I can't really comment on the firming/lifting/wrinkle helping ability of this serum, like other reviewers I got it for its antioxidant benefit and because I wanted a peptide serum to help heal the occasional acne flare-up. Overall this is doing a great job, I've seen great results in 3-4 days. My acne spots are significantly less red and healing up much faster than they ever have before, my skin looks more even, and my cheeks, forehead, and chin aren't red. I don't think you can call this bad smelling, the tester in Sephora didn't really smell like anything and my bottle kind of smells like rosemary and pine. I highly recommend giving this a try, especially in conjuncture with an at-home microderm kit like the Olay Regenerist, or a cream exfoliant like Dermalogica or Kate Somerville.
Update: I stopped using is a few years ago when my skin turned a bit more mature (less acne and inflammation, more dryness), but my skin has been reed, painful, and ultra active lately thanks to craziness at work and my looming wedding. I remembered this and picked up a bottle; almost instant relief, combined with my regimen of sweet almond oil as a cleanser and moisturizer.
I got this as part of the Makeup Optional kit. Long story short, it made me break out, and I don't often break out from skincare products (of course, I check labels very carefully for potentially problematic ingredients). But, come on. I've put plain cocoa butter right on the drier areas of my face, and it migrated around to the oilier areas of my face, and I still didn't break out. But Hope in a Jar broke me out. And the When Hope is Not Enough serum broke me out. And the lip/eye cream gave me milia when I used it as an eye cream, and wasn't nearly hydrating enough as a lip treatment. The peel was ok, didn't cause problems but didn't do anything great either. I didn't even try the cleanser as it has so many essential oils in it, I wasn't willing to chance it. I tried both the serum and the cream separately, and they both broke me out. I don't return stuff that often to Sephora, but this was $68 & tax that I definitely insisted on getting back. I doubt I'll ever try any Philosophy skin products again.
I will probably re-purchase this product for 2 reasons: 1- The price. This is a very good price for a serum; and 2- The viscosity. It is watery and sinks into my skin perfectly and immediately. I have yet to find a serum that sinks in this well. I have had zero problems with putting makeup or moisturizer on top of this. I want to use a serum for the antioxidant benefits, but with every other serum I've tried my face ends up an oily or sticky mess once I add sunscreen, or moisturizer, or makeup on top of it. This one does not have that problem. I use Aveda tinted moisturizer with spf on top of this most every day and have not had any extra oil on my face. Another issue with serums is that they usually seem to make my makeup last less time- again, this one passes the test. It seems to have no effect on my makeup at all. This serum would be drying without putting some type of moisture over it- so, don't try it alone. Also, I'm not sure it's making a lot of difference in my skin. My skin looks great but that could be due to any number of products I use. It's hard to say. Regardless, I think it has to be doing something because the ingredients are good and it's the only one so far that hasn't ruined my makeup. For this price this is worth a try.
My mother gave me this product that she received in a kit. I was expecting it to help the small lines under my eyes. I just finished 1 bottle and don't really see that much improvement. I was using it twice a day. I'm not sure if I will purchase this in the future.
Yes, the smell is pretty raunchy. But it dissipates quickly, so it's not really a factor. I really like this stuff. My skin feels firmer when I use it--I'm not sure it LOOKS any firmer, but I really believe that a large part of beauty lies in attitude, so this is a big plus for me. I've found that it works even better with the Vitamin C powder mixed in.
I'm somewhat undecided about this serum. I usually use the Cellex-C serum and then top it off with Cellex C Hydra serum and then Juice Beauty Antioxidant serum. While I was using this for a couple of days, it felt as though this was making my skin worse. I didn't feel protected from the environment or sun. I won't be purchasing this again as there are a lot better antioxidants out there for this price range.
I love how light and absorbent this serum is. I usually mix this stuff with the hope and a prayer a.m. powder in the mornings before I apply my laura mercier tinted moisturizer and the results are natural looking, smooth, healthy skin. The serum has a very thin syrupy texture but mixed with the a.m. powder, it turns to a watery liquid (probably due to chemical reaction with acids in powder). Needless to say, it's hard to apply a watery film to your face, but the results are worth it. Please try this with the a.m powder! The vit. C in the powder improves the effectiveness of your sunscreen while neutralizing free radical damage from the sun.
I'm currently using (and loving) the following philosophy products: purity made simple, when hope is not enough serum, hope in a jar (original formula), hope in a tube (eye and lip cream), and the 2-piece microdelivery peel. I don't think it's easy to review individual product results so I'll review as a whole with comments about the seperate products.
I have "normal" skin for the most part. I'm occasionally oily in the T-zone. I'm not seeing any signs of aging at 33. I'm not sensitive and rarely have any reactions to skincare. My biggest complaint is slightly rough skin texture. I do get a hormonal zit almost every month, but beyond that I have pretty okay skin. Since beginning using the philosophy "makeup optional" products, my skin texture has improved dramatically. My skin is soft and smooth. My pores are less visible and I think I have a bit more of an overall glow.
purity made simple: I think this is the best cleanser I've ever tried. I absolutely love the natural, herbal scent. It melts off all makeup, even mascara, and it doesn't sting my eyes! It doesn't strip or overdry my skin. I just feel clean and soft after washing. Love it! *****
when hope is not enough serum: Stinks! If you can get beyond the awful scent, this serum has a light, non-sticky texture that absorbs quickly. It has anti-oxidants and even a hair growth inhibitor. I'm not sure if my facial hair growth has slowed at all, but I'll keep using for the other benefits. **** UPDATE: Only my first bottle of this smelled bad. My next two purchases were "fresh herbal" scented.
hope in a jar: I love the scent of lavender. If you hate lavender, you may not like this cream. This has a really nice, light, almost whipped texture. It seems to be slightly pearly also which gives a healthy looking finish to skin as applied. It is not a heavy moisturizer. I'm crediting this for smoothing my skin texture. I don't know if this has a proper pH or % of AHA for exfoliation, but I'm happy with the results I'm seeing. *****
hope in a tube: I don't have eye lines or wrinkles so I can't comment of how this affects those issues. It seems to keep my eye area nicely moisturized and I'll continue to use it. ****
microdelivery peel: It's a nice citrus scrub that heats when an activating gel is applied. My skin really looks fresh, glow-y and is super soft after doing this peel. Love it! *****
I actually found the smell of this product very therapeutic too! Love the smell. This is a good serum, moisturizing but not greasy, sinks right into the skin, leaving my skin smooth and soft. Packaging is great w/ the dropper, I dont have problem getting the last few drops of the product, just tilt the bottle or if it's really to the last few drops, then I just directly pour out the product, no problem with that. No big deal. It lasts for a while, a little goes a long way. Retail is $35, but I say it's worth the money.
I have used this serum every morning for the past three months and I think it has improved my skin quite a bit. I can't say it's JUST this product because I've been using other things in conjunction with it but I remember the first couple weeks after adding this to my regimen, my skin had a nice glow and reduced redness. I sometimes use it at night, it depends on how my skin has been acting. I wish it was easier to get the last bit out of the bottle (I don't really like the eye dropper) but I will say that for the price ($35 retail, cheaper on ebay), it lasts quite a while. The scent doesn't bother me and it sinks in quickly to my skin...I don't feel oily or greasy when using this. I didn't have any breakouts (any more than usual) when starting this product (I have sometimes-sensitive, combo skin). I think my skin looks slightly firmer and I know my face overall looks a lot better. I like the thoughts of anti-oxidant power. I will continue to use this daily. Oh, and no more flaking around my mouth and nose, yippee!