Every year Oprah Winfrey releases her list of “favorite things” which can turn formerly under-the-radar products into megawatt stars. In 2010 Winfrey declared that Philosophy’s Hope in a Jar was her favorite moisturizer. She wrote, ““Every time I massage in a dab of this moisturizer, I feel like I’m giving my face a drink of water. It exfoliates, it hydrates, it keeps hope alive.” That endorsement was a turning point for Philosophy, which continues to be a best-selling skincare brand. Here’s a closer look at what Philosophy sells, and is it worth a try?
OUR TOP SKINCARE PICKS
|1||Carrot & Stick||Review|
What’s Inside Philosophy Skin Care?
Here’s a closer look at the active ingredients commonly used in Philosophy skincare products. Vitamin C, peptides, and retinol make up the core ingredients for the Philosophy skincare line. These ingredients should all be part of your skincare routine.
We’ve been hearing for years that Vitamin C is the best anti-aging ingredient. It’s a potent antioxidant that protects the skin from free radicals, the unstable molecules that contribute to the formation of premature wrinkles and fine lines on the skin.
Vitamin C also helps fade dark spots, evens out skin tone, and increases radiance. As if that wasn’t enough, research suggests that when vitamin C is applied to the skin, it significantly reverses aging-related structural changes by influencing collagen and elastin synthesis.
Philosophy Turbo Booster C is a high-potency vitamin c powder that can be mixed fresh daily with your favorite water-based serum or moisturizer for an instant antioxidant boost.
But our favorite Vitamin C serum is Carrot & Stick The Defence Serum. It contains 3 distinct types of Vitamin C that work together to help fight free radical damage. We recommend using it every morning.
As you age, your body’s production of collagen and elastin slows down. These two proteins are responsible for your skin’s structural support. As a result, the skin loses its natural plumpness and smoothness.
While collagen is necessary for maintaining youthful-looking skin, the collagen protein is too large to absorb into the skin topically. That’s why applying skin care products that contain collagen won’t provide the anti-aging benefits you’re looking for.
This is where peptides come into action. Peptides are the building blocks of protein, and they are easily absorbed into the deeper layers of skin due to their smaller size.
Philosophy Microdelivery Vitamin C Resurfacing Peel delivers peptides to the skin as it is being rapidly exfoliated, resulting in a rejuvenated complexion.
If you’re looking for a peptide serum, we recommend Carrot & Stick The Repair Serum. It contains 7 plant-based peptides to promote plumper and smoother-looking skin.
Retinol is the go-to anti-aging ingredient recommended by dermatologists and skin experts. It’s clinically proven to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improve uneven skin tone, restore skin firmness, and shrink the appearance of enlarged pores.
The only downside? Retinol can often lead to side effects like skin dryness, peeling, and irritation.
It’s in Philosophy Help Me Retinol Night Treatment.
Use retinoids at night. We recommend this retinoid oil serum. It contains Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate, an ingredient that provides similar benefits with less irritation.
What Is Philosophy?
Philosophy was started by Cristina Carlino. She had previously worked as a facialist and created Bio-medic Clinical Care, a skincare line sold at dermatologist’s office. She launched Philosophy in 1996, after inspiration struck her in the Arizona desert. As the company explains, when Carlino was hiking Camelback Mountain, a rainbow appeared and “moved her to create Philosophy, a personal wellbeing company that emphasizes gratitude with simplicity and balance at its core. On that day, the fruit of her experience presented her with the ultimate gift: a feeling that we are all connected to something bigger, and to each other.” The first Philosophy product was Purity Made Simple, a facial cleanser that is still being sold today. Since its debut, Carlino grew Philosophy into a department store and home-shopping network favorite, with a line of moisturizers, fragrance and body products with creative names, such as “complete me” sunscreen and an enzyme scrub that was called “deeply superficial.”; a wrinkle cream is “help me.” The company was bought by The Carlyle Group in 2007, and then acquired by Coty in 2010.
What is the Philosophy of Philosophy?
According to the company, “we want to inspire beautiful skin as well as beautiful days with products that consistently deliver visible results.” Philosophy also states that “our skincare harnesses the power of science and nature with dermatological science for clinically proven, instantly visible results.” The company also supports mental health and wellbeing through its Hope & Grace initiative, and states on its website that 1% of Philosophy product sales support community-based mental health efforts.
What Does Philosophy Sell?
Philosophy sells skincare products, fragrance and body washes and lotions. Here’s a breakdown.
Philosophy’s moisturizer line is centered around Hope in a Jar as well as Miracle Worker. The original Hope in a Jar is still available, and updated versions of it include Renewed Hope in a Jar. This formula is a lightweight moisturizer with a whipped texture. The cream gently exfoliates skin with alpha hydroxy acids and contains hyaluronic acid. Ultimate Miracle Worker is an anti-aging cream containing SPF 30 and is formulated with retinol to help soften the look of fine lines. Take a Deep Breath is an oil free gel cream.
