24 Apr 2013

Dermalogica UltraCalming Range

I've used some Dermalogica products in the past - notably their Multivitamin Thermafoliant (an amazingly fantastic product which is simultaneously both a mechanical (via micro exfoliating beads of magnesium oxide, silica and sodium bicarbonate) and chemical (via salicylic- and lactic- hydroxy acids) exfoliator.

But that's not what I'm talking about today.  I received some sample products, having been "Speed Mapped" by the aesthetician, from the Dermalogica UltraCalming Range after a recent facial, and as these are especially formulated for sensitive skins, and as that's me to a tee, was happy to try them out...

  • UltraCalming Cleanser (cleanser)
  • UltraCalming Serum Concentrate (serum)
  • UltraCalming Barrier Repair (moisturiser)

UltraCalming Cleanser

This was the best of the lot - it was quite a reasonable cleanser, reasonably comfortable feeling, removing makeup and cleansing the skin in one step.  Somewhere between a fluid and a cream, it didn't aggravate my skin, and it didn't leave it feeling tight or overly dried, nor did it leave it feeling weighed down.  It is a cream-gel consistency and tentatively recommended.  I say tentatively, because despite the large quantity of natural ingredients, it still lists alcohol very close to the top (second, after water).  Aside from alcohol, which I would prefer not to see in my personal skin care products, it has another very major con (for me): it can't be used around the eye area.  I'll stick to my Shu Uemura cleanser then, thanks very much.

Ultracalming Serum Concentrate

Here's where we start getting into the skin care bit.  A cleanser, I don't mind as much.  A cleanser can have alcohol.  But a serum?  Alcohol is listed alongside a bunch of really really good things - but there's a hodgepodge of both natural and chemical ingredients listed.  The moisturisation-ability likely comes from the likes of the hyaluronic acid and oils from avocado, evening primrose and sage.  Glycerin and silicones provide a barrier for moisture loss.  I am dead against silicones in skincare products.  So this is not a runner for me, personally, long term.

Scent-wise, it's got that very slightly plastic-y, very slightly lemon-y, very slightly spa-y scent; certainly inoffensive enough.

yes yes, let's get the funny comparisons out of the way...

Consistency-wise, it's a very thin, runny and milky fluid.  It doesn't feel particularly nourishing on the skin and after five days of use, my skin was dry.  This one I won't be purchasing for use.

Ultracalming Barrier Repair

The turn of the moisturiser.  This one is just plain weird - it's a completely clear, thick, gel-like formulation, not unlike a silicone-based makeup primer.  It is completely scent-less.  It feels nice on the skin, it certainly does not hurt or bug sensitive skin in any way - but after five days' usage, I realised it wasn't really doing anything for me whatsoever.

yep, that's it - weirdest moisturiser I've ever seen...

Ingredients-wise, a scout online led me to realise this is likely due to the high quantities of silicones present; silicones are a great barrier to the elements and can help stop your skin leaking moisture, but they are little more than a cosmetic ingredient designed to make your skin look better than it is.  No thanks; I'd rather have skincare products doing treatment stuff for my skin, and makeup products doing cosmetic stuff.

Overall?  No dice.  Dermalogica is certainly not an inexpensive brand, and you can get just as good, if not way better, for a lot cheaper.  I can see how these products could maybe assist with a skin that had been extremely senstitised for some particular reason, in that they wouldn't do any further harm to it.  But longer-term, they feature too much silicones, too much alcohol to merit serious personal consideration.  In addition, I was suffering from a bit of a redness flare-up at the time and these products did absolutely nothing to assist with that.  Want a good sensitive skin recommendation?  Try Pai (look here for more information).


  1. defo agree with you regarding it not be Worth the money as such!! I used it when I was in oz, but the diff is its half the price over there so was worth the money!

    1. You know what, I was really disappointed with these, so I'm with ya on it; expensive for what they are, and not worth it. Their exfoliator that I mentioned is bloody brilliant though - so I was expecting better... Didn't know this was cheaper in Oz. Thought everything was thru-the-roof expensive over there!

  2. Oh!! we use the same products range of dermalogica!! in my opinon the barrier repair works great as a makeup primer but it's not moisturizing, I put it on top of my moisturizer. Didn't like the cleanser and mask (it did absolutely nothing). Lately Ive been using the sunscreen and I like it a lot but I find all these products too expensive for what they offer. However I'd gladly buy the Gentle Cream Exfoliant for the rest of my life, nomatter the price :))

    1. Hi ℳata, I agree with you totally! I think that it's good as a primer, as it's so full of silicones. But that's about it - it's certainly not a great moisturiser. Interested in the Gentle Cream Exfoliant though - I use the Thermexfoliant one and it's brilliant although a bit harsh sometimes when my skin is really really sensitised.

    2. I've seen some dirty cheap Gentle Cream Exf samples on ebay. It's something like 10$ for 10 sachets. Maybe you can try some to see if you like it x


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