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Questions & Answers; Dermalogica Products & Skin Concerns

20% Off Dermalogica Products

Designed to answer some of your top skin care questions

  • What can I do about my uneven pigmentation?
  • Do I have sensitized skin?
  • What can I do about premature aging?
  • What can I do about acne breakouts?
  • What is the correct shaving method for men?​

Q - What can I do about my uneven pigmentation?

The pigmentation of one’s skin is the result of millions of years of evolution, which explains the wide range of skin tones we see in everyday life. People with origins close to the equator, where the sun is the most intense, had to develop protection against dangerous UV rays. The result- an increase in the production of melanin, a natural skin and hair colorant that absorbs UV radiation and protects the body from damage. In fact, the epidermis of a dark skinned - person absorbs up to 25% more UV radiation than that of a light - skinned counterpart.

How Do I Prevent Unbalanced Pigmentation?
Pigmentation disorders are caused by a myriad of factors, which include sun damage, hormonal imbalance, and skin trauma or disease. Of all these causes, sun damage is both the most common, and the most easily prevented! Simply applying a sunscreen with a minimum SPF15 every day, and avoiding peak sun times around midday, will do a lot to prevent the sun damage that can make your skin’s pigment act up. Dermalogica Solar Defence Booster SPF30 provides optimum daily sun protection.

Hormonal imbalance, a cause of pigmentation mostly affecting women, can occur during any time that the body’s natural hormone balance is disturbed. These triggers can include hormonal changes, such as those that happen during the menstrual cycle, menopause, prolonged stress, pregnancy or even when taking birth control pills. Unlike pigmentation related to trauma or sun damage, hormonally induced hyper pigmentation generally disappears when balance is restored to the body, and it can be treated during the interim period with topical skin brighteners such as Dermalogica's PowerBright range.

The pigmentation related to skin trauma (cuts, wounds, scrapes and the like) is difficult to prevent in the case of accidental damage to the skin. Picking at acne lesions is also, of course, a big no-no, and will only exacerbate the pigmentation associated with the wound healing.

What Are My Treatment Options?
When it comes to hyper pigmentation (when pigment-producing cells are damaged and produce too much colour), there are two possible treatment approaches - chemical and botanical. Chemical lighteners, predominantly those containing Hydroquinone, are recognized as effective skin lighteners. However Hydroquinone has been linked with many negative side effects and can cause severe skin allergies and worsening of the pigmentation condition. (This is why Hydroquinone is now actually banned in much of Asia and Africa.)

Botanical skin brighteners are a much safer approach for brightening the skin, and are as effective when used consistently in a professional brightening regimen. Brightening agents to look for include Liquorice, Bearberry, Rice, Kiwi and Mulberry, coupled with Lactic Acid and Vitamin C. Your skin care therapist will be able to prescribe the regimen best for you, but it will most likely begin with a professional series of Skin Brightening Treatments. These highly-active treatments include a professional-only exfoliation to smooth away the unevenly pigmented skin cells, followed by the application of a powerful botanical serum.

Of course, your at-home regimen is also vitally important. After cleansing in the morning, use Dermalogica PowerBright C-12 Pure Bright Serum, which contains optical illuminators, and will help protect your skin from further sun damage while actually helping to combat melanin production at the cellular level. At night, after cleansing, use Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant, a rice based powder that smoothes and brightens the skin. Then apply Pure Night, which penetrates deep into the skin and delivers a potent dose of botanical brighteners to regulate melanin production.

What Results Can I Expect From Treatment?
How much you can reduce the appearance of hyper pigmentation depends largely on what is causing the problem, as well as how deeply into the skin the pigmentation extends.

Generally speaking, most people see results within 8-10 weeks of beginning a treatment program. Keep in mind, however, that all sun exposure must be avoided during this time - even one unprotected day in the sun can reverse all positive treatment results.

Q - Do I have sensitized skin?

What Is Sensitive Skin & Do I Have It?
No other skin condition is more misunderstood than sensitive skin. In fact, almost 90 % of the population report having sensitive skin at one time or another! To understand whether you have sensitive skin, you first have to understand what causes it.
Sensitive skin is a genetically inherited trait that predominantly affects very fair-skinned individuals, usually of Northern European ancestry. Someone with truly sensitive skin is highly prone to blushing, has a very fine complexion and may experience bad hay fever, allergies or asthma.
What most people suffer from is in fact sensitized skin. Rather than a result of genetics, sensitized skin is a reflection of your environment, lifestyle and physiology. Pollution, stress, hormonal imbalance, cosmetic allergies, alcohol, a poor diet and over-exfoliation can all trigger the sensitized skin condition.
The good news is that sensitized skin can be treated. The bad news is that, left untreated, the skin’s response can actually result in permanent cellular damage, which can lead to premature aging.

