Is Murad Time Release Retinol Concentrate For Deep Wrinkles Gentle Enough For Sensitive Skin?

murad time release retinol concentrate for deep wrinkles

Retinol is one of my all-time favourite ingredients and a staple in my skincare routine. It can really improve the signs of aging and help you age gracefully. But there’s a catch. It can be irritating, especially if you have sensitive skin. But not all retinol serums and moisturizers are created equal. Some are gentler than others and can be used by everyone. Like Murad Time Release Retinol Concentrate For Deep Wrinkles:

What Murad Says:

This Anti-aging triple-action wrinkle-fighting formula softens and smooths on contact, reduces the appearance of deep wrinkles, supports natural cell turnover and helps boost natural resilience.

Ingredient Analysis


Glycine Soja (Soybean ) Oil

Glycine Soya Oil is an oil derived from soybeans. It is rich in fatty acids, a group of substances that have emollient properties. They help keep skin moisturized, smooth, and soft. Soybeans also contains antioxidants, such as Vitamin E, which can fight free radicals and help prevent the formation of premature wrinkles.



Retinol is an anti-aging superstar that boosts collagen production, which helps firm skin, and reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and discolourations. But retinol can also be irritating, especially for sensitive skin. To prevent this, the retinol in this serum is time-released. What does it mean? Rather than getting the full force of retinol all at once, the ingredient is slowly released over a several hours period. That way, you’ll still get the benefits without the side effects.


Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38

Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38, also called Matrixyl® synthe’6® is a peptide developed by Sederma. According to the company, it “fills in wrinkles from the inside both on the forehead and the crow’s feet for a visibly smoother and plumper skin.” It works by stimulating “6 major constituents of the skin matrix and the dermal–epidermal junction”. I couldn’t find any independent studies confirming this which is not surprising considering it is quite a new ingredient. So, while I would never purchase this moisturizer because it contains this peptide, it’s good to know it’s there, just in case.

Further considerations on the formula

This moisturizing formula also contains humectants, such as Glycerin and Sodium Hyaluronate, which can attract water from the enviroment into the skin, thus helping to keep it hydrated; emollients like Cetyl Alcohol, a good type of alcohol, and Shea Butter, that keep skin soft and smooth for hours; and silicones, like Polymethylsilsesquioxane, that create a protective but breathable barrier on the skin, help fill in fine lines and wrinkles temporarily, and give slip to the cream. The formula is also fragrance-free, and so suitable for sensitive skin too.

Full Ingredient List

Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Glycine Soja (Soybean ) Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Lauryl Lactate, Cetearyl Alcohol, PEG-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Butylene Glycol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Retinol, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin, Urea, Yeast Amino Acids, Trehalose, Inositol, Taurine, Betaine, Beeswax (Cera Alba), Laureth-23, Trideceth-6 Phosphate, Triethanolamine, Ceramide-3, Punica Granatum Extract, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Zinc Gluconate, Ascorbic Acid, Chitosan, Propyl Gallate, Disodium EDTA, Carbomer, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Aminomethyl Propanol, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Chlorphenesin, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Yellow 5


Murad Time Release Retinol Concentrate for Deep Wrinkles is packaged in a 0.5 oz opaque tube. Available at Sephora, it retails at $65.00 (but you can find it at a much cheaper price on Amazon ;) ).

The Bottom Line

Although there is only so much a topical cream can do for deep wrinkles, Murad Time Release Retinol Concentrate for Deep Wrinkles contains ingredients that can improve them (and other signs of aging too). And it is gentle enough for sensitive skin.

Product Review: Pupa Viso Di Velluto 3 In 1

pupa viso di velluto 3 in 1

Name: Viso Di Velluto 3 in 1
Brand: Pupa
Size: 150ml
Price: €17,10

From Pupa’s website:
Soft and comfortable emulsion for the total beauty of the face.
Result: skin is bright and velvety soft, perfectly clean. Ultra-soft lips.
It’s the ideal product for those who don’t have much time and want something practical.

