Get a different perspective on makeup and beauty products

(Philosophy’s Hope in a Jar)


(Alpha Hydrox’s Retinol ResQ)

We all want great skin and one way to achieve that is an over-the-counter retinoid.  These products are chemical exfoliants that cause your skin to shed dead skin cells at a faster rate.  Chemical exfoliants are good to help alleviate acne, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (aka, acne marks), pigmentation, skin discoloration, and fine lines.

So how do these products measure up against each other?

Philosophy’s Hope in a Jar:

Ingredients: Hope in a Jar uses retinyl palmitate as its retinoid in contrast to Retinol ResQ’s retinol.  Retinol is a stronger retinoid but retinyl palmitate causes less irritation so it is better suited for sensitive skin.  Hope in a Jar has its retinoid ingredient as the 12th.

Packaging: Jar– not good.  Retinoids are prone to damage if exposed to oxygen so this packaging does not leave for a stable environment for the cream.  Its function is compromised.

Price: Depends on the size of jar.  Obviously, the bigger the jar, the less cost per ounce.  Price per ounce ranges from $15/.05 oz to $15/1 oz.

Effectiveness: This is probably the most important. There are no scientific studies for this product (none that I could find at least), but there is no shortage of reviews.’s reviews average at 4 stars while averages at 2.9 lippies.

Alpha Hydrox’s Retinol ResQ:

Ingredients: As stated above, Retinol ResQ uses retinol, which is stronger than retinyl palmitate but not as gentle.  Retinol is the 11th ingredient on the Retinol ResQ’s ingredient list.

Packaging: Tube.  The packaging is the same as prescription retinoids.  This allows the retinol to be protected from oxygen and any other elements that can damage it.

Price: $14.99/1.05 oz.  This is an average of $14.27/1 oz.  However, this product is only available online for most people so be sure to factor in shipping.

Effectiveness: Again, although there are no scientific studies, there are plenty of reviews.’s reviews average at 4.4 stars while averages at 4.5 lippies.

One final note about ingredients: Hope in a Jar is advertised as a moisturizer in addition to its exfoliating properties, but Retinol ResQ is not.  Nevertheless, Retinol ResQ has many moisturizing ingredients such as glycerin very high on its list.  Although Retinol ResQ does not advertise its moisturizing properties, it nevertheless has the capability.  In fact, both of these products have very comparable ingredients and many reviews, including Paula Begoun’s, tout them to be nearly identical.


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