Miracle Worker Overnight isn't a miracle, it's just a decent moisturizer for normal to dry skin, and one that's overpriced considering it's packaged in a jar! This isn't a philosophy, it's hard fact that jar packaging doesn't keep important ingredients stable!
The jar packaging is an issue because this moisturizer contains several ingredients that begin to break down upon first exposure to light and air—which is what happens every time you open the jar. See More Info to learn why it's best to skip anti-aging products packaged in jars.
This fragranced moisturizer is said to contain an "age-resetting complex" from a rare type of algae. Sigh. Of course it has to be rare and once again algae is being ascribed all sorts of miraculous benefits even though there's no research proving it can do anything close to what philosophy is claiming. But even if it could reset the clock on aging, it wouldn't last long in jar packaging. You'd be better off finding the source of this algae and buying the pure stuff to apply fresh (but don't do that, as you could bathe in the stuff and not emerge looking any younger).
The "next generation" vitamin C referred to in the claims is the ingredient 3-O ethyl ascorbic acid. Ascorbic acid is the technical name for vitamin C, and this form of it is supposedly stable in the presence of light and air, but the only information about it comes from the company selling the ingredient to cosmetic lines like philosophy. Even if this were stable under such conditions, that doesn't change the problem jar packaging presents for the other delicate ingredients, including the allegedly miraculous algae extract.
One more comment: The amount of citrus extracts this contains poses a risk of irritation but since these are natural ingredients they're also prone to breaking down with repeated exposure to light and air (think how long a lemon lasts before its inedible).
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 that causes 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, www.actahort.org/members/showpdf?booknrarnr=778_5; and www.beautypackaging.com/articles/2007/03/airless-packaging.php).
A unique age-resetting complex contains a rare marine algae extract to help target age-accelerating proteins. Powerful peptides and next-generation vitamin C help support natural collagen while proven hydrators lock in moisture while you sleep.
Water, Glycerin, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Octyldodecanol, Cetyl Alcohol, Saccharum Officinarum/Sugar Cane Extract, Cyclopentasiloxane, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Isostearyl Isostearate, 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Lactis Proteinum/Whey Protein, Hydrolyzed Yeast Protein, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Algae Extract, Tocopherol, Adenosine, Beta-Glucan, Butylene Glycol, Bisabolol, Lecithin, Allantoin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetyl Stearate, Stearalkonium Hectorite, Stearic Acid, Benzoic Acid, Lactic Acid, Squalane, Gluconolactone, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Sodium Hydroxide, Lactose, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Sodium Benzoate, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Parfum/Fragrance, Polysorbate 60, Cyclohexasiloxane, Propylene Carbonate, Xanthan Gum, Calcium Gluconate, Disodium EDTA, Maltodextrin, Farnesol, Linalool, Limonene, Dehydroacetic Acid, Chlorphenesin, 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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