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Hit or Miss? Philosophy Hope in A Jar Oil Free Moisturizer

It’s a shame, but Philosophy’s latest offering, Philosophy Hope in a Jar Oil-free Gel (buy here) just doesn’t do it for me.

As you all know, skincare brand Philosophy is the latest brand to come to Singapore, and even though I haven’t tried many of their products (just one, in fact), I LOVE… well, their Philosophy. Their inspirational quotes on their packaging (it’s nice reading material too, I’m always so bored when I’m in the shower/brushing my teeth).

That being said, I was excited to try out their “just-for-Asia”, oil-free version of their popular Hope in a Jar moisturizer. Hope in A Jar has been featured 6 times in Oprah’s Favorite Things, and is quite a big deal in the USA, so I suspected their oil free version would be great too.

And though at first I said I really loved it – I think I spoke way too soon, because almost 2 months later, I don’t love it.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good moisturizer, but… it just feels like water gel. As in, it feels like nothing. I feel like I’m rubbing a gel version of water – it doesn’t feel like anything and it doesn’t seem to be doing much. My skin does feel soft after, yes, but because it feels so light, like water, I wonder if my skin is really getting ANY thing, so to speak.

That being said – I think this would be great for those with very oily skin, but personally I would like to try their original version. Sorry Philosophy, it’s not bad, probably will be satisfying for most, but not for me – I expect more from a moisturizer.

Have you tried Philosophy’s Hope in A Jar moisturizer – either the original or the oil-free version? What are your thoughts? I have tested the original one and it seems much more superior (and moisturizing) to the oil-free one. In fact, they almost seem like two complete different products.

{ 15 comments… add one }
  • I’ve never tried any of their skincare, but I do like their Bath, Shower and Shampoo Gel combo bottles. For skincare, I find you can never go wrong with Clinique and L’Occitane!

    • Renee

      Yeah, I’m sticking to Clinique for skincare! I’ve been using them for 6+ years now and don’t plan to stop! What do you use by Clinique?

      And I had no idea L’Occitane made skincare products! Bad beauty blogger! I thought it was more bath and body stuff. Thanks for letting me know, I should take a look sometime. 🙂

      • I use their Mild Liquid Facial Soap every day and 7 Day Scrub when I need to exfoliate or after I have been wearing a lot of makeup, however I think 7 Day Scrub might have just been usurped by L’Occitane’s new Angelica Exfoliating Gel, which is so gentle and has made my skin so amazing since I got it to review (http://bit.ly/K2MiRH). Then I used Clinique’s All About Eyes and Super Moisture Surge after I have washed my face, but I use L’Occitaine’s Shea Butter Ultra Gentle Moisturiser in the mornings, and the Shea Butter Ultra Rich Face Cream to give my face a little extra in either really cold bits of Winter or in the Summer to rehydrate after I have got out of the pool! (http://bit.ly/L0JOqx) – I also have a love affair going on with their hand creams, and as for Clinique I also have a whole host of their makeup too!

  • PrincessJ

    I’m in my first month of using this! I LOVE the texture of it, I get what u mean too, whether does it really do anything to the skin beside feeling good applying a water gel to the skin. Is too soon for me to decide if i would repurchase, but it does feel good so far 🙂

    • Renee

      Let me know how it goes! I’m curious to see if it indeed “did anything” – and I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks it just feels like “water gel” haha! I didn’t think anyone would understand, so yay 🙂

  • Eilla

    I’ve used their body shower gels, lotion and facial cleanser. The shower gels smells good but they disappear as soon as you get out from the bathroom. The body lotion scents are subtle and I had the amazing grace body firming lotion that honestly smells like sunscreen and no difference. The famous facial cleanser, Purity Made Simple, is overhyped. I have a love/hate relationship with it. I broke out like crazy after just 3 washes only to find out that I have exfoliate my skin like every other day so my dry skin won’t trapped the tons of oil they put in that cleanser but it is great for traveling. It replaced my cleanser, makeup remover and toner when I travel.

