, stretch marks and wrinkles.
–          Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate : sold by BASF under the tradename SAP, it is said to be a stable vitamin C derivative for use in high-activity skin care products. Vitamin C is released in the skin via enzymatic cleavage. Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate is used in any kind of skin care products: creams, lotions, gels, etc. Daily care products, preparations to protect against sunburn, care products to protect against everyday environmental influences. In addition in preparations to lighten the skin, cosmetics to conceal freckles and age spots and in vitamin creams.
–          Biotin : chemical name of Vitamin B7
–          Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil
–          Ergothioneine : this active ingredient is supplied by two suppliers, Barnet Products Corporation and Oxis Group. Barnet supplies it under the tradename Thiotaine, and is claimed to have a role in skin energy production and fatty acid transport, to be an anti-oxidant, especially protector of mitochondria, to be an “anti-stress” molecule, and to have skin clarifying properties. It has been seen in Clinique Laser Focus Serum, studied on Cosmetoscope.

Algenist Regenerative Anti-Aging Moisturizer SPF 20

Formula Structure

O/W emulsion, emulsified with Croda Arlacel 165 (PEG-100 Stearate (and) Glyceryl Stearate) / Cetyl Phosphate, helped with Cetearyl Alcohol and Stearic Acid. The formula is also thickened and stabilized with two polymers : Carbomer and Xanthan Gum.

The oil phase is made of UV filters : Homosalate / Ethylhexyl Salicylate and Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, helping the formula to reach a SPF 20 claimed UV protection. It is also made of Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Di-C12-15 Alkyl Fumarate (sold by Bernel as Marrix SF) and Lecithin.

The aqueous phase contains glycols and polyols : Butylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Glycerin, Mannitol, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol. Most of them are used as co-preservatives.

Preservative System

The formula is protected against microbiological growth by Phenoxyethanol, helped with Disodium EDTA, and polyols : Pentylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol and Ethylhexylglycerin.

The pH of the formula is adjusted with Aminomethyl Propanol.

Active Ingredients

The formula contains the following active ingredients :

–          Solazyme Alguronic Acid (Algae Exopolysaccharides)
–          Mibelle PhytoCellTec Malus Domestica (Malus Domestica Fruit Cell Culture Extract (and) Xanthan Gum (and) Glycerin (and) Lecithin (and) Phenoxyethanol (and) Aqua/Water) : it is a liposomal preparation based on the stem cells of a rare Swiss apple, claimed to protect human stem cells and to have age-delaying and anti-wrinkle effects.
–          Barnet Derm SRC (Bambusa Vulgaris (Bamboo) Leaf/Stem Extract (and) Glucosamine HCl (and) Pisum Sativum (Pea) Extract) : previously sold under the tradename Dermox, it is claimed to enhance cell turnover; smooth skin; and boost the production of key skin proteins such as collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid.
–          Evonik Tego Pep 4-17 (Tetrapeptide-21) : it is a peptide with collagen boosting activity, claimed to prevent and minimize the appearance of skin aging.
–          Sederma Evermat (Enantia Chlorantha Bark Extract (and) Oleanolic Acid) : claimed to be seboregulating, reducing and controlling oil and reducing pore size. Evermat contains an extract of Enantia Chlorantha, that has been studied for its antibacterial properties.
–          BioTechMarine Kalpariane (Alaria Esculenta Extract) : extracted from brown and Breton seaweed, it is claimed to help skin to combat elastase and collagenase, reinforcing the hydrolipidic barrier and providing suppleness and elasticity to the skin. It shall prevents, amongst others, stretch marks and wrinkles.
–          Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate : sold by BASF under the tradename SAP, it is said to be a stable vitamin C derivative for use in high-activity skin care products. Vitamin C is released in the skin via enzymatic cleavage. Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate is used in any kind of skin care products: creams, lotions, gels, etc. Daily care products, preparations to protect against sunburn, care products to protect against everyday environmental influences. In addition in preparations to lighten the skin, cosmetics to conceal freckles and age spots and in vitamin creams.
–          Biotin : chemical name of Vitamin B7
–          Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil
–          Ergothioneine : this active ingredient is supplied by two suppliers, Barnet Products Corporation and Oxis Group. Barnet supplies it under the tradename Thiotaine, and is claimed to have a role in skin energy production and fatty acid transport, to be an anti-oxidant, especially protector of mitochondria, to be an “anti-stress” molecule, and to have skin clarifying properties. It has been seen in Clinique Laser Focus Serum, studied on Cosmetoscope.

Algenist Complete Eye Renewal Balm

Formula Structure

O/W emulsion, emulsified with Glyceryl Stearate SE, helped with Stearic Acid / Cetearyl Alcohol and Ceteareth-20 and the emulsifying Pemulen polymer (Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer) and Xanthan Gum.

The oil phase is made of Isopropyl Isostearate, Dimethicone, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Lecithin and Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride.