What I liked:
– makes skin soft, smooth, and moisturized; great for dry skin
– removes makeup well
– sinks quickly into the skin
– practical and sleek packaging

What I didn’t like:
– doesn’t help control shine; not suitable for oily skin
– floral scent is quite strong
– tastes awful

As a broke teen, I loved multi-tasking beauty products. They saved me both money and time in the morning. But that came at a price. Usually, they only did one thing really well and the rest only so-so. I didn’t much mind then but these days I prefer to buy separate products. It may be a bit more expensive, but the results are worth it.

But there are times when I still find multitasking products very useful. Such as travelling. With all the restrictions on what you can bring in your carry on luggage on a plane, a multitasking product such as Pupa Viso Di Velluto (Velvet Face), which works as a moisturizer, lip balm, and makeup remover, ensures you have all the essentials with you without breaking any laws. Handy, isn’t it?

But does it work? As a moisturizer for dry skin, really well. The cream contains humectants glycerin and Sodium Hyaluronate (it can hold 1000x times its weight in water and works well both in high and low humidity conditions), which attract water from the environment into the skin. Shea Butter, and a bunch of synthetic ingredients such as Ethylhexyl Stearate and Cetearyl Alcohol (a good, moisturizing type of alcohol) have emollient properties that make skin soft and smooth. Finally, Dimethicone gives the product slip and skin a silky soft feel, and fills in temporarily fine lines and wrinkles.

As a result, this white cream leaves skin baby soft, smooth, and moisturized for hours. It’s perfect for those with normal or dry skin, while oily-skinned girls will be frustrated by the lack of anti-shine ingredients. After a few hours, my t-zone was oily again. The consistency is on the thick side, but it still feels very lightweight once applied on the skin. It sinks into it instantly too.

Pupa Viso Di Velluto works well as a makeup remover too. A small amount easily takes off everything but waterproof mascara. For that, it takes a little more product and time, but it is doable. It’s not my makeup remover of choice for every day though. I prefer a bilayer remover, especially for eye makeup, because I think it does the job more quickly, but in an emergency, or while travelling, this gets the job done. That’s just me, though. If you prefer creamy and moisturizing makeup removers, you’ll appreciate it a lot more than I did.

Instead, I hated it as a lip balm. The texture may be on the thicker side, but it is still too runny to be used on the lips. Because of that, I always end up ingesting some of it, and while that’s not dangerous, it’s not pleasant either. This stuff tastes horrible! But if you can put up with that, it will make your lips soft and smooth. It’s best used before going to bed. Then you won’t be doing any talking or eating and the chances of ingesting it are much, much smaller.

Another thing I’m not too fond of is the scent. It is floral and quite strong. It only bothers me during application because, thank goodness, once on the skin, it fades away quickly. But, as much as I love perfume, I much prefer my skincare products to be fragrance-free. That’s because fragrances can be irritating, especially if you have sensitive skin. Pupa Viso Di Velluto didn’t irritate my skin, though. And it didn’t cause breakouts either.

Aqua, Ethylhexyl Stearate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Glyceryl Stearate, SE Cycnoches Cooperi (Orchid) Flower/Leaf Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Parfum, Dimethicone, Carbomer Sodium Hydroxyde, Sodium Saccharin, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Ehylhexylglycerin, Benzyl Salicylate, Limonene, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Hydroxyisohexyl 3 Cycloexene Carboxaldehyde, Citronellol, CI 17200.

Available at: Italian beauty shops

Pupa Viso Di Velluto 3 in 1 is a basic moisturizer for dry skin that can also be used as a makeup remover and a lip balm. It makes skin soft and smooth for hours, and takes off dirt and makeup quite easily, but its texture makes it uncomfortable to use it as a lip balm. It tastes awful and the floral scent is too strong too.

