Review: Dermalogica's New Concealing Spot Treatment

“We are not about beauty at Dermalogica.” Annet King, the skincare company’s Director of Global Information, announces this to the crowd assembled at the Soho Dermalogica store. I look around me in bewilderment at the shelves lined with product after product dedicated to achieving that perfect complexion. “We’re about skin health.” I keep my ah-haaaah moment quiet. That makes perfect sense.

The austere gray and white packaging hints at Dermalogica’s scientific beginnings: The company grew out of the The International Dermal Institute, a post-graduate school for skin therapists, and all of their products focus on keeping the largest organ of the body in peak condition.

To this end, the company has reformulated its Concealing Spot Treatment, and they hosted a soiree in New York to formally reintroduce it to the world. While the product does cover up unwelcome adult acne, it also packs a might punch for the unsuspecting blemishes.

The older version came in a glass bottle with a dropper and used sulfur, niacinamide, zinc gluconate, salicylic acid, yeast extract, cinnamon bark, caffeine and biotin to kill bacteria, reduce redness, and unclog pores. Its new incarnation has two key changes. First, the glass bottle with dropper has given way to a more user-friendly squeeze tube with a needle-nose applicator. Second, carob seed extract joins the army of compounds listed above. Carob seed extract helps the skin around a pimple to repair itself and stay hydrated. The Concealing Spot Treatment deals with the causes of the problem first, then hides the evidence, as opposed to a creamy cosmetic concealer that may temporarily obscures a blemish, but exacerbates acne in the long run.

King dabs a little of the formula onto her skin, assuring us that even though the paste comes out in a sinister yellow-brown, it blends into almost any skin color. I remain skeptical until the next morning, when I conveniently woke up with a monstrous zit on my chin. I carefully applied a little of the dark product on my pale skin, and steeled myself for the worst. I waited five seconds, as directed by the package, then dutifully started tapping it with my ring finger to blend. Thirty seconds later, I had erased my spot. I pressed on a little mineral powder for staying power, and went about my day, feeling exceptionally healthy.

The Concealing Spot Treatment retails for $32 at If you’re interested in this product, but still iffy on the shade of the tint, head to the website anyway to find the location of Dermalogica store nearest you. You can try the product at their Beauty Bar and see for yourself if it matches your skin tone.

A leopard can change its spots, after all.

Katharine McKenzie

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