• Why International Women’s Day? Because It’s About You

    IWD collage

    The International Dermal Institute joins Dermalogica and FITE (Financial Independence Through Entrepreneurship) to celebrate this year’s highly-anticipated International Women’s Day by taking the Pledge for Parity – and we want you to do the same!

    International Women’s Day, held during National Women’s History Month, honors the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The Pledge for Parity aims to accelerate progress toward closing the pay gap between men and women, who perform 66 percent of the world’s work, yet only earn 10 percent of the world’s income.

    In 2015, the World Economic Forum predicted that at the world’s currently “glacial” rate of progress, it would take until 2133 to achieve global gender parity, or equality. That’s over a century away! By taking the pledge and raising awareness now, we can help speed change.

    Why is this important to professional skin therapists? All over the world, women have faced discrimination in the workforce, particularly when attempting to access business loans. In developing countries, nine out of 10 women-owned businesses have no access to loans. Even some of the most successful professional skin therapists in our network were once denied loans for salons or spas because their businesses were thought “unproductive” or “shallow.”

    The fact is, salons are a global economic force. In the U.S. alone, women make up 85 percent of the salon industry compared to 47 percent of the overall U.S. workforce. More and more people are realizing that when women earn income, they reinvest 90 percent of it into their families, leading to growth in both the global economy as well as in their own communities.

    “The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights,” says world-renowned feminist and political activist Gloria Steinem.

    Dermalogica’s global initiative FITE helps women entrepreneurs start and grow businesses, so they can become financially independent and able to support their families and communities at large. This year, FITE is focused on expanding the FITE Future Entrepreneurs program, which combines the missions of Dermalogica and The International Dermal Institute ­to advance education and financial literacy for women and girls in the industry.

    “For nearly 30 years, Dermalogica has empowered women in the salon industry,” said Dermalogica and FITE Founder and Chief Visionary Jane Wurwand. “The FITE Future Entrepreneurs program is an opportunity to bring a new group of extraordinary young women into the Dermalogica Tribe and train them not just for a job, but for a career.”

    Through mentorship and coaching, FITE Future Entrepreneurs aids in building a strong community of women who support each other to achieve their goals. The unique program provides not only education and vocational training, but also an opportunity for more women to own businesses, thereby changing their lives and the communities in which they live.

    Now it’s time to do your part! Take the pledge today, or visit for ideas on how to celebrate International Women’s Day near you. Share with us your #IWD2016 celebrations and what this day means to you by tagging us @joinFITE.

  • IDI Founder Receives CEW 2014 Achiever Award in First Ever Entrepreneurial Category

    Jane Wurwand, Founder, Co-Owner and Chief Visionary of Dermalogica and The International Dermal Institute (IDI), and founder of the brand’s social impact initiative, FITE, has been awarded top honors by Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW), the cosmetic industry’s leading executive association, as one of this year’s recipients of the prestigious CEW Achiever Award. The Awards ceremony took place on October 17 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.

    The Achiever Awards recognize the accomplishments of women leaders in the cosmetic industry. The Awards serve as an inspiration to future leaders and for companies to support executive women’s advancement. In years past, CEW recognized top level executives of major cosmetic corporations. In the spirit of CEW’s 60th Anniversary, with an eye towards the future, the organization recognized women within a new awards category: trailblazing entrepreneurs who have changed an industry.

    Photography by Patricia Willis

    “We are excited to have Dermalogica recognized by CEW in this first-time ever entrepreneurial category,” says Wurwand. “The cosmetic industry has given birth to incredible entrepreneurial brands, many founded by women with a singular passion and vision. The professional salon skin care industry puts more women into their own businesses than any other, and I am very proud to represent the hundreds of thousands of professional skin care therapists who make up our Tribe worldwide.”

    For thirty years, since the inception of IDI and the Dermalogica professional skin care brand, Wurwand has focused her business on creating professional opportunities and economic empowerment for women.

    In 2011, Jane launched FITE, Financial Independence Through Entrepreneurship, to help women entrepreneurs around the world invest in their own potential. Working in more than 70 countries, FITE creates pathways to entrepreneurship by providing access to funding and business resources, supporting education and leadership training for women, and helping to amplify women’s voices. To date, FITE has helped to fund more than 50,000 women entrepreneurs worldwide, providing them with the opportunities and resources needed to achieve financial independence, and most recently announced the launch of their groundbreaking new program to support vocational training to careers in the salon industry for young women and girls.

