They first released their product ‘Hope In a Jar’ back in 1996 and now Philosophy have revamped the formula to a “breakthrough moisturiser…[capable of ] changing the face of skin care” in the form of Philosophy ‘Renewed Hope in a Jar’. Let’s get Geeky and see if this really is renewed hope, or just false hope!

The Claims
Promising to refine skin texture, Renewed Hope in a Jar claims to “virtually lift away” fine lines, improve microcirculation and provide all-day glow and hydration. This product was a finalist in the CEW Insider’s Choice Beauty Awards. So is this moisturiser truly a miracle in a bottle? There’s only one way to find out – bring on the science!

The Science behind the Bottle
Renewed Hope in a Jar is a blend of alpha hydroxyl acids and not just one, but three forms of hyaluronate. That’s all well and good, but what does that actually mean?!

Alpha Hydroxy Acids
Glycolic acid, citric acid and mandelic acid are all alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) that make an appearance in this moisturiser. AHAs have been found in clinical trials to improve the appearance of wrinkles, skin elasticity and hydration, and can help treat conditions like acne and hyperpigmentation. That’s a fair amount of their claims met in one fell swoop! So how do AHAs work?

AHAs grace many beauty products, used at low concentrations (usually 4-10%) in non-prescription creams and then at high concentrations (usually more >20%) as chemical peels. One way in which they are thought to work is by removing calcium ions (charged calciums) from the epidermal (outer) layer of the skin. This disrupts the connections between skin cells, including structures known as ‘adherens junctions’.  This causes exfoliation (shedding), as the cells are now loose and slough off, revealing the newer, younger cells beneath. The decrease in calcium ion level also promotes cell growth to encourage the formation of new skin cells. On top of this, AHAs directly accelerate the production of collagen in cells called fibroblasts, which are responsible for making that all-important structural collagen.

By affecting collagen production and encouraging cell shedding and renewal, AHAs like glycolic acid can aid the recovery of sun-damaged skin. Because they’ve also been shown to improve the appearance of wrinkles and pigmentation in the skin, these nifty molecules really seem to be at the front of anti-ageing and anti-photodamage formulations. You can read more about them in our feature all about AHAs and beta hydrocy acids (BHAs).

So that’s the AHAs, but what about the hyaluronate (hyaluronic acid)? This molecule is a natural moisturising factor in the skin due to its ability to retain moisture – it can hold more than 1000 times its weight in water (one of our favourite beauty facts!). This means it can draw water into the skin.  It’s also involved in tissue repair and collagen synthesis, and its production in the epidermal layer of the skin decreases dramatically as the skin ages. Since it’s responsible for binding and retaining water molecules, the loss of hyaluronic acid contributes to the loss of skin hydration, making it dryer and less supple, both of which are associated with aged skin. Topping up levels through topical application can help reduce these effects and promote hydrated, healthy, youthful-looking skin. Check out our feature on a hyaluronic acid-containing skin mask here for even more details!

Some trials from Philosophy
Like all good Geeks, we love seeing some statistics. Philosophy post some research results in their product description of Renewed Hope in A Jar. An 8 week trial of 52 participants (a nice amount of time, a nice amount of people), showed that 94% saw an improvement in hydration immediately, 81% saw glowing skin immediately and 100% saw an improvement in skin texture in 1 week. These aren’t properly published studies, so we can’t tell you how the ‘trial’ was designed and whether any precise measurements were taken, but it’s nice to see Philosophy are heading in the right direction for testing their formula.

But what about microcirculation?
Philosophy claim that their Renewed Hope in A Jar increases microcirculation – a claim The Geeks are always very wary of (we hardly ever see it fulfilled!) – through an Asian Fruit Extract. The exact extract isn’t specified on the claims, but we found that their ‘Evodia rutaecarpa’ extract is traditionally used in Chinese medicine. There’s evidence that this extract has anti-inflammatory properties, and that is has ‘vasodilating’ effects. Vasodilating means it opens up blood vessels to promote blood flow, which would put a tick in our claims box! However, the studies we found weren’t for topical application, and so whilst we’re left feeling hopeful, we’re not quite sold on this claim yet.

The Verdict
So, what’s the verdict? Both AHAs and hyaluronate are tried and tested in the ways of beautifying skin, and there is evidence to back up the claims that this product will improve hydration, decrease the appearance of wrinkles and leave skin feeling softer, supple and more even-toned. A few words of caution – AHAs are still acids, and whilst they’re generally quite say to use, those with sensitive skin will want to be on the lookout for reactions! As we often find, the claims of improving circulation aren’t quite up to scratch, but we were happy to see some trial results on this product, even though they weren’t exactly ‘scientific literature’.  Overall, this moisturiser gets a thumbs up from us, and with over 5000 loves on Sephora, it looks like you guys agree too!

To get your hands on Hope in a Jar, click HERE (to get it at the best price)

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Nivea Cellular Anti-Age Serum Review
Moghimipour E. Hydroxy Acids, the Most Widely Used Anti-aging Agents. – Journal of Natural Pharmaceutical Products
A theory for the mechanism of action of the alpha-hydroxy acids applied to the skin. – Med Hypotheses.
Hearing VJ. Applications of hydroxy acids: classification, mechanisms, and photoactivity. – Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology
Efficacy of cream-based novel formulations of hyaluronic acid of different molecular weights in anti-wrinkle treatment. – J Drugs Dermatol.
Hyaluronic acid: A key molecule in skin aging. – Dermato-endocrinology.
Pharmacological Effects of Rutaecarpine as a Cardiovascular Protective Agent
Anti-inflammatory activity in skin by biomimetic of Evodia rutaecarpa extract from traditional Chinese medicine.
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