Brand Spotlight: Dermalogica

Brand Spotlight: Dermalogica I Mirra Skincare

Founded by Jane Wurwand, Dermalogica is a brand that has offered professional-grade skincare since 1986. They offer skin care education, products, and services to skin therapists and customers.


1. The background

2. Building the company

3. Education and initiatives

Key Points

  • Dermalogica is far more than simply a skincare brand that sells high quality, clean products.
  • Jane Wurwand founded Dermalogica in 1986 and has built a business that supports skin education today.

The background

The story of Dermalogica is the story of its founder, Jane Wurwand. Wurwand started as a “Saturday girl” sweeping hair at her local salon in the UK. From there she worked up to shampoo girl and received a license and education in skin therapy and cosmetics.

With her built knowledge she was able to work for Redken, a U.S. based company. She aided in launching the brand in South Africa - a job that also required US travel. Along the way, she met he current husband Raymond Wurwand, a South African business school graduate who landed in skin care equipment sales. The two moved to Marina Del Rey in Los Angeles in 1983 and, shortly after, Dermalogica was born. 

Wurwand established the International Dermal Institute (IDI) in Los Angeles after moving there, prior to the creation of Dermalogica. Here she started teaching other cosmetologists at $10 skincare workshops. During this period, Wurwand set out to create products devoid of ingredients that frequently cause skin irritation, such as mineral oil, lanolin, SD alcohol, synthetic dyes, and artificial fragrances.

Students' demands and the shortage of existing products that Jane Wurwand could use on her own skin, which had dermatitis and severe eczema, served as the catalyst for the creation of Dermalogica.

Building the company

Wurwand established Dermalogica in 1986, just 3 years after relocating. Unilever acquired the business in 2015, allowing funding for over 100,000 skin therapists worldwide to receive training from Dermalogica as of 2013. With a global distribution network spanning over 80 countries and 35 concept spaces, Dermalogica can be found in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, and the Middle East.

The concept spaces and/or hybrid learning centers around the world are committed to bringing consumer and professional education, professional treatments, and retail sales under one roof. While you can engage in a number of treatments and classes in person, Dermalogica also offers online personalised services including: 

  1. Face mapping skin analysis
  2. Daily exfoliation routine
  3. Chat with a Skin therapist 
  4. Clear start skin assessment

Education and initiatives

Wurwand has been a part of the Clinton Global Initiative's Women and Girls Action Committee since 2010. Wurwand was the keynote speaker at the UN in 2011 and discussed the FITE's aim to support 25,000 women-owned small enterprises globally.

Now, Dermalogica has developed vocational training programs and provided more than 75,000 loans for women to start or expand a business through its worldwide FITE initiative. The Financial Independence Through Entrepreneurship (FITE), is a program Wurwand introduced in 2011, it partners with Kiva to offer microloans to female entrepreneurs in more than 68 countries. FITE also sponsors the UN Foundation's work on innovation and entrepreneurship.

Additionally, Wurwand supports the Global Entrepreneurs Council of the UN Foundation in its work with the UN to promote women and girls by serving as a special advisor to the council. In 2009, the National Association of Women Business Owners and the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship recognized Wurwand as "Business Woman of the Year" in Los Angeles. Wurwand also collaborates with both organizations.

Additionally, Wurwand serves on the board of the Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Anderson School of Business Management at UCLA, where she also mentors graduate students. She is also a founding member of the Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship (PAGE), a collaboration between American entrepreneurs, the White House, the Department of Commerce, and interagency partners. 

If you want to learn more about this amazing woman, you can read a four-page article from the Sunday Times of London titled “The Woman Who Started a Cult”, or you can purchase and read her book Skin in The Game.

According to Wurwand, Skin in the Game is "not a memoir, but a transparent story" and was written to encourage readers to look to the future with confidence in their decisions, careers, and global influence. In her reflections on the development of this book, Wurwand says she believed that the worldwide lockdown was a "prompt from the universe" for her to share the tales and experiences she had collected over the course of her 50-year career.

If you look through Dermalogica’s website, you will find just about everything you could ever want in the realm of skincare. They have products organized by type, skin concern, or system, like their "clear start" line to healp you cleanse and clean. Check out their page for all of their face mapping and skin services as well.

This is one of the coolest skincare brands I have seen. It is an established company with a boss a** b***** running it. They have an all-encompassing array of products to suit any need, offer skincare education, and are actively working to expand their impact globally. [Insert applause]

Written by Kiana St. Onge


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  1. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/the-woman-who-started-a-cult-d0qjbt2zkz3
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Wurwand
  3. https://www.dermalogica.com/
  4. Images via Dermalogica


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