How Can I Avoid Trigger Factors?
A few lifestyle modifications can usually solve most people’s skin sensitization. Maintaining the skin’s barrier function is vital, so remember to apply your Dermalogica moisturiser after every cleansing, and whenever your skin feels tight or dry - Our Barrier Repair or Super Rich Repair was developed with this specific goal in mind. Skin Hydrating Booster is the ideal addition to your skin care regimen to optimize the water level of your skin. Also, always avoid over-exfoliating your skin. - Remember, more exfoliation is not better! If you notice redness or tightness that lasts more than a few hours, you should discontinue the use of your exfoliant for a few days.

Sun protection is also critical because sensitized skin is even more vulnerable to UV Damage. Dermalogica SUPER SENSITIVE SHIELD SPF30 is a chemical-free sun shield that was developed specifically for sensitized skin.
Lastly, avoid trigger factors such as hot drinks, spicy-or MSG containing food, alcohol, caffeine and nicotine can help your skin recover and rebuild its normal resistance.

What Can I Do For My Skin When It Is Sensitized?
We all know the discomfort of an attack of sensitization - the skin feels tight, red and swollen, and it seems like everything you do just makes it worse! The first step is to avoid all trigger factors. Then you need to follow a special regimen to help our skin recover.
Cleansing with Dermalogica UltraCalming Cleanser, an extremely gentle gel/cream and tissue-off formula, will remove all irritants from the skin’s surface. Follow with UltraCalming Mist to mist on anti-ozonate protection that will help shield the skin from further assault. Barrier Repair provides the last step, creating an invisible silicone barrier against the outside world. Your environmental regimen does not replace your existing skin care routine - think of it as a temporary emergency response.

How Is Rosacea Different From Sensitized Skin?
Rosacea is a skin condition as misunderstood as sensitive skin, and as frequently misdiagnosed. In its early stages, Rosacea exhibits the same symptoms as skin sensitization - redness, blushing and tightness - as well as the same trigger factors. However, the similarity ends there. A disorder of the facial blood vessels, Rosacea is a progressive inflammatory disorder that, when left untreated, develops additional complications that include burst capillaries, facial swelling and spots on the face that look like acne breakouts, causing people to confuse Rosacea with acne.

This misunderstood disease affects One in twenty people - mostly women -. See your professional skincare therapist and receive a Face Mapping to determine if you are experiencing Rosacea or a sensitized skin condition.

Fortunately, Rosacea is manageable. Avoiding trigger factors is critical, as a Rosacea attack begins the same way skin sensitization does. For milder Rosacea, we recommend our sensitized skin care regimen of Environmental Control products. There are also an increasing number of prescription medications available from dermatologists that can halt the progression of this disorder.

Products For Home Use

UltraCalming Cleanser
UltraCalming Mist
Barrier Repair
Super Rich Repair
Gentle Soothing Booster
Skin Hydrating Booster
Soothing Eye Make-up Remover
Super Sensitive Shield SPF30

Recommended Professional Treatment

Prescription Facial - Tailored to your needs

Q - How Can Exfoliation Improve My Skin?

What Is Exfoliation?
While worldwide awareness of exfoliation has exploded in the last decade, it is a concept that is thousands of years old. Even Cleopatra’s exfoliation secrets are well documented.
Generally speaking, exfoliation refers to any technique that removes cells from the skin surface, not only immediately “refreshing” the skin’s appearance but also stimulating cell renewal.

The benefits are dramatic, and, when uses with professional guidance, exfoliation can treat a wide variety of skin problems - including Acne, Premature Aging and scarring to name a few.
Of course, there is huge variety in these techniques - Scrub, Peels, Masques, Dermabrasion, and Lasers! Fortunately, your skin care Therapist can help you identify which will help you best achieve your goals.

What Are Hydroxy Acids?
Unlike physical exfoliants that removes debris through gentle abrasion, Hydroxy acid-based exfoliants smooth the skin by dissolving the intercellular “glue” that attaches the cells to the surface. Hydroxy acids are the most common form of at-home exfoliant because they are extremely effective and when used properly very safe.

