A few words about Philosophy’s Hope in a Jar moisturizers

February 8, 2014
Philosophy Hope in a Jar and Hope in Jar Night
Philosophy Hope in a Jar and Hope in Jar Night deluxe samples

I have to say that the Philosophy Hope in a Jar moisturizers have always caught my attention because I think the name is just so perfect. Philosophy is so good at that kind of thing … appealing names, attractive packaging, the perfect buzzwords. Over the past few months, I’ve received deluxe samples of both the Hope in a Jar original formula for all skin types and Hope in a Jar Night intense retexturizing moisturizer in my Sample Society beauty subscription boxes, and I was definitely excited to try both.

I received the original formula over the summer. I first started using it during the day, but then brought it on a long vacation and used as both a morning and evening moisturizer until I ran out. It includes antioxidants to protect skin against environmental damage, lactic acid for very gentle exfoliation, and beta glucan to support skin’s natural barrier. People seem to be pretty split on the smell of the Hope in a Jar moisturizers, but to me the original formula simply smells lightly of lavender. It doesn’t really smell luxurious, but it doesn’t smell bad. The texture was ok, but not anything special. I found it moisturizing enough and it’s perfect for the daytime … it was a bit of a stretch for me to use it at night when I’d normally prefer something a little more hydrating, but it was the middle of summer and it worked. I feel like that pretty much sums up my opinion of the original formula. It works, it feels ok, it smells ok, but it didn’t do anything special to my skin.

I received the nighttime formula a couple of months ago and stashed it away until it felt like a good time to give it a solid testing period, and I started using it last week. It’s formulated with glycolic acid to help perfect the texture of skin over time, and Philosophy calls it the perfect nighttime companion for those who enjoy the original Hope in a Jar. I don’t even remember if it has a smell, so I guess it hasn’t made much of an impression on me for better or for worse. The texture leaves something to be desired. It is moisturizing yet doesn’t feel super heavy, but something that bothers me is that I’m super oily when I wake up in the morning. It doesn’t feel balanced, and my skin doesn’t seem to particularly appreciate what it has to offer. The biggest problem for me, though, was that it started to break me out. I don’t tend to have an issue with acne or sensitivities, but I’m now recovering from the worst pimples of recent memory. I think that glycolic acid can bother some people, but I’ve used other products that include it before so I’d tend to think that it’s something else that’s bothering my skin. I understand that sensitivities will vary from person to person, but for me this product doesn’t have any redeeming qualities that would outweigh the damage it caused me.

Now I know that there are plenty of people out there who enjoy these popular moisturizers, and it appears I’m in the minority with my opinion. The thing for me is that these are expensive – a 2 oz. jar of the original formula costs $42, and the 2 oz. jar of the night retexturizer is $50. Although I didn’t hate the original formula, I wouldn’t purchase it because there are just so many other products that are better buys, and I find the night formula to be straight up disappointing. Although the night formula is only available in one size, the original formula can be purchased in a 0.5 oz. jar for $15, which can be s a good way to try it out if you’re curious. These products are also periodically available as Sephora Beauty Insider rewards.

Have you tried out any of the Hope in a Jar products? How did they work for you?

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