DIRMA MIA: A review of the best Serum (and other products) I’ve ever used

Most of my friends know me to be someone who does not use makeup on a daily basis. This means one very specific thing: my skin has to look good, otherwise, I’m not going to be happy and I will probably also look like I was hit by a truck. It’s no surprise, then, that when I got the opportunity to test DIRMA’s products and review it for Her Campus last month, I jumped of excitement and joy.

Still back in September, the Her Campus team here at Harvard got the opportunity to talk to the President of DIRMA, Mary Lopez, to understand more about their products and company mission. According to their website, DIRMA is “a natural, luxury skincare brand founded by pharmacists with a passion and expertise for creating product experiences that engage all of your senses and transport you to a state of bliss.” In our conversation, Mary explained that they use all natural extracts and plant-derived Stem Cells in all of their products to ensure high quality and transparency. After the talk, she gave us some samples of their signature Serum and the N.9 oil. I tried them at the time, but since I was already used to my own products, I quickly reverted back to my usual routine.

Today, three weeks after I received their full treatment kit, I’ve given up on the products I had been using before, so I came here to share my thoughts and insights about the DIRMA Advanced Treatment line (the advanced cleanser, advanced facial tonic, serum, moisturizer, litchi bliss and mask), the DIRMA N