Calling this foundation a "miracle worker" is a stretch and so is saying that it will take "5 years off your complexion". The fragrance-free formula does contain some skin-beneficial antioxidants, but not in abundance, and because this foundation is housed in a clear bottle, their efficacy is diminished as those ingredients break down in the presence of light (yes, you could keep this stored in a dark place but there are other issues, so keep reading!).
The most potent anti-ager would be the sunscreen, but even that is lacking in the broad spectrum department since only .49% of titanium dioxide is used in combination with the other the sunscreen agents (see More Info to learn why that is a problem).
Those claims aside, what you get is a liquid foundation that blends on smoothly and offers buildable medium coverage. The neutrally flattering shade range caters to light to deep skin tones and has a natural-looking, subtly luminous finish ideal for normal to dry skin types. Nice, but not a miracle, and for certain this foundation doesn't set itself apart from many others.
- Liquid texture blends on smoothly and offers buildable coverage.
- Neutral, flattering shades.
- Subtle luminous finish, ideal for normal to dry skin types.
- We're skeptical this will provide enough UVA protection.
- Clear bottle packaging cannot sustain the light-sensitive ingredients.
Insufficient UVA protection:
Any SPF-rated product should contain one or more of these UVA-protecting ingredients listed as "active": avobenzone, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, Mexoryl SX (ecamsule) or Tinosorb. Although this product contains .49% of titanium dioxide we're highly skeptical that's enough to ensure ample protection, which is essential for anti-aging benefit. (Sources: Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences, December 2011, pages 81–90; Cosmetic Dermatology, Second Edition, Baumann, Leslie MD, McGraw Hill, 2009, pages 246–252; American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, Supplement, 2009, pages 19–24; The Encyclopedia of Ultraviolet Filters, Shaath, Nadim A., Allured Publishing, 2007; and Photodermatology, Photoimmunology, and Photomedicine, October 2003, pages 242–253).
Active: Octinoxate (7.5%), Octisalate (5%), Oxybenzone (3.5%), Titanium Dioxide (0.49%). Other: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Cyclohexasiloxane, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Ozokerite, Cera Alba/Beeswax/Cire D'abeille, Acrylates/Polytrimethylsiloxymethacrylate Copolymer, Hexyldecanol, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Magnesiumsulfate, Hexyl Laurate, Xanthan Gum, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Caprylyl Glycol, Aluminum Dimyristate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Butylene Glycol, Propylene Carbonate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Stearic Acid, Bisabolol, Boron Nitride, Alumina, Cetylhydroxyproline Palmitamide, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Brassica Campestris (Rapeseed) Sterols, Carbomer, Polysorbate 20, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Phenoxyethanol, Mica. May Contain: Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide
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.
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.