Behind the Brand: Dermalogica

We’ve all seen Dermalogica products featured in countless beauty and health articles declaring the best of the best skin care products to make part of your beauty regime. But what do you know about the brand and the face behind it all?

Jane Wurwand is the co-founder and chief visionary of Dermalogica, as well as The International Dermal Institute (IDI), which is recognized as providing the gold standard in professional skin care education. But her accomplishments don’t stop there. In 2011, after years of working in an industry where the vast majority of ownership and workforce is female, Wurwand established FITE (Financial Independence Through Entrepreneurship) to help support women entrepreneurs around the world. In addition, under President Obama, she was appointed as Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship to help develop the next generation of entrepreneurs at home and abroad.

Born and raised in the United Kingdom, Wurwand’s father died suddenly when she was only 3 years old. With four girls to raise, Wurwand’s mother relied on her vocational training as a nurse to go back to work and support the family. Her mother advised five words that would be key to Jane’s future: “Learn how to do something.” Taking this lesson to heart, Wurwand attended and graduated from beauty school, where she first focused on makeup, but ultimately became passionate about skin care.

In 1983, at age 25 and with $2,800 in savings, Wurwand headed to Los Angeles with her then-boyfriend (now husband, and Dermalogica co-creator, Raymond) to pursue the American dream. She soon noticed the need for quality skin care education; training in the U.S. was much less intensive than across the pond. Wurwand saw an opportunity in a non-existent market. She started The International Dermal Institute in a small classroom in LA, providing advanced education to licensed skin therapists on ingredients, techniques, and strategies to help grow their business and provide the best result for clients in the treatment room.

While teaching at IDI, Wurwand realized there was no American product line that embraced her belief of enhancing skin health, so again, she took opportunity–literally—into her hands. In 1986, she created Dermalogica, a technologically-advanced product collection free of irritating ingredients like mineral oil, lanolin, and artificial colors and fragrances. Today, Dermalogica can be found in 100 countries worldwide; IDI, with locations across the globe plus digitally streaming classes, trains 100,000 skin therapists per year.

FITE continues to assist women entrepreneurs by providing access to education, vocational training, small loans, and leadership skills, and since its inception, has provided more than 81,000 business loans to women in 68 countries. In 2017, FITE announced a new online education program to help salon businesses grow to scale.

Next up for Wurwand:

  • Dermalogica will launch PreCleanse Balm, a balm-to-oil cleanser that removes makeup, sunscreen, and pollutants, revealing glowing, healthy, clear skin.
  • FITE’s Entrepreneur Accelerator program will begin in 2018. This online education initiative will cover all grounds of entrepreneurship, from principles to marketing. Operation Hope, dedicated to implementing the importance of financial literacy and economic education, will serve as the non-profit organizational partner.

Visit the company’s flagship store, Dermalogica Soho, at 110 Grand Street. It offers a full range of retail products, touch therapy, and express skin care treatments.

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