Multivitamin Power Firm
Dermalogica’s Multivitamin Power Firm has been reformulated since our original review and retains its beautiful aesthetics, but a strong scent that lingers on skin and poses a lasting risk of irritation. As such—plus a couple of lesser issues we’ll mention below—it isn’t a serum we recommend.
Packaged in a sleek, opaque tube for precise dispensing, Multivitamin Power Firm has a truly luxurious-feeling silky texture. Dermalogica includes a fairly good mix of antioxidants, including a high amount of antioxidant superstar vitamin E—and the type of packaging used here keeps it and the other delicate ingredients stable once opened.
The fragrance has a fruity-sweet aroma that’s hard to miss, and its irritation potential is made worse by the inclusion of Spilanthes acmella flower. Also known as paracress and long used to soothe toothaches (what such folklore has to do with firming skin is a good question…) research has reported that this plant’s “…flowers and leaves have pungent taste and when touched it is accompanied by tingling sensation and numbness.” None of that is what you want for your skin, although in fairness, research has also shown this plant also has anti-inflammatory compounds. Even so, there are plenty of natural ingredients that only deliver benefits. See More Info for details on use of highly fragrant products.
Given the “vitamin” part of this serum’s name, we’re surprised only vitamin E is showcased. Tiny amounts of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and a form of vitamin A (retinyl palmitate) are included, but given this product’s cost and small size, you should be getting more.
Check out our list of best serums for options that provide a better mix of firming ingredients minus risk of irritation from strong fragranc
- Luxuriously silky texture.
- Good mix of antioxidants, including a hefty amount of vitamin E.
- Packaged to keep light- and air-sensitive ingredients stable during use.
- Contains lavender and other fragrant oils that can irritate skin.
- Strong fragrance lingers on skin.
- Spilanthes acmella flower is a skin irritant.
- For the money and given the name, this should contain more vitamins A and C.
Reference for information on Spilanthes acmella:
Experimental and Clinical Sciences, April 2013, pages 291-312
Why Fragrance Is a Problem for Skin: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes a chronic sensitizing reaction on skin.
This reaction in turn leads to all kinds of problems, including disrupting skin’s barrier, worsening dryness, increasing or triggering redness, depleting vital substances in skin’s surface, and generally preventing skin from looking healthy, smooth, and hydrated. Fragrance free is always the best way to go for all skin types.
A surprising fact: Even though you can’t always see or feel the negative effects of fragrant ingredients on skin, the damage will still be taking place, even if it’s not evident on the surface. Research has demonstrated that you don’t need to see or feel the effects of irritation for your skin to be suffering. Much like the effects from cumulative sun damage, the negative impact and the visible damage from fragrance may not become apparent for a long time.
References for this information:
Biochimica and Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1410–1419
Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80
Experimental Dermatology, October 2009, pages 821–832
Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008, pages 191–202
International Journal of Toxicology, Volume 27, 2008, Supplement, pages 1–43
Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446–475
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, pages 789–798
Powerful firming complex helps combat lines around the delicate eye area. Help accelerate skin's natural repair process with Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A) as antioxidant vitamins C and E improve elasticity while scavenging free radicals. Silicones shield vulnerable skin, acting as a protective barrier against further assault. Seaweed Extract helps firm and minimize the appearance of fine lines.
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.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.