Hope in a jar night is a good AHA exfoliant in a moisturizing base suitable for normal to dry skin. Its chief exfoliating ingredient is glycolic acid, and we suspect philosophy is using 3–5% of this tried-and-true anti-aging ingredient. Because the pH of the product is 4, the glycolic acid can function as an exfoliant.
The secondary exfoliant is a polyhydroxy acid known as gluconolactone. This works in a manner similar to AHAs such as glycolic acid, but is said to be less irritating. However, research hasn't shown a remarkable difference between the two.
The chief problem with hope in a jar night is what the name reveals: jar packaging. Although jar packaging won't impact the efficacy of the glycolic acid, it will hurt the efficacy of the light- and air-sensitive ingredients the formula contains (see More Info for details).
This product also contains fragrance and fragrance ingredients that pose a risk of irritation, which doesn't make this worth considering over the superior options on our list of Best AHA Exfoliants.
The fact that it's packaged in a jar means the beneficial ingredients won't remain stable once it is opened. All plant extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and 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 are unsanitary because you're dipping your fingers into them with each use, adding bacteria, which further deteriorate the beneficial 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, www.actahort.org/members/showpdf?booknrarnr=778_5; Beautypackaging.com, and www.beautypackaging.com/articles/2007/03/airless-packaging.php).
hope in a jar night intense retexturing moisturizer features an innovative qusome delivery system that enhances efficacy, while limiting the potential for irritation.
Water, Isononyl Isononanoate, Propanediol, Glycolic Acid, Cetyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Arachidyl Alcohol, PEG-12 Glyceryl Dimyristate, Squalane, Behenyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Arginine, Beta-Glucan, Allantoin, Gluconolactone, Sodium PCA, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Hydroxide, Polysorbate 60, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Arachidyl Glucoside, Sodium Sulfite, Bisabolol, Sodium Metabisulfite, Calcium Gluconate, Fragrance, Chlorphenesin, Disodium EDTA, Xanthan Gum, Farnesol, Linalool, Phenoxyethanol.
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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