Hope in a Jar A-Z Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 20

by philosophy  
Price:
$38 
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Category:
Makeup > Foundations With Sunscreen > Tinted Moisturizer w/ Sunscreen
Last Updated:
7/1/2014
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
Yes

While other brands are launching BB and CC creams, Philosophy did well to name their does-it-all complexion product an "A-Z Cream." What a clever way to seemingly poke fun at the explosive trend of BB and CC creams (and, yes, some DD creams, too) while still conveying the message that this product is quite the multitasker.

Trendy name and implied humor or not, this "A-Z Cream" is essentially an ultra-sheer tinted moisturizer with sunscreen, and it's among the best on the market.

The broad-spectrum titanium dioxide– and zinc oxide–based sunscreen will protect skin from harmful UV rays, and presents little risk of irritation, even when used around the eyes or on ultra-sensitive skin. Despite the tint, this applies with a bit of a white cast, but don't worry: It's minimal, and blends out easily thanks to the product's creamy texture.

This fragrance-free tinted moisturizer provides light hydration and is suitable for wear by all skin types. The product looks dewy upon application, but quickly sets to an attractive semi-matte finish. The three shades are workable for fair to medium skin tones.

Note: Although this tinted moisturizer provides broad-spectrum sun protection on its own, you must apply it liberally and evenly to get the stated level of protection. A sheer or spot application will not provide the amount of sun protection the label indicates. If you're not likely to apply it liberally, we recommend applying it over a moisturizer with sunscreen rated SPF 15 or greater and setting with a pressed powder rated SPF 15 or greater.

Pros:
  • Fragrance-free.
  • Non-irritating, broad-spectrum mineral sunscreen.
  • Creamy texture, applies easily.
  • Versatile formula works for all skin types.
Cons:
  • None.

Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide (5.0%), Zinc Oxide (5.0%), Inactive Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Cyclopentasiloxane, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Dimethicone, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Aluminum Hydroxide, Stearic Acid, Boron Nitride, Lactic Acid, Sodium Chloride, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Mica, Phytantriol, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Dextrin Palmitate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Lysine, Retinyl Acetate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Tocopherol, Avena Sativa (Oat) Bran Extract, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Magnesium Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Retinyl Palmitate, Potassium Sorbate, Hexylene Glycol, Disodium EDTA, Palmitic Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Zinc Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, May Contain: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Zinc Oxide (CI 77947), Iron Oxides.

Believe in miracles. That's the "lifestyle" branding statement philosophy makes, which is an approach that is decidedly different from their former positioning, which encompassed family values and spirituality along with a dash of department-store élan and endearingly clever quips. The miracle angle may grab your attention, but the company is also quick to point out that its history is steeped in providing products to dermatologists and plastic surgeons worldwide (so, in addition to miracles, philosophy has a serious side, too). Although its heritage may have included providing clinically oriented products to doctors, we have yet to see or hear of any medical professional retailing philosophy products. And that's a good thing because, by and large, most of philosophy products are resounding disappointments. Moreover, several products, including almost all of their sunscreens, contain one or more known skin irritants. We would be extremely suspicious of a dermatologist or plastic surgeon who recommended such products to their patients, and even more so if they actually believed some of the more farfetched claims philosophy makes.

Interestingly, when you shop this line at department stores or at the cosmetics boutique Sephora, what you'll notice is the preponderance of food- and drink-scented bath products, all in vivid colors or cutely boxed for gift-giving. It seems that somewhere along the way, the company decided to promote these nose-appeal products while downplaying their more serious-minded, simply packaged skin care. Perhaps the body lotions and bubble baths have become philosophy's bread and butter. Given the hit-or-miss nature of their facial-care products, that's not surprising. Then again, they've also heavily promoted their anti-aging-themed Miracle Worker products...

So what's to like if you're into the vibe philosophy puts out? Well, this is still a line with some well-formulated staples, including an AHA product, some retinol options, and a handful of state-of-the-art moisturizers. The products that get the most promotion at the counter are the ones you should avoid, such as the at-home peels, scrubs, pads, and anti-acne products. However, the somewhat confusing, conflicting image philosophy presents shouldn't keep you from considering their best products—but it's not a lifestyle brand in the sense that using the entire line will somehow bring you a more joyful existence, or significantly improved skin. The philosophy line is now owned Coty, a cosmetics brand primarily known for their fragrances. Their acquisition of philosophy is their first major foray into a widely-distributed skin care brand.

For more information about philosophy, call (800) 568-3151 or visit www.philosophy.com.

Note: philosophy opts to use lowercase letters for every product they sell, so the listings below are simply following suit.

philosophy Makeup

Minimalism is a big theme among philosophy's dwindling, uneven range of makeup. Whereas the color options from this company used to be extensive, well-organized, and at times clever, what's lining the counter now needs help, in more ways than one. The major issue is the plethora of ordinary products that cost far too much for what they don't offer, which is innovation and, in almost every case, selection. The line shines brightest (pun intended) with its lip color offerings, though the best products in this category are counterbalanced by glosses or lip balms with needless irritants. If you're a fan of philosophy's skin-care products and are considering their makeup, you don't want to try to build a comprehensive color wardrobe with it. However, you'd be wise to explore the handful of pleasant surprises here, including an excellent bronzing lotion, foundation primer with sunscreen, and the multi-use makeup brush.

Member Comments

Summary of Member Comments

  1. How would you rate the results? (4 = Best)

    4 / 4 Best
  2. Was this product a good value? (4 = Best)

    4 / 4 Best
  3. Would you recommend this product? (4 = Best)

    4 / 4 Best
Page of 1
  1. Virginia S.
    Reviewed on Thursday, May 01, 2014
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    Stays on all day and great coverage
    • This stuff is amazing. I have combination/oily skin and have problems with foundation and tinted moisturizers rubbing off in patches throughout the day. This cream stays on all day beautifully and provides just enough coverage to even out the skin tone without being too thick or caked on. Because I have very light coloured skin, I haven't been able to use any PC tinted moisturizers or foundations because they don't come light enough, but the philosophy shade of light was perfect for my skin.

  2. Kim K
    Reviewed on Saturday, February 15, 2014
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    Best Tinted Moisturizer/BB Cream
    • I have dry, sensitive skin with rosacea. I have tried just about every tinted moisturizer/BB cream I can buy locally and Paula's Choice options. They are all either too drying, too chalky by the end of the day or didn't feel good on my face. This goes on creamy and doesn't look chalky by the end of the day and my face doesn't feel dry. The coverage is light but still covers the redness enough. I would buy again. I do wish they would make a color between light and medium.

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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