Dermalogica UltraCalming Cleanser - review


As you may know, I recently unboxed a Dermalogica UltraCalming Skin Kit (see unboxing post here) and this is the only product of the five that I'll be reviewing in full. 

For the other four, I'll do a round-up post with mini reviews when I've finished them all - so stay tuned for that if you're interested.

I had also hoped to review the mist, but by the time I'd finished it, I knew I wouldn't be able to write a full review because I had so little to say about it. More on why below.

As you may know, I've sampled this before and really enjoyed it. Also, this particular cleanser is very gentle on the skin - so lucky I had it out and had only used it a few times before discovering that I have contact dermatitis. 

While I currently have restrictions around what I can put on my face, this has been the perfect cleanser to use on my poor, unhappy skin. I'm glad I bought it for that reason alone.

As for whether I love it as much as I did when I sampled it, turns out I don't. I'll go into that more below, but I'm glad now that I only have the 50ml size and didn't rush out to buy one of the two (huge) larger bottles.

Dermalogica claims/product details:

  • Remedy irritated, reactive or sensitive skin with this ultra mild, pH-balanced cleansing solution
  • Developed to gently cleanse, soothe inflammation and strengthen the skin's protective barrier
  • Formulated with the most sensitive, reactive complexions in mind, this super gentle gel-cream cleanser dissolves dirt and debris to leave skin feeling comfortably clean without any tightness or irritation
  • Infused with Dermalogica's UltraCalming complex of oat and botanical actives to reduce inflammation, minimise discomfort and reduce burning or itching
  • Extracts of raspberry, lavender, coneflower and cucumber soothe redness and cool the skin for an even-toned, calmed complexion
  • To use: apply to dampened skin in light, upward strokes and over closed eyes in gentle, circular motions; rinse thoroughly with warm water or remove with damp cotton pads
  • RRP $18 AUD for 50ml, $55.50 AUD for 250ml or $81 for 500ml


I've just had a look at my comments when I included this cleanser in one of my sachet posts, and I noted there that I loved the product and planned to buy it. I also noted that my dry skin really enjoyed the feel of it and that I'd managed to get three uses from my sachet.

It's a cloudy white, almost transparent product and I can see why they've called it a gel-cream because that's exactly what it is. I can't detect much of a scent, although there is a barely there clean/fresh smell so it should suit those who don't like fragranced products.

Ever since contracting contact dermatitis, this has been the only cleanser I've used besides my Clinique cleansing balm, and before that I was using it perhaps every second day.

Worth noting is that I said in my comments on the sachet that this product felt so lovely and soothing on the skin, and that it also felt so rich that you'd almost call it a balm. While I still agree about the texture, this no longer feels lovely and soothing when applied. It's not that it feels bad, it's just that it doesn't feel as good.

I can't tell you why that is, but I know we can't blame the contact dermatitis because it wasn't feeling any better on my skin when I was using it before. The only thing I can think of - and this applies to the whole kit - is that it may be getting close to its use-by date.

Let me explain. When I first received this kit, I immediately wondered about it because the packaging looked rather old and faded, and it had already been opened - I suspected that the online seller might have checked the batch code numbers before sending it to me. So I did the same thing, and emailed Dermalogica asking for the manufacture dates of each product. Someone got back to me, and while they apparently weren't prepared to give me the dates, they did say that the items were 'well within expiry'. Whatever that means.

I'm mentioning this now because I likely won't do full reviews of anything else that came in the kit - and I'd intended to do one for the toner because it contains 50ml of product, but it smelled a little like plastic and I suspect that it shouldn't have.

Moving on.

What I like about this product is that it does cleanse my skin well and it's also very gentle, so it's been a great one to use while I've needed to be extra careful about what I put on my face. I also like that it behaves a bit like a balm but it's more of a gel and it's very easy to remove.

On the claims: yes I agree that this is a good product for irritated, reactive or sensitive skin; yes it gently cleanses and I agree that the sachet felt like it soothed inflammation (although this bottle doesn't feel quite as soothing); yes it gently removes dirt and leaves my skin feeling comfortably clean without any tightness or irritation; and yes there's something calming about it.

Overall I think this is a decent, gentle cleanser and you can't go wrong with it if that's what you're after. But I don't love it as much as I did when I used the sachet, and it's reminded me that I do have other gentle cleansers I prefer that don't cost as much as this one (eg see my review of SebaMed's offering here).

Still, it's been a good one to nurse my skin through this contact dermatitis business so I've been glad to have it on hand, and if you're interested in the product, it's certainly worth testing. I also don't think it's a bad buy if you want to go for one of the larger bottles because you're getting a lot of product for your money.

Nice, but not my favourite.

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