The aqueous phase contains glycols and polyols : Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin. Most of them are used as co-preservatives.

The formula also contain a powder, Shin Etsu KSP-100 (Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer). It is a silicon crosspolymer-based powder that helps to improve skin feel and skin appearance.

Preservative System

The formula is protected against microbiological growth by Potassium Sorbate, Chlorhexidine Digluconate and Phenoxyethanol, helped with Disodium EDTA, and polyols : Pentylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol and Ethylhexylglycerin.

The pH of the formula is adjusted with Aminomethyl Propanol.

Active Ingredients

The formula contains the following active ingredients :

–         Crodarom Phytessence Wakame (Undaria Pinnatifida Extract) : it is claimed to protect hyaluronic acid from degradation by inhibiting hyaluronidase enzyme activity and preventing deterioration of skin tissues, decreasing of dermal thickness and improving firmness
–          Solazyme Alguronic Acid (Algae Exopolysaccharides)
–          BioTechMarine Kalpariane (Alaria Esculenta Extract) : extracted from brown and Breton seaweed, it is claimed to help skin to combat elastase and collagenase, reinforcing the hydrolipidic barrier and providing suppleness and elasticity to the skin. It shall prevents, amongst others, stretch marks and wrinkles.
–          Barnet Derm SRC (Bambusa Vulgaris (Bamboo) Leaf/Stem Extract (and) Glucosamine HCl (and) Pisum Sativum (Pea) Extract) : previously sold under the tradename Dermox, it is claimed to enhance cell turnover; smooth skin; and boost the production of key skin proteins such as collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid.
–          Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice
–          Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder
–          Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract
–          Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract
–          Tocopheryl Acetate
–          Caffeine
–          Evonik Tego Pep 4-17 (Tetrapeptide-21) : it is a peptide with collagen boosting activity, claimed to prevent and minimize the appearance of skin aging.
–          Sederma Eyeliss (Dipeptide-2 (and) Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 (and) Hesperidin Methyl Chalcone (and) Steareth-20)
–          Sederma Haloxyl (Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 (and) Palmitoyl Oligopeptide (and) N-Hydroxysuccinimide (and) Chrysin (and) Steareth-20)
–          Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate
–          Mibelle PhytoCellTec Malus Domestica (Malus Domestica Fruit Cell Culture Extract (and) Xanthan Gum (and) Glycerin (and) Lecithin (and) Phenoxyethanol (and) Aqua/Water) : it is a liposomal preparation based on the stem cells of a rare Swiss apple, claimed to protect human stem cells and to have age-delaying and anti-wrinkle effects.
–          Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Leaf Extract
–          Inula Crithmoide Extract : very probably Kervita Golden Samphire
–          Phospholipids

Algenist range : claims and communication

Algenist is a range of cosmetic product built around a proprietary active ingredient trademarked as “Alguronic Acid”.

Algenist mother company : Solazyme

Algenist and Alguronic Acid have been developed by Solazyme, a company specialized in industrial microalgae biotechnology, and more precisely on the oil-producing ability of microalgae. The initial objective of the company is to use biotechnologies to produce a “renewable oil” as a substitute to petroleum. Solazyme aims to introduce its microalgae-derived products in several markets : fuels, chemicals, nutrition and health science (including personal care). Algenist is the first product to enter the skincare market made by Solazyme.

More than Health Science, the company seems to have great ambitions in Personal Care, since it is willing to “target toiletries, makeup, hair care and skin care”, and signed distribution agreements for Algenist with Sephora International, Sephora USA, and QVC.

Among all the field of Health Science, the emphasis put on Personal Care can also be seen through the profile of the Senior Vice President & General Manager, Health Sciences for Solazyme : this position has been given to Frederic Stoeckel, former Managing Director of L’Occitane en Provence and previously Vice President, Marketing, Lancôme in the L’Oréal Group. His background is more focused on marketing than on sciences.

Alguronic Acid, the star ingredient of the Algenist range

Alguronic Acid is a trademark owned by Solazyme, and not the scientific name of an existing molecule like “Hyaluronic Acid” is. In fact, this brand, because it can really be considered as a brand, has certainly been chosen to sound like Hyaluronic Acid. The US registration file for this trademark for the US has been filled on the 5/17/2010. Behind the brand “Alguronic Acid”, there is an INCI name : “Algae Exopolysaccharides”. The Algenist website gives extensive details on this ingredient : it is a group of polysaccharides produced by specific strains of microalgae that function to protect and regenerate the microalgae cell. More details about these polysaccharides and their properties are given in the summary of the 2008 Annual Scientific Meeting & Technology Showcase of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists : the exosaccharides actually form the walls of microalgae cells, and exists as a highly hydrated defense system that provides lubricity and protection from desiccation to micro-algae cells.

