This facial oil is a cross between a "pure" facial oil and a silicone-based serum. What we mean by "pure" is that most facial oils sold today are just that, oils, with few other ingredients present. philosophy took a different approach but the end result is a fluid, oily-feeling, oil-enriched product that contains many excellent ingredients for normal to dry skin or skin whose barrier has been compromised.
Sadly, back to nurture replenishment isn't the facial oil to choose if you have sensitive, reddened, or rosacea-affected skin. That's because the formula contains a potentially irritating amount of fragrance plus several fragrance ingredients (like linalool and limonene) known to trigger irritation. On balance, this facial oil contains more beneficial than problematic ingredients but we're really beginning to wonder why so many facial oils overdo the fragrance element, as it's the least helpful part (from your skin's perspective). At least this product's scent isn't overpowering.
That said, we deferred to a positive rating for back to nurture because it does make good on its claims and leaves dry skin looking radiant whether used alone or over your regular moisturizer (but don't apply this over any moisturizer with SPF, as that would diminish the sunscreen's protective abilities) and it sets to a silky-feeling protective finish.
back to nurture deeply replenishing oil offers tender loving care for skin suffering from unquenchable thirst, feeling uncomfortably dry and looking like it has lost its youthful vitality.
Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Isononyl Isononanoate, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Dimethiconol, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Bisabolol, Borago Officinalis Seed Oil, Aqua/Water/Eau, Linoleic Acid, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Caprylyl Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, BHT, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Parfum/Fragrance, Oleic Acid, Tribehenin, PEG-8, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Oil, Palmitic Acid, Cichorium Intybus (Chicory) Root Extract, Tocopherol, Stearic Acid, Ceramide NG, PEG-10 Rapeseed Sterol, Butylene Glycol, Linolenic Acid, Magnolia Officinalis Bark Extract, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Lactic Acid, Linalool, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Benzoate, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Citronellol, Glycyrrhiza Uralensis (Licorice) Root Extract, Benzyl Salicylate, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Hydroxycitronellal, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexyl Cinnamal, Ascorbic Acid, Citric Acid, Limonene, Farnesol, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Rhizome/Root Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hexylene Glycol, Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12, Ilomastat.
Strengths: Relatively inexpensive; some of the best products are fragrance-free; very good retinol products; selection of state-of-the-art moisturizers; innovative skin-lightening product.
Weaknesses: Irritating and/or drying cleansers; average to problematic scrubs; at-home peel kits far more gimmicky than helpful; several products contain lavender oil; several products include irritating essential oils; the majority of makeup items do not rise above average status.
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.
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