Dermalogica Review – Cruelty Free Moisturizers for Face, Acne, Peels & More

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When we’re young, many of us take our healthy and resilient skin for granted. We may not think about the way we treat it since we assume it will always stay with us.

As the years go by, though, we begin to mourn the loss of our skin’s elasticity and glowing, moist texture and tone.

The changes in our skin are often the most noticeable signs of aging – especially in our faces, necks, and hands.

When most beauty enthusiasts and therapists need an easy-to-use, clinical skincare line, it is no surprise that Dermalogica receives a high review rating in numerous Dermalogica reviews online.

This groundbreaking, minimalist, and highly-effective skincare brand, founded by Jane and Ray Wurwand in 1986, has a range of cleansers, toners, exfoliants, masques, moisturizers, eye cream, and acne treatments beloved by both professionals and individuals the world over.

This brand’s innovative anti-aging products have garnered excellent reviews and become cult favorites, including:

  • Age Reversal Eye Complex
  • Super Rich Repair Cream
  • Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF 50

Because of the unique and different skincare needs from person to person, Dermalogica has created varying skincare solutions to fit all.

This personalized approach means that the company has not needed to spend a lot of money on advertising since the products sell themselves when users see the result.

Portrait of beautiful woman covering her face with book

This brand of skincare products is not easy to find like other off-the-shelf brands.

You may find Dermalogica in authorized resellers and department stores that have in-house estheticians, such as Nordstrom, Ulta, Sephora, and Macy’s – or you may put them in your shopping cart from the company’s website.

There, you can also click links to get a Face Mapping skin analysis and chat with a skin specialist.

Because of this exclusivity, we decided to explore the things that make this skincare brand tick in our detailed Dermalogica review to see if these products work and if they are ideal for anyone looking to improve their skincare regimen.

We will also address a few things that concern users.

About Dermalogica

dermalogica products

Dermalogica has links to The International Dermal Institute (IDI), a worldwide postgraduate dermatology and skincare education and training institute for skincare therapists.

The Dermalogica line of skin care products comes from the R&D wing of this institute.

This premier skincare training program, now global in over 38 locations, currently serves as the gold standard for postgraduate skin and body therapy training.

A key feature of Dermalogica is its minimalistic packaging. All products come in functional and understated white-and-gray packaging – but don’t let the simplicity fool you!

The contents are highly effective and fast-working. They contain the highest-quality and most ethically-sourced ingredients that are science-backed, clinically researched, and extensively tested to yield healthier skin.

Founder Jane Wurwand’s focus is on skin health over beauty, and she directs all her attention to developing products that can penetrate deeply and both nourish and heal the skin from within.

With the company’s innovative Face Mapping service, she has ensured that the company offers all clients a personalized skincare review to help them find products that will truly meet their skincare routine needs.

Dermalogica will also send the results to your email address for future consultations.

Many a user reviews Dermalogica so positively because its products are also famously free of known irritants and harmful synthetic ingredients like SD alcohol, lanolin, mineral oils, parabens, sulfates, fragrances, and artificial colors.

This purity makes the brand ideal for use on individuals living with chronic conditions like dermatitis and eczema.

Dermalogica is also 100% clean – the products are entirely cruelty-free, and most of the products, except a very few, are certified vegan. Their packaging is also 90% biodegradable and recyclable.


A Review of Dermalogica Skincare Products

The Dermalogica brand has an impressive range of skincare products, including cleansers, toners, moisturizers, masques, boosters, eye cream, makeup removers, primer, and other specialized treatments.

This wide menu of products is one reason why every customer reviews Dermalogica highly, as it caters to everything from sensitive skin to oily skin. The products include:

  • Active Clearing
  • Age Smart
  • Body Collection
  • Clear Start
  • Daily Skin Health
  • Daylight Defense
  • Powerbright TRX
  • Ultra Calming

Here’s a breakdown of the Dermalogica product favorites that have sold well over the years.

1. Special Cleansing Gel

Special Cleansing Gel

This soap-free, indulgent foaming gel cleanser and face wash (used in conjunction with Dermalogica Pre Cleanse cleansing oils and balms) cleanses most skin types to leave you feeling squeaky clean and refreshed.

It also removes everyday impurities such as makeup and environmental toxins without reducing the skin’s moisture level.

Special Cleansing Gel is mild and lightweight enough to use every morning and every night, as it features balm mint and lavender extracts, which soothe and calm.

For oily skin types, the Clearing Skin Wash is a better-suited product. This cleanser has botanicals that clean and soothe the skin and keep acne and other breakouts at bay.

