Gentle Cream Exfoliant
Gentle Cream Exfoliant (which, despite the name, is supposed to be used like a mask) includes irritants such as sulfur and lavender oil, making it anything but gentle! See More Info for details on how lavender oil (which is present in many Dermalogica products) can hurt skin.
On the upside, this contains a mix of AHA ingredient lactic acid and smaller amount of BHA ingredient salicylic acid formulated within the correct pH range to exfoliate skin. It's just that you don't need to tolerate the irritants accompanying these ingredients in order to gain the benefits (also, the enzymes and fruit acids also present are NOT what's exfoliating skin).
Now, if you've been using this product and not experiencing any irritation that must mean it's fine, right? Your skin can handle it, and hey, you like the results you're getting. Seeing great results is wonderful, but even if you cannot see or feel your skin being irritated, it's still happening, in much the same way we don't see or feel daily, cumulative sun damage happening, until one day we see wrinkles and brown spots. Skin is good at hiding when it's being irritated, so it's not wise to assume that because it's not reacting to known irritants that you're in the clear.
- Formulated within the correct pH range for exfoliation to occur.
- Contains lavender oil, a potent skin irritant.
- Sulfur only adds to the irritation from lavender.
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. It is a must to avoid in skin-care products, although it's fine as an aromatherapy agent for inhalation or relaxation (Sources: Psychiatry Research, February 2007, pages 89–96; and www.naturaldatabase.com).
Lactic and Hydroxy Acid exfoliating masque for dramatic skin smoothing. Non-abrasive exfoliation treatment helps stimulate cell renewal as natural fruit enzymes detach dead skin cells to improve skin texture.
According to company history, Dermalogica products came into being because founder Jane Wurwand could not find a spa-oriented skin-care line that met her criteria. She was dismayed that so many skincare lines aimed at the aesthetics market had products that contained alcohol, artificial colors, fragrance, mineral oil, and lanolin, ingredients he 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.
The line is positioned as a no-nonsense, no frills take on skincare, with clinically-inspired packaging that does protect its beneficial ingredients from light and air. Speaking of ingredients, Dermalogica does include a lot of beneficial ones in its skincare, though there are a number of formulas in the line that also make the misstep of including potentially-irritating fragrance ingredients.
For more information about Dermalogica now owned by Unilever, call 1-800-345-2761 or visit www.dermalogica.com.
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