This thin-textured daytime moisturizer with sunscreen would be great for super sensitive skin if it didn't contain so many problematic fragrant oils. Research has shown these are a distinct problem for all skin types, and why Dermalogica uses them in so many of their products is a mystery. There's simply no valid reason to do so other than creating fragrance, yet fragrance isn't skin care—and it's the last thing anyone with truly sensitive skin needs!
Chief among the problematic fragrant oils is lavender, which we discuss in More Info. We love that the mineral actives of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide provide broad-spectrum protection, and that the lightweight, fluid lotion formula contains some proven antioxidants, but these are offset by the number of fragrant ingredients that cannot calm skin.
- Provides broad-spectrum sun protection.
- Fluid, silky lotion texture is easy to apply.
- Expensive, which may discourage liberal application necessary to achieve the SPF rating on the label.
- Contains numerous fragrant oils known to cause irritation.
- Not calming in the least and a poor choice for anyone with truly sensitive skin.
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. Although it's fine as an aromatherapy agent for inhalation or relaxation, it is a must to avoid in skin-care products. (Sources: Psychiatry Research, February 2007, pages 89–96; and www.naturaldatabase.com).
Chemical-free, Broad Spectrum sunscreen helps protect and reinforce barrier lipids, which are often compromised in sensitized skin conditions. Contains our exclusive UltraCalming™ Complex. Formulated without artificial fragrances and colors.
Active ingredients: Titanium Dioxide (7.0%) Zinc Oxide (9.0%). Other ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dicaprylyl Ether, Butylene Glycol, Polyglyceryl-3 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Stearic Acid, Aluminum Hydroxide, Dimethicone, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Avena Sativa (Oat), Kernel Extract, Boerhavia Diffusa Root Extract, Oxothiazolidine, Citrullus Vulgaris (Watermelon) Fruit Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium PCA, Sodium Lactate, Lens Esculenta, (Lentil) Fruit Extract, Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate, Lavandula Spica (Lavender) Flower Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Lavandula Hybrida Oil Sodium DNA, Tocopherol , Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Carbomer, Pentylene Glycol, Hydroxyphenyl Propamidobenzoic Acid, Bisabolol, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Fruit Extract, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Silica, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Triethoxysilylethyl Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Hexyl Dimethicone, Dimethicone/PEG-10/15 Crosspolymer, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Glycerin, Cyclomethicone, Tocopheryl Acetate, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium, Chloride, Sodium Citrate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol.
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.