Physician's Formula Organic Wear
by Janice Cáceres
Let me say right off that I would not generally buy from a company that has not signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics and that is generally a “mass market” product. However, in harsh economic times, $18.00-$20.00 mascara, pricey foundations and blushers, and internet available or rep-available only items (with the high shipping and generally high prices) have caused me re-think some of my more rigid personal and political stances and try items I would normally not try.
Physician’s Formula is one of these. Their most recent line, Organic Wear, claims to be of “100% natural origin” and “the first ECOCERT® Certified Organic Line of Makeup in the U.S.”. To read more about their claims, visit
The products CONTAIN SOME 100% organic ingredients, as determined by ECOCERT. To learn more about ECOCERT, visit their website at http://www.ecocert.com/?lang=en
The Mascara: Rated 3 based upon the the following information (EWG) * indicates of organic origin
Ingredients: CITRUS AURANTIUM DULCIS (ORANGE) FRUIT WATER*, GLYCERIN, IRON OXIDE, MICROCRYSTALLINE CELLULOSE, GLYCERYL STEARATE, WATER, BEESWAX*, JOJOBA ESTERS, TAPIOCA STARCH*, COPERNICIA CERIFERA (CARNAUBA) WAX*, STEARIC ACID, GLYCERYL CAPRYLATE, ALOE BARBADENSIS LEAF JUICE*, CELLULOSE GUM, CINNAMIC ACID, CUCUMIS SATIVUS (CUCUMBER) FRUIT EXTRACT*, GLYCINE SOYA (SOYBEAN) OIL*, HYDROLYZED ORYZA SATIVA (RICE) PROTEIN, MAGNESIUM ALUMINUM SILICATE, OLEA EUROPAEA (OLIVE) LEAF EXTRACT*, MAY CONTAIN: TITANIUM DIOXIDE
I had been using Earth’s Beauty, which I ordered online. While very pleased with the product, it began to bother my eyes by the end of the second tube. I decided to try the Organic Wear mascara, and have been very pleased. While it has been highly criticized for the “racoon eye” effect and the “greeny” smell, I have not had that problem, nor have I noticed an odor. It looks natural, so it really is not for those who like the “oomph” effect. It comes in “black” and “ultra black”.
The new foundation was difficult to find, and I ultimately had my mother pick it up for me at the CVS in her town. This product I absolutely LOVE! Even better than my Sante, Logona, Larenim, and Aubrey Organics (previous favorites). It is creamy, kind of “melts” into the skin, and contains SPF 15 (titanium dioxide). Based upon the following, EWG rates it at a 2:
TITANIUM DIOXIDE; CITRUS ORANGE FRUIT WATER; GLYCERIN; OLEYL ALCOHOL; SUNFLOWER SEED OIL; GLYCERYL STEARATE SE; TITANIUM DIOXIDE; IRON OXIDE; LECITHIN SOY; GLYCERYL CAPRYLATE; LEMON PEEL OIL; CYATHEA CUMINGII LEAF EXTRACT; SOYBEAN OIL; LAVENDER OIL; OLIVE FRUIT OIL; WATER, XANTHAN GUM.
This is a better rating than the new Almay Pure and Naturals, Logona, Sante, or Kiss My Face. At $13.95, it is a VERY good buy, and the “pump” bottle helps prevent contamination.
I also use the eye shadow (a mere 15.9% organic, rates a 5 due to titanium dioxide and Vitamin E), the eye liner pencil (EWG 2), and the lip veil (EWG 1). I am very impressed with all three. While some people are turned off by the smell of both the lip veil and the mascara, I did not notice it. Prices vary from place to place, from $7.95 to $13.95.
Care should be taken in purchasing from this line just because some of the products are safe according to current guidelines. It is best to find the ingredient list and check them against the EWG listing to make sure all the ingredients are listed (they seem to have a problem with this) and, if they are not, using the Product Report Tool. Sometimes a product is high due to chemicals; at other times, contamination concerns. And, at other times, due to more research, so my numbers may change as more research becomes available. It is an excellent tool. The tinted foundation and powders are in their database, although I have not tried them.
So, while I would still prefer to buy from smaller companies who have signed the Compact, finances and availability are playing a key role in my personal care purchases at this time. A lot of the mass market products are going “green”, and perhaps not for the right reasons. Nevertheless; the traditional “health food store” products are going to have to start thinking about reformulations in order to keep up. This is a good product, at a good price, and I am very pleased with the formulations. As a final thought, however, their customer service leaves a lot to be desired.