renewed hope in a jar eye
This eye cream from philosophy builds on the brand’s popular “hope in a jar” line of products, and while it does have some positive qualities, ultimately it’s not the miracle treatment philosophy claims (the name is more telling than you can imagine - at least it is if you’re new to reading our reviews)! Nonetheless, even if it was a miracle treatment, we wonder why philosophy continues to sell all of their other allegedly miraculous products.
This fragrance-free cream is lightweight and absorbs quickly into skin without a tacky finish. The moisture it adds definitely makes the eye area feel and appear smoother, and it contains antioxidants. Philosophy claims this is specially designed for the eye, but the ingredients here are those you’ll find in any well-formulated moisturizer, whether it’s labeled as an eye cream or not (see More Info to learn why you might not need an eye cream at all!).
The issue, though, is that most of those good ingredients won’t stay stable or effective for very long because of the jar packaging that gives this product its name (see More Info for why jar packaging is a problem in skincare products). Our hope is that philosophy will forego its jars in the future for packaging that will let its ingredients truly shine—we’d certainly be recommending more of their products if that happened!
Note: The brightening effect this eye cream doesn’t come from its alleged “non-stop skin renewal” action, but rather from the cosmetic pigments it contains. Those include titanium dioxide, tin oxide, and mica, all standard ingredients whose brightening effects aren’t unique to this eye cream and are only a cosmetic effect; they don’t have any skin care benefit.
- Adds lightweight moisture, making skin feel and appear smoother.
- Contains some good moisturizers and antioxidants.
- Jar packaging means its light- and air-sensitive ingredients won’t stay stable for long after it’s opened.
Eye creams: Most eye creams aren’t necessary. That’s either because they are poorly formulated, contain nothing special for the eye area, or come in packaging that won’t keep key ingredients stable. Just because the product is labeled as an eye serum doesn’t mean it’s good for your eye area; in fact, many can actually make matters worse.
There is much you can do to improve signs of aging around your eyes. Any product loaded with antioxidants, skin-repairing ingredients, skin-lightening ingredients, anti-inflammatory ingredients, and effective emollients will work wonders and those ingredients don’t have to come from a product labeled as an eye serum.
You would be shocked how many eye creams lack even the most basic ingredients to help skin. For example, most eye creams don’t contain sunscreen. During the day that is a serious problem because it leaves the skin around your eyes vulnerable to sun damage and this absolutely will make dark circles, puffiness, and wrinkles worse!
Whatever product you put around your eye area, regardless of what it is labeled, must be well formulated and appropriate for the skin type around your eyes! That may mean you need an eye cream, but you may also do just as well applying your regular facial moisturizer and/or serum around your eyes.
Jar packaging: The fact that this product is packaged in a jar means the beneficial ingredients won't remain stable once it is opened. All plant extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and most other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air, so once a jar is opened and lets the air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate. Jars also present a hygiene issue because even if you wash your hands or use a spatula to remove the product, you’re introducing bacteria, which cause further breakdown of key ingredients (Sources: Free Radical Biology and Medicine, September 2007, pages 818–829; Ageing Research Reviews, December 2007, pages 271–288; Dermatologic Therapy, September-October 2007, pages 314–321; International Journal of Pharmaceutics, June 12, 2005, pages 197–203; Pharmaceutical Development and Technology, January 2002, pages 1–32; International Society for Horticultural Science, and www.actahort.org/members/showpdf?booknrarnr=778_5).
renewed hope in a jar eye is specially formulated for the delicate skin around your eyes and the multiple concerns affecting it. Featuring the clinically-proven, non-stop skin renewal technology that continuously hydrates, brightens dark circles, reduces puffiness and smoothes the look of fine lines, renewed hope lets your eyes say exactly what you'd like them to, and nothing you don't.
Strengths: Relatively inexpensive;some of the best products are fragrance-free; very good retinol products; selection of state-of-the-art moisturizers; innovative skin-brightening 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 lan 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 by 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.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.