Beauty Test Drive: Dermalogica Skincare

I have experienced a few transformations in my life that have been so dramatic I wish I had taken before and after pictures. One of those times was when I went to Super Cuts for a trim and the stylist gave me a pixie cut with a rat tail. Another was when I bought my first professionally fitted bra. And the third was when I started using Dermalogica skincare.

It all started one day when my friend Katie and I went out for drinks. She was telling a story when I realized that even under the harsh fluorescent lights of the bar her face looked dewy and flawless. “Oh my god,” I blurted out. “How do you have such perfect skin?!”

“One word,” she said, “Dermalogica. It costs a fortune but it’s amazing.”

I went home and looked it up. Holy crap, it did cost a fortune–we’re talking 30 bucks for a bottle of face wash–but it got rave reviews, especially from people with sensitive skin (my skin is more sensitive than a teenage boy who’s just discovered Elliott Smith). Plus, I felt like my face was starting to look kind of…tired. I knew I needed to change up my skincare routine, so a couple months later, when I’d paid my bills and had some extra cash left over, I splurged on a few Dermalogica products. Here’s the scoop:

UltraCalming Cleanser, $34

When it comes to cleansers so gentle you don’t even have to use water to rinse them off, everyone always raves about Cetaphil, but as much as I want to love it (especially because it’s only a few bucks at the drug store), it’s always made my normally dry skin feel kind of oily and not-really-clean. Dermalogica’s UltraCalming cleanser is formulated for the most sensitive skin types and is a similar consistency to Cetaphil. It’s unscented and super gentle, but damn, when I step out of the shower after using it, my skin feels fresh and clean and looks, for lack of a better word, glowy. New favorite cleanser? Absolutely.

Intensive Moisture Balance Moisturizer, $60 (I know, I know)

This is, hands down, the best moisturizer I’ve ever tried. My skin is mega dry, but like I said, since it’s so sensitive, many overly oily moisturizers make it break out. This stuff is, as the name implies, the perfect balance. I started using this every night after I got out of the shower, and no joke, within a week my skin looked dramatically different: brighter, softer, healthier. My boyfriend even commented on it, and he has been known to not notice parades that are marching directly behind him, so that tells you just how dramatic a transformation it was.

Yes, it is ridiculously expensive, but like many high quality products, you don’t have to use much (I bought a tube back in May and I’m not even halfway through it yet).

Daily Microfoliant, $50

A small bottle of this came for free with the moisturizer I bought. It’s a really unique exfoliant in that it comes in powder form, and you shake a little onto your hand, mix with water, and then rub onto your skin. Like every Dermalogica product I’ve tried, it’s gentle and effective. Still, $50 is more than I’m willing to spend on an exfoliant, so I’m going to pass on buying a full size bottle of this and stick with my beloved (and mega cheap!) St. Ives Apricot Scrub.

Multivitamin Power Serum, $65

Dermalogica was kind enough to send me a sample of this, and I’m pretty obsessed with it. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m very anxious/crazy about the skin under my eyes because my Italian genes are prone to deep creases and dark circles. I saw a noticeable improvement when I started using Dermalogica moisturizer under my eyes, but this stuff takes it to a whole new level. The Power Serum is an anti-aging product that helps decrease fine lines and improve skin elasticity, and the texture is so velvety you can smooth it on without tugging at the delicate skin around your eyes. I started putting it on before I moisturized in the morning, and within a few days my skin looked and felt better than it ever has. Seriously. When I run out of this (which won’t be for awhile, since, again, you don’t need to use much), I’ll probably be splurging on another tube.

In the past few months I’ve had a number of people come up to me and say, “You have amazing skin!” That never used to happen to me, but now I know exactly what to tell them. “One word: Dermalogica. It costs a fortune but it’s amazing.”

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