Exclusive: Philosophy’s Iconic Skin-Care Line Gets a Revamp

Exclusive: Philosophy’s Iconic Skin-Care Line Gets a Revamp featured image

2022 is already gearing up to be a great year for philosophy. The iconic skin-care brand exclusively shared with NewBeauty that its best-selling collection, hope in a jar, has been reformulated to remove questionable and potentially harmful ingredients from inside its well-loved products. The alteration marks the first major change to the cult-classic line, originally launched 25 years ago by founder Cristina Carlino. 

Origin Story

“The original hope in a jar launched in 1996 with the launch of philosophy, but its story goes back to the early 90s when philosophy’s founder Cristina Carlino just started biomedics, her medical skin-care company,” explains Margot Humbert, philosophy senior vice president, global. “She had met two of the most world-renowned skin physiologists that were working in the cosmetic space, and they had invented a new water-loving miracle moisturizer that lightly exfoliated the skin.” 

The magic combination the team landed on was a blend of beta glucan and lactic acid in a whipped soufflé texture. “The moment you applied it to your skin, you knew it felt differently and acted differently than any product you ever tried,” recalls Humbert. “That moisturizer was the original hope in a jar.” Soon after launch, Oprah named it one of her 100 Favorite Things and was deemed an overnight success.

Hope 2.0

Fast forward to present day, the team at philosophy decided to make a change to the hope in a jar collection, which now includes everything from an eye cream to a lightweight serum. Opting to retain the iconic name and loyalty that came with it, Humbert explains the brand knew they needed to “modernize [hope in a jar] and make it superior to what was on the market. We looked at the competitors, we listened to the consumer who told us what they wanted from this relaunch from an olfactive, sensorial and results perspective and this made the brief.”

“25 years later we reinvent this success and relaunch a modern version of hope in a jar with improved immediate and long-term results, same unique texture now in clean formula, boosted technology powered by biotechnology and responsibly sourced ingredients,” explains Humbert. The formula combines hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid and pro vitamin P, a trio of ingredients that, like the original, delivers on the consumer’s top three concerns: hydration, wrinkles and glow. “We recently tested this new hope against the original hope and it overperformed on all aspects.”

Ingredient Clean-Up

Questionable ingredients including phenoxyethanol, BHT and phthalates were removed from all hope in a jar formulas, a decision Muriel Pujos, Pharm D, scientific & technical director luxury R&D philosophy, says aligns with the brand’s ethos. “For philosophy, clean beauty is about minimalist formulas that don’t compromise, quality, efficacy and enjoyability. Our clean stance responds to consumer and the retailer’s desire for ingredient transparency and to choose products based on the absence of certain ingredients, including phenoxyethanol, BHT, and phthalates, while maintaining safety and performance. Our clean list goes beyond authorities’ requirements and some of our main competitors. It is dynamic and updated on a regular basis as consumer expectations evolve.”


In addition to five reformulated classics, philosophy introduces a newcomer to the hope in a jar line: biome-balance glow serum, a lightweight formula with its sights set on all-things barrier repair. “Skin barrier protection has become more and more popular these recent years and has even reached a momentum in the COVID period because consumers want to feel protected,” explains Pujos, noting that when the skin’s barrier is weakened, it contributes to a dry appearance, compromised skin health and potential discomfort. “Our serum focuses on the skin barrier in order to help preserve skin’s water content, strengthen the skin and therefore contribute to healthy-looking skin.”

All six products will be available at Ulta and philosophy.com beginning today.

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