The not-so-secret secret: Often, it’s a cleverly named product that gets you to try it out. Off the top of my head, there’s the infamous Nars Orgasm blush, and then there’s Soap & Glory’s Sexy Mother Pucker lip gloss. Attention-grabbing and makes you wonder what all the fuss is about. Philosophy hope in a jar, on the other hand, sounds like a seriously huge claim to the prowess of a moisturizer, and that’s basically the pattern that Philosophy skincare product names take. They have serums and hydrators named Miracle Worker, Full of Promise, Time in A Bottle, and so on, but that’s for another discussion. Today’s review is all about this Oprah-approved high-performance moisturizer for all skin types.
Quick Specs: available in 60 ml and 15 ml jars
Ingredients: water/aqua/eau, lauryl lactate, behenic acid, behenoxy dimethicone, glycerin, glyceryl stearate se, behenyl alcohol, pentaerythrityl tetracaprylate/tetracaprate, cyclopentasiloxane, tocopheryl acetate, benzyl alcohol, cyclohexasiloxane, retinyl palmitate, arginine, stearic acid, panthenol, beta-glucan, lavandula angustifolia (lavender) oil, xanthan gum, triethanolamine, propylene glycol, geraniol, limonene, linalool, methylparaben, propylparaben, diazolidinyl urea
Before you go ahead try hope in a jar, there are some things you must know: First, the contents don’t look so much like in the brochure or the posters as they do in real life. I won’t talk about truth in advertising and all that jazz, since I don’t mind so much after getting used to the product. Inside the jar you’ll find a pearly, yellowish cream and some similarly-colored liquid floating around in there instead of the whipped snow-white stuff on the print ads. Don’t be alarmed, it’s not expired. I’ve seen several jars/containers of the stuff—store testers, samples sachets, and my very own jar—and the contents truly look like that. Is it due to the tropical climate that the cream tends to separate? I don’t know, but the product works fine either way. Second, the smell is a love or hate situation. Some people go as far as to describe the scent as that of a wet dog’s fur, while others laud the relaxing lavender scent they get out of it. Personally, I’ve gotten used to it and I daresay I actually like the smell. (Today’s handy tip: Smell before you buy, people.)
Let’s move on to the experience. According to the ad, it has a soufflé-like texture that melts into the skin like water. I’d have to agree and go on to say that that’s probably the best part of hope in a jar. There’s a cooling sensation you get from the watery feel of it as you start to massage it over skin. Because of the melting formula, a small amount goes a long way. But just because it seems like water doesn’t mean it dries like a gel moisturizer would. Once fully absorbed, it’ll feel like you have a standard non-greasy moisturizer on. The instructions mention to avoid the eye area and with good reason. Sometimes when I spread a little thickly on my temples or on the cheeks below the undereye, the “fumes” from the moisturizer makes my eyes water, not unlike the sensation that comes from applying minty embrocation (i.e. White Flower) to temples and having to narrow your eyes afterwards. Decide on whether or not you could get used to it before you shell out the dough.
Hope in a jar can be used morning and night, but Philosophy has come up with a slew of hope in a jar variants that have specific purpose, such as hope in a jar night and hope in a jar oil-free. I don’t want redundancy and I use BB cream or tinted moisturizer during the day, so I only got the best-selling original formula that I use as a night cream. In the morning, I wake up with a shiny face. Not a point against Philosophy, since that is 8 hours of moisture. My skin feels sufficiently hydrated, though I wouldn’t go as far as to say that it feels significantly smoother. (“Significantly smoother” is the specialty of Microdelivery Peel.)
- Unique medium because of its light, water-like melting on skin
- Non-greasy moisturizer
- A single jar lasts long, because the formula can be spread thinly
- Scent—you either get wet dog or spa lavender
- Fumes can sometimes sting the eyes.
- Price $$$
Verdict: Philosophy hope in a jar is ideal for Philippine weather for providing full, non-greasy moisture in a refreshing watery medium. Try it out before you take the plunge. As for the name, well, it’s not your only hope, but I am hopeful that you might like it if you don’t mind the scent.