Is Philosophy Renewed Hope In A Jar Better Than The Original?

by Gio

review philosophy renewed hope in a jar

Hope sells more creams that science. No one knows this better than Philosophy. Its iconic Hope In A Jar range targets the optimist in us, but there’s little in it that can do skin much good. It just leaves you (and your skin) hoping for more.

But could Renewed Hope In A Jar, the new addition to the family, provide that something more the original formula lacks? Let’s take a look at the ingredients:

Key Ingredients In Philosophy Renewed Hope In A Jar

Glycolic Acid

One of my main problems with the original Hope In A Jar is its choice of exfoliating ingredient. Although the brand says it contains lactic acid, the formula includes only its derivative lauryl lactate, which, sadly, doesn’t share the same exfoliating properties. Lauryl lactate only enhances the spreadability of the cream onto your skin, but won’t remove any dead cells from its surface.

Thankfully, Philosophy has made a much better choice for the new Renewed Hope In A Jar: glycolic acid. My favourite exfoliating ingredient, glycolic acid works by dissolving the “glue” that holds skin cells together, allowing them to slough off.

But that’s not all. Glycolic acid has also been shown in studies to boost collagen production, improve photoaged skin, treat hyperpigmentation, and hydrate skin! Pretty impressive, isn’t it? The only problem is that it can increase photosensitivity (make skin more prone to sun damage). But that’s easy to fix. Just use the cream at night, or, follow it up with sunscreen during the day.

Related: The Complete Guide To Glycolic Acid: What It Is, What It Does & How To Use It


Philosophy Renewed Hope In A Jar contains a lot more silicones than the original formula. I don’t mind that at all. In fact, I’m quite fond of silicones.

They enhance the spreadability of the cream, allowing it to glide on more easily; give skin that silky soft feeling that makes you want to touch your face all the time; temporarily fill in fine lines and wrinkles, so that they look smaller; and create a protective barrier that slows down water loss.

The latter is seen as a problem by many people. There is this misconceptions that this barrier can suffocate skin, but that’s not true. Silicones have a particular molecule structure made of larger molecules with wider spaces between each molecule. That makes the barrier they create both protective and breathable.

The real “problem” with silicones is that they only make skin look younger, but can’t boost collagen production, fight free radicals, or anything else that’s needed to truly fight premature ageing. They only provide a quick, short-term fix. For long-term results, you need goodies such as glycolic acid (check) and antioxidants (check?).

Related: Are Silicones In Skincare Bad?


Unfortunately, both the original and Philosophy Renewed Hope In A Jar contain only a handful of antioxidants, and in low amounts too.

Gone from the new version is Retinyl Palmitate, one of the weakest forms of Vitamin A. It was replaced by yeast extract. Both versions also contain Tocopheryl Acetate, a form of Vitamin E that can both fight free radicals and moisturize skin.

Few antioxidants are better than no antioxidants at all. But, to make this a true state-of-the-art moisturizer, Philosophy should consider adding a few more, and package them properly too. That means no jars. Antioxidants lose a bit of their effectiveness every time they are exposed to light and air, which happens whenever you open the lid.

Related: Why Jar Packaging Is A Waste Of Money

Final considerations on the formula

Glycolic acid is the true star of this moisturizer. The rest of the formula is pretty basic: humectants, like glycerin, to hydrate skin; emollients, like Cetearyl Alchol (a non-irritating type of alcohol) to make skin soft and smooth; silicones to temporarily fill in wrinkles; and a little bunch of antioxidants to help fight premature aging. Its lightweight, creamy texture makes it suitable for all skin types bar very dry.


Philosophy Renewed Hope In A Jar is packaged in a 2 oz jar. Available at Ulta, it costs 47.00.

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The Bottom Line

Although Philosophy Renewed Hope In A Jar is much better than the original formula, it still contains too few antioxidants. The jar packaging compromises their efficacy and needs to be revamped too.

Have you tried the new Renewed Hope In A Jar?

Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Cyclopentasiloxane, Stearic Acid, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Glycolic Acid, Dimethicone, Polyacrylamide, Cetearyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hydroxide, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Ceteareth-20, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Polysilicone-11, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Laureth-7, Citric Acid, Chlorphenesin, Mandelic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Ethlhexyl Palmitate, Propanediol, Parfum/Fragrance, Disodium EDTA, Adenosine, Evodia Rutaecarpa Fruit Extract, Limonene, Faex/Yeast Extract/Extrait De Levure, Magnesium Stearate, Opuntia Coccinellifera Flower Extract, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Caprylyl Glycol, BHT, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hyaluronic Acid, Silanetriol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sorbic Acid, Hexylene Glycol, Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163)

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Allison April 11, 2015 - 2:54 am

Very informative review, as always, Gio. I never got into Hope in a Jar. I’ve got Reviva’s Glycolic Acid 5% and I was using it regularly for a while and thought I could benefit from a 10%, but I stopped using it when I had to review some other skincare collections and now my skin is just getting used to the 5% again. I also just receive a mask from Exuviance (the guys who started NeoStrata, the parent brand are dermatologists who first found the skin benefits of glycol acid) and I think there’s glycol acid in it. Gotta check. I need to get back on the glycolic acid bandwagon. Gio, can you use retinol and glycolic acid together?

Gio April 11, 2015 - 11:31 am

Allison, that’s the worst part of beauty blogging, isn’t it? Having to give up some great products to try something else? Hopefully the new products worked well too.

Retinol + glycolic acid is a wonderful combination. They can be used together, but for best results, at different times. You could use them on alternate days or glycolic acid in the morning and retinol at night. 🙂

Jean April 11, 2015 - 7:42 pm

Great review, Gio. I’m glad to see that philosophy has started to add more than “a hope and a prayer” to their products. But they’ve still got a way to go to be state-of-the-art. I think the “eye believe” balm is pretty good. Have you reviewed that?

Gio April 12, 2015 - 4:23 pm

Jean, I agree. It’s an improvement, but they still have a lot of work to do. Let’s hope it won’t take too much to update the rest of the line.

Nope, I have never tried that one, but I’ll check it out. 🙂

Ali Yama November 29, 2016 - 1:51 am

I loved Hope in a Jar for Dry Skin. My face looked radiant for hours and my make up didn’t settle into my facial wrinkles. The Renewed Hope in a Jar pills when I try to apply make up over it and does not provide the smoothing effect of the old product. I do not recommend the new version. I am stunned the company has made a step backward. Why mess with success?

Gio December 3, 2016 - 9:13 pm

Ali, oh no, that is so annoying! I actually prefer the new version and it’s a shame it’s not working that well for you anymore.


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