Physicians Formula Skin Booster Vitamin Shot Brightening

Physicians Formula

Skin Booster Vitamin Shot Brightening

1.00 fl. oz. for $ 12.95
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Brand Overview

Skin Booster Vitamin Shot Brightening from Physicians Formula claims to be able to help reduce the appearance of dark spots and an uneven skin tone, and guess what? We’re glad to say this drugstore find can do exactly that.

Housed in a slightly frosted glass bottle with a dropper dispenser, this booster has a classic serum texture that’s lightweight, silky-smooth, and instantly sinks into skin. It doesn’t leave a sticky residue and works well both over and other skin care products, so you can customize your routine as Physician’s Formula claims.

Included in the formula is a high amount of niacinamide, which has proven results when it comes to skin brightening. Not far after it in the ingredient list is acetyl glucosamine, an amino acid sugar that when combined with niacinamide can also help improve the appearance of an uneven skin tone.

Supporting players include antioxidant plant extracts, skin-soothing ingredients, and even some skin-plumping sodium hyaluronate. Though there is a newer, stabilized form of vitamin C in the mix (3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid), there isn’t a lot of research showing its impact on dark circles. Still, it’s a good antioxidant. Did we mention this is also fragrance free?

In fact, the only slight drawback is that since the frosted effect on the packaging doesn’t cover the entire bottle, it’s best to store this out of direct light to make sure its ingredients remain stable. That aside, this is one of the better products of this type, especially considering its price.

  • Contains a good amount of skin-brightening niacinamide and acetyl glucosamine.
  • Includes antioxidant non-fragrant plant extract and skin soothing ingredients.
  • Fragrance free.
  • Should be stored out of direct light to ensure its ingredients remain stable.
Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: No

Custom serum blend targets uneven skin tone and helps reduce the appearance of dark spots for brighter and more radiant-looking skin. Hydrogel encapsulated technology delivers effective results allowing you to be your own mixologist while creating a custom regimen to tackle your skin's needs!

Water/Eau, Butylene Glycol, Niacinamide, Glycerin, Acetyl Glucosamine, Pentylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Carbomer, Disodium EDTA, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Phenylethyl Resorcinol, Caesalpinia Spinosa Fruit Extract, Sodium Hydroxide, Chondrus Crispus Extract, Sodium Benzotriazolyl Butylphenol Sulfonate, 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, Iron Oxides (Ci 77492), Tocopheryl Acetate, Phenoxyethanol, Vegetable Collagen, Agar, Calcium Alginate, Xanthan Gum, Kappaphycus Alvarezii Extract, Hydroxyacetophenone, Glucosyl Hesperidin, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tropolone, Gluconolactone, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Cynara Scolymus (Artichoke) Leaf Extract, Red 30 (CI 73360), Sodium Benzoate.

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

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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