Rating: 3.5/5

Are They Dupes?: Creme De La Mer VS Nivea Creme

creme de la mer nivea dupes

A few weeks ago, I reviewed Creme De La Mer, a fancy moisturizer with an outrageous price tag. Despite having been developed by a NASA scientist, its formula doesn’t contain anything revolutionary. Its main ingredients are so basic and common that can be found in most creams, including Nivea Creme. In fact, the two are said to dupes! But is that hoping too much?

To find out, let’s take a look at the ingredients of all three creams. No, that’s not a typo. There are two versions of Nivea Creme. The German version, sold in Europe and almost impossible to find in the US, and the US version, which is sold, well.. in the US. Let’s get started:

Ingredient Analysis

mineral oil cosmetics

Mineral Oil

Mineral oil gets a bad reputation because it is derived from oil, but half of the ingredients used in cosmetics are. And nope, they’re not dangerous. That’s because all the nasty and toxic stuff has been removed through a rigorous purifying process.

Cosmetic grade mineral oil is one of the most moisturizing ingredients available today. It works by creating a barrier on the skin that slows down water loss. But that’s not the only reason why it is so widely used. Mineral oil is also non-irritating and noncomedogenic (although if you use products with comedogenic ingredients, they will get trapped under the barrier mineral oil creates, which could lead to breakouts).

jar vaseline


Like mineral oil, petrolatum is derived from oil, purified and safe. It doesn’t penetrate skin, but rests on its surface, where it forms a water-repellent film that keeps skin moisturized. It also helps reduce inflammation and heal skin. Only Creme De La Mer and the US version of Nivea Creme use this ingredient. This explains why the German version of the cream has a less greasy and sticky consistency.

glycerin molecular structure


It seems like every skincare product contains glycerin, doesn’t it? That’s because glycerin is a good humectant that can attract water from the environment into the skin, hydrating it. Together with mineral oil and petrolatum, it makes these thick creams godsends for dry skin.


Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinone

I was disappointed to see that both the US version of Nivea Creme and, especially, Creme De La Mer use Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinone as preservatives. People make a big fuss about parabens, even though there is no proof (at least yet) that they’re bad for our health, yet the ignore Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinone, which are considered to be the most irritating preservatives used in skincare. Is that because their names are so difficult and impossible to remember that no one pays any attention to them? Well, if you have sensitive skin at least you should. Just so you can avoid them. It’s true that a lot of people can use them without experiencing any side effects, but even so, I’d have expected fancy Creme De La Mer to have a better, safer preservative system. Nivea is cheaper, so I’m more forgiving towards them.

Further considerations on the formulas

Those mentioned above aren’t the only ingredients all three creams have in common. They use the same emollients and thickening agents, such as Mycrocrystalline Wax, Lanolin Alcohol, and Magnesium Stearate. This means the base of Creme De La Mer and Nivea Creme (US version) is pretty much identical. The base of Creme De La mer and Nivea Creme (German version) instead is almost identical, the main difference being the lack of petrolatum in the latter.

However, these formulas aren’t identical. Creme De La Mer contains a bunch of antioxidants, which, at first sight, make it a much better option than the Nivea Creme. And they would, if only the cream weren’t packaged in a jar. Antioxidants are very delicate ingredients and they lose a bit of their efficacy every time they are exposed to light an air (every time you open the jar, basically). So, if you favour Creme De La Mer because of its antioxidant content, you’re wasting your money.

Creme De La Mer also contains seaweed extract, which undergoes a fermentation process that makes it produce lactic acid. Lactic acid is an Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) that has exfoliant properties that can help skin look brighter, smoother and more even-toned. But there really is no need to spend so much for it.

