Algenist Gentle Rejuvenating Cleanser


You learn in Marketing 101 about five types of consumers: innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards. I am largely a laggard. Virtually everything I own is the result of someone telling me about a product long after said product has been on the market a good long while.

True to form, that's how I discovered Algenist—from a friend who described their magical Gentle Rejuvenating Cleanser, which promised to clean thoroughly but not strip sensitive skin. It was an opportune recommendation—the recent revelation that my skin, instead of being oily and acne prone, might actually fit the sensitive bill, launched me into crisis mode, on the prowl for a non-drying wash that would still address the issue of sebum.

While I may be slow on the new product uptake, I do my research. I found that Algenist is an innovator's dream: a skincare brand rooted in biotechnology out of San Francisco that uses alguronic acid, a compound that helps protect and regenerate the microalgae cell, in all of its products. That was enough to convince me, so I tried the Gentle Rejuvenating Cleanser.

It’s the best-packaged cleanser I’ve ever owned. Also, the most expensive (it’s $25). Its opaque, pearlescent white consistency is reminiscent of my Clearasil days, and with water it lathers into a thin, yet still creamy matter. After rinsing, my skin is soft, never dry, or oily. I’d even describe it as matte.

While I’m uncertain if Algenist’s Gentle Rejuvenating Cleanser results are so dramatically different to justify its purchase price over say, Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser—it, coupled with my dermatologist-prescribed topical acne treatments, certainly helps my skin maintain a happy balance.

And please, dear readers, if you use any other Algenist products, do tell. The laggards among us need recommendations.

—Alexis Cheung

Photo by Alexis Cheung.

More solid face wash recommendations: read about “ the boy scout of face washes' or Jurlique's higher-end botanical cleanser.