Beauty review: Philosophy Purity, Hope in a Jar and When Hope is Not Enough

Hi guys! I received some Philosophy samples to review for your sake, and I used them for a month because that's how long it takes for your skin to renew. Read on for my experiences with these products!

First up: Hope in a Jar, a favourite among people-in-the-know for
- moisturizing
- containing antioxidants, which supposedly fight aging and reduce skin irritation
- and gently exfoliating the skin by use of lactic acid, which basically helps removing dead skin cells
- which leaves your skin smooth and glowing

Hope in a jar is also available for dry or oily/combo skin, and in a night cream version. I used the original, for normal skin, and a 60ml jar retails at around 40€ at Ici Paris XL.

philosophy hope in a jar review

Hope in a Jar has an amazing texture, unlike other moisturizers I've tried: airy, whipped, truly melting into the skin after seconds. I felt like as a moisturizer, it was just a bit too light for my winter skin, but I bet I'd love this during the summer when my skin is just a bit less 'thirsty' :-)
The smell is polarizing, as a simple google search might tell you, but I really liked it: medicinal, with a slight hint of lavender. Another commonly heard downside is the packaging: a jar. Not very hygienic (although that can be remedied by using a spatula which you clean after every use), and everytime you open the jar, oxygen touches the active ingredients and makes them lose their efficacy. I would prefer this in a tube, or with a pump dispenser.
I definitely noticed the lactic acid, as my skin tingled after use for the first 10 days or so. Take care in keeping this one away from your eye contours, because it made my eyes tear up now and then. I also noticed some mild irritation and breakouts during the first week of use, which was probably related to the exfoliation. I used up this 30ml jar after a month of AM and PM use, so I could use the normal, 60ml size container for two months if used twice a day, or four months if used just in the AM. That makes the 40€ price tag not so extravagant, but still more than I spend now.

philosophy when hope is not enough serum review

Second: When Hope is Not Enough serum. You have to know one thing about me: I love serums. I find them luxurious, and a good serum has an instant effect on my skin, leaving it pampered, smooth, hydrated and basically looking like I've just come back from a relaxing vacation. This serum is no different. It has a thick, almost gel-like formula which reminds me of Estée Lauder's Advanced Night Repair (which is amaaaazing and I would swim in it daily if I had the money), and a spicy scent that I really liked. A 30ml bottle retails at 40€ at Ici Paris XL, which is quite expensive seeing as this 11ml bottle lasted me about 10 days of daily use. Serums are not a budget product, and I feel like you definitely get what you pay for, but the question is whether plump, firm skin fits in your budget.

Philosophy purity made simple cleanser review

Third, Purity made simple, a 3-in-1 cleanser. Let me come out and say it straight away: I love this product. I've never met a facial wash that was mild enough for me to rub it into my eyes without any trouble, and it leaves my skin feeling soft and clean but not dry or sensitive. If I use it in the shower, it removes all traces of even the heaviest eye make up without a problem. If I use it with a washcloth, I usually start with an oil based eye make up remover (because I wear a lot of make up :-D), but it still removes my face make up better (and gentler) than anything else I've tried. Purity contains essential oils to soothe the skin, smells subtly like lavender, and retails at 20€ for a 240ml bottle. My 90 ml bottle is still 1/3rd full after a month of use, so I think that that's great value for money. Using Purity has also greatly reduced the amount of irritation I've experienced after using heavier foundations like my Revlon Colorstay. I'm pretty sure I'll keep buying this product!

philosophy hope in a jar before after review

In these pictures, I'm wearing no make up. The left is from before starting the trial run, the second is from after a monht of use. As you can see: my skin isn't suddenly flawless, but the change is definitely noticeable: the redness in my cheeks has been subdued, just a tad. The rosacea has become less angry. Additionally, the overall amount of redness in my face has diminished. Something that is harder to show in pictures, is that my skin feels very smooth, although you can sort of see the change in texture along my chin and forehead. I also think that the laugh lines along my eyes are slightly less noticeable, but they weren't very pronounced to begin with.

All in all, the difference might not be as huge as I'd hoped it would be, but I think I should know better than to expect miracles from skincare when it comes to solving complexion issues I've had ever since my teens (ugh, hormones amirite). One major message I'd like to impart on everyone, is that spending more money on skincare or make up won't necessarily solve all of your (beauty) issues, but the right products can definitely make a difference that might be worth it, depending on your spending-priorities. If you have rosacea and if this is bothersome to you, Hope in a Jar is worth a trial run.
In sum: I totally understand why people love Philosophy products. Not many things feel as luxurious as pampering yourself with a daily skincare routine that consist of products that are as acclaimed as these, especially when you actually notice that the products improve your complexion. I might just buy another jar to see if prolonged use would make an even bigger change.

Have you tried Philosophy? Any experiences to share, or skincare recommendations? I'm all ears!


  1. Ik denk er al even aan om de Philosophy douchegel aan te schaffen om dat ze (schijnbaar) heel mild zijn voor de huid en als ik één ding heb geleerd uit mijn zoektocht naar goeie skincare is het wel dat ik enorm zacht moet zijn voor mijn huid.
    Toen ik voor het eerst op zoek ging naar goeie skincare producten voor mijn gezicht ging ik meteen naar de brands die je bij veel youtubers ziet passeren als Clinique, zonder echt te weten wat goed was voor mijn huid. Resultaat: een compleet uitgedroogd gezicht door alle alcohol en chemicalieën. Letterlijk flaking. Ik ben toen naar The Body Shop getrokken en heb de Vitamine E cleanser, exfoliater en serum-in-oil gekocht en die lijn heeft echt mijn huid gered. Vooral dat serum heeft mijn huid in één nacht weer bijna helemaal gehydrateerd. Hun producten zijn ook héél zacht op de huid, niet getest op dieren (altijd een pluspunt voor mij) en er zit geen alcohol in.
    Lesson learned: op vlak van gezichtsverzorging nooit meer afgaan op reviews van youtubers zonder ze eerst zelf te testen.. Het is niet omdat een productbeschrijving er goed uitziet, dat het product ook bij je past!

