Pro-tips for preparing skin with Dermalogica

Skincare ingredients to avoid

Keep your skin healthy

Did you know that some ingredients can aggravate the skin and cause symptoms such as blackheads and sensitivity and even disrupt the skins protective barrier? In this blog we will take you through what ingredients to avoid keeping your skin healthy and glowing.

Clean skincare

The term “clean skincare” has been trending for a while now, but Dermalogica were the original ‘clean’ skincare brand and trail blazed this concept back in 1986. Skin health has always been at the forefront of everything we do, and we turned heads back in the 80’s because of the ingredients we left out of our products.

Check your skincare products and make-up for these ingredients to avoid:

Comedogenic ingredients

The scientific term for pore clogging ingredients. Some skincare and make-up products include ingredients that are considered comedogenic – substances that are known to clog pores. The result is small, persistent bumps known as “cosmetic acne.” Common examples include:

Isopropyl Myristate

This ingredient gives the feel of a velvety product without the need for oil. It is commonly used in oil-free formulas. Unfortunately, it is highly comedogenic. It creeps into the pores, irritates, and stimulates more oil and cells to be produced which causes buildup in the pore. Ironically, what sort of skin’s would want to select an oil free product? Probably oily acne skins!

Artificial colour

Many of the red dyes used in blushers/bronzers are coal tar derivatives, which are comedogenic. It is common to suffer with blackheads or under-surface bumps on the blusher line, or on the forehead from red shampoos. Natural and artificial colourants in the UK will be listed on the ingredients by their Colour Index Numbers and these will start with the letters CI followed by 5 digits.

Dermalogica does not use artificial colour, the colour of our formulas come from the ingredients present in that product. These are often natural plant extracts or botanicals.


Where is lanolin sourced from? Raw lanolin is in fact wool wax – or sheep’s sebum. It is an irritant – think of a lamb’s wool jumper that itches your neck. It can cause blackheads and spots as well as sensitivity and allergies.

Mineral Oil

This is an occlusive ingredient, something that physically blocks water loss in the upper layers of the skin and forms a film. It’s used in many products to moisturise the skin; however, it has been shown to cause and exacerbate breakouts due to it trapping oils and dead skin cells.

Drying and dehydrating ingredients

Let’s take a trip back to science class. Our skin is naturally acidic which protects it from bacteria. If you strip the acidic barrier, you make it alkaline, which is an environment where bacteria thrive – this can mean you’ll get more spots! Common examples of drying ingredients include:

SD Alcohol

This is an extremely drying, stripping ingredient. Specially Denatured Alcohol strips the skin’s natural protective barrier and alters the skin’s pH. The dehydrating effect also stimulates the skin to produce more oil, aggravating oily skin and causes more breakouts. SD alcohol will be listed as alcohol denate, SD alcohol-40, denatured alcohol or spec. den.

SD Alcohol is a common ingredient in toners designed to remove cleansing residue. You may have experienced the tight feeling on your skin afterwards. All Dermalogica cleansers are water-soluble thus leave no residue and our toners have been designed in spritz form to give a burst of hydration to the skin.


Ever get that tight squeaky feeling after using soap? Soap has an alkaline pH which strips the skin and alters your natural acidity. This means breakouts and bacteria can last for longer. Long term it can cause increased sensitivity and fragility as it breaks down the skin’s defensive lipid barrier. Good news! All Dermalogica cleansers are soap free and pH balanced to the skin.

Artificial fragrance

Many skincare and make-up products contain artificial fragrance or perfume to improve their aroma. However, perfume is a top trigger for skin irritation and sensitivity. Perfume is a known photosensitiser, meaning that the perfume chemicals react with UV light causing inflammation. You may have noticed this from spraying perfume on your neck. Long term, even a low level of inflammation in the skin can lead to uneven skin tone, or hyper-pigmentation.

Top tip: Spray your perfume over your clothes or on skin not exposed to daylight such as your torso.

Dermalogica does not use artificial fragrance, the smell of the products comes from the ingredients that occur in the formula such as essential oils or plant extracts that have a skin benefit.

So now you know the ingredients to avoid when selecting your skin care and make-up products, your skin is on its way to being its healthiest yet.

Written by sjl_admin