Of course, there are several different hydroxy acids. Glycolic Acid was the first to be used in a cosmetic application, and is still widely used despite its high incidence of skin irritation. Lactic and Salicylic Acids, which are as effective as Glycolic Acid, are now the choice of leading skin care professionals because they deliver the same level of results with considerably less irritation. Dermalogica GENTLE CREAM EXFOLIANT and SKIN RENEWAL BOOSTER are two great at-home exfoliants that uses this combination of Lactic and Salicylic Acids.

Hydroxy acids may be combined with enzymes derived from Papaya (Papain) and Pineapple (Bromelain) to help digest dead skin cells, resulting in even smoother skin. The Phytic Acid in Rice Bran, third key ingredient in our DAILY MICROFOLIANT, also effectively dissolves dead surface cells.

Who Needs Exfoliation?
Well, everyone exfoliates naturally. In fact, as you are reading this, thousands of tiny skin cells are falling off your body - about a million every minute! An exfoliation regimen simply helps your body along in the process, which becomes especially vital as we age. Teenagers completely regenerate their external layer of skin, on average every 14 days. By the time you are 40, however, that rate has increased to 30- 40 days.
The results are dull, ashy or mottled-looking skin. An exfoliation regimen can reduce the time that dulling skin cells sit on the surface of our skin for a healthier, more vibrant complexion. Depending on your age and skin condition, your therapist might prescribe a combination of exfoliation therapies. Here are some examples:

A masque style exfoliant can help the skin combat extra oiliness and congestion without aggravating acne conditions

Dehydrated Skin - SKIN PREP SCRUB
Depending on the sensitivity of your skin, you might select a masque-style or scrub-style exfoliant to help remove the dry, dead debris and reveal healthy cells. Combining SKIN RENEWAL BOOSTER with your moisturiser is another great option

Prematurely aged skin is often the result of sun exposure. Sun exposure causes a build up of surface skin cells, which results in a dull, dehydrated appearance. A physical exfoliant such as SKIN PREP SCRUB plus professional MULTIVITAMIN POWER EXFOLIANT treatment will help slough away dead Skin cells

Exfoliation is an important component of every hyperpigmentation treatment because it helps remove the pigmented surface cells. Dermalogica DAILY MICROFOLIANT when used as part of the POWERBRIGHT SYSTEM is the most effective choice.

After-Care Treatment
Depending on the strength of your treatment, your skin may feel a little tight and sensitized for a little while when you leave the skin care centre. This is perfectly normal, and should dissipate quickly.
The most important consideration after any form of exfoliation is to protect your super-vulnerable skin against the sun. An application of SUPER SENSITIVE SHIELD SPF30 will help protect your skin without any chance of sensitization. You will also want to cleanse with a super-gentle cleanser, such as ULTRACALMING CLEANSER, and follow with your moisturizer to prevent dehydration. Your therapist may recommend BARRIER REPAIR for extra protection.

Stronger Is Not Always Better!
Many people get a little exfoliation-crazy under the mistaken notion that if a little is good, a lot has to be great! (Ironically, this is why people often mistakenly opt for the more irritating Glycolic Acid - they assume that more irritation equals better results.) While every skin condition is different, and reacts to exfoliation differently, you should tame down your exfoliation regimen if your skin feels chapped, irritated or is unusually red for a prolonged period of time. At this point, you are not removing dead debris - you are scrubbing away the protective barrier of the epidermis, which can result in permanent sensitization, premature aging and a host of other concerns.

Recommended Professional Treatment

Prescription Facial - Tailored to your needs

Q - What can I do about premature aging?

What Is Premature Aging?
Far from natural!!! Now, we would not suggest for a minute that there is anything wrong with growing old gracefully. The natural aging process is defined in our very genetics, resulting in the complex hormonal and physical transformations that take place throughout life. Premature aging refers to the unnatural acceleration of the natural ageing process, primarily due to damage from sun exposure and an unhealthy lifestyle. While the natural ageing process cannot be slowed, most people who exhibit signs of ageing are actually suffering from premature ageing. Sound far-fetched? Consider this: not only are over 99% of wrinkles caused by sun exposure, but premature ageing can add up to twenty years to your appearance!

