Hi ladies, I'd like to start by saying that my skin is an excellent litmus test for moisturizers because it is incredibly sensitive. I have a history of dryness and rosacea, so my skin will often immediately let me know if a product isn't right for me.
I had been recommended Philosophy's Hope in A Jar at Sephora, so I decided to test it out by purchasing a 1/2 jar for $15. First of all, the price was outrageous for a 1.2 oz amount of product! Downfall #2 is that it didn't really moisturize my face very well. And downfall #3 is the surprising number of harmful ingredients. I have to admit that I didn't research the ingredients ahead of time like I usually do before I purchase. But what led me to do so was the fact that every time I put on the product, my eyes would water and my skin would experience some stinging.
So here are the ingredients listed in the product that I typically avoid and why: 1) Dimethicone: Simply put, dimethicone is a form of silicone, which is a form of rubbery plastic that is used in silly putty, and breast implants, etc. This usually gives cosmetics that really slippy feeling. While the FDA has deemed it "generally unharmful for cosmetics," most critics disagree and, more importantly, my skin indicates otherwise. Putting silicone-based products on your face, while making it appear smoother, does so by filling in your pores with tiny bits of silicone--essentially clogging your pores on purpose. If your face builds any oil throughout the day, you are likely to experience breakout and, undoubtedly, I always do. 2) Panthenol: Similar to dimethicone in behavior, it also clogs pores and causes breakout 3) Parabens: Suspected to be linked to Breast Cancer, and also when applied on the skin may react with UVB, leading to increased skin aging and DNA damage . 4) Diazolidinyl urea: used to release formaldehyde which is highly toxic to humans, and many people have a contact allergy to diazolidinyl urea causing dermatitis.
Why do cosmetic companies use these type of ingredients? The first two listed make the product feel incredibly slippy which causes a mis-guided perception of moisture and hydration to the skin. And the last two are preservatives to give the product a longer shelf-life, which save the big companies tons of bucks, allowing them to produce in bulk and make higher margins on the sale of each individual product.
To learn more about harmful ingredients, Google "Ingredients to avoid in cosmetics" and read all the articles you can handle. Each has something to contribute...but the main lesson here is to look for cosmetics with only natural ingredients like water, aloe vera, lavender, coconut, avocado, and olive oils, coffee, etc. If you can't pronounce it, forget it and if you experience any discomfort at all, don't be afraid to return it or just dump it.
My latest natural alternative is the Giovanni D:Tox System Facial Moisturizer which retails for only $9.95 and it can be found at most Target Stores or online at http://www.giovannicosmetics.net along with the rest of their organic skin and hair lines of products.
Philosophy has done an excellent job of branding itself with it's fantastical naming and marketing strategies, but don't be fooled ladies! As pretty as the packaging may be and as cute as a name my sound, always check the ingredients to verify that there is truth behind the claims and names :)