Last Tuesday night the lovely editor of Flourish magazine online, Jane and I attended a Blogger event at Dermalogica‘s WA headquarters in Fremantle. The first to arrive amidst an August shower, I was greeted by three lovely smiling (and completely flawless) faces, one of which was Claire Crouch’s – the company’s corporate trainer. Claire grew up in London out of the harsh sun and thus has magnificent skin and a killer sense of humour. I liked her immediately. In front of the pretty faces sat a large plate of scones from which I was too scared to take on account of their delicious-looking, but will-definitely-drop-on-the-clinical-Dermalogica-floors cream fillings. Instead, I took a glass of champers. Damn.
Jane arrived not long after and we had a quick tour of the complex. It’s all very white and bright and exciting because that’s exactly how you want your skin to be! There were two training rooms, a face-mapping stall set up, a kitchen area with fridge, microwave, herbal teas, etc and bathrooms too. The facility is there for therapists who use Dermalogica products to go and get the low down on ingredients and skin health so they can then transfer it to their customers. Brilliant!
After our tour, we headed into Room 2 where a powerpoint presentation and lots of Dermalogica goodies were set up for us, amidst notepads, pencils and information booklets. We took a seat and Claire launched right into explaining the five Dermalogica steps to healthy skin, while Tina kindly demonstrated (how brave!) as we went along. Much information was shared and it is my beauty editor duty to pass it on. So grab a cup of green tea and settle in for a mind-blowing info sesh that will change your skin forever!
Step 1 – Cleansing
A poor cleansing routine is the cause of most skin concerns. Claire and the Dermalogica team recommend a double-cleanse morning and night to kick-start the Dermalogica skin routine. ”If your skin’s not clean, the other products won’t work on it,” Claire said. You should use a cleanser for your skin type and make sure it’s soap free. Your skin should never feel tight after cleansing, this means you’ve stripped the oils and over-cleansed (big no-no). It needs to be water-soluble and acid balanced. Keep all those things mean. First, use PreCleanse* to thoroughly remove your makeup. Put a 10c piece-sized amount on your hands and rub it on your face with light, upward movements. Add water and watch it foam and lift the oil off your skin. It needs to be milky or it won’t work. This is an especially good cleanser for oily skin as it attracts excess oil.
*Tid-bit about PreCleanse: the makeup artist on the set of Twilight’s Eclipse movie placed an emergency order for 25 of these because it was the only cleanser that took off the heavy vampire makeup without causing skin breakouts!
Next, you use the cleanser that’s selected specifically for your skin type. Oily skins should use the Dermal Clay Cleanser, combo the Special Cleansing Gel, dry the Essential Cleanse, and sensitive the Ultra Calming. Those lucky ducks who have a normal skin type should use cream or wash-based cleansers. Tina demonstrated the Special Cleansing Gel and noted it was important to lather in your hands first then put it on your skin to make sure it’s working properly. If your skin is still tight, it means there’s residual cleanser on there, so jump back in the shower and wash it off, stat.
Step 2 – Exfoliation
Most people exfoliate because they want that instant improvement and can feel it working right away. Plus, it works for any skin condition, allowing the next products to penetrate. We can exfoliate to remove pigmentation and dead skin, but be careful not to over-exfoliate! That results in redness, which results in a breakdown of collagen, which results in ageing so STOP!
You should ideally exfoliate 1-3 times a week, bit for those that are exfoliation lovers (aka, moi), Dermalogica came up with a solution – the Daily Microfoliant (Oprah loves it, so your should too). It’s light and powdery and removes only superficial skin cells or the ones that would shed naturally. It’s sensitive and rice-based with salicylic acid, which is goooooooood! You simply put a little bit into your palm (see below), add water, mix it into a paste and them exfoliate in upward, light movements. It should be pasty, not too watery and not too thick. Use it. It’s a Kiss of Approval product and you’ll see the review up in early September!
Another exfoliator you can use is the Daily Resurfacer. This one is loved by J-Hawkins, so if you love her, you’ll love it. It’s a tiny little finger puppet that you pop on your skin to clean and exfoliate over and around every little crevice. Exfoliate behind your ears, around your nose, through the neck – everywhere. So cute, so effective! Salicylic acid in it is an anti-inflammatory while it also contains brighteners and anti-oxidants like Rooibos and green teas. You get 35 in a pack and when you use it, you don’t get any powder/grains in your hair – very, very cool.