How Do You Avoid It?
Taking care of your skin early on can help your skin stay healthy well into your golden years. An investment takes only minutes a day!
Avoiding unprotected sun exposure is the most important measure you can take to protect your skin. General lifestyle factors are also important-a diet too rich in highly processed foods and alcohol, and lacking in fresh fruits and vegetables and whole foods, can have a significant impact on the health of the skin.

Take Control Of Premature Aging
Let us face it - we have all done things in our pasts that our skin would rather forget! And, while the damage may be done, there are a number of ways in which you can treat the signs of premature ageing. It all starts with regular visits to your skin care therapist, who can work out a prescriptive regimen based on a detailed skin analysis using Face Mapping. More that likely, you will begin with an intensive series of Multivitamin Power Exfoliation treatments, a hydroxy acid and retinol approach that is designed to dramatically smooth away debris and increase new cell renewal. Then, regularly scheduled Multivitamin Power treatments will keep your skin on track.

Your at-home regimen will also pay a crucial role. Using vitamin-enriched products, specifically those containing stabilized vitamins A, C and E, can deliver the vital nutrients that the skin needs to help firm and improve elasticity. Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Serum and Multivitamin Power Firm for the eye and lip area applied on a daily basis, along with our multivitamin Power Recovery Masque 1 to 2 times weekly, will very effectively deliver these critical vitamins to your skin. And do not forget your hands, which are one of the first areas to show signs of premature ageing and sun damage - Multivitamin Hand and Nail Treatment was developed specifically to counter this.

Topical Vitamins.. Do They Work?
As far as your body is concerned, your skin is the last in line when it comes to getting its share of nutrients. Over time, fewer of your ingested vitamins ever make it to the skin because they are diverted to the internal organs, leaving the skin starved. Applying potent vitamin complexes topically can make up for this lack of nourishment, helping to address the signs of premature ageing on the cellular level and neutralize dangerous free radical activity.

Technically speaking, getting those vitamins where they need to go is a huge challenge. Extremely reactive, vitamin complexes are generally very unstable, which means you should never use a product that comes in a dropper bottle or jar, where it would become contaminated after the first use.

Your Skin Craves:

  • Vitamin A (Retinol, Retinyl Palmitate) - Essential for normal skin development, Vitamin A regulates skin growth and cell division. Not only does it help improve moisture content, it actually promotes cell renewal and can help reverse the signs of premature ageing. A powerful antioxidant, it also scavenges free radicals.
  • Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid, Ascorbyl Palmitate) - An antioxident, Vitamin C is a key component in collagen production, and strengthens capillary walls for more firm skin tone. It has also been shown to help regulate hyper pigmentation and boost the skin’s immune system.
  • Vitamin E (Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate)- A powerful antioxidant, Vitamin E helps to protect the skin’s moisture barrier, smooth the skin, reduce inflammation and promote healing.
  • Pro-Vitamin B5 (Panthenol) - A powerful vitamin that encourages cell regeneration, which stimulates the healing process.

Products For Home Use
Multivitamin Power Recovery Masque
Multivitamin Power Firm
Multivitamin Power Serum
Multivitamin Hand and Nail Treatment with spf15
Solar Defence System

Recommended Professional Treatment

Mulitvitamin Power Exfoliation Facial​

Q - What can I do about acne breakouts?

What Is Acne?
Acne is a genetically-inherited disease, which is the result of several factors occurring in the skin. Aside from excess oil secreted by the sebaceous glands, there is a proliferation of cells that clog the pores, trapping oil in the follicle. Bacteria inhabit the follicle and digest the oils, generating waste products which then cause irritation to the skin. Oilier skin conditions tend to experience more acne breakouts because they provide more food for the bacteria. Teenagers’ hormonal changes increase oil production, in turn increasing acne breakouts. A quick Face Mapping by your skin therapist will identify your acne prone areas.

What Can I Do At Home To Help My Breakouts?

Excellent skin care and hygiene are vitally important to remove the excess oils and bacteria that are associated with acne. Dermalogica products are non-comedogenic and completely water-soluble, making them ideal for breakout-prone skin. Always follow a strict regimen of thorough cleansing. We recommend Dermalogica MediBac Clearing Skin Wash and lukewarm (never hot) water, followed with a hydrating conditioner such as Dermalogica Multi-Active Toner, and an oil-free moisturizer.
Exfoliate twice a week, and use Daily Microfoliant every day, to help the skin rid itself of congestion-causing debris. Dermalogica Overnight Clearing Gel helps regulate sebum (oil) production, remove follicle clogging debris and kill acne bacteria. For an existing breakout, Benzoyl Peroxide provides unsurpassed clearing, while a calming mask reduces irritation.

