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Physicians Formula Takes Organic Makeup Mainstream

Note: if you are here looking for Physician’s Formula brand overview, scroll down till you see “Physican’s Formula” highlighted.

Now that I am writing an organic makeup blog, it seems that either I’m tuning into all things organic around me, or organic things are just so darn everywhere that how I wasn’t attention before is the mystery.

When I started transferring my reluctant household to a more healthy and natural routine I used to have to drive all the way downtown from my peaceful suburbia just so I can see a shampoo without paraben in it. Lipsticks without lead were an even more hard-to-find enigma. Now it seems that organic stores are popping up all over the place. Two new ones have just opened near my son’s school. And that’s in the past three months.

Even the big players are going organic. On the one hand, I can’t wait to be able to walk into a local drug store and buy a safe face cream. On the other… I’m not sure I trust the big guys. I’m not sure they are really doing it. As you’ve seen from my previous post on organic labels , these big guys tend to be sneaky. They are sneaky with labels, they are sneaky with words. They promote organic skincare with one set of products, but continue putting questionable ingredients in their other lines.

So, whenever a big players goes organic, I’m optimistic, but very cautiously so. Too many claims, too little to back them up.

But now there is a new certified organic option available to the North American ladies.

Physician’s Formula” has launched a new makeup line, “Organic Wear”. This is the first EcoCert certified organic makeup from a mass-market retailer in North America. The products claim to be “100% Free of Harsh Chemicals. 100% Free of Synthetic Preservatives. 100% Free of Parabens. 100% Free of GMO’s. 100% Free of Synthetic Colors. 100% Free of Synthetic Fragrances. 100% Cruelty Free”. They do not claim to be 100% organic.

The line contains pressed and loose powder, blush, concealers, and bronzer.

Bronzer:


Loose powder:

The line uses mostly recyclable packaging. It is almost vegan, with the exception of goat hair used in the brushes. This makeup relies heavily on soy, olive oil, and aloe for ingredients. And I must admit, even the website looks fresh and eatable. Though I wish it didn’t load with a banging music that makes me jump up every time I load the home page. Honestly, if I wanted to be startled out of my chair every five minutes, I’d be surfing MySpace…

A little bit research into the company background revealed the following information:

Physicians Formula brand was created in 1937 by Dr. Frank Crandall, an allergist. According to the official company story, he created the line for his wife, who had sensitive skin. The brand is owned by Physicians Formula Holdings Inc. The company competes in the prestige makeup market, and sells it’s product through mass market channels. The brand appeal has always been focused on addressing skin imperfections. The company had net sales of $111.5 million in 2007, and $95.4 million for the same period in 2006. Physicians Formula products are sold in over 26,000 stores throughout the U.S. including Wal-Mart, Target, CVS, Walgreens and Albertsons. In Canada it is available in stores such as Zellers, PharmaPlus, Shoppers Drug Mart and Loblaws.

In short, this company appears well positioned to penetrate the big-box stores with organic makeup.

Which means more healthy choices for us.

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2 comments

1 Chelsea { 06.20.08 at 10:33 pm }

Yep- they totally had me fooled. Those jerks at Physician’s Formula better start labeling that stuff accurately!!! http://www.organicconsumers.org/bodycare/ecocert-crosscomplaint.pdf

2 julena { 06.22.08 at 9:01 am }

oops… deleted my own comment…

I was saying thanks for the info. I heard that Dr. Bronner is suing some companies and organizations. Would be curious to see how it all turns out.

Amazing how sneaky some companies are.

My motto is “skip the claims, read the ingredients”. When in doubt, use Dr. Hauschka :)

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