Gentle Cream Exfoliant includes irritants such as sulfur and lavender oil, making it anything but gentle! If the spa or esthetician you frequent uses or endorses these products, run, don't walk, to the nearest exit and book your facial elsewhere! Note: this scrub's abrasive agent (and second ingredient) is diatomaceous earth, which is essentially fossilized algae shells. As such, they tend to have a rough, uneven surface that can scratch and tear skin, especially if used zealously.
Note that the AHA lactic acid and BHA salicylic acid are of little use in a scrub (despits its pH of 3.5), because they're rinsed down the drain before they have a chance to work. Also, despite how Dermalogica positions this product, the texture is akin to a scrub, not a leave-on AHA or BHA exfoliant.
Research indicates that components of lavender, specifically linalool, can be cytotoxic, which means that topical application causes skin-cell death (Source: Cell Proliferation, June 2004, pages 221–229). Lavender leaves contain camphor, which is a known skin irritant. Because the fragrance constituents in lavender oil oxidize when exposed to air, lavender oil is a pro-oxidant, and this enhanced oxidation increases its irritancy on skin (Source: Contact Dermatitis, September 2008, pages 143–150). Lavender oil is the most potent form, and even small amounts of it (0.25% or less) are problematic. It is a must to avoid in skin-care products, although it's fine as an aromatherapy agent for inhalation or relaxation (Sources: Psychiatry Research, February 2007, pages 89–96; and www.naturaldatabase.com).
Dramatically improve skin texture with this two-in-one masque/exfoliation treatment. Non-abrasive formula contains Lactic Acid and Hydroxy Acid to help detach dead skin cells, increasing cell renewal while improving texture for dramatically smooth skin. Formulated without artificial fragrances and colors. Apply a thin layer over cleansed skin, avoiding the lip and nostril area. Use care around the delicate eye area as well. Let activate for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse well. Use twice weekly.
Water (Aqua), Diatomaceous Earth, Butylene Glycol, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Papain, Bromelain, Steareth-21, Steareth-2, Cetearyl Alcohol, Salicylic Acid, Sodium Magnesium Silicate, Lactic Acid, Sulfur, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Centaurea Cyanus Flower Extract, Citrus Medica Limonium (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Flower Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Polysorbate 80, Disodium EDTA, Benzyl PCA, Phenoxyethanol, Linalool, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891).
Dermalogica's name implies a logical relationship to dermatology, which makes it sound as if you are getting serious skin care. The subtitle on their products is even more commanding: "A Skin Care System Researched and Developed by the International Dermal Institute." But what is the International Dermal Institute, you ask? Are there any dermatologists there? Apparently not: The International Dermal Institute is a Dermalogica-owned school for aestheticians who want an education beyond what is required for their cosmetology license, and the classes are taught by aestheticians.
Does the professional atmosphere of the school associated with Dermalogica mean better products? The proof is in the pudding, and this pudding is, for the most part, just Jell-O, not chocolate mousse. A company so concerned with skin-care education should be ashamed of itself for offering so many products that damage skin with known irritants and, more egregiously, offering so many sunscreens that lack sufficient UVA-protecting ingredients. Dermalogica's education-oriented, serious-minded, and clinical positioning doesn’t mesh with the majority of their products, and is on par with tobacco company executives teaching an aerobics class.
According to company history, the reason Dermalogica products came to be was that founder Jane Wurwand could not find a spa-oriented skin-care line that met her criteria. She was dismayed that so many skin-care lines aimed at the aesthetics market had products that contained alcohol, artificial colors, fragrance, mineral oil, and lanolin, ingredients that she believed had a well-documented history of problems. That's true for fragrance and alcohol (and artificial colors to a lesser extent), but mineral oil and lanolin have no documented history of causing skin problems. If anything, quite the opposite is true. Further, if Dermalogica's founders were so concerned about potentially or definitively harmful ingredients, why do their products contain so many of them? Where is the research proving that lavender oil, camphor, balm mint, arnica, ginger oil, and citrus oils are helpful for skin?
For more information about Dermalogica, call 1-800-345-2761 or visit www.dermalogica.com.