In terms of efficacy, it is claimed to promote cell regeneration and stimulate elastin synthesis.  This SCC Meeting summary explains that “when exo-saccharides are applied to the skin they provide a soothing and smoothing film that helps to protect the skin from UV light and damaging pollutants, helping it to be revived even under adverse conditions.” The microalgae polysaccharides are demonstrated to provide significant DNA protection from UV light, a reduction in skin erythema and the inflammatory response markers, coupled with a soothing and smoothing mechanism which signals the need for additional elastin and collagen production by the fibroblasts.”

When formulated in a cosmetic vehicle, it is said to retain its properties, “by helping to protect the skin from UV caused DNA damage, reduce inflammation, help fill in wrinkles whilst promoting a rejuvenation of the dermal layers within the skin (by promoting the formation of elastin and collagen, whilst down regulating the production of hyaluronidase.”

Solazyme owns three patents about the use of micro-algae derived ingredients to improve skin conditions :

US20070166266 : Methods and compositions for improving the health and appearance of skin. The first validated claim of this patent protects “A combination product comprising: a. a first composition comprising a microalgal homogenate and a carrier suitable for topical application; and b. a second composition comprising at least one compound and a carrier suitable for human consumption; wherein the first and second compositions are packaged for sale as a single unit.”

US20080299147 : Microalgae-Derived Compositions For Improving The Health And Appearance Of Skin. The first claim protects “A method of stimulating collagen synthesis in mammalian skin comprising applying to the skin material from a microalgae of the genus Porphyridium.”

US20090069213 : Compositions for Improving the Health and Appearance of Skin. The first claim of the patent protects “A composition comprising an algal polysaccharide, wherein the polysaccharide: a. has been made completely or partially insoluble in water; and b. has been homogenized to generate particles.”

Numerous data are available on Algenist website about Alguronic Acid efficiency, and comparison to other famous cosmetic ingredients (Retinol, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Hyaluronic Acid, …etc).

Other active ingredients in Algenist formulas

Apart from the star ingredient Alguronic Acid, Algenist formulas contain several numerous active cosmetic ingredients : natural plant extract, synthetic molecules, vitamins, peptides. Among them, several are present in the four formulas of the Algenist range :

–          Evonik Tego Pep 4-17 (Tetrapeptide-21)

–          Mibelle PhytoCellTec Malus Domestica (Malus Domestica Fruit Cell Culture Extract (and) Xanthan Gum (and) Glycerin (and) Lecithin (and) Phenoxyethanol (and) Aqua/Water)

–          Barnet Derm SRC (Bambusa Vulgaris (Bamboo) Leaf/Stem Extract (and) Glucosamine HCl (and) Pisum Sativum (Pea) Extract)

Efficiency and claims on Algenist formulas

Algenist is basically an anti-aging range of products built around the regenerative efficiency of Alguronic Acid. There is a clear will of Solazyme to build a very trustworthy range of products, with proven and demonstrated efficiency, with results made available to every potential customer through Algenist website. Indeed, each product has its ID card on the website, giving “Details” on the product, showing “Before /After” illustration of efficiency, numerical “Results” and “Reviews” from customers.

All the formulas are built to fit with all the current expectations of consumers : all are Suitable for all skin types, dermatologist tested, non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic and not tested on animals, and they do not contain parabens, sulfates, synthetic dyes, phthalates, GMOs or triclosan.

For each formula, the list of expected results is given. For example, for the Concentrated Serum, it is claimed to rebuild skin firmness, restore skin density and elasticity, boost skin radiance, minimize deep wrinkles and tighten and lift the skin. Once again, there is no unrealistic claim, just strong and trustworthy claims for anti-aging formulas.

Conclusion

In terms of galenic technology, Algenist formulas are based on very classical O/W surfactant system and polymers. The interesting aspect of the formula is more on the use of numerous glycols : Pentylene Glycol, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Sorbitol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Caprylyl Glycol, Propanediol, Hexylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, …etc. They play a double role : on the one hand, their moisturizing power participate to the improvement of skin condition (reduction of fine lines, improvement of skin texture), and on the other hand, they help to protect formulas agains microbiological growth by decreasing water activity.

In terms of claims and communication, Algenist launch is an example of precise development of a new range of cosmetic products, where every aspect of the launch has been carefully worked. All the ingredients are present to build a successful range of skincare :

– a new star ingredient with a “magical” efficiency never seen before, with a nice story to tell, tested against the most famous cosmetic active ingredient, with a powerful name reminding other serious ingredients
– a good looking packaging
– a range of formulas extensively tested as anti-aging cares, with simple yet powerful claims

All of this being made in a trustworthy way, saying to consumers : it really works. However, do not forget it is only a cosmetic range : marketing know-how knows how to say things to make them more appealing.

–          Barnet Derm SRC (Bambusa Vulgaris (Bamboo) Leaf/Stem Extract (and) Glucosamine HCl (and) Pisum Sativum (Pea) Extract) : previously sold under the tradename Dermox, it is claimed to enhance cell turnover; smooth skin; and boost the production of key skin proteins such as collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid.

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