Unilever acquires Dermalogica as it targets professional skin care success


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Unilever acquires Dermalogica as it targets professional skin care success

Related tags Skin care Skin

The Unilever skin care march goes on as the Anglo-Dutch giant announces it will acquire leading professional brand Dermalogica, with a view to cracking the skin health market given the US-based firm’s offering.

Having based its model of the last few years on realigning and refocusing its product portfolio, Unilever has been building its position in skin care picking up purchases of REN and Kate Somerville earlier in the year, with Dermalogica the next in line.

“We are delighted to be adding Dermalogica to the Unilever Prestige personal care portfolio,”​ says Paul Polman, Unilever CEO. “Dermalogica enjoys an outstanding reputation and incredible awareness among skin care professionals and consumers alike, and has a clear positioning as a superior skin health brand that perfectly complements the rest of our Prestige offering. “

“Importantly, it is a company founded on strong values and a common belief, shared by Unilever, in the role of business as a force for good in society. Dermalogica has great distribution and presence globally.”

In Western European premium beauty it has registered an 8% CAGR between 2009-2014, according to Euromonitor figures, and Senior Analyst Ildiko Szalai believes that with the two previous acquisitions this year mentioned above, Unilever’s strategy to build a portfolio of premium-positioned, niche skin care brands is clear.

“The lucrative growth opportunities offered by well-performing niche brands and categories have been captured is being multinationals through intense acquisition activity in 2014 and on into 2015,”​ she says.

“Niche brands have the advantage of a more personalised offering , unique features and benefits and are highly specialised in their focus categories.”


Paul Polman adds that skin therapists Jane and Raymond Wurwand, who founded Dermalogica in Los Angeles in 1986, will continue to retain an interest in the company working with Unilever to grow the brand.

“Thirty years ago, we launched Dermalogica with a clear and determined mission – to bring respect and success to the professional skin therapist,”​ says UK native Jane Wurwand.

“This mission is as important to us now as it was the first day we started the company. We are extremely proud of our Tribe and all that has been achieved in elevating the industry standard.”

Skin health focus

Dermalogica is currently sold in over 80 countries, and offers both a range of in-home products, as well as a specialist offering for professional skin therapists.

The brand is sold in locations where there is a licensed skin care professional who can provide advice on how to address skin problems such as hyperpigmentation, acne, ageing, and sensitive skin – among other skin conditions that Dermalogica is designed to tackle.

“Raymond and I are excited to be working with Unilever, a company with a long-standing history in growing brands and championing philanthropic initiatives,”​ continues Jane.

“This partnership will provide Dermalogica with the opportunities and resources to take the brand to even greater heights and help us continue our legacy in supporting the next generation of professional skin therapists and women entrepreneurs worldwide.”

Dermalogica had a turnover of $240m (€215m) in 2014, and will be incorporated into Unilever’s Prestige division, which is exclusively dedicated to select distribution and premium personal care brands.

Related topics Business & Financial Skin Care

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