Philosophy is also known for its masks and peels. The Microdelivery Resurfacing Peel is a two step system, and begins with vitamin C resurfacing crystals that are applied like a mask. This is followed by a lactic/salicylic acid activating gel. The key ingredients in Purity Made Simple Pore Extractor Face Mask- are white kaolin clay, salicylic acid and natural exfoliants. It helps give the face a deep clean.
One of Philosophy’s first products, Purity Made Simple face wash, is still available today. This award winning cleanser gives skin a deep clean and also leaves it feeling soft with a blend of 12 essential oils. It can also remove makeup. The Microdelivery gives skin a deep clean and an exfoliation, and is designed to be used daily. The key ingredients are orange peel extract and sunflower seed oil.
Philosophy is also known for its scented hand and body lotions, as well as shower gels. Hands of Hope cream comes in grapefruit, lemon custard and fig and pomegranate scents. Amazing Grace body lotion is also offered in a few different variations, including Pure Grace Nude Rose and Amazing Grace Magnolia.
How Much Do Philosophy Products Cost?
Philosophy products are priced at a mid-range level, with most items under $40. The exception is the moisturizers. The Anti-Wrinkle Miracle is $64 for a two ounce jar and an eight ounce Hope in a Jar is $119. The Overnight Renewed Hope in a Jar is $49. The Purity Made Simple cleanser sells for $24, and Amazing Grace fragrance is $22.
Is Philosophy Cruelty Free?
The company states on its website, “Philosophy is fully committed to using alternatives to animal testing to ensure the safety of our products. Please be assured that we do not perform, nor do we ever commission any third parties on our behalf to perform, animal testing on our products or ingredients except when required by law.”
Where Can I Buy Philosophy Products?
Philosophy products are sold on its website as well as department stores including Macy’s and Lord & taylor. They are also sold on QVC, Sephora and Ulta.
Does Philosophy Work?
When deciding if a product may work for you, it’s important to remember that everyone’s skin may react differently to the same product. It’s always helpful to start with reviews when deciding if a product is worth a try.
Philosophy has been around for a long time and it’s hard to beat an Oprah endorsement. Philosophy and Oprah have so much mutual love that in 2010 Philosophy released Hope in a Jar with a special packaging featuring a baby picture of Oprah.
The brand has received plenty of awards and editorial coverage. Philosophy says that Purity Made Simple is America’s number one face wash. The cleanser has scooped up an Allure Best of Beauty awards for 10 years, and is also a QVC Customer Choice Beauty winner, in 2016. The MicroDelivery Resurfacing Peel won an Allure best of beauty 2014, as well as a QVC customer choice beauty awards 2018. Allure has also given Best of Beauty Awards to the Hands of Hope cream.
British Good Housekeeping tested out the Philosophy Ultimate Miracle Worker Night Serum Cream in 2018. Their verdict? GH gave it a 76/100 score, noting “Testers found this cream effective in terms of performance and packaging. Over 90% of our testers said it spread evenly across the skin and absorbed quickly, leaving skin feeling smoother. They loved the silky texture of the cream, and almost 80% noticed an improvement after trialling it.”
What do real customers think of Philosophy?
On Sephora, the Purity Made Simple Cleanser gets a 4.5 out of 5 star rating, based on more than 11,000 reviews. Fans call it “purely amazing” and “the best face wash ever.” One customer wrote, “I wish I could give this like 10 stars. Helped clear up my skin so much. Smells so good too!!! I would recommend this to anyone.” Those that were less than thrilled found it to be a “middle of the road cleanser,” or wrote that it made them break out. “However, after almost a year of using it–I began to breakout more than I was used too. I never experienced such congested skin before and thought it was my moisturizer,” wrote Mango00.
The Renewed Hope In A Jar Refreshing & Refining Moisturizer is a Philosophy best-seller, and the cream gets a 4.5 out of 5 star rating on Influenster, and 4.2 out of 5 stars on Sephora. Satisfied customers call it “ the best of the best!!!!” and write “Makes my skin look and feel amazing.” As Tori O. wrote, “Hands down best face moisturizer I’ve ever used. It’s pricey but definitely worth it bc a little goes a long way.” Users who gave it a low rating said that it did nothing for their skin, or made them peel. A few complained about the scent. “Unfortunately, this formula clogged my pores and gave me a ton of milia around my eyes. I also was not a fan of the smell,” wrote Hillary H.
What Are Some Alternatives to Philosophy?
If you’re looking for skincare products to address the signs of aging, we recommend Carrot & Stick. Carrot & Stick maximizes the use of powerful ingredients and minimizes the use of superficial ones, resulting in advanced skincare solutions that help promote healthy, more youthful-looking skin. We recommend The Repair Serum, followed by The Moisturizer.