By  on April 9, 2010

Class will soon be in session at the newly opened Dermalogica Academy, the clinical skin care brand’s first undergraduate curriculum for skin therapists.

The sprawling 6,000-square-foot academy — a concept six years in the making — is an outgrowth of Dermalogica’s postgraduate education facility, The International Dermal Institute, founded in 1983 by Jane Wurwand, who introduced the Dermalogica skin care range three years later. There are now 38 IDI training centers for licensed skin therapists globally.

“In most states, undergraduate skin therapy programs are offered by cosmetology schools — typically run by hair care companies and hairdressers — where hairdressing is the focus,” said Wurwand, referring to the reason behind the academy. “There is a need for schools that are solely focused on skin and the business of skin, which requires an entirely different business model than hair.”

The academy, located at 140 West 22nd Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues in New York, is built to comply with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design eco-requirements, making it the only LEED-certified trade school in Manhattan, according to the company. Paper is intentionally scarce in classrooms, as students will rely on interactive technology, including iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad devices.

The New York State Education Department’s Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision approved the private school license on Tuesday, so students can begin enrolling on the academy’s Web site, dermalogicaacademy.com, said Steven Frost, Dermalogica Academy Director. Classes are slated to begin on May 18. After students complete 600 hours of training in less than 18 weeks, which are the licensing requirements of New York State, the academy will help assist them in job placement across the 7,500 salons and spas that carry the Dermalogica line, said Frost.

The academy building includes a classroom, lab, MicroZone stations that offer 20-minute express treatments, a Skin Bar for skin analysis and a Treatment Room. Visitors to the 10-bed treatment room can receive a discounted facial — $50 as opposed to $110 at the nearby Dermalogica retail-spa outpost located at 110 Grand Street — by a student eight weeks into training, under the direction of a licensed skin care therapist. Dermalogica-trained skin therapists do extractions gently by hand, rather than use the metal comedone tool to remove clogged pores, which Frost said can damage skin and break capillaries.

Wurwand added, “We believe in the power of touch. The power of human hands. Skin on skin is what we are all about. We say we are simply, ‘Changing the world with our bare hands.’”

Plans call for as many as 10 academy locations across the U.S. over the next eight years, according to the company.



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