In addition, lifestyle changes can often improve your skin. Try to reduce stress, drink plenty of water and limit your intake of caffeine and nicotine, which may stimulate the adrenal glands and promote oil production.
And always remember never to pick or squeeze pimples, as you’ll be left with an even bigger blemish and a scar to remember it by.

How Should I Change My Regimen If I Am Taking Prescription Acne Medication?
If, after a month of following your recommended regimen your complexion does not clear, it may be time to involve a dermatologist. Depending on what you were prescribed, you’ll have to make some adjustments to your at-home regimen to help your skin adjust to the new medication. For example, you may opt for a more gentle cleanser, such as Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel or The Bar.
Users of Retin-A, Adapalene and Accutane should not use any exfoliation products or undergo waxing on the treated areas. All users of prescription exfoliation products, as well as antibiotics, should avoid sun exposure as much as possible, and apply a Dermalogica Solar Defence product with a minimum SPF15 daily.

Why Do Some People Break Out In Their 30's and 40's?
Stress and hormonal changes are the primary cause of the re-emergence of acne well after puberty. Recent studies indicate that 40-50 percent of adults between the ages of 20 and 40 are diagnosed with persistent, low grade acne. Along with several lifestyle changes, including reducing stress and improving diet, there are several products on the market designed to address these problems.
Dermalogica MediBac is a collection of medicated, skin purifying formulations - all designed to control oil and prevent breakouts.

What Is The Difference Between Acne Vulgaris And “Acne” Rosacea?
Acne Vulgaris, a more common form of acne, is caused by clogging and inflammation of the skin’s hair follicles. Rosacea, on the other hand, is not actually a form of acne at all, even though it looks that way in its early stages. Rosacea is an inherited vascular disorder in which the blood vessels of the face become swollen after repeated exposure to certain triggers such as extreme temperatures, alcohol, spicy food, etc. While it starts as a simple blushing, it advances into bumps on the face that looks like acne breakout.
Like common acne, Rosacea is treatable… But not by the same regimen! Skin prone to Rosacea must be treated gently to avoid triggering redness and inflammation, and may also require a dermatologists’ prescription for special medication to control the symptoms. (See DO I HAVE SENSITIZED SKIN Q.)

Products For Home Use
Dermal Clay Cleanser
Multi-Active Toner
Oil Control Lotion
Breakout Control
Overnight Clearing Gel

Recommended Professional Treatment
Prescription Facial - Tailored to your needs
LHE: Light Heat Energy Therapy - Acne Management (
In Salon Treatment)

Q - What is the correct shaving method for men?


  1. Always shower or wash first, then shave, as this allows the steam to soften the hair. Or else use lots of warm water. A quick splash will not do. Never shave when you are cold.
  2. Apply Pre Shave Guard over the damp beard area. If heavy bearded - 4/5 drops on wet skin, if light bearded - 2/3 drops on wet skin.
  3. Begin at the sideburns with short quick strokes in the direction of hair growth - working down to the jawbone. Then re-work the same area with long slow strokes. Work alternate sides on each step. Rinse blade regularly under hot running water
  4. Apply the shaving method to the rest of the face working in sections,
  5. Rinse any residue of Pre Shave Guard off the face with tepid water.
  6. Spritz face and neck with MultiActive Toner to sooth and seal in moisture.
  7. Apply Active Moist or Barrier Repair mixed with a little bit of Solar Defence Booster SPF 50 to seal and protect the skin or Daily Defense SPF15

Shaving Points You Should Consider:

  1. Use Daily Clean Scrub to help lift ingrown hairs and prepare the skin before shaving.
  2. Never shave against the hair growth.
  3. Never rush shaving. It is worth taking a bit of time and using the right equipment and products!
  4. Allow 20 minutes between waking up and shaving. Fluids accumulate in the skin tissues overnight and if you shave whilst the skin is still puffy, the shave will not be as close. Never shave when you are cold.
  5. Your razor should always be cleaned thoroughly. An antiseptic should be poured over the blade after use. Antiseptic mouthwash is ideal.
  6. Always use a Dermalogica Moisturiser after shaving and before bedtime. This will prevent dehydration and itchiness.

Recommended Professional Treatment

Prescription Facial

Back Facial

Hot Stone Massage