Dermalogica Skin Care

Written by Blaire Chandler-Wilcox
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Dermalogica skin care is one of those product lines that unless you've been told about them, read about them, or discovered their products accidentally, then you might never even know they existed. It's not surprising. Dermalogica has never spent a penny on a glossy magazine ad, or a dime for coveted radio or television time. Yet Dermalogica is considered by professionals in the skin care industry to be, nearly without question, the manufacturers of the finest skin care products in the world.

Dermalogica products were created especially for the classrooms at the International Dermal Institute(IDI). The IDI is a world-wide center offering advanced education to skin care professionals. Dermalogica was the first line of products developed by professional skin therapists.

Dermalogica products were revolutionary at the time of their development. At the time, though ingredients such as SD alcohol, mineral oil, and lanolin were known to have irritating effects on the skin, most skin care products contained them. Contemporary brands also typically featured artificial fragrances, colors, and other synthetic agents.

Dermalogica: Built by Professionals

Jane Wurwand, founder of the IDI, felt that products like these were substandard, and approached a variety of chemists as to how to build a better "bar of soap," if you will. After three years of research and development, in 1986, the first Dermalogica products were born. They effectively revolutionized the entire industry.

The Dermalogica mission statement seems to have little to do with glamour or glitzy Hollywood style. They are about utility, simplicity, ease of use, and results. Nonetheless, nearly every high-end magazine out there features a "must have" list of beauty/grooming/skin products, and nine times out of ten, at least one of those necessary objects is made by Dermalogica.

Their approach seems refreshingly simple. Dermalogica seems to want to convey that beautiful skin and looking good is a pleasant byproduct of overall wellness. They promote health, and healthy products. And they feel that quality skin care is no more about luxury than flossing one's teeth. It's a simple part of basic self-care.

Dermalogica: Post-Modern Apothecary

This simple aesthetic is reflected in their packaging, as well. Emphasis is not on fancy bottles, but on contamination control, proper amount for application, and ease of use. The feel is medical, but not sterile--like products one might find in post-modern corner apothecary.

This neighborhood feel is part of what has made their flagship store in Los Angeles so very successful as well. It doesn't feature a soda fountain, but a "skin bar" where customers are encouraged to play with products. The store also has "pods," where spa-goers enjoy complete privacy during treatment and therapies. And most telling, it has a giant window that actually rolls up to allow for easy entry from casual folks strolling by. This "open window" helps communicate Jane Wurwand's populist theory about quality skin care perhaps best of all: that good skin is not for the privileged few, but for everybody. All skins welcome.


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