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.Philosophy Ultimate Miracle Worker Night Serum-in-Cream is a 2-in-1 nighttime serum and cream. On the label, this nighttime moisturizer claims to target all major visible signs of aging including wrinkles, firmness, texture, and pores.
The two-in-one serum and cream includes serum “pearls” that are designed to be mixed into the cream, which they promise yields more results than either product alone. But does it work?
I once interviewed Dr. Leslie Baumann, M.D., a practicing dermatologist and the co-founder and chief of the Cosmetic Dermatology department at the University of Miami School of Medicine. According to Dr. Baumann:
For the ultra-scientific or the ultra-curious, the enzymes responsible for the oxidation process – dehydrogenases (DHs) – underlie every pathway of retinol activation within the skin. Specifically, two types of dehydrogenases must convert retinol to retinylaldehyde and then to all-trans retinoic acid within the skin for retinol to be activated. This is optimized at a neutral pH (Nature).
A Lot of Exfoliating Action Anyway
Despite the fact that I believe the retinol in Philosophy Ultimate Miracle Worker Night Serum-in-Cream is rendered (mostly) useless by the glycolic acid, there’s something about the glycolic acid and the delivery system of this product that works exceptionally well.
When thinking about glycolic acid, the easiest way to think about its effects are to think about a chemical peel, which is typically at least part glycolic acid. These peels seriously exfoliate the skin. In doing so, glycolic acid smoothes the skin, quickens the rate of cell turnover (which is reduced by up to 7% every ten years), decreases small wrinkles and increases the fibroblast proliferation of collagen.
Glycolic acid is the smallest of the alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), so it penetrates the skin well. I find it has faster effects than the other AHAs when used in smaller concentration. Both in vitro and in vivo tests have shown it to increase collagen production, fibroblast proliferation, and cell turnover rates (Dermatologic Surgery).
Personal Use and Opinions
It would be easy to be flippant and say Philosophy Ultimate Miracle Worker Night Serum-in-Cream claims to have retinol, but the retinol is rendered useless by the addition of glycolic acid, so the product is a no-go.
Except it isn’t.
I can’t exactly put my finger on what I like so much about Philosophy Ultimate Miracle Worker Night Serum-in-Cream. It has a beautiful scent. It has a light to medium, luxurious, creamy-yet-smooth texture. It’s truly something to feel against your skin.
And the exfoliation! My God, the exfoliation. Although I exfoliate once/week with an AHA treatment and use a retinol treatment nightly, this got my skin to be flaking off like crazy. No pain, no irritation, no redness — but a whole lot of flakin’ going on (sorry, I couldn’t resist going for the pun there). Amazing.
If you’re looking for an excellent retinol treatment, don’t reach for Philosophy Ultimate Miracle Worker Night Serum-in-Cream. Retinol is deactivated by glycolic acid.
But if you’re looking for a tremendous glycolic acid treatment, run, don’t walk, to buy Philosophy Ultimate Miracle Worker Night Serum-in-Cream. It works. It causes my skin to exfoliate faster and be smoother than almost anything else I’ve ever tried. And it’s a pleasure to use. I really love it, and I highly recommend it, but only as a glycolic acid treatment.
Water, Sodium Citrate, Isononyl Isononanoate, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Alcohol Denat., Steareth-21, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Polyglyceryl-2 Diisostearate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Cetearyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Bifida Ferment Lysate, Glyceryl Stearate, Peg-100 Stearate, Steareth-2, Citric Acid, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Vp Copolymer, Iris Pallida Root Extract, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Xanthan Gum, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Alcohol, T-Butyl Alcohol, Lecithin, Fragrance, Adenosine, Cellulose Gum, Retinol, Peg-8, Polysorbate 20, Bht, Chitosan, Ethylhexylglycerin, Glycolic Acid, Sorbitan Oleate, Tocopherol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Limonene, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Potassium Phosphate, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed Extract, Pongamia Pinnata Seed Extract, Sodium Benzoate, Isopropyl Alcohol, Acetic Acid, Angelica Archangelica Root Extract, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Peel Extract, Maltodextrin, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Lactic Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Sclerotium Gum, Bha, Sorbic Acid.
Water, Glycerin, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Propanediol, Pentylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Alumina, Iris Pallida Root Extract, Hydroxyethylpiperazine Ethane Sulfonic Acid, Silica, Xanthan Gum, Algin, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Bht, Sodium Hydroxide, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopherol, Beta-Sitosterol, Squalene, Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Iron Oxide (Ci 77491).