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Physicians Formula

Refreshmint Cucumber & Bamboo Eye De-Puffer

0.45 fl. oz. for $ 9.95
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Brand Overview

Refreshmint Cucumber & Bamboo Eye De-Puffer from Physicians Formula is billed primarily for use around the eyes, but the brand also describes (and shows visuals on the packaging) of how you can use this swivel-up cream-gel stick hydrator to revive other parts of the face. Unfortunately, no matter your skin type, this pick-me-up lets your skin down thanks to some potent irritants.

We admit, the concept is cool before you even get to the cooling. The stick glides over skin and around the eyes without pulling. It feels like a fresh burst of hydration and although it leaves a bit of a film once it sets, it doesn't feel greasy, slick, or sticky. It's a quick swipe of hydration without heaviness.

The formula contains some proven soothing ingredients such as licorice, yeast extract, and caffeine as well as skin-restoring niacinamide. Add that to the other positives mentioned above and the affordable price and what's not to like?

The villains in this mix are two menthol-derived cooling agents, both of which can sensitize skin and cause significant eye irritation and redness when used around the eyes. Imaging going to bed with these ingredients so close to the eyes and what would happen if you rubbed the product in to your eyes while you slept? Good morning, puffy, bloodshot eyes!

Peppermint leaf extract is also included and although it's potentially irritating (and not welcome!), it's not as potent an irritant as the menthol derivatives. What a shame, as it's certainly possible to deliver a cooling, refreshing feel without using problematic ingredients. Leave this one on the shelf.

Pros:
  • Cooling gel-stick formula feels refreshing.
  • Hydrates without heaviness.
  • Contains some proven soothing ingredients.
  • Inexpensive.
Cons:
  • Contains menthol-derived skin irritants.
  • Peppermint leaf poses a risk of irritating skin.
Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: No

A cooling, hydrating, and fast-absorbing treatment stick for an instant pick-me-up! A skin-nourishing blend of green ingredients include: Peppermint, Cucumber, and Aloe Vera cool skin to visibly reduce the appearance of tired eyes, while hydrating Bamboo Shoot and Glacial Mineral Water refresh skin.

Water/Eau, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Stearate, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Adipic Acid/Neopentyl Glycol Crosspolymer, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Glycerin, Niacinamide, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Extract, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Pentylene Glycol, Caffeine, Phenoxyethanol, Phyllostachis Bambusoides (Bamboo) Extract, Sea Water, Caprylyl Glycol, Dimethicone, Menthone Glycerin Acetal, Menthoxypropanediol, Ethylhexylglycerin, VP/VA Copolymer, Chondrus Crispus Extract, Allantoin, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizinate, Water/Eau (Glacier), Hexylene Glycol, Amodimethicone, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Disodium EDTA, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Chlorphenesin, Gluconolactone, Benzoic Acid, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Benzoate, Blue 1 (Ci 42090), Yellow 5 (Ci 19140).

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.