I tried a slimy anti-aging technique – it looks gross but my fine lines, crow's feet, and pores shrank in a month | The Sun11/15/2023
IF slimy seaweed isn't a staple in your anti-aging skincare routine, you're doing it all wrong.
As we all know, beauty hurts – or in this case, can look horrid.
But putting something gross on your face in the name of looking gorgeous is worth the stickiness – and the smell.
Skincare brand JunkTheory is all about saving the earth – and your skin – from toxic chemicals.
The main ingredient in their products is harvested from Mother Nature herself.
The secret skincare weapon within the brand's first of its kind cleanser, moisturizer, and overnight cream, can be found deep within the earth's ground and water sources: blue green algae.
I had to try the starter kit containing all three products – which they claim offers both effective skincare benefits and ethical sourcing – to test if the algae would work as well at balancing my skin as it does the ecosystem.
First, I wanted to know exactly what I was putting on my pores.
For their specially composed formulations, the California-based brand uses freshwater algae that is sustainably sourced from none other than the Pacific Northwest's mountain-fed lakes and mineral-rich volcanic soil, located 4,100 feet above sea level in one of the planet's most nutrient-rich environments.
While I had mostly associated blue green algae with a dangerous plant that can cause serious health issues, this seaweed is said to unlock nourishing, hydrating, and protecting properties – so I was willing to take the rather repulsive sounding risk.
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It does, after all, profess to promote skin rejuvenation as well as a youthful, vibrant appearance.
I followed the instructions, using the trio of anti-aging skincare products to unlock the ultimate in blue-green algae greatness over six weeks.
In addition to chamomile, ginger, and grape seed oil ingredients – and of course blue green algae goodness – the chamomile hyaluronic moisturizer is intended to infuse the skin with a dose of gentle moisture.
While I got over the slimy and sticky texture, I was pleasantly surprised with how the product added a shiny glow on its own, though I mostly wore it as a base underneath my makeup.
Though the consistency took some getting used to, I was a fan of the medium-weight of the moisturizer as it offered multiple coverage options.
I immediately noticed that my foundation glided right over the moisturizer, giving a more blended in appearance.
I also appreciated the full coverage effect while not feeling too heavy, especially under a face of makeup.
The biggest downside – the plant-based odor is a bit strong and not that pleasant, especially when many other products pride themselves on their spa-like fragrances.
The malodorous moisturizer – which is also formulated with sodium hyaluronate and niacinamide – did feel like it was quickly seeping into my skin.
This factor is said to activate your skin's own natural defenses against oxidative stress.
Packed with B vitamins, all eight essential amino acids, beta carotene, and chlorophyll to help lock in moisture, I noticed reduced inflammation, redness, and smooth skin right away.
Over the course of a few weeks, my skin felt noticeably softer, even before reapplication.
The moisturizer can be used daily in the morning or at night.
While the sugar beet extracts and aloe might be the sidekick to the blue green algae star in the juniper biome cleanser, the mix of all-natural ingredients seemed to work together for the overall feel – and results.
I also reveled in the refreshing and cooling feel of the cleanser.
With more of an understated floral scent, it was also the best smelling of the three seaweed skincare products I tried.
I used just a small amount from the pump, which easily worked into a lather, to cleanse my face both in the morning and at night.
When used in the morning before applying makeup, my skin felt super soft and supple, most likely from the hydrating properties.
My face also felt primed and ready for the next step: moisturizer.
The clear cleanser felt gentle and soothing, and over the course of using it twice a day for over a month, I noticed that my pores seemed smaller, especially around my nose area.
The foaming consistency is also said not disrupt the skin's natural protective acid mantle.
Just a few tiny drops at night seemed to make my all my makeup, oil, dirt, dead skin residue and well, junk, disappear with this JunkTheory cleanser.
While some cleansers that don't hail from volcanic soil or lake water can have harsh ingredients, making skin feel dry and stripped, I had the opposite experience.
Though I have sensitive skin that can react to certain properties, I didn't see or feel any irritation.
Your skin never sleeps – and neither should your skincare routine.
When I swapped out another non-algae infused cream for the brand's plum algae overnight treatment, I was a bit skeptical.
Packed with a nutrient rich mix of lipids, minerals, vitamins, amino acids, and AHAs, I was delightfully surprised by the buttery soft feel that wasn't overly thick yet provided a nice layer of coverage on my skin.
Again, the smell wasn't super pleasant but it was less strong than the moisturizer so the aroma didn't keep me awake at night.
I guess the unsatisfactory smell balanced out the fact that I noticed less redness and more moisture in my skin after just a full week of use.
I indeed had sweet dreams about the overnight treatment – and the reality was just as nice.
Aside from the pleasant feeling texture, I noticed slightly less fine lines around the eye area.
I plan on extending my use of the treatment to see if any lines or wrinkles diminish further.
A marine and freshwater mix of green and blue-green algae plus sea kelp might sound gross but it was worth it for its gentleness on my sensitive skin.
The blend is also meant to balance the microbiota of stressed skin.
Also made with the kakadu plum, this overnight cream offers a potent mix of vitamin C – more than 100 times that of an orange, in fact.
Additionally, the caviar lime can slough off dead skin cells due to its AHAs.
I also felt like I woke up with a nice, dewy glow that I then washed off – and started all over again the next morning.
Whether used in the morning, at night, or under makeup, the products seemed to reduce my redness, reduce pores and fine lines, and overall provide a gentle, non-irritating feel.
While I initially believed that the cleanser was responsible for my now overall softer feeling face, it's hard to tell if it is from using all of the products together.
If you are opposed to strong, not so amazing smelling scents, however, these products might not be for you.
The brand also cares about sustainability as much as your skin's complexion.
Using the product for 25 years would still generate less plastic waste than just one piece of your average skincare packaging.
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The $28 juniper biome cleanser, $58 chamomile hyaluronic moisturizer, and $72 plum algae overnight treatment can all be purchased individually.
There is also a value starter kit containing all three products for $158.
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