Although this tinted moisturizer includes an in-part zinc oxide sunscreen and comes in three sheer colors, the base formula contains pure lavender oil. Although it may smell soothing, lavender oil can be a skin irritant and a photosensitizer (Sources: Contact Dermatitis, August 1999, page 111; and Family Practice Notebook, www.fpnotebook.com/DER188.htm). Research also indicates that components of lavender, specifically linalool, can be cytotoxic, meaning that topical application causes skin-cell death (Source: Cell Proliferation, June 2004, pages 221–229). In addition, the fragrance constituents in lavender oil oxidize when exposed to air; this not only makes lavender oil a pro-oxidant, but also increases its irritancy on skin (Source: Contact Dermatitis, September 2008, pages 143–150). Lavender oil is a must to avoid if you care about the health of your skin. Other problematic fragrant oils are present, too, but we'll stop there!
Active ingredients: Octinoxate (4.5%), Zinc Oxide (9.5%). Other ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Methyl Gluceth-20, Lactamide MEA, Glyceryl Stearate, Stearic Acid, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sorbitan Stearate, Sorbityl Laurate, Hydrolyzed Pearl, Silanetriol, Juglans Regia (Walnut) Seed Extract, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Extract, Lavandula Spica (Lavender) Flower Oil, Lavandula Hybrida Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Extract, Allantoin, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Pentylene Glycol, Glycerin, Lactate, Lactic Acid, Serine, Urea, Sorbitol, Sodium Chloride, Polysorbate 60, Cetyl Alcohol, Panthenol, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Xanthan Gum, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Methylpropanediol, Silica, Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide.
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.