  • Lavender Oil unclogs pores, reduces inflammation, and kills bacteria preventing acne breakouts.
  • Lemon Balm Leaf Extract is a calming extract with antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties that heal blemished skin, restoring the skin’s natural balance.
  • Quillaja Bark Extract contains saponins, which are natural surfactants that give superior cleansing action.

Key Benefits:

  • Calms and purifies
  • Gently washes away impurities without drying or stripping.


2. Daily Microfoliant

Daily Microfoliant

Exfoliation is a vital part of looking youthful as it helps to get rid of dead cells on the surface.

Using this product won’t harm the skin since it is gentle enough to use every day.

It also brightens and smoothes, eliminates toxins, and removes dead cells.

When mixed with water, this rice-based powder activates releasing natural exfoliants like rice bran that polish and perfect the skin.

Additionally, it has ingredients such as white tea and licorice that balance uneven skin tone and colloidal oatmeal that calms the skin.


  • Allantoin – a non-irritating skincare ingredient that soothes, protects, and heals by stimulating new tissue growth
  • Colloidal Oatmeal – functions as a cleanser, soother, moisturizer, and anti-inflammatory agent
  • Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract – a potent antioxidant that soothes, hydrates, and protects from aging
  • Papain –helps reduce acne by removing keratin and dead cells, which can clog pores
  • Rice Enzymes – gently exfoliate, releasing debris and buildup and promoting natural, healthy skin.

Key Benefits:

  • Gentle enough to use daily
  • Removes buildup, dirt, and debris
  • Reveals brighter and smoother skin


3. Age Bright Spot Fader

Age Bright Spot Fader

This two-in-one spot treatment and skin smoothing cream that comes in a neat little tube prevents and corrects active breakouts, eliminates post-breakout marks, and fights aging and dryness.

The salicylic acid in the formula works to clear breakouts, while niacinamide helps someone who has post-breakout marks.


  • Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract soothes and has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Aloe has positive reviews for healing burns, scars, and wounds and prevents sun damage by blocking up to 30% of the sun’s UV rays.
  • Hexylresorcinol – a brightening agent, antioxidant, and astringent that promotes a more even tone and complexion
  • Malic Acid –brightens and smoothens, with powerful anti-aging properties that prevent premature aging
  • Niacinamide – minimizes redness and inflammation, treats hyperpigmentation, and prevents sun damage
  • Salicylic Acid – a beta-hydroxy acid that reduces acne breakouts by keeping the skin’s pores clear and exfoliating dead-cell buildup.

Key Benefits:

  • Clears acne breakouts
  • Fades post-breakout marks
  • Reduces visible aging
  • Prevents over-drying


4. Active Moist

Active Moist

This oil-free, sheer, easy-to-apply moisturizer contains a unique combination of plant extracts and prebiotics that improve the surface texture of oily skin and prevent dryness.


  • Burdock Root Extract – a natural antibacterial and antiseptic; helps treat acne and other conditions like eczema and psoriasis
  • Cucumber Fruit Extract –a natural cooling ingredient that reduces inflammation and irritation and also acts as an antioxidant to help prevent aging and damage from environmental pollutants
  • Ivy Extract –helps prevent water accumulation due to its high flavonoid content
  • Lemon Fruit Extract – a source of rich antioxidants such as glutathione, alpha-tocopherol, and ascorbic acid that help fight against free radical damage
  • Mallow Flower Extract – an anti-inflammatory and antiseptic agent that helps treat acne, irritation, and wound healing due to its high doses of flavonoids, vitamin C, and vitamin E

Key Benefits:

  • Lightweight enough for quick and ready absorption
  • Provides oil-free hydration without that characteristic heavy, greasy feel on your face
  • Smoothens and improves texture


5. Biolumin-C Serum

Biolumin-C Serum

This powerhouse of a serum enhances the skin’s natural defenses and brightens and firms.

It also dramatically reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, especially on dry skin.

The potent serum, which you can use every morning and every night, uses a highly-stable form of Vitamin C and a patented biotechnology complex to enhance Vitamin C’s bioavailability to fight free radicals and aging.

It also has peptides and AHA that renew and brighten, and users have given it rave reviews for making them look more glowing and radiant.


  • Chia Seed Extract – an excellent ingredient for restoring moisture, diminishing redness, and preventing the appearance of lines and wrinkles
  • Sophora Japonica Flower Extract – an essential source of antioxidants, useful for fighting free radicals; the high flavonoid and amino acid content also nourish and prevent wrinkles
  • Vitamin C – an essential active ingredient that maintains healthy-looking skin, protects from skin pollutants and environmental stressors, and helps create skin-strengthening collagen, making up over 70% of your skin’s weight

Key Benefits:

  • Exfoliates
  • Reduces and prevents free radical damage
  • Reduces discoloration
  • Reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines and wrinkles


6. Dermalogica Intensive Moist Balance 

Any dry, depleted skin can be revived with this intensive moisture balance from Dermalogica. It delivers a perfect merger of major lipid barriers to help enhance the skin’s tough nature. It also helps in barrier rejuvenation.

