Physicians Formula

Physicians Formula At-A-Glance

Strengths: Inexpensive; almost all products fragrance-free; outstanding cleansers; pressed powder with broad-spectrum sunscreen; several bronzing powder options (primarily for fair to light skin tones); one of the only lines at the drugstore selling matte finish eyeshadows; the loose powder; most of the blushes; good liquid liner; excellent automatic brow pencil.

Weaknesses: Dated moisturizer formulas; several sunscreens lack sufficient UVA protection; jar packaging; several of the makeup products epitomize wasteful packaging; the shade selection for almost all the foundations and concealers is awful; tons of gimmicky products that don’t perform as well as you'd think but are eye-catching in their compacts; the lip color and lip plumper; mostly average to disappointing mascaras; the Organic Wear products either have undesirable textures or contain irritating ingredients.

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

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.

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Your results are in the table below. You can narrow your results by using the drop down menus or sort by toggling the column labels. If you would like to add an item to your faves check the box in the "+" column. Click the add to faves button when you're done adding items.

+ Rating Product Brand Category Price Size
Poor Sun Shield Lip Care SPF 15 (Discontinued) Physicians Formula Lip Balm With Sunscreen  $2.00 0.15 fl. oz.
Average Fineline Brow Pencil Physicians Formula Brow Pencil  $4.25
Good Vital Lash Oil Free Eye Makeup Remover Lotion, for Normal to Oily Skin (Discontinued) Physicians Formula Eye Makeup Removers  $4.75 2.00 fl. oz.
Good To Any Lengths Lash Extending Mascara Physicians Formula Regular Mascara  $5.20
Good PlentiFull Thickening Mascara Physicians Formula Regular Mascara  $5.20
Average AquaWear Waterproof Mascara Physicians Formula Waterproof Mascara  $5.20
Poor Le Velvet Film Makeup SPF 15 (Discontinued) Physicians Formula Cream-to-Powder Foundation w/ Sunscreen  $5.25
Poor Gentle Cover Cream Concealer SPF 10 (Discontinued) Physicians Formula Concealer with Sunscreen  $5.45
Poor Powder Finish Concealer Stick SPF 15 Physicians Formula Concealer with Sunscreen  $5.45
Poor Oil Free Eye Makeup Remover Pads, for Normal to Oily Skin (Discontinued) Physicians Formula Eye Makeup Removers  $5.75 60.00 pads
Good Eye Makeup Remover Pads, for Normal to Dry Skin (Discontinued) Physicians Formula Eye Makeup Removers  $5.75 60.00 pads
Average Luxury Eye Cream, for Normal to Dry Skin Physicians Formula Eye Moisturizers  $5.95 0.50 fl. oz.
Average Nourishing Night Cream, for Dry to Very Dry Skin Physicians Formula Moisturizer without Sunscreen  $5.95 1.00 fl. oz.
Best Brow Definer Automatic Brow Pencil Physicians Formula Brow Pencil  $5.95
Poor Eye Definer Automatic Eye Pencil Physicians Formula Eye Pencil  $5.95
Poor Sun Shield Liquid Makeup SPF 15 Physicians Formula Liquid Foundation w/ Sunscreen  $5.95
Poor Eyebrightener Brightening Liquid Eyeliner (Discontinued) Physicians Formula Liquid/Gel/Cream/Cake  $6.50
Average Gentle Cover Concealer Stick Physicians Formula Stick Concealer  $6.55
Best Bright Collection Shimmery Quad Eye Shadow Physicians Formula Powder Eyeshadow  $6.75
Good Mineral Wear Talc-Free Mineral Fluid Powder Eye Shadow (Discontinued) Physicians Formula Mineral Eyeshadow  $6.95
Poor Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Makeup Remover Towelettes (Discontinued) Physicians Formula Eye Makeup Removers  $6.95 25.00 towelettes
Poor Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Eye Makeup Remover Pads (Discontinued) Physicians Formula Eye Makeup Removers  $6.95 60.00 pads
Average Bamboo Wear Bamboo Compact, Mirror & Brush (Discontinued) Physicians Formula Makeup Planners/Organizers/Cases/Bags  $6.95
Poor Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Facial Makeup Remover Lotion (Discontinued) Physicians Formula Eye Makeup Removers  $6.95 5.00 fl. oz.
Average Mineral Wear Talc-Free Mineral Eye Liner Pencil (Discontinued) Physicians Formula Mineral Eyeliner  $6.95
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