In 2018, Physician Formula is new and improved. Firstly, their makeup has a sleek new look (more on this soon). Secondly, the brand has delved deeper into the world of skincare. If I’m not mistaken, Physicians Formula is one of a select few hypoallergenic, paraben-free, gluten-free, dermatologist tested, cruelty-free, clinically tested brands at the drugstore. So, at a relatively low price point with commitments to product quality and purity, I had high hopes for newness from Physicians Formula.
Physicians Formula Charcoal Detox Cleansing Stick ($15.97 CAD/$9.95 USD)
I believe cleansing sticks are a skincare packaging format that originated in Korea. The Physicians Formula Charcoal Detox Cleansing Stick bears an uncanny resemblance (in name) to the Boscia Charcoal Deep Pore Cleansing Stick Treatment.
To use the stick, you can rub the stick directly onto damp skin or apply it onto the palm of your hand and lather with water. I prefer the latter. However, if you choose to apply it directly to the skin, rinse it afterwards to prevent the top of the stick from collecting bacteria.
The brand says that the Charcoal Detox Cleansing Stick removes makeup, dirt, and build up in one swipe, brightens skin and reduces the appearance of pores. To those claims, I say, “Kind of?”. The cleansing stick contains “natural exfoliating minerals” and glycolic acid, which physically and chemically remove dead skin cells for a brighter and smoother complexion. However, it’s not effective as a single cleans to remove makeup on its own. Furthermore, I don’t see any reduction in pore size, even with a few weeks of continued daily usage.
Also, the cleanser has a prominent soapy fragrance. I’m certain Physicians Formula is supposed to be fragrance-free, so not sure what’s going on there.
Overall, it’s a good second cleanse, but keep it away from your eyes and rinse the top of the stick after each use.
Physicians Formula RefreshMint Cucumber & Bamboo Eye De-Puffer ($15.97 CAD/$9.95 USD)
The Physicians Formula RefreshMint Cucumber & Bamboo Eye De-Puffer is an affordable dupe of the Kate Somerville Goat Milk De-Puffing Eye Balm, which happens to be about 3 times the price. The texture is extremely similar and there are several common ingredients including water, glycerin and sodium stearate. So, this leads me to believe that the base product is the same.
On flip side, the Physicians Formula RefreshMint Cucumber & Bamboo Eye De-Puffer contains peppermint to cool and aloe vera and cucumber to sooth. Whereas, the Kate Somerville De-Puffer’s key ingredients include goat’s milk and Manuka honey. On application, the RefreshMint Cucumber & Bamboo Eye De-Puffer has an immediate cooling sensation. My eyes are not particularly puffy, so I can’t speak on the de-puffing effects of the product. However, the hydration is long-lasting underneath my eyes.
On another note, the RefreshMint Cucumber & Bamboo Eye De-Puffer comes packaged in a little twist up stick, which is handy for traveling.
Physicians Formula Rosé All Day Oil-Free Serum ($19.99 CAD / $14.95 USD)
The Rosé All Day Oil-Free Serum is a water-based skincare product meant to tone, reduce redness, moisturize and brighten. The serum is lightweight and smells pleasantly of rosewater, hence the name. Other key ingredients include goji berry (antioxidants), Vitamin E for moisture and Kakadu Plum Extract (Vitamin C). Despite having oily skin, I actually enjoy using moisturizing products that contain oils. Therefore, the Rosé All Day Oil-Free Serum is not moisturizing enough for my preferences. That being said, the serum is very lightweight and contains a subtle pearlescent pink shimmer, which makes for an instant (but short term) glow of radiance. Therefore, I do like it as a brightening primer underneath makeup and after my morning skincare routine.
Physicians Formula Organic Rose Oil Lip Polish ($9.95 USD)
Oh boy, do I love me a good lip scrub in the winter. The lip polish is sugar suspended in a blend of shea butter, coconut oil and rosehip oil. Unfortunately, the lip polish suffers from a case of “too gentle”. The sugar crystals aren’t abrasive or concentrated enough to scrub away the nasties on my lips. There is more oils than sugar particles. So, the lip polish more nourishing, softening and moisturizing than exfoliating.
Price and Availability
Physicians Formula is available at most drugstores, mass merchandisers and online at PhysiciansFormula.com
- Rosé All Day Oil-Free Serum ($19.99 CAD/$14.95 USD)
- Charcoal Detox Cleansing Stick ($15.97 CAD/$9.95 USD)
- RefreshMint Cucumber & Bamboo eye De-Puffer ($15.97 CAD/$9.95 USD)
- Organic Rose Oil Lip Polish ($9.95 USD)
Trying something new is not always perfect but never a bad thing. I love rosewater and rose oil as skincare ingredients but found the serum and lip polish to be mediocre. On the other hand, I was very impressed by the Eye De-Puffer and the Stick Cleanser. Particularly because they are very similar in ingredients and effectiveness to pricier products that I know and love.
Personally, I’d rather put my dollars towards Physicians Formula makeup (hello, Butter Highlighters and Eye Booster Eyeliner) over its skincare offerings, as I prefer simpler skincare formulations. But like I said, there’s no harm in trying something new.
Have you tried any skincare products from Physicians Formula?
Press samples featured.