Creme De La Mer Ingredients:

Seaweed (Algae) Extract, Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum), Petrolatum, Glycerin, Isohexadecane, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Extract, Microcrystalline Wax, Lanolin Alcohol, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus (Eucalyptus) Leaf Oil, Magnesium Sulfate, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed, Medicago Sativa (Alfalfa) Seed Powder, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seedcake, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Seed Meal, Sodium Gluconate, Potassium Gluconate, Copper Gluconate, Calcium Gluconate, Magnesium Gluconate, Zinc Gluconate, Paraffin, Tocopheryl Succinate, Niacin, Beta-Carotene, Decyl Oleate, Aluminum Distearate, Octyldodecanol, Citric Acid, Cyanocobalamin, Magnesium Stearate, Panthenol, Limonene, Geraniol, Linalool, Hydroxycitronellal, Citronellol, Benzyl Salicylate, Citral, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Alcohol Denat., Fragrance

Nivea Creme (German Version) Ingredients:

Aqua, Paraffinum Liquidum, Cera Microcristallina, Glycerin, Lanolin Alcohol (Eucerit®), Paraffin, Panthenol, Decyl Oleate, Octyldodecanol, Aluminum Stearates, Citric Acid, Magnesium Sulfate, Magnesium Stearate, Parfum, Limonene, Geraniol, Hydroxycitronellal, Linalool, Citronellol, Benzyl Benzoate, Cinnamyl Alcohol

Nivea Creme (US Version) Ingredients:

Water, Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum), Petrolatum, Glycerin, Microcrystalline Wax, Lanolin Alcohol, Beeswax (Apis Mellifera), Panthenol, Alcohol, Magnesium Sulfate, Decyl Oleate, Octyldodecanol, Aluminum Stearate, Fragrance, Citric Acid, Magnesium Stearate, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone


Creme De La Mer, which costs an outragoeus $160 for 30ml, is available at Nordstrom and Harrods. Nivea Creme (US version) can be purchased at A 200ml jar costs only $7.49. The German version is available at Boots for £3.39.

The Bottom Line

Creme De La Mer and Nivea Creme are very similar but not exact dupes. They are both fairly basic moisturizers that make even the dryest of skin soft and smooth for hours. Creme De La Mer is slightly better because it contains seaweeds that produce lactic acid, but that’s not enough to justify the price tag. Personally, I’d go with Nivea and use the money so saved to buy a AHAs exfoliant or antioxidant rich serum. And, that way, I’d still have plenty of money left to splurge on makeup. ;)

Have you tried Creme De La Mer or Nivea Creme?

Creme De La Mer: Is It Worth it?

creme de la mer

After an experiment exploded in his face, NASA scientist Max Huber decided to create a cream to help heal his wounds. Creme De La Mer was born. In 1996, Estee Lauder bought it, and since then it has become a staple in many a celebrity’s beauty arsenal. J.Lo is said to love this stuff so much to stockpile huge amounts of it. And who could blame her? Surely, a cream developed by a NASA scientist must contain something pretty unique and incredibly effective, right? Well, not exactly…

What Creme De La Mer says

The original miracle, borne from Dr. Huber’s quest to heal his own skin’s scarred appearance. This ultrarich cream transforms skin on contact and soothes sensitivities. It helps heal even the driest complexions and dramatically renews skin’s appearance. Skin in any state will benefit from this nourishing treatment, but it is especially suited to very dry complexions. To this day, each opal jar is filled by hand to maintain its delicate balance.

Ingredient Analysis

algae extract

Seaweed (Algae) Extract

Seaweed extract is a very generic term. More than 20,000 species of algae exist and, even though only a bunch of those are commonly found in cosmetics, it’s hard to say which one Creme De La Mer uses. Most of them have emollient and antioxidant properties, but they aren’t the miraculous ingredients the brand claims them to be.

