Although this moisturizer is sold as a day and night cream, we don’t advise using it during the daytime unless you’re willing to pair it with a separate product rated SPF 15 or greater.
This contains the AHA ingredient lactic acid, and the company states it is a 3% concentration, which, combined with this product’s pH, means the lactic acid will provide some exfoliating benefits. But, 3% lactic acid isn’t much (for AHAs, a range of 5–10% is considered best), but you should see some benefit.
Although this product has merit, it also has two considerable drawbacks: jar packaging, which won’t keep several key ingredients stable once the product has been opened (see More Info for further details), and the formula falls short on offering a good array of proven anti-aging ingredients. It does contain some antioxidants, including a teeny-tiny amount of antioxidant vitamins, but their benefit is lost due to the poor choice of jar packaging.
Although fragrance isn’t listed, this contains the ingredient ethylene brassylate, whose sole function in skin-care products is…fragrance. The amount isn’t high, so this is a tolerable option, but ideally, choosing fragrance-free skin-care products is better for the overall health and appearance of your skin, no matter your age.
- Exfoliates with AHA (lactic acid) that’s formulated at a pH to ensure it works.
- Contains ingredients that help dry skin look and feel better.
- Lacks an impressive range of anti-aging ingredients, and what’s included won’t remain stable due to the jar packaging.
- Although the inclusion of AHA is good, the amount is lower than what research shows is best for exfoliation.
- Despite the claim fragrance-free claim, it does contain fragrance in the form of ethylene brassylate.
The fact that this moisturizer is packaged in a jar means the beneficial ingredients won't remain stable once it is opened. All plant extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air, so once a jar is opened and lets the air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate. Jars also are unsanitary because you’re dipping your fingers into them with each use, adding bacteria, which further deteriorate the beneficial ingredients (Sources: Free Radical Biology and Medicine, September 2007, pages 818–829; Ageing Research Reviews, December 2007, pages 271–288; Dermatologic Therapy, September-October 2007, pages 314–321; International Journal of Pharmaceutics, June 12, 2005, pages 197–203; Pharmaceutical Development and Technology, January 2002, pages 1–32; International Society for Horticultural Science, www.actahort.org/members/showpdf?booknrarnr=778_5; Beautypackaging.com, and www.beautypackaging.com/articles/2007/03/airless-packaging.php).
Ultra-rich cream enhances skin's cycle of repair, encouraging healthy cell renewal to reveal younger-looking skin. Wrinkle length and depth appear improved with regular use. Helps to improve the moisture barrier, strengthen skin and protect collagen, the key protein in maintaining firm skin.
Water, Stearic Acid, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Isononyl Isononanoate, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Cyclopentasiloxane, Lactic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Hydrolyzed Ceratonia Siliqua Seed Extract, Hydrolyzed Pea Protein, Laminaria Digitata Extract, Spilanthes Acmella Flower Extract, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Arginine, Cetyl Alcohol, Disodium EDTA, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Ethylene Brassylate, Isohexadecane, Panthenol, Polysorbate 80, Propylene Carbonate, Sodium Hydroxide, Triethanolamine, Xanthan Gum, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Ext. Violet 2, Red 40
There aren't really any doctors at Physicians Formula (the founder of the company was an allergist, Dr. Frank Crandell, but that was back in 1937), and no physicians currently sell or endorse it either. The company asserts that "The term hypoallergenic is more than just a cosmetic claim for Physicians Formula. It is the basis for every product that is created. Physicians Formula honors this claim through stringent product testing and quality control. In fact, Physicians Formula products are formulated without 132 known irritating ingredients still found in many cosmetics on the market today." While the line doesn't list the "132 known irritating ingredients" that they claim not to use, one of their newer products contains menthol, which serves no purpose for skin other than to cause irritation, and other products contain alcohol and witch hazel, which won't make any cosmetic chemist's or dermatologist's list of anti-irritants.
It's good that the skin-care products have been streamlined. There are some excellent makeup removers and a couple of gentle sunscreens whose sole active ingredient is titanium dioxide. Surveying this line in its entirety reveals that makeup is its major focus. However, as you'll see from the Physicians Formula makeup reviews below, things aren't exactly rosy there, either.
For more information about Physicians Formula, call (800) 227-0333 or visit www.physiciansformula.com.
Physicians Formula Makeup
Does this assortment of makeup products have what the doctor ordered? The enormous selection of makeup (no other line at the drugstore sells more individual pressed powders, concealers, or powder bronzers) has seen some noteworthy improvements in recent years, but far too much of it is still built on gimmicky premises or eye-catching graphics while performance and texture are given short shrift. And for a line where just about every product carries on about its goodness for sensitive skin and the non-comedogenic nature of its ingredients, they're not using anything that other companies aren't also using, not to mention that many of the ingredients that show up in these products (such as waxes and occlusive thickening agents) can absolutely clog pores.
Still, for a line with increased retail presence in major drugstores, you may be wondering just what to pay attention to, and the good news is that there are indeed some finds among all the mosaic powders and oddly packaged concealers. Physicians Formula has never done foundations and concealers well, and for the most part that still holds true today. Only one of their concealers is recommended, while the others are best described as dismal. The expansive powder category has several attractive options, including a pressed powder with sun protection and many worthwhile bronzing powders. You'll also find best beauty buys among the blushes and other key products, including the matte eyeshadows, felt-tip eyeliner, brow pencil, and a few of the mascaras. There isn't anything medical or extra-pure about Physicians Formula makeup, but if you know what to look for and are on a budget there are some products that any doctor concerned with the subject of beauty would appreciate!
Note: The shade range of this line does not cater to darker skin tones. In fact, for some products, only those with fair to light skin will find options.