    • Renee

      Eilla, thank you for your comprehensive review! Hmm… it seems like Philosophy doesn’t work for you. 🙁 it’s too early for me to tell, but I wonder how my skin would react if I tried out their other skincare stuff… though I’m kinda scared now after what you told me! I do NOT like oil on my skin at all, haha. Did your skin recover from all that breaking out? xx

      • Eilla

        My skin only cleared up after I stop using the cleanser and it took a week. It’s really irritating that way. If you look at the ingredients on their facial cleanser, they have like about 10 different extracts and oil in it and they kinda harsh too. Who puts pepper or cinnamon extract in a facial cleanser? I wanted to try their moisturizer but hmmm, there are so many mixed reviews on it and after what happened, I am kinda wary. Have you tried Stages of Beauty skin care? They are catered for different age range which is pretty unique and they’re mainly target for anti aging purposes.

        • Renee

          Pepper and cinnamon are SUCH weird ingredients in a cleanser! Glad you stopped and your skin cleared up now, yikes.

          I haven’t tried Stages of Beauty – in fact I’ve never heard of them! Will Google, I’m curious 😛

  • Serena

    Personally, I do not trust oil-free moisturizers.

    It’s a false assumption that oil makes you oilier. In fact, sometimes people get oilier skin because they’re using products that are too drying and their skin is over-producing oil to compensate.

    Oil-based cleansers and moisturizers all the way. ^__^

    • Renee

      I agree, oil is actually good for your skin and sometimes it can overproduce oil because it thinks your skin is too dry.

      However, I personally cannot use oil based skincare products. For makeup it’s fine (in foundation, etc). I’ve tried several moisturizers and cleansers with oil in them (even tried the oil cleansing method) but my skin reacted BADLY. So I suppose it depends on your skin type, though generally skin definitely needs oil. (I like to think my skin gets it through my tinted moisturizer which has argan oil, hehe :))

      What skincare are you using? 🙂

      • Serena

        I love LOVE Living Libations. They’re extremely natural (SUPER NATURAL hehe) and amazing. My skin really does well with all of their products. Only con is they are based in Canada so it’s hard to get their stuff (expensive shipping…)

        I used to use Mario Badescu when I was younger (in middle school–but not every day) and I use both Bobbi Brown’s and Shu Uemera’s oil cleansers (My Shu is in the Philippines and my BB is in the US where I attend college).

        I love trying new brands, though 😉 One of my favorite moisturizers is ESPA’s brightening moisturizer (you can get them at the spas in hotels like the Peninsula and the Mandarin Oriental in HK, NYC, etc.)

        My skincare “routine” is simple: wash my face, then put 2 pumps of Best Skin Ever (from Living Libations) in my hand, rub, and pat on my face (I use it as a moisturizer)

        Sometimes I follow up with additional Rose Glow for LL and sometimes I spot treat blemishes with Dew Dab (also LL).

  • Gwen @ Makeup Toys

    I really really like Laneige Water Bank Gel Cream and I will recommend that. It works really well under makeup for combination skin. Does not give the oily feeling and gets absorbed really fast. 🙂 Moisture is so crucial to our skin and a dehydrated skin will make us look older than we really are. Drink lots of water and lather up on moisturizer! 🙂

  • Nice review! I often opt for oil free versions of moisturisers, as I have combination skin and too much oil can leave my face feeling greasy. I’m glad you reviewed this as I would have probably gone for the oil free version but will probably just try the original now…. 🙂 xx

  • I’ve used their body shower gels, lotion and facial cleanser. The shower gels smells good but they disappear as soon as you get out from the bathroom. The body lotion scents are subtle and I had the amazing grace body firming lotion that honestly smells like sunscreen and no difference. The famous facial cleanser, Purity Made Simple, is overhyped. I have a love/hate relationship with it. I broke out like crazy after just 3 washes only to find out that I have exfoliate my skin like every other day so my dry skin won’t trapped the tons of oil they put in that cleanser but it is great for traveling. It replaced my cleanser, makeup remover and toner when I travel.

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