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 Philosophy 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:

What’s In Philosophy Renewed Hope In A Jar?


One of my main problems with the original Philosophy Hope In A Jar is its choice of exfoliating ingredient. Philosophy swears it contains lactic acid and then sneakily gives you its derivative lauryl lactate. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t exfoliate.

Did Philosophy made the same mistake with Renewed Hope In A Jar? Thankfully, nope. This new version contains glycolic acid, an exfoliant that dissolves the “glue” that holds skin cells together, allowing them to slough off.

That’s not all. Glycolic acid also hydrates skin and helps fade away dark spots. Sure, the results are subtle (you need to go for peels if you want to considerably reduce dark spots), but every little bit helps.

The catch? Glycolic acid (like all exfoliants) increases photosensitivity and makes skin more prone to sun damage. Use it only at night and wear sunscreen in the morning.

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. Personally, I don’t mind. Silicones have several advantages:

  • Enhance spreadability, allowing the cream to glide smoothly on your skin
  • Make skin silky soft to the touch
  • Fill in fine lines and wrinkles, so they look temporarily smaller
  • Create a barrier on the skin that slows down water loss

FYI, this barrier doesn’t suffocate your skin (and not just because your skin can’t breathe – it doesn’t have lungs, ya all!). Silicones have a particular molecule structure made up 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 aging.

They only provide a quick, short-term fix. For long-term results, you need goodies such as glycolic acid (check) and antioxidants (not many here…).

Related: Are Silicones In Skincare Bad?


Lightweight. Mousse-like. With a slight oil feel finish.



How To Use It

It’s the last step of your skincare routine at night. Use it only every other night or less.

Philosophy tells you to use it in the morning. They’ve added SPF in to counteract photosensitivity, but it’s not enough on its own. You still need a separate sunscreen for that.

Related: Why Skincare Products With SPF Don’t Provide Adequate Sun Protection

Need help creating an anti-aging routine that really works? Sign up to the newsletter below to receive the “Anti-Aging Skincare Routine Cheatsheet” (it includes product recommendations, too!).

Performance & Personal Opinion

Can I tell you a secret? I’m not a huge fan of moisturisers with glycolic acid (or any other exfoliant, for that matter). Why?

You’re used to using moisturiser every day. But you can’t exfoliate every day. That’s way too harsh for skin and can lead to dryness and irritation.

If you’ve got dry skin, stick to two or three nights a week. The rest of the week, you’ll have to use a different moisturiser. If that’s cool with you, keep reading to find out how Philosophy Renewed Hope In A Jar fares.

It’s definitely not for everyone. The lightweight, fast-absorbing texture leaves dry skin begging for more hydration, yet glycolic acid isn’t that suitable for oily, acne-prone skin (do your skin a favour and stick to salicylic acid).

So, who’s left to use it?! Combination skin. It does a great job at hydrating every area of your face, leaving it softer and plumper without feeling shiny or greasy on.

The best part? No breakouts.

Related: Why Salicylic Acid Is Key To Spot-Free Skin

philosophy renewed hope in a jar

Who Is This For?

  • Combination skin

Who Is This NOT For?

  • Acne-prone skin
  • Dry skin
  • Oily skin
  • Sensitive skin


Philosophy Renewed Hope In A Jar comes in a black and white jar. It’s sleek, but not the most hygienic.

Does Philosophy Renewed Hope In A Jar Live Up To Its Claims?

This revolutionary lightweight face moisturizer, whipped formula helps to refine texture and pores,  provides healthy colour and glow, & brightens and re-energizes the skin.It has a lightweight whipped texture that helps refine texture and make it glow (thank glycolic acid for it).
A refined texture with visibily smaller pores and the look of lines virtually lifted away.Exfoliation helps reduce the look of pores and lines, but they’re not virtually lifted away. Results are subtle.
A soft, dewy smoothness that is comforted by instant all-day hydration.Only if you have combination skin. It’s not hydrating enough for dry skin.
A re-energized healthy glow that lasts up to 3x longer.Exfoliation makes skin brighter, but I’m not sure where they got the 3x longer figure from.

Price & Availability

$39.00-$65.00 at Anthropologie, Sephora, and Ulta

Do You Need It?

Philosophy Renewed Hope In A Jar is much better than the original formula, but still leaves a lot to be desired. I only recommend it to combination skin who’s looking for an exfoliating moisturiser.

Dupes & Alternatives

  • Alpha Skin Care Essential Renewal Lotion ($17.99): Available at Ulta
  • Mario Badescu Glycolic Skin Renewal Complex ($35.00): Available at Beauty Bay, Nordstrom and Ulta
  • Neostrata High Potency Cream ($62.00): Available at Dermstore

Have you tried the new Philosophy Renewed Hope In A Jar? Let me know your experience in the comments below.


active ingredients: avibenzone (2.7%), octinxiate (6.99%), octocrylene (2%) 

inactive 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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