Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Six Weeks With Dermalogica

Last year, I found myself with a number of good-sized Dermalogica samples thanks to having attended a couple of their events and their inclusion in my Luxe Boxes.

I held off though on trying them until I could dedicate several weeks to regularly using these products as my primary skin care line. While Dermalogica does have a lot of fans and accolades, it also has high prices and ingredients that aren't unique or overly special. Because of all of that, I wanted to make sure that I could fairly and thoroughly test my samples out.

Finally, in mid-December, the timing came together and I busted my samples out. From then until the end of last week, my skin care routine has revolved around these products:

I do need to state that over the past few weeks, I haven’t only used Dermalogica products. I've also regularly been using eye makeup remover on my eyes and Boots’ No.7 Intensive Line Filler on my forehead as well as Benzagel and Polysporin on any pimples that popped up.  A handful of non-Dermalogica masks and scrubs have also been recently used and I will admit that some days I jumped into the shower without my Dermalogica cleansers and so I ended up washing my face with Spectro-gel and not the items mentioned above. But overall, I do believe that I used this brand enough to get a very good sense of what it’s like.

And what it’s like is rather disappointing given its claims and its price.

Now, I want to make it clear that this isn't a bad product line. I experienced no negative reactions while using Dermalogica items and they didn't exasperate any existing issues or cause new ones. And pretty much all of the products do work, they just don’t work well enough to justify their high cost.

Precleanse ingredients & directions 
Take for example the Precleanse cleansing oil. I was told by a Dermalogica rep that Precleanse was exactly what I needed to clean out my pores and that using it, alongside other Dermalogica products like the Special Cleansing Gel, would result in visibly cleaner, healthier skin (all claims that are echoed on the product’s web page).

But six weeks in and my pores and skin look pretty much like they did at the start of December (actually, my skin’s a little drier but I’ll get to that in a minute). The oil and cleanser are both cleaning my skin, there’s no question about that, but these two products (which together cost around $90) aren't doing a better job than my $14 bottle of Spectro Jel. I was really hoping that the amazing cleaning power of the Precleanse oil would result in fewer pimples, blackheads and maybe even less eye makeup remover but nope, there hasn't a been a change in any of those areas.

Another area that saw no real improvement is my skin’s moisture level. Initially, before winter really kicked into gear, the Skin Smooth Cream held its own and it did give me nicely moisturized skin. But then the humidity level dropped and that product just wasn't cutting it any more.

Power Firm description
I actually don’t have any issues with that because Demalogica does provide a solution for when skin gets really dry: the Skin Hydrating Booster, “A super-hydrating fluid concentrate to help revitalize dry, parched skin.” Unfortunately, this product just didn't bring the all-day moisture that I was looking for. While it certainly did revitalize my skin for a few hours, by the end of the work day the flakes and dryness were always back.

I've previously written about the Daily Microfoliant and it continues to underwhelm me. Meanwhile, the Multivitamin Power Firm cream did nothing for my forehead lines, which I suppose isn't too surprising since this product is intended for the thinner skin of the under-eye area (though I was surprised that its formula of vitamins A, C and E and silicones had no visible impact on my lines). As for the Multi-active Toner, it did feel great on my face I can see why it would be “…ideal for rehydrating skin after air travel” but I'm not convinced that it did much when it came to prepping my skin “…for proper moisture absorption.”

I did though find one Dermalogica product that I quite like and that’s worth the cash. Look for its review later this week.

Would I buy these products: No. I would consider the Skin Smoothing Cream and the Multi-active Toner if they were half the price (they retail around $52 and $43 respectively) but there's no way I'm buying them at their current cost; they're just not worth the price.

Should you buy these products:  Only if you have too much money. While these aren't bad products, they're also not outstanding and at these prices, a product needs to be outstanding (at least in my opinion).


  1. So they want you to wash your face with 2 different products? The pre cleanse, followed by the cleansing gel? That seems a bit much particularly for the cost of each product!

  2. Yeah,there is some name for the process but I'm blanking on it. It's supposed to be a better way to wash your face but I didn't notice a difference.