The final exfoliator is the MultiVitamin Thermofoliant from Dermalogica’s AGEsmart range. This baby is good because it heats up when water is added, but slowly enough not to burn. It contains lactic acid to replace lost collagen and to increase cell turnover. So those with acne should use salicylic acid, those with ageing problems should use lactic acid. Got it? Good.
Step 3 – Toning
To refresh and rehydrate, toning is essential. We can eliminate flakiness and fine lines when moisture is topically applied (yes, it’s good to drink 4 litres of water a day, but topical treatment is how your skin will plump). The humectants in the toners help bind the water to the skin to refresh and rehydrate. Fabulous.
There are two great toners on the Dermalogica topic for today. First is my favourite, the Multi-Active Toner. It’s a spray which you can put on after exfoliating or throughout the day over makeup. This is why I love it – makeup refreshers are amazing and this smells and works deliciously! It’s also oil-free so pretty good for all skin types.
The other toner is more targeted to those who fear or are ageing (um, everyone?) because it comes from the AGEsmart range. Called Antioxidant Hydromist, this puppy protects your skin from free radicals and flash firms thanks to the pea and bamboo sitting snugly in the ingredients list. It has sugar traps to bind to the sugar in your body and stop it targeting your skin. Fellow Year 12 Human Biology students, you’ll know how cool this is! Claire and Tina also recommend it for those women going through menopause.
Step 4 – Treatment
This is the step where you really target what’s bothering you, where any imbalance is solved. Serums, boosters, concentrates… these all fit into this category. The first we try is MAP-15 Regenerator from the AGEsmart range. This comes in a teeny vial and you put it onto your skin as a powder and rub it in to a velvety paste before it’s absorbed. Very surreal. It has Vitamin C that stays in your skin for 5 days and this means collagen! It’s perfect for fine lines and I noticed Tina used it patted around her eyes. The technology is patented, it’s that good! Now run, tell your mums!!
The second we try is C-12 Concentrate from the ChromaWhite TRx range. It is pigmentation targeted and evens out pigmentation rather than eliminating it, meaning it’s not at all harmful to other parts of the skin. It’s like a velvety serum and would be easily worn just before bed.
Step 5 – Protection
The final step, it’s probably the most important because with protection comes prevention. Depending on your skin type, you can choose the type of product best for you. Oilier skins use a more lotion-type protection while creams are better for ageing skin. In the moisturisers, there is the Active Moist that’s oil free, the Skin Smoothing Cream that is for normal skin and for maintenance, and there’s the Intensive Moisture Balance for dry and ageing skin. You can mix half of these with half of Dermalogica’s Solar Defence Booster for SPF protection.
For those who suffer from redness, there’s the Sheer Tint Redness Relief SPF15 which comes out green but disappears to mask redness and cool skin. Or for a bit of colour, the Sheer Tint Moisturiser SPF15 (comes in three colours) is the one for you.
Don’t forget to look on packaging for POA dates (how long you can keep your product once you’ve opened it) so you know how long to hold onto it for and when the ingredients in the product are no longer giving you optimum results.
A little background about Dermalogica – Education first, products second!
Founder Jane Wurwand recognised in 1983 that there was no real skin and body therapy education sessions in the States, so she opened a small classroom in Marina del Rey (Calli) under the name The International Dermal Institute. She invited licensed skin therapists to get hands-on experience with critical training to be competitive in the industry. Today, the Institute is considered the international standard for post-grad beauty therapy and body therapy, with over 40 locations worldwide. In 1986, Jane developed Dermalogica because she saw no real product was targeted at health and was more – as Claire said – pretty, pink, gold, big, glittery, and the rest that is associated with 80s beauty! Aren’t we glad they made Dermalogica!? YES!
Saving the best till last – our final tip
Remember to perform your skin routine on your face, neck, decollatage, ears and back of your neck or you’ll notice ageing there in a few years time!
With huge thanks to everyone at Dermalogica!