Jane Wurwand is quite possibly the most inspiring woman I have ever met. I've just finished having breakfast with Jane, the founder of Dermalogica and The International Dermal Institute, and am in absolute awe. This is a woman who, along with her husband, decided to plough her entire life savings (US$14,000) into founding a smart skincare business back in 1986. A business that has since evolved to the dizzying heights of number one professional skincare brand in Australia, that's stocked in 51 countries, 23,000 salons and ships in excess of 28 million products globally every year. Wow. And um, WOW. Keep reading . . .
So how did Jane and her husband turn an idea into not only a reality, but a stonking success? With a steely determination that was instilled by her mother, who was widowed when Jane was just two. She learnt from a young age that "it's not about balance, it's about resilience." And has been living by the motto: "dig in, get smart, stay standing" since day dot. Having a trade under her belt was important to her, another lesson learnt from mum, hence the strong educational background behind Dermalogica, both for the beauty industry (The International Dermal Institute trains thousands of beauty therapists) and for consumers. As Jane says, they're a brand that sells "health and wellness, not beauty and pampering."
It may seem like a funny notion, given the industry that they're in, but Jane says it has never been about pampering or luxury; "frugality is chic." Always has been. See, unlike others, they haven't just jumped on the recessionista bandwagon—the brand famously launched with an ad campaign (starring a front desk staffer) with the tagline "We're not pretty." The message was loud and clear: you wouldn't find 24k gold treatments in their line-up but you would find serious skincare. The products weren't designed to wow you with pretty packaging, but wow you with their effectiveness.
So what's next? Well in a couple of weeks a new iPhone app will launch. It's a GPS system that tells you the location of your nearest Dermalogica salon/stockist. Then there's the continuation of addressing the needs of the time-poor: Speed Mapping (a super-speedy version of the famous Skin Mapping, where you get a personalised prescription of products suited to your skin in just minutes) and microZone®, which we're hoping comes to Australia sometime soon after its huge success in SoHo, NY. It's a no-appointment-necessary 20 minute service where you can tailor the treatment to your needs—extraction, flash exfoliation, just work on the eyes. It's your call. Because if there's one thing that Jane knows and gets, it's that we all want good skin, but it's not an option to give up hours of our life to get it. Lucky that she likes a challenge.