Physicians Formula is responsible for the iconic Butter Bronzer which may be the best bronzer at the drugstore. They’re also known for their organic and non-comedogenic formulations at the drugstore. There aren’t many brands at the drugstore like them, if any. If a brand focuses on ingredients and formulations, can we expect them to be cruelty-free and vegan?
No, Physicians Formula is not cruelty-free because they are sold in Mainland China. Physicians Formula is a sister brand to Wet N Wild. Both were cruelty-free until 2019 when they moved into Mainland China without telling their customers. Their move to the Chinese market affects their cruelty-free and vegan status. Most importantly, their silence on this move speaks volumes!
Why is selling in Mainland China such a big deal? Any brand sold there is required to do pre or post market animal testing. If you thought Physicians Formula was cruelty-free you’re not wrong because they used to be! Their entrance into the Chinese market was done very quietly and they didn’t make a statement for their customers.
Physicians Formula deleted Instagram comments of people asking about their move into China. Their lack of transparency and efforts to hide the news in regards to the move is disappointing. It shows an active attempt to hide and deceive their customers. Physicians Formula did finally disclose in early 2020 in a private email that they had been sold in Mainland China for quite some time. Their website says nothing about their presence in China and still claims that they are cruelty-free.
While Physicians Formula claims to have vegan products, can a brand be vegan if they test on animals? No. Physicians Formula and the lack of transparency shows that they can’t be trusted. They have no problem withholding and hiding information and avoiding the tough questions. So, while they claim to offer some vegan products, it’s up to you to decide. You’ll want to take everything they share with a grain of salt.
Yes! Physicians Formula is organic and is certified by EcoCert which handles cosmetic certifications. (Food is USDA) Their products are organic, natural and their packaging is eco-friendly. It’s a shame that they go to this length for their formulations but quietly test on animals! They are one of a kind for a drugstore brand.
Physicians Formula makes their products in China and the US. They are a US based brand owned by Markwin Beauty who also owns the drugstore brand, Wet n Wild.
Yes. Why is selling in Mainland China such a big deal? Pre or post market animal testing is required by brands sold in physical stores there. Many brands claim they’re still cruelty-free because it’s a 3rd party that tests the products on animals. That’s still animal testing and disingenuous on the brands’ part to claim they’re still cruelty-free.
Most of Physicians Formula’s line is paraben-free but not all of it. On their website each product page has a benefits tab and if the product is paraben-free it will say there. Some of their popular paraben free products include:
- Butter Highlighter
- Butter Blush
- Butter Bronzer
- Organic Wear Sculpting Bronzer
- Murumuru Butter Lip Cream SPF 15
- 2 in 1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner & Serum
- Organic Wear Fake Out mascara
Physicians Formula does not formulate their products to be gluten-free. But then do have some gluten-free products. They’re all listed under the benefits tab for each product on their site. Luckily, the iconic Butter Bronzer is gluten-free!
Physicians Formula is phthalate-free. Phthalates are used to improve the texture and slip of beauty products. It’s more common in eye products, haircare and nail polish. They’re linked to endocrine disruption and are approved by the FDA in small amounts. We totally approve of Physicians Formulas’ decision to cut them out completely.
Yes! Physicians Formula’s products are non comedogenic, hypo-allergenic and dermatologist tested. Their products are formulated not to clog your pores. This does not mean that their products are allergy-proof. Every product is going to affect people in a different way. Hypo-allergenic means they are less likely to cause an allergic reaction.
Yes, so Physicians Formula does have a PETA cruelty-free approval. Physicians Formula was cruelty-free and sneakily started selling in Mainland China without any statement to customers. It worked and PETA clearly has not learned of this move. This proves that if you want to use cruelty-free makeup, it’s up to you to keep up with the latest on the brands that you use. It’s disappointing to see PETA still have them listed as a cruelty-free brand when they are not one.
Physicians Formula is a drugstore brand so you can find it at your local CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid. You can also find it online at:
Physicians Formula is disingenuous and very shady with their cruelty-free practices. The only response about their move to China has been through private emails and DMs on social media with customers. The least they owed their customers was a statement that they have moved to Mainland China. It seems like they didn’t because they know it affects their cruelty-free status and people would be outraged. They would lose customers.
It’s always upsetting when a brand that was cruelty-free jumps back into animal testing. Especially a PETA certified brand that still has them certified! It’s up to you to decide if you want to support Physicians Formula. They’re the only organic brand at the drugstore with a range of some nice products. This shows that if you are serious with your cruelty-free brands, it’s up to you to do the ongoing research to make sure they’re staying cruelty-free.