    Also recognized at the CEW Achiever Award ceremony include the following Honorees: Laura Geller, Founder, Laura Geller Beauty; Alli Webb, Founder, Drybar; and Wende Zomnir, Chief Creative Officer/Founding Partner, Urban Decay Cosmetics. Additionally, Leonard Lauder, Chairman Emeritus, The Estée Lauder Companies Inc., received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

  • Morning Joe with Jane Wurwand

    Watch our chief visionary Jane Wurwand on MSNBC’s Morning Joe as she discusses the significance and economic impact of our industry, and how FITE helps women entrepreneurs worldwide.

  • UK Team Celebrate International Women’s Day by Supporting

    Each year, International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8th. The first was held on 1911 and since then, thousands of events occur around the world to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women.

    In aid of this year’s  International Women’s Day on Saturday 8th March, The International Dermal Institute UK head office in Leatherhead, Surrey held a traditional afternoon tea, complete with homemade baked items and donated by creative members of the team.

    Training Specialist Beca Taylor chose to mark the occasion by creating individual gingerbread women in honor of the event theme. As part of the UK education team, we help to empower women daily with knowledge within our workshops to help them further their own independence. To support International Women’s Day I made gingerbread ‘women’ for our bake sale. The basic shape of the gingerbread women were all the same, but decorated them to represent woman globally,said Beca.

    All staff were invited to bring along a ‘gold colored’ coin as a donation, entitling them to enjoy the delicious sweet and savory treats. All proceeds were given to FITE (Financial Independence Through Entrepreneurship) to assist in their global push to help 50,000 women entrepreneurs start or grow their own businesses around the world.

    One loan of $25 from the proceeds has been made to Mary in Kenya.  Mary runs a profitable hardware store in Kitengela town and will be using this loan to kick start the payment of fees for her child who is in high school. This is her fourth loan term and she has paid her previous loans successfully using business profits. She intends to use her continued business success to pay school fees long-term, providing education and a firm foundation for her child’s future.

  • Empowering Women Through Argan Oil

    March is Women’s History Month, and we are in an age where more and more women are gaining the rights they deserve. In some communities, it is harder than others, but there are some impressive ways women help each other out, even in the harshest of environments. A good example is the Argan Co-operative, a group of women that manufactures the production of Argan Oil in Morocco. Backed by the government, they oversee the laborious process of grinding down argan nuts into a paste, which is then sent to factories to extract the elusive Argan Oil. This cooperative runs a large-scale business, while sharing profits among women of the Berber tribe. What a great way to proactively support the entire community as a whole!

    The extraction process of Argan Oil is a cumbersome process, making it expensive and rare. However, the riches really lie in the benefits of the oil itself. It has an unusually high concentration of Tocopherols (Vitamin E) and Carotenes (a form of Vitamin A). It is also an excellent source of antioxidants and flavonoids that help prevent collagen and elastin breakdown. Essential fatty acids and plant sterol protect skin while reinforcing the barrier lipid layer. A great moisturizer for skin and hair, it is easily one of the best and oldest ways to hydrate the body.
    Look for this ingredient for maximal skin benefits and make sure it has been certified by government regulatory bodies to meet their standards. Some oils claim to be Argan Oil, but in fact, are counterfeit oils. Using this ingredient not only helps your skin, but also a small and mighty community of women in Morocco.

  • Why I’m Not Over the Hill

    By “the hill”, I mean Hillary Clinton. I am not over her. I am not giving up on her. And as for Hill herself – when will she give up? I think when you hear that crackling sound way off in the distance, and the furious hissing of steam. That would be the sound of hell freezing over.

    With March as Women’s History Month, it’s really easy to slide into lots of platitudes about girl power. Hill doesn’t really go there.

    She epitomizes the core quality which I admire most: resiliency. Hillary bounces back in the face of crushing defeat. When you look back over her presence in the public eye during the past two decades, she has endured loss and defeat. Oh, the shame — yet the talk on the Hill these days is that she might swap jobs with Joe Biden and run alongside President Obama as his stalwart VP. Well, I can dream can’t I …?

    On a policy level, her health care crusade was a colossal disappointment. It is shameful that millions more Americans today cannot provide adequate health insurance coverage for themselves and their families, especially as more Americans are separated from conventional 9-to-5 jobs with employer benefits packages.

    Pundits of every stripe even take delight in skewering Hillary for her wardrobe, notably her solidly square pantsuits in every color, and her awkward choices of coiffure. Feminists insist that role of the First Lady or Secretary of State is not a beauty pageant contestant, and that the White House is not a fashion show. In a sense, I must disagree. Especially now in the digital age, when images of the First Lady are sent around the world faster than your hair can stick to your lip-gloss. This connectivity is a powerful opportunity for the quintessential American woman to tell women everywhere who we are.