According to most users, this moisturizer does the trick, and it is smooth and lighter on the skin. 

Key Ingredients 

  • Rose extract: It functions as an astringent and antiseptic. It helps to clean the skin and clear blemishes. It also possesses anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe skin irritation and lighten the skin.
  • Aloe Vera: functions as a wound healer and brightens skin. Studies also suggest that aloe vera can aid in skin moisture retention. It’s a primary skin protectant. It’s the most potent weapon to fight sunburn. It is the most natural anti-inflammatory plant you can see.
  • Wild Yam: Functions against skin irritation and inflammation. It has an abundance of phytoestrogens. They keep the skin hydrated, preventing it from being soft and flaky. So it’s a significant player in anti-aging products.

7. Daily Superfoliant

It is a powder exfoliant that delivers the smoothest skin of your dreams. It fights against every external trigger that accelerates aging. It does the magic with the required friction and does cause any skin irritation.

It is a resurfacer that detoxifies pores and fights external factors that cause anti-aging.

Key Ingredients

  • Baking Soda: Also known as sodium bicarbonate, it can work wonders when used in skin care. Not only is it an excellent exfoliator with its abrasive nature, but it is also a good lightening agent. Its threefold power of exfoliation, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory helps to remove acne and gives you clear skin.
  • Activated Bichontan Charcoal: It unclogs pores, removes all the impurities that fight brighter skin, and leaves you radiant and fresh-looking.

Dermatologica: What’s Inside?

Dermalogica products contain both synthetic and non-synthetic products. However, the brand boasts of naturally extracted ingredients. But we shall look at the most common ingredients in your Dermalogica products.


It is a derivative of the family of vitamin A, but it is mainly converted to retinoic acid via a series of enzymes when applied topically. 

However, retinol may be your go-to skincare product if you have any frustrating acne. Dermatologists recommend providing help with the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and even skin tone and reducing pore size. And it is one of the ingredients commonly found in Dermalogica products.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is already a household name in skincare products, especially Dermalogica products. You can find them in moisturizers, serums, and even face cleansers. They help to combat aging and remove wrinkles, giving you fresh, radiant skin. 

Vitamin C has hydrating properties, reduces redness, improves skin tone, and aids in skin brightening. 

Also, it is one skin product with a relatively safe profile and suits almost every skin type.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Dermalogica Products Work? Do They Have Any Side Effects?

Dermalogica skin care products, for the most part, work effectively. However, skin care is a very subjective issue, and you may find that one product may work well on one person but not so well on another.

One of Dermalogica’s best-selling products, the Special Cleansing Gel, also has plenty of positive reviews, with many customers saying it was a game-changer for their cleansing routine since you only need to use a little product to get outstanding results.

Most customers loved the clean scent of these products and noted that they cleansed and refreshed the skin without drying it out.

However, sensitive types with dry or combination skin did not rave about the cleansing gel product.

Those with sensitive skin found it somewhat harsh and felt that the product left their skin stripped, peeling, flaking, and sometimes with a mild stinging or burning sensation.

aging woman looking at her mirror to check her skin

Another of Dermalogica Skincare’s best-sellers is the Daily Microfoliant, a rice-based powder with added salicylic acid.

Users loved the gentle micro-exfoliating action, which won the product the 2019 Allure Reader’s Choice Award. However, some users reported redness and slight inflammation from the scouring action.

The Phyto Replenish Oil is a feather-light oil treatment with phytoactive properties that boosts the skin’s protective barrier.

This product is formulated for normal-to-dry skin and not suitable for oily types as it could lead to breakouts.

Is Dermalogica Safe?

Dermalogica is safe.

To use these products, a person must consult a beauty therapist, who will recommend the best product range.

This complimentary Face Mapping service with a qualified esthetician ensures that you do not pick products that are either too mild or too strong for your skin type on your own.

This process should eliminate any risks and concerns.

Dermalogica products have also received rave reviews for being clean, cruelty-free, and certified vegan.

Is Dermalogica Worth the Price?

Yes, we certainly think spending on Dermalogica is money well spent.

Among the strengths of Dermalogica products are the high-quality active ingredients they contain.

