Tested on animals:Yes
philosophy’s built an entire line around its original and rather popular “hope in a jar” moisturizer. Now comes this product, which is supposed to be an amped-up version of the original. But this really isn’t the revolutionary, skincare-changing product philosophy claims and part of the issue is right there in the name (we’ll explain more in a bit)!
What renewed hope in a jar does have going for it is a lightweight, creamy texture that feels soothing to combination, normal, and dry skin (those with very dry skin will have to look for a cream that is more emollient).
When it comes to the formula, it definitely has promise: it contains three forms of AHA, including glycolic acid – and they’re at a pH that means they will be effective in exfoliating skin. That’s excellent news when it comes to anti-aging benefits, as AHAs can help smooth out and repair some amount of sun damage (one of the chief causes of aging). Disappointingly philosophy doesn’t reveal the percentage of AHAs it contains, but we suspect it has between 3–5% glycolic acid, while the others comprise less than 1% of the formula.
Also included are some antioxidants to help with free-radical damage – and this cream omits the potentially skin-damaging lavender oil present in its original incarnation.
A lingering problem is that there’s still fragrance included, and fragrance can cause irritation. Surprisingly, this contains more fragrance than the called-out anti-aging ingredient hyaluronic acid, yet fragrance isn’t the least bit anti-aging - if anything it is pro-aging!
Adding to the issue is that this is packaged in a jar. Even though philosophy is known for its “…in a jar” products, that doesn’t change the fact that jar packaging means the good ingredients in here aren’t going to stay effective for very long after the package is opened (see More Info for full details on the reasons why). Because of this, we suggest checking out one of the superior (and better-packaged) options on our list of Best Anti-Aging/Anti-Wrinkle Products.
- Lightweight cream sinks into skin and leaves it feeling moisturized.
- Contains AHAs at a pH that means they will work effectively to exfoliate skin.
- Has antioxidants that can help fight free radical damage.
- Packaged in a jar, meaning its light- and air-sensitive ingredients won’t stay stable for long after it’s opened.
- Contains fragrance, which has the potential to cause irritation.
Jar Packaging: The fact that it’s packaged in a jar means the beneficial ingredients won't remain stable once it is opened. All plant extracts, almost all vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air. Therefore, once a jar is opened and lets the air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate. Jars also are unsanitary because you’re dipping your fingers into them with each use, adding bacteria that further deteriorate the beneficial ingredients.
The vast majority of ingredients that are most beneficial for your skin are not stable in the presence of light and air, which is exactly what happens when you take the lid off a jar (Pharmacology Review, 2013 & Journal of Biophotonics, 2010).
One of the critical factors in any anti-aging or skin-healing formula is the amount and variety of antioxidants, cell-communicating ingredients, and skin-repairing ingredients, and the more the better. These function in a variety of ways to reduce the effects of the constant environmental stresses your skin experiences (Dermatology Research and Practice, 2012 & The Journal of Pathology, 2007).
Antioxidants, cell-communicating ingredients, and skin-repairing ingredients not only can help prevent free-radical damage, but also, to a fairly impressive extent, help repair that damage. Surprisingly, almost all of these ingredients are just as vulnerable to sun exposure, pollution, and cigarette smoke as your skin (Pharmacognosy Review, 2013 & Journal of Biophotonics, 2010).
Once you open that jar you bought, you immediately compromise the stability of the anti-aging superstars it contains. (You can visualize their benefits disappearing like puffs of air each time you open up that lid!)