But the secret is, apparently, in the fermentation process. Nicki Zevola of Futurederm explains that “(ultrasound waves) are directed into the cream to ferment the algae, accelerating the rate by which algae produces lactic acid.” A Alpha Hydroxy Acid, Lactic Acid can dissolve the glue that holds skin cells together, allowing them to slough off. Once exfoliated, skin is smoother and brighter. There is no need to go through all this trouble to produce lactic acid though. It can be bought from many manufacturers.

glycerin molecular structure

Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum), Petrolatum, Glycerin

Mineral Oil and Petrolatum have gained a bad reputation because they are derived from oil. But before they can be used in skincare products, they must undergo a strict and rigorous purifying process that eliminates all their toxic components. What’s left is not only safe for us, but very moisturizing too.

Both ingredients work by creating a protective barrier on the skin that slows down water loss. Plus, they also have wound-healing properties. Glycerin, instead, is a humectant that draws water from the environment into the skin, increasing its hydration. This blend of ingredients makes this a very moisturizing formula, especially suitable for dry skin.



Creme De La Mer is infused with antioxidants, such as Medicago Sativa (Alfalfa) Seed Powder, Copper Gluconate (it can increase the levels of superoxide dismutase, a powerful antioxidant), and Tocopheryl Succinate, a very effective form of Vitamin E. Unfortunately whatever benefits these antioxidants may provide are nullified by the jar packaging. That’s because antioxidants lose a bit of their effectiveness when exposed to light and air, which happens every time you open the lid.

Final considerations on the formula

Creme De La Mer is a basic moisturizer with a very high price tag. It moisturizes skin, which will make it softer and look smoother and plumper. It also contains small amounts of copper and magnesium which could help heal wounds too, but while Dr Huber may have found them helpful, not many hurt their skin that bad or even just frequently to need a cream with such healing properties. I also don’t like the preservatives used. Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinone are too of the most irritating and can cause allergic reactions.

Full Ingredient List

Seaweed (Algae) Extract, Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum), Petrolatum, Glycerin, Isohexadecane, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Extract, Microcrystalline Wax, Lanolin Alcohol, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus (Eucalyptus) Leaf Oil, Magnesium Sulfate, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed, Medicago Sativa (Alfalfa) Seed Powder, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seedcake, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Seed Meal, Sodium Gluconate, Potassium Gluconate, Copper Gluconate, Calcium Gluconate, Magnesium Gluconate, Zinc Gluconate, Paraffin, Tocopheryl Succinate, Niacin, Beta-Carotene, Decyl Oleate, Aluminum Distearate, Octyldodecanol, Citric Acid, Cyanocobalamin, Magnesium Stearate, Panthenol, Limonene, Geraniol, Linalool, Hydroxycitronellal, Citronellol, Benzyl Salicylate, Citral, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Alcohol Denat., Fragrance


Creme De La Mer is available at Nordstrom and Harrods. A 30ml jar costs a whooping $160!

The bottom line

Creme De La Mer is an effective, but very basic, moisturizer that’s particularly suitable for dry skin. If you like the formula and can afford it, go for it. But don’t expect miracles. There’s nothing revolutionary or unique here that justifies its high price tag. On the contrary, its active ingredients are commonly used in many, and much cheaper, skincare products.

Have you ever tried Creme De La Mer? If so, what do you think of it?

Do You Have Dry, Acne-Prone Skin? Here’s How To Deal With It

how to deal with dry acne prone skin

We tend to think of acne as something that can occur only to those with oily skin, but that’s not true. If you have dry skin, you can be plagued with it as well. Often, this dry skin is self-inflicted. In an effort to get rid of acne, you can go too far, drying out your skin and damaging it even more. But other times, your skin was already, maybe has always been, dry, when you started developing acne.

In either case, having to deal with both acne and dry skin at the same time can be very confusing. How do you treat both conditions without making things worse? Let’s start by figuring out the cause:

1. Harsh anti-acne and anti-aging ingredients

Anti-acne ingredients such as Salicylic Acid (it penetrates inside the pores, exfoliating them from within), Benzoyl Peroxide (it can kill the bacteria that causes acne), or Differin (it accelerates cell turnover) are very effective at keeping this condition under control but, if used in high doses or too often can irritate skin and drying it out.

