I mistakenly thought Algenist’s Alive Prebiotic Balancing Moisturizer was a regular cream that contains zinc to calm and balance skin. I didn’t realise until much later that it’s actually sold as a moisturiser with SPF15 in the US. The tube and box that I have mentioned nothing about sun protection or having SPF.
You may have read my review on the Dr. Troub Skin Returning Zinc Cream from Sidmool which has a very thick texture and is quite good at reducing inflammation; the Algenist Alive Prebiotic Balancing Moisturizer is of a similar ilk. It’s a thick cream that doesn’t feel greasy or chalky. I’ve been using it mostly at night over a nourishing serum and I find it quite good at soothing and comforting irritated, slightly winter-dry skin. It also helps clear up minor red patches quite well. With that being said, I only use a pea-sized amount!
I can see why Alive Prebiotic Balancing Moisturizer gets mediocre reviews online. It seems most people are buying it for the (mediocre) SPF it contains, but its texture and consistency aren’t conducive to generous use.
This really isn’t something you want to slather generously all over the face. It’s anything but lightweight. I can’t imagine those with oily skin using it as a moisturiser or sunscreen. On the other hand, some people with drier skin find zinc to be drying; this contains a high amount of it in a formula that is not deeply moisturising. I personally like the cream but I’m not using it as intended either.
Its blurb says this moisturiser “balances and detoxifies skin” using algae prebiotic and probiotic. There’s also patented alguronic acid to help smooth fine lines and antioxidant-rich turmeric root extract to help fight free radicals. It’s not shy on things it supposedly can do, is it?
I bought Algenist’s cream solely because it looks to be a really good alternative to Sidmool’s Zinc Cream (which is neither a moisturiser nor sunscreen). I wasn’t disappointed — not did it calm and nourish skin just as well, it spread evenly over the skin a lot easier. Skin looked healthy and glowing.
You can find Algenist Alive Prebiotic Balancing Moisturizer (SPF15) online at Sephora – it’s US$40 for 50ml. I’ve seen it for cheap at off-price chains like Marshalls and Nordstrom Rack.