Physicians Formula

Hormonal Aging Anti-Sagging & Restoring Serum

1.00 fl. oz. for $ 21.95
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Brand Overview

The name for this serum is odd because hormones are only one element of the aging process. Although hormonal changes during and after menopause definitely lead to changes in skin, including sagging, this product is only capable of addressing dryness, which could be from menopause or from any number of other factors. There's nothing special about this product for hormonally challenged skin, and it absolutely cannot lift sagging skin, whether the sagging is due to hormonal changes, sun damage, gravity, bone loss, or other factors. See More Info to find out how skin care can improve signs of sagging.

Although this serum contains some good ingredients for dry skin, it also contains an unusually high amount of fragrance (it's the fourth ingredient), and that makes it too irritating for all skin types. We explain why daily use of highly fragranced products is a problem in the More Info section.

What's interesting is that applying this serum will make your skin feel tighter, and perhaps give the user the perception that the skin is being lifted. This is due to sodium polystyrene sulfonate, a synthetic film-forming agent that, when used in high amounts, can temporarily make the skin feel firmer or "lifted." No actual firming or lifting is taking place, and the effect doesn't last long, but some may see a minor difference. Still, the amount of fragrance and its potential for causing irritation doesn't make this serum worth trying.

  • Contains some good ingredients for dry skin.
  • Doesn't have any impact on sagging that results from hormonal aging.
  • High amount of fragrance poses a risk of irritation.
  • The artificial coloring agents are a truly unnecessary addition.
More Info:

Daily Use of Highly Fragrant Products: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin's ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way to go for all skin types. If fragrance in your skin-care products is important to you, it should be a very low amount to minimize the risk to your skin (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135, and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22).

What You Can do for Sagging Skin: Many skin-care products claim they can firm and lift skin, but none of them work, at least not to the extent claimed. A face-lift-in-a-bottle isn't possible, but with the right mix of products, you will see firmer skin that has a more lifted appearance—and that's exciting! To gain these youthful benefits, you must protect your skin from any and all sun damage every day, use an AHA (glycolic acid or lactic acid) or BHA (salicylic acid) exfoliant, and use products that have a wide range of antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients. Remember, no single product can do it all; it's the combination of products that has extensive research showing it can significantly improve many of the signs of aging, such as firming skin, reducing wrinkles and brown spots, and eliminating dullness. You'll find them on our list of Best Anti-Aging/Anti-Wrinkle Products.

Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: No
Potent serum visibly lifts and smoothes skin to diminish the appearance of sagging on the face, in the eye area, on the neck and chest. Moisturizes to improve elasticity helping minimze crepey skin and wrinkles. Strenghtens and builds a hydrating cushion into thinning skin helping to restore density & firmness for younger-looking facial contours.
Water, Hydrogenated Didecene, Dimethicone, Fragrance, Oleyl Alcohol, Trifolium Pratense (Clover) Flower Extract, Sodium Polystyrene Sulfonate, Pentylene Glycol, Glycerin, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, PEG-20 Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate, Disocorea Villosa (Wild Yam) Root Extract, Hydrolyzed Millet, Vitex Agnus Castus Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterols, 3-Aminopropane Sulfonic Acid, Butylene Glycol, Calcium Hydroxymethionine, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cyclodextrin, Disodium EDTA, Glyceryl Stearate, Heyxldecanol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Lecithin, Polysorbate 20, Polysorbate 60, Triethanolamine, C10-18 Triglycerides, Vegetable Oil, Xanthan Gum, Asorbyl Tetraisopalmitate, Tocopherol, Alcohol, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Red 40, Ext. Violet 2.

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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