  2. Helemaal waar! Ik zou in het geval van Philosophy ook eerst beginnen met een klein potje zodat je kan zien hoe je huid erop reageert. Elke huid is echt anders, zoals je gemerkt hebt. En ik kan ook heel hard de reviews op makeupalley aanraden, dat is "anoniem" en dus niet gestuurd door bloggers die hopen om free products te krijgen. Also, bij elke reviewer staat wat voor huid ze hebben. Alle beauty reviews en skincare reviews op makeupalley vind ik echt heel goed.

  3. Ik gebruik al even de Purity Made Simple en daar ben ik ook wel tevreden van :-) Hope in a Jar ben ik nog niet aan toegekomen om te proberen, maar ik lig dan ook nog met hopen staaltjes en potjes dagcreme die op mogen.

  4. ik gebruik het no reason to hide 'multi-imperfection transforming' serum en de 'instant skin-tone perfecting moisturizer spf 20' en ik ga beiden sowieso opnieuw kopen - supertevreden van. juiste balans tussen treating & moisturizing voor mij, en ik merk echt zichtbaar resultaat in algemene skintone. de moisturizer gebruik ik wel over een andere moisturizer tijdens de winter, maar de textuur is per-fect voor een heel lichte, egaliserende gekleurde dagcrème.

  5. Ik heb al heel veel goede dingen gehoord ja, the holy grail blijft nog altijd om iets te vinden dat perfect past bij jouw noden. En daar komt altijd wat zoeken bij te pas, hoeveel reviews je ook leest!

  6. ja en ik geloof niet zo in de holy grail, want je huid past zich aan en na een tijdje werkt een product niet meer op dezelfde manier... en dan nog, mijn holy grail momenteel is nog altijd la mer, maar als je ook nog andere prioriteiten in je leven hebt behalve je huid, dan is dat zo moeilijk te verantwoorden qua aankoop :)

  7. yep, je huid en je prioriteiten (en je budget) evolueren. Wist je trouwens dat het duitse klassieke nivea recept (niet zeker of dat de versie is die ze hier verkopen, moet ik nog checken) qua ingrediënten quasi hetzelfde is als la mer? Dat zou wel een optie zijn als je het budgettair niet kunt/wilt betalen! Je kan er heel wat over vinden online, heel positieve reviews van mensen die de twee met insiderskennis hebben vergeleken.

  8. I tried Philosophy a few years ago, the face wash/moisturizers didn't work for me BUT they have this oxygenating mask (a little capsule you mix with water and then scrape off) that is actually magic. This was in my pre accutane days when irritation, discoloration and dryness were barely on my radar as long as it was an area without pimples. But this mask changed everything. It made my skin so much more comfortable and even. I've since switched to the Bliss version bc this one was crazy expensive for how much product you get but it was a miracle for me.
    For moisturizer I use Clinique (total turnaround for night and moisture surge for day) anytime I try something else my face explodes with redness and zits.

  9. That sounds so amazing, I need to try that mask! I haven't actually tried ANY masks ever, so that's untapped potential for me to explore! :D

    I don't have issues with showing my skin without make up. I mean, I know my skin isn't perfect (at all :-D) but I've lived with it for 27 years and I'm totally unashamed of it, really. Rosacea and hyperpigmentation could be seen as freckles in a way - natural characteristics of my skin, which doesn't adhere to beauty norms. Not necessarily a "flaw".

    I've tried clinique before but I wasn't convinced by it. Just goes to show that every skin reacts differently!

  10. This is an awesome post! I just got a sample of Hope in a Jar and loved it, but was bummed out over its price tag. Nice to hear how long the jar can last and that it's worth it! Also now wondering if I should get Purity Made Simple too... Anyway, your skin looks awesome! Definitely glowier and smoother in the after photos :)

  11. Oh yeah, because the cream is SO light and whipped, it spreads out like a dream and you need less than from a regular moisturizer. I definitely think it's worth it, so if you love it and it fits your budget, I would get it! Great skin can make you feel so confident.

  12. I'd been spending all this money on expensive face wash and moisturizer, but then I forgot my moisturizer on a trip and started using Cetaphil. That paired with Whole Foods wash (in a giant container) have done more for my skin than anything I've used in the past few years.

  13. Fijn dat je hier een artikel over hebt geschreven; ik was nog op zoek naar een goede moisturizer voor huid met rosacea! Misschien ga ik toch maar even langs de V&D om een sample te vragen.

    Echt een aanrader: de 2% BHA lotion voor de droge huid van Paula's choice. Dat maakte bij mij echt een enorm verschil in roodheid en 'overall bumpiness'. Ik heb nu een goede huid zelfs zonder make-up.
    Een half jaar terug ging ik op vakantie naar Griekenland en ben ik een weekje gestopt met het gebruik ervan. (Combinatie van een 'chemical exfoiliant' en zon leek mij niet ideaal. Ook dacht ik stiekem eigenlijk dat ik het effect in mijn hoofd wat had overdreven). Mijn wangen gingen in een paar dagen terug naar vuurtoren-rood, de schilferigheid (sorry TMI) en het branderig gevoel kwam gewoon terug. Nu ben ik maar trouw aan mijn 4de flesje begonnen ;-)