the microdelivery peel is a two-step at-home peel kit that ends up being more trouble than it’s worth. Step 1 involves the Vitamin C/Peptide Resurfacing Crystals. This is essentially a baking soda scrub that contains silica for additional exfoliation and antioxidant vitamins, none of which will remain stable once this jar-packaged scrub is opened. You massage the Resurfacing Crystals over your skin for up to one minute, then apply Step 2, the Lactic/Salicylic Acid Reactivating Gel. This gel contains mostly water and lactic acid, and its pH of 2 interacts with the alkaline pH of the baking soda in the Resurfacing Crystals, which is what provides the immediate sensation of warmth. The warm feel doesn’t mean the vitamin C and peptides are suddenly active, as philosophy claims; it’s merely a chemical reaction. Not surprisingly, it leaves your skin very smooth after rinsing, just as it would be if you used a standard scrub with a washcloth. The lactic acid functions as an AHA product (with a pH that’s definitely irritating), but its contact with skin is too brief to do much, so this is essentially a very expensive, potentially irritating baking soda scrub.
a two-step, in-home peel that resurfaces and rejuvenates sun-damaged, hyperpigmented and aging skin. what makes this next generation microdelivery peel so revolutionary is that unlike peels of the past that only exfoliated, this peel delivers peptides and vitamin c to the skin as it is being rapidly exfoliated. it is resurfacing and replenishing the skin at the same time, which is a new approach to skin rejuvenation, and best of all, it involves absolutely no downtime.
Step I: Peptide/Vitamin C Crystals: PEG-6, Sodium Bicarbonate, Oleth-20, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Silica, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Retinyl Palmitate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sorbitan Isostearate, Tribehenin, Palmitoyl, Oligopeptide, Beta Carotene, Isopropylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Butylparaben, Methylparaben, Propylparaben
Step II: Lactic/Salicylic Acid Activating Gel *pH ~ 2* Water, Lactic Acid, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Linoleamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Salicylic Acid, Polyquaternium 10, Propylene Glycol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben
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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