Dermalogica skincare products last a long while, so you only need to use them a little at a time, making them affordable in the long run.

mature looking at the mirror

Is Dermalogica Medical-Grade? Can You Get it Without an Esthetician Prescription?

Dermalogica products are medical-grade.

They contain 99% pure ingredients, and you cannot purchase them off-the-shelf from department stores, drug stores, or from online marketplaces.

Someone can only get Dermalogica products in consultation with a skin care therapist or esthetician.

This caution ensures that the product you buy – be it a cleanser, toner, primer, makeup remover, or moisturizer – won’t react adversely with your face, eyes, or neck, and that you’ll also get value for money.

How Long Does Dermalogica Take to Work?

Although everyone reacts differently, consumers gave a positive review on the appearance of the skin around their face, neck, or eyes after using the Dermalogica skin products for 1-2 weeks.

Some users have given a positive review after using Dermalogica products for more than a month, including the cleanser, toner, moisturizer, eye cream, primer, booster, or makeup remover.

Is Dermalogica Good for Aging Skin?

Dermalogica has products that help with aging skin.

The Dermalogica Skin Resurfacing Cleanser is an excellent anti-aging cleaner with dual-action exfoliating action for mature skin that dramatically improves skin texture.

This cleanser also contains Vitamin E, an antioxidant that softens and conditions the skin while fortifying its moisture barrier.


For the ultimate moisturizing action, the Dermalogica Age Smart Super Rich Repair has received many positive reviews for outstanding hydration and repair.

It is super-concentrated, full of peptides, and specially designed for prematurely aging skin.

One of the best skin products to use at night is the Dermalogica Age Smart Multivitamin Power Serum.

This serum is full of peptides, retinoids, vitamins, and minerals that target fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, elasticity, pigmentation, and firmness.

Are Dermalogica Products Good for Acne?

Dermalogica also has a range of products especially suited for people with acne.

Users with acne should use the Active Clay Cleanser or Clearing Skin Wash skin care products, which cleanse the skin, followed by the Daily Superfoliant that exfoliates and renews the outer skin layers.

When it comes to toning acne-ridden skin, the Multi-Active Toner works wonders.

Dermalogica recommends that you finish your acne skin care routine with the Oil Free Matte SPF30 cream during the day or Active Moist cream just before bed, and use targeted treatments such as the Overnight Clearing Gel and Sebum Clearing Masque to boost your regimen.

Where Can I Buy Dermalogica Skin Care Products?

Dermalogica skin care products are available on the company website or by prescription from qualified IDI skin therapists.

You may also find them at authorized resellers with resident IDI-qualified skin care professionals such as Aster Spring, Sephora, Blue Mercury, Ulta, and Nordstrom.

There are also several Dermalogica concept stores in major world cities. In 2019, the brand opened a concept store at Jewel Changi Airport, Singapore, after conducting a thorough consumer review to assess its popularity.

smiling mature woman on a couch

Dermalogica Skincare – Our Verdict

This Dermalogica review has shown how highly effective Dermalogica is for some people due to its high-quality ingredients and innovative skin care technology.

However, for other people with sensitive skins, this premier skin care brand may contain ingredients that may not react well, so not everyone can use it.

Dermalogica also comes with a hefty price tag and is not easy to access.

An Alternative to Dermalogica

If you’d rather not use Dermalogica moisturizing products for these or other reasons but need a skincare product that’s just as effective, we recommend that you try using [promo-showProductNameAffLink].

This effective anti-aging cream keeps the skin supple, plump, moisturized, youthful, and wrinkle-free, firming the skin, eliminating fine lines and wrinkles, restoring elasticity, and boosting radiance through the use of light-reflecting technology.

[promo-showProductName] also tackles redness and unevenness and has hyaluronic acid that attracts nourishing moisture to the skin and gently exfoliates, giving skin an even, dewy, and healthy appearance.

Users have given [promo-showProductName] positive product reviews and reported seeing positive results within 84 days of first using the product on their face, eyes, and neck.

Dermatologists advise adhering to a strict skin care regimen by using the product morning and night after washing and toning your face and neck in order for it to work most effectively.

Adhering to this skincare routine will enable the cream to deeply penetrate the skin by removing any dirt or debris present from makeup and other external pollutants.

Get yourself the ultimate solution to an anti-aging skincare routine from the [promo-showProductName] website to begin enjoying healthier skin today!

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Avatar for Megan Foley

Megan has been a freelance writer and editor since 2016. In that time, she’s penned a diverse collection of articles for online publication, with a focus on skincare and beauty. From in-depth product reviews to concise marketing content, Megan is passionate about developing content that informs, entertains, and inspires.