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?
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.”
What Ingredients Are in Philosophy Skincare?
Philosophy products are formulated with a mix of commonly recognized skincare ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid and retinol, as well as more exotic ones. The Purity Made Simple face wash is made with 12 essential oils, including sandalwood, rosewood and carrot; The Amazing Grace body lotion contains moisturizing shea butter and olive oil. Vitamins E and C are found in Hope in a Tube eye and lip cream as well as the Microdelivery Resurfacing Peel. The Nature in a Jar collection contains agave and prickly pear extract.
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?
Although Philosophy is a fabled skincare brand, perhaps you tried it and it did nothing for your skin, or you’re looking for something more. There are a few other brands to consider.
Formulyst’s philosophy is long-term and effective skincare. The brand wants to help its customers achieve their best looking skin. Formulyst’s Pro-Collagen Serum contains a highly concentrated mix of peptides and proteins, as well as hydrating hyaluronic acid formulated for aging skin. Apply a few drops of this hydrating serum to help skin look smoother and fresher.
Formulyst’s Super Hyaluronic Water Moisturizer helps keep skin hydrated and dewy looking. This oil free formula is packed with multiple types of hyaluronic acid and it works as a moisture magnet by drawing water to the skin.
Formulyst’s Anti-Aging Night Cream does a little bit of everything. It gently exfoliates the skin to reveal a fresher, smoother looking complexion, while soothing the skin. It is gentle enough to be used every night, and also helps to visibly brighten dark spots and soften fine lines. Skin looks softer, smoother and radiantly revived when you wake up.
Fans of skincare kits, which take all the guesswork out of creating your own regimen, should try Advanced Dermatology. This no nonsense brand offers a pared down approach to skincare. The packaging is simple and streamlined, and the products bring skincare back to the basics. The kit contains just six essential items including a daily cleanser; serum; anti-wrinkle firming treatment; night cream; day cream and an eye cream. In other words, everything you need to achieve your best possible looking skin.