Who has never heard of Hope In A Jar by Philosophy? This lightweight moisturizer has achieved cult status and has a loyal legions of fans swearing by it. But I’m not one of them. Here’s why:
What Philosophy Says
our award-winning, lightweight daily moisturiser hydrates and provides antioxidant protection while improving skin texture and tone, leaving it smooth and radiant. this high-performing moisturiser contains lactic acid, a gentle alpha hydroxy acid that helps remove surface dead skin cells and beta-glucan to promote overall skin health by helping to strengthen skin’s natural rejuvenation potential. hope in a jar dramatically improves skin radiance and gently exfoliates, revealing smoother, healthier looking skin and texture.
Philosophy claims that Hope In A Jar contains the exfoliant lactic acid, but unfortunately that’s not true. Instead, it contains an easter form of lactic acid, lauryl lactate. Lauryl Lactate can’t be converted into lactic acid, and it doesn’t have its same properties either. That means that it can’t exfoliate skin, but only enhance the spreadability of the cream onto the skin and prevent the oil and water parts of the formula from separating. Pretty disappointing, huh?
Glycerin is a humectant that can draw water from the environment into the skin, increasing its hydration and preventing water loss. Plus, it can strengthen the skin’s barrier. As a result, skin is softer, and more supple and hydrated.
A form of Vitamin A, Retinyl Palmitate is a combination of retinol and palmitic acid. Like all forms of Vitamin A, it has antioxidant properties. But, because it is gentler than retinol, it is also less effective. Before it can work its magic, retinyl palmitate must be converted first into retinol, then into retinaldehyde, and finally into retinoic acid. At the low concentration included here, it is doubtful how effective it would be after all these conversions. Packaging is another problem. The jar exposes retinyl palmitate to light and air, which spoils it overtime, making it ineffective. In any case, women who are either pregnant or nursing shouldn’t use any form of Vitamin A.
Final considerations on the formula
The first ingredients are those that make up most of the formula and are therefore the most important. In Hope In A Jar, they are mainly hydrating and thickening agents that make skin soft and smooth and give the product its consistency. The few antioxidants, such as Tocopheryl Acetate, a form of Vitamin E, in the formula are present only in very small concentrations and, while that’s always better than nothing, the jar packaging won’t keep them stable and effective for long.
Full ingredient list
Water, Lauryl Lactate, Behenic Acid, Behenoxy Dimethicone, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate Se, Behenyl Alcohol, Pentaerythrityl Tetracaprylate/Tetracaprate, Clyclopentasiloxane, Tocopheryl Acetate, Benzyl Alcohol, Retinyl Palmitate, Stearic Acid, Panthenol, Betaglucan, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Xanthan Gum, Triethanolamine, Propylene Glycol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Diazolidinyl Urea
Although I don’t recommend it, you can buy Philosophy Hope In A Jar at Sephora. It is available in three sizes: 0.5oz ($15.00), 2oz ($42.00), and 4oz ($67.00). Keep in mind that the bigger the packaging, the sooner the antioxidants will oxidize (ie become ineffective).
The Bottom Line
Philosophy Hope In A Jar is a basic moisturizer that hydrates skin but can’t exfoliate it. Its antioxidant properties are minimal too. At this price point, a moisturizer should do a lot more imo. I wish Philosophy updated the formula to include effective exfoliating agents and a higher concentration of antioxidants, and packaged it in a tube or bottle, but, considering how popular it already is, it is unlikely it will.
Have you tried Philosophy Hope In A Jar?