The never-ending story: Skincare and personalisation

It’s no big revelation that the skincare market is saturated. The availability of things like lunchtime laser treatments and mini-facelifts have meant that today’s beauty customer wants results and wants them fast.

Sally Penford, Dermalogica’s education manager, says: “It’s a very noisy landscape, but there is a definite movement towards functional results. People don’t want to go into a store, buy something with all the whistles and bells, and then get it home to find it doesn’t work for them.” With this quest for results, functional has become the new aspirational.

Since its inception, Dermalogica has been a trusted brand, known for providing results. In fact, one of its earlier taglines was “It simply works”. Its products have been designed with the rigours of the treatment room in mind and a strict adherence to the ethos that healthy skin isn’t a trend or luxury.

“Our products are sold by professional skin therapists – people who truly understand skin histology, how ingredients affect your skin and, crucially, how your lifestyle affects your skin,” says Ms Penford.

This is the missing piece in the puzzle. She says: “Everyone’s keen for personalisation these days and it’s important that skincare addresses the individual’s needs.”

Dermalogica launches in response to consumer needs rather than according to the latest fads. “We aren’t really concerned with the latest trends, whether they’re vitamin C or dragon’s blood,” says Ms Penford. “We create products and service innovations that we know will work. It’s based on the thousands of therapists using our products around the world.”

These therapists come for training at Dermalogica and Ms Penford says: “It’s through them we discover where our gaps are and what our consumers’ needs are.

With this quest for results, functional has become the new aspirational

“For example, we know that pollution plays a role and so we look at the research to support this. It’s never a knee-jerk reaction or a simple marketing story. We look at what the most effective ingredients are and the clinical studies to back it up.”

To this end, Dermalogica’s #myfacemystory campaign is all about encouraging women to understand their skin better. “The idea is that every skin is different and every skin tells a story – the story of your lifestyle,” says Ms Penford. “By knowing that story, Dermalogica gives the consumer the tools to take the best care of it. For example, I am a mother of twin girls of three-and-a-half – it’s not only what fits my skin, it’s also about what best fits my life.”

Dermalogica beauty products

Face Mapping® skin analysis is an integral part of the Dermalogica brand. “We want our customers to understand the expertise that’s so easily accessible to them,” says Ms Penford. “You might look at your face, but not understand what it’s telling you. For example, when I went through pregnancy, I had really bad pigmentation. By knowing about the hormonal and other factors at play I could find the product solutions.”

It’s also about understanding that your skin is an ever-changing story. “Your lifestyle today might be very different from your life in three months’ time,” says Ms Penford. “You may be outdoors more, you might have adult acne.”

There are seasonal influences too. “The central heating goes on, we spend more time indoors, drinking less water, so a lot of people suffer with dehydration. So during the summer months you might have a cleansing foaming wash and in winter you might need a barrier cream,” she says.

Ms Penfold concludes: “Your skin is always evolving. The trouble is people adopt a skincare routine and don’t really alter it for the rest of their lives. But if you have a trusted relationship with a skin therapist, you can go back to them and say ‘things have changed, help me here’. A professional’s eyes on your skin can be the difference between wasting your money and a skin regime that works.”

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