Product Review: philosophy Full Of Promise™ Dual-Action Restoring Cream

Reviews, Skin Care

philosophy is very hit-or-miss for me:  On the one hand, I love their, well, philosophy – their cute and beautiful sayings on their bottles and jars really get to me.  And some of their products, including philosophy Miracle Worker Peel Pads, are solid and recommended.  But at other times, I’m turned off by the lack of proven ingredients in some of their products, like philosophy Hope in a Jar.  [Read more:  Product Review:  philosophy Hope in a Jar]

So I approached philosophy Full Of Promise™ Dual-Action Restoring Cream ($65.00, a touch of skepticism, despite the adorable saying on the front.  “Your skin is full of natural promise…”  Oh – must resist!


Glutathione is naturally found in the outermost layer of the skin. Its levels deplete naturally with age and UV exposure. (Photo credit: earthlydelights)

Glutathione is naturally found in the skin, but its levels decrease substantially as we get older.  One substantial source of glutathione depletion?  UV exposure (Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 1989).  Interestingly, glutathione is naturally found in the outermost layer of skin, rather than the dermis (Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 1998), so it is likely that topical application will deliver glutathione right where it needs to be, even without top-of-the-line delivery systems.

Since lower levels of glutathione are associated with higher amounts of UV-induced damage (Photochemistry and Photobiology, 2008), topical supplementation is a great idea. Of course, almost antioxidant helps to negate photodamage, so please keep this in mind – it’s not that glutathione is superior.

My only complaint about the glutathione in philosophy Full Of Promise™ Dual-Action Restoring Cream is that I wish it also had alpha lipoic acid or vitamin C.  These antioxidants have been shown to strengthen glutathione by donating electrons to it whenever it becomes depleted (Cosmetic Dermatology, 2010).  Not all antioxidants are in the same “system,” so to speak, so only certain antioxidants can replenish one another.  Alpha lipoic acid and vitamin C just happen to strengthen glutathione.

Of course, alpha lipoic acid is pretty unstable and hard to include in creams, so I guess I just wish philosophy Full Of Promise™ Dual-Action Restoring Cream had vitamin C.  Oh well.


Red Wine_72
Red wine is a natural source of resveratrol, but most of the delicate antioxidant is gone seconds after you pop the cork. Similarly, in this moisturizer, resveratrol is likely to deplete quickly, particularly because of its wide-open jar lid. (Photo credit: isante_magazine)

Ever since Coty Fragrances acquired philosophy in 2010, the brand has been increasing both its marketing and its ingredient base – with great success, might I add.  So the fact resveratrol is now being included brought a little smile to my face.

There are many claims surrounding resveratrol, and a lot of conflicting research.  Thus far, however, only the claim that resveratrol helps to prevent UVB-induced skin damage is well-substantiated. Resveratrol definitively inhibits inflammation after UV ray exposure via documented pathways (Photochemistry and Photobiology, 2008).

Other claims are less well-substantiated.  For instance, there is a lot of talk that resveratrol turns on sirtuins in the skin.  Sirtuins increase cell lifespan, survival, and protect neurons from damage (Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Patients, 2009).  But several studies show resveratrol has no effect on sirtuins (Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2005; Chemical Biology and Drug Design, 2009; Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2010).  [Read more:  Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Resveratrol]

So yes, I like the inclusion of resveratrol in philosophy Full Of Promise™ Dual-Action Restoring Cream – I just wish that it was not packaged in an open jar, because resveratrol is highly susceptible to light and air.

Myristoyl Pentapeptide-9

English: Peptide bond Polski: Wiązanie peptydowe
From my research, the peptides in this moisturizer aren’t proven to be skin-firming – more moisturizing, and perhaps a part of a delivery system.

As far as peptides go, there is comparatively little research on myristoyl pentapeptide-9 than most others.  It is classified as a skin conditioning agent (INCI), and I suspect that it is used in this moisturizer as a part of a delivery system (patent).  However, unlike peptides like palmitoyl tetrapeptide-4 and palmitoyl oligopeptide, there are no skin-firming effects associated with myristoyl pentapeptide-9.  [Read more:  Which is Better:  Retinoids or Peptides?]

Bottom Line

I like philosophy Full Of Promise™ Dual-Action Restoring Cream over a nightly retinoid or alpha hydroxy acid treatment.  I especially like it for those with slightly dry to dry skin.

It contains two potent UV-damage-fighting antioxidants:  glutathione and resveratrol.  Admittedly, each of these could be made better – glutathione with the inclusion of alpha lipoic acid and/or vitamin C, and resveratrol if the packaging was changed from a wide-lid jar to a squeezable tube or airtight pump.

Overall, though, if philosophy Hope in a Jar is telling of its name, then philosophy Full Of Promise™ Dual-Action Restoring Cream should be called philosophy Partial Solution in a Jar.  It’s a solid choice, certainly better than philosophy Hope in a Jar.  And while I won’t be out purchasing it tomorrow, I will say I’m happy philosophy is continuing to make products with better ingredients, and I hope that this trend continues!

Product Rating:  8/10

  • High or optimized concentration of proven ingredients:  2/3
  • Unique formulation or new technology:  3/3
  • Value:  2/3
  • Sunscreen or sunscreen-boosting ingredients:  1/1

Water, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Cyclopentasiloxane, Steareth-2, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cyclohexasiloxane, Steareth-21, Butylene Glycol, Phenyl Trimethicone, Cetyl Alcohol, Myristoyl Pentapeptide-9, Secale Cereale (Rye) Seed Extract, Kigelia Africana Fruit Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Glutathione, Tropolone, Resveratrol, Cocoyl Pentapeptide-9, Tocopherol, Phaeodactylum Tricornutum, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Stearyl Alcohol, Behenyl Alcohol, Polyacrylamide, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Bis-Ethylhexyl Hydroxydimethoxy Benzylmalonate, Laureth-7, Disodium Edta, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Lysolecithin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Triethanolamine, Sodium Benzoate, Alcohol Denat., Parfum/Fragrance, Limonene, Linalool, Bht, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol.

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