This dual-sided product includes a daytime moisturizer and nighttime moisturizer, each dispensed via a pump applicator. This duo is said to refine facial contours for “uplifting days” and “volumizing nights” so essentially the message is you get a face-lift and dermal filler-like treatment packaged in one convenient product (all for the low price of $75, what a deal!). Let’s get real here: other than making skin feel smoother and softer, this duo cannot lift sagging skin or add volume to areas that have lost their youthful fullness. None of this is a sensible replacement for cosmetic surgery or corrective procedures. Full of Promise is more full of itself than anything else!
The Morning Treatment Cream isn’t ideal for daytime use because it doesn’t provide sun protection—and sun damage is a major contributor to sagging. This product will make your face feel tighter due to the amount of film-forming agent it contains. The formula contains several antioxidants as well as some cell-communicating ingredients, but none of these are capable of lifting skin or refining facial contours. They can stimulate collagen production for firmer, smoother skin but stimulating collagen doesn’t address the multiple factors that lead to sagging and a loss of youthful contours.
The Night Treatment Cream is silicone-based and has a smooth, almost spackle-like texture that temporarily reduces the appearance of wrinkles, just like numerous other products, usually labeled as serums. Night Treatment Cream contains antioxidant vitamin C (as tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate) along with other antioxidants and a peptide. Also on board is the ingredient hydroxypinacolone retinoate, which is an alternative to retinoids (like retinol) that the company maintains can be irritating for some people. The only information pertaining to the efficacy of hydroxypinacolone retinoate comes from Grant Industries, the company that sells this ingredient to cosmetics brands. Their sole study on the effectiveness and claims for this retinoid involved five people, which is not nearly a large enough sample to declare that this retinoid is the one to beat (Source: http://grantinc.com/cosmetics/active_series/granactive_rd-101.php). It’s a leap of faith that the retinoid in Night Treatment Cream is going to work as claimed—and no solid evidence proving this is a great alternative for those who cannot tolerate “regular” retinol.
Despite our issues with the lifting and Volumizing claims, this remains a well formulated duo whose fragrance-free formulas are suitable for all skin types. It’s overpriced, but we’ve seen far inferior anti-aging formulas that cost as much (or more). As long as you don’t buy this expecting fuller, lifted results, you’ll find it to be one more viable anti-aging product to consider (but don’t forget to apply sunscreen).
NOTE: philosophy categories this dual-sided product as a serum but the Morning Treatment Cream’s formula and texture more closely resemble a moisturizer. The Night Treatment Cream has more of a serum-like texture.
A treatment duo that supports natural collagen and facial contours for uplifting days and volumizing nights.
Morning Treatment Cream: Water, Glycerin, Cyclopentasiloxane, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Butylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Ethyl Macadamiate, Squalane, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Secale Cereale (Rye) Seed Extract, Kigelia Africana Fruit Extract, Tropolone, Cocoyl Pentapeptide-9, Glutathione, Hydrolyzed Jojoba Esters, Acrylates/C12-22 Alkyl Methacrylate Copolymer, Chondrus Crispus Extract, Myristoyl Pentapeptide-9, Jojoba Esters, Beta-Glucan, Tocopherol, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Polysorbate 60, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sclerotium Gum, Dimethicone, Pentylene Glycol, Arginine, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Hydroxide, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Lysolecithin, Sodium Benzoate, Malic Acid, Sorbitan Isostearate, Alcohol Denat., Benzoic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, 1, 2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol
Night Treatment Cream: Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Hexyldecanol, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Ethoxydiglycol, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate, Kigelia Africana Fruit Extract, Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Brassica Campestris (Rapeseed) Sterols, Laureth-4, Cyclohexasiloxane, Water, Butylene Glycol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Bisabolol, Cetylhydroxyproline Palmitamide, Stearic Acid, Stearalkonium Hectorite, Propylene Carbonate
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.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
Beautypedia cuts through the hype to bring you product insights and recommendations you won’t find anywhere else!