Physicians Formula Healthy Wear SPF 50+ is a powder compact foundation that promises serious sunscreen protection. Because I’m concerned about sun exposure, I recently picked up one in the lightest shade at my local CVS drugstore. It retails for about $15, but there was an instant $5 off coupon on the box–so $10 total.
Even SPF 100+ rated chemical sunscreens allow me to pick up color during the blistering hot summer months while wearing a hat. So I view claims of “SPF 50+” with some doubt. The only sunscreen that I’ve found that really works for me is Elta MD UV Physical SPF 41, which is a physical sunscreen. I have been looking for a mattifying powder to wear over the Elta MD, which has a slight tint so I can use it as a sheer foundation. If the powder had serious sun protection, I’d be pretty happy. So I thought that I’d give Healthy Wear a try.
Physicians Formula Healthy Wear’s packaging is massive and bright, and the website promises that the product “delivers maximum SPF 50 broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection and full coverage with a soft-matte finish.”
Healthy Wear comes in only four (4) shades, and there are no testers at the store. I got the lightest shade “Translucent Light”, which applies a bit ashy grey on my NC15/Chanel Cameo skintone. This shade is either too light or too cool for me, or both. In terms of texture, it applied better than I thought it would. Believe me, it’s not as finely milled as high-end powder foundations. It got powdery/chaulky when layering, but was all right with a single layer applied with a powder brush.
Although the package is large, the non-refillable powder pan is not. There is a large compartment for a sponge and mirror, which bulks up the compact. You get 0.34 ounces for $10 (or $15 if you pay regular price). To compare, MAC’s Blot is $22 for 0.42 ounces (MAC’s compact gets some credit for being Back-to-MAC-able).
When the package is closed, it looks like a bulky little flying saucer:
As far as the claim of SPF 50+, I cannot tell whether a typical application delivers this protection. In other words, how much of that pan has to be on my face to block that much sun? Neither the package nor the website says. Unfortunately, it’s not sunny enough yet for me to assess this claim myself.
Bottom line: If I’m running out the door for a quick errand, it’s fine with my tinted sunscreen. If I’m going something a bit more formal, I’ll go with my usual sunscreen and liquid foundation. Would I rebuy? I’d love some proof from Physicians Formula that the “SPF 50+” delivers when I use an average application. And if I found a color that works better for my skin tone.
The ingredient list on Physicians Formula website states as follows:
ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: OCTINOXATE 4%, TITANIUM DIOXIDE 21%, ZINC OXIDE 3%, INACTIVE INGREDIENTS: TALC, MICA, NYLON-12, CAPRYLIC/CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDE, STYRENE/ACRYLATES COPOLYMER, ASCORBYL PALMITATE, DIACETYL BOLDINE, DIISOSTEARYL MALATE, DIMETHICONE, GENISTEIN, GLYCYRRHETINIC ACID, LAUROYL LYSINE, ALPHA LIPOIC ACID, OCTYLDODECYL STEAROYL STEARATE, PEG-12 GLYCERYL DIMYRISTATE, SOLANUM LYCOPERSICUM (TOMATO) FRUIT EXTRACT, SQUALANE, TOCOPHEROL, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, UBIQUINONE, ZINC STEARATE, DISODIUM EDTA, PHENOXYETHANOL, SODIUM DEHYDROACETATE, SORBITAN SESQUIOLEATE MAY CONTAIN: IRON OXIDES, TITANIUM DIOXIDE, ULTRAMARINES