    Who is she? Hillary is a Goddess. Let’s see — Artemis, known as Diana to the Romans, was a virgin huntress. She wore fierce leather archery braces on her arms and shins as she moved through the forests beneath the moon. Not exactly a fashion-plate or a seductress, but one bad mammer-jammer with that bow and arrow.

    Athena, patroness of Athens, known to the Romans as Minerva, wasn’t born in a conventional, female, fleshy way. She sprang, as a full-formed miniature woman, fully clad in armor, from the knee, or head (depending on the version of the myth), of her father, Mighty Zeus — no mother present. Oh, and Athena was also a virgin. No hubby, baby-daddy or cozy momming in this goddess profile.

    Though perhaps no sex-bomb, Hillary is indeed a wife and mother. But she brings that fierceness of the virgin huntress and civic warrior to her bearing as Secretary of State. It’s also worth mentioning that Hill and Bill seem to have treated the timing of parenthood strategically, a key lesson which I reinforce when I speak to women’s groups. If it’s possible to have it all, I know for sure that you cannot possibly have it all at the same time. Tempo is critical.

    Hill’s been on the bus a long time. She’s been to the mountaintop. She’s been to hell and back. She’s walked the fire-walk. You can see the weariness in the firm set of her mouth. But there’s a cold fire in those eyes, burning on.

    Every woman can take a page from her — she’s a big thinker, a tireless fighter, a protector of justice, and she’s still here. Right on Sister…

  • Dr. Diana Howard’s Visit to the Middle East!

    Last week I had the distinct pleasure of being an invited lecturer at the 2nd annual Middle East Congress in Dubai. And what an event it was! Perhaps more important than the event itself (and all of the fabulous information that was shared with the attendees) was the impression that they made on me. What a wonderful group of skin therapists! We had male and female guests from UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Kuwait and Iran. These countries are very different from where many of us reside, yet I couldn’t help but notice they had the same questions, issues and dreams about their businesses as their skin therapist counterparts from around the world.

    I was especially impressed with the group of 65 (primarily women) from Pakistan. At first it was their colorful, traditional Salwar kameez attire that caught my attention! Then, upon speaking with many of them individually, I was taken not only by their dedication and commitment to our industry, but their personal stories of how skin care transcends beyond the business and helps make a difference in others’ lives.

    This concept resonated with me because in my 31 years in this industry, I know all too well that it’s not the scientific lectures or the products that I help to develop that gives me a sense of personal satisfaction. Rather, it’s the one-on-one moments where skin therapists convey to me how Dermalogica and The International Dermal Institute have helped them in their professional businesses. It has helped them to be more successful, and in many instances their success has ensured that they can put food on their family’s table and pay for their children’s education. When I hear how many of these women themselves are now committed to helping others in their community, it gives me great pride to be part of this industry.

    In particular, one delightful woman stands out in my mind. Ms. Nighat Misbah is a successful business woman responsible for 30 skin treatment centers in Pakistan, and she has also dedicated herself to a cause that is incomprehensible to most of us. In Pakistan, many women are subject to having acid thrown in their faces, or being doused in kerosene and set afire, if they scorn their boyfriends/husbands or bring shame to their family. This horrific crime leaves these women disfigured and scarred for life. Ms. Misbah has joined forces with her sister to form the Depilex Smileagain Foundation, a non-profit organization that helps these victims with the medical recovery process, then helps train these women in a trade or skill, empowering them on the journey of rebuilding their lives. Ms. Misbah is using her career as a professional skin therapist to give a hand up to women who are desperately in need. The work and help that this organization provides is nothing short of heroic and today they have successfully helped over 400 women! I urge you to look at their website:

    I couldn’t help but appreciate the irony of the title of my presentation at this Congress: Zero to Hero. I talked about how there are heroes amongst us and that heroes take all shapes and forms, including education and products that raised the bar in an industry such as ours. Ms. Misbah is truly a hero to many, and I applaud her for her amazing work with women in her country. It also reminds me that each and every one of us can make a difference. At Dermalogica, the campaign with joinFITE is a simple way that all of us can give a hand up to women worldwide. The amazing thing is that it’s at no cost to you! Simply encourage clients who purchase joinFITE products to log on to and enter the unique code, found on the product package. Once your clients unlock the code, Dermalogica donates the funds on their behalf. It couldn’t be any simpler, and yet it can make a difference for a woman entrepreneur, who just needs a helping hand.

    I look forward to my return visit to the Middle East, and maybe even a visit to Pakistan to see my new friends.