Some people use two or more of these ingredients at the same time, sometimes even adding OTC retinoids and Vitamin C to the mix to help fight premature aging as well. While your skin needs antioxidants to stay young and healthy, these particular ingredients can also cause irritations when used too often or in too high doses.

The solution? Experiment to find the anti-acne routine that works best for you. You can use a BHA exfoliant with salicylic acid during the day and retinoids at night. Or you can use retinoids only every other day, alternating them with benzoyl peroxide. Also consider reducing the doses of these active ingredients. Rather than using a 10% BHA exfoliant, for instance, opt for a 2% concentration. Some people cannot use these ingredients at all because any concentrations make their skin act up. In that case, replace BHA exfoliants with AHAs ones and OTC retinol products with antioxidant rich serum. For alternatives to prescription products, consult your doctor.

2. Harsh skincare products

Even if you’ve found the right anti-acne or anti-aging products, you may be using something else that makes your skin act up. Avoid bar soaps and harsh cleansers, in particular those with Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, that can strip too much oil from your skin. Oil is the skin’s natural moisturizer so, while removing any excess is good, getting rid of it completely can dry it out even more. Instead, opt for cleansers with gentler surfactants, such as Boots Expert Anti-Blemish Cleansing Foam or Paula’s Choice Clear Normalizing Cleanser Pore Clarifying Gel.

Not everyone needs toner, and certainly no one needs those loaded with alcohol, witch hazel, or menthol. They just dry out or irritate skin even more. And so do harsh scrubs that remove dead skin cell with the help of apricot or walnut seeds. Their jarred edges can tear at the skin, irritating it. The Clarisonic brush, if used too often, can make things worse as well. For exfoliation, stick to BHA, or, if that irritates your skin, AHAs exfoliants, which are gentler on the skin.

If your skin is dry, you may be tempted to use rich moisturizers. But if your dry skin is caused by the wrong skincare products or by abusing good ones, a moisturizer that’s too rich won’t help much. It may actually make things worse. How? A lot of the heavy moisturizing and thickening ingredients used in them can clog pores and exacerbate breakouts. Instead, opt for a lightweight gel formula loaded with antioxidants such as MD Formulations Moisture Defense Antioxidant Hydrating Gel. And don’t even think of skipping sunscreen! Your skin will never heal if you keep inflicting sun damage on it too every day.

Finally, keep in mind that any skincare products, including those formulated for acne-prone and/or dry skin, can contain any of the harsh ingredients already mentioned, such as alcohol, sodium lauryl sulfate, or menthol. So always read the ingredient list carefully before purchasing a skincare product or you may risk throwing money away on something that will make your problems worse, not better.

What if you still have dry skin and acne?

What if there’s nothing wrong with your skincare routine but your skin is still dry and acne-prone? Your dry skin may be due to other causes, such as cold weather and low humidity that can suck all the moisture out of your skin. Genetics, aging, and medical conditions such as thyroid disease can play a part too.

If your skin is really acne-prone and dry, all the tips above bar one apply. A lightweight gel moisturizer may not be enough for your skin type. Only in this case, you should opt for a richer formula. Just make sure it doesn’t contain any of the irritating ingredients mentioned above. Stay away from moisturizers with mineral oil as well. Although cosmetic grade mineral oil isn’t comedogenic, it can still exacerbate acne in some people.

Dealing with both acne and dry skin can be frustrating, but with the right products and skincare habits, you too can get clearer, softer, and more hydrated skin.

Do you suffer from both acne and dry skin? If so, how do you deal with them?

Why Philosophy Hope In A Jar Leaves You Hoping For More

philosophy hope in a jar

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.

Ingredient Analysis

sodium lauryl sulfate chemical structure

Lauryl Lactate

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 molecular structure


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.


Retinyl Palmitate

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?