Physicians Formula

Argan Wear Ultra-Nourishing Argan Oil

1.00 fl. oz. for $ 14.95
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Brand Overview

Physicians Formula calls this "liquid gold," claiming it offers the benefits of a "moisturizer, primer, brightener, protector & treatment in one." Though argan oil is a great ingredient for normal to dry skin (or hair), the claims associated with it here are a bit farfetched. However, if you are looking for a way to boost the moisture of your routine (and you don't get caught up in its marketing claims), Argan Wear Ultra-Nourishing Argan Oil is a great, inexpensive alternative for that purpose. This 1-ounce bottle is priced at a fraction of what you would be charged from a high-end brand selling the same product.

Argan oil is a good ingredient for moisturizing, but it isn't dissimilar to less exotic-sounding oils, such as grape seed, jojoba, almond, and avocado. Like those non-fragrant plant oils, argan oil contains a mix of beneficial compounds, such as moisturizing unsaturated fatty acids and squalene as well as antioxidant polyphenols, tocopherols, sterols, beta carotene, and vitamin E (Journal of Chemistry, 2013).

It's important to keep in mind that skin is a complex organ, and caring for it is never as simple as any one ingredient, which is what this 100% argan oil formula is. Think of it like your diet: You'll be more healthy if you consume a broad range of nutritious foods than you will if you eat only broccoli, day in and day out. Just like your body, your skin requires a range of beneficial ingredients to function at its healthy best.

There isn't a whole lot else to say about this one-note, fragrance-free, argan oil product—like any non-fragrant plant oil, it is a great choice for adding moisture to normal to dry skin and the price is right. This certainly can be used on the face, body, hair, and nails, as Physicians Formula suggests.

Note: Normally we're not fans of single-ingredient products, because skincare is never as simple as one ingredient or one product. However, because argan oil (like many non-fragrant plant oils) is a rich source of fatty acids and antioxidants, it is a single ingredient with many benefits for skin. Still, for best results, we recommend using a product like this along with a well-rounded moisturizer or serum so you're also providing your skin with a nice array of other good ingredients.


  • Moisturizes dry skin and hair.
  • Argan oil provides antioxidant benefit.


  • One-note formula; would be better with more skin-beneficial ingredients.
Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: No

Claims: 100% Pure Argan Oil, known as liquid gold for this its rich conditioning benefits, can improve skins brightness, tone, texture and elasticity Ultra-Nourishing Illuminating Argan Oil. Weightless multi-tasking miracle combines the benefits of a moisturizer, primer, brightener, protector & treatment in one.

Ingredients: Argania Spinoza (Argan) Kernel Oil.

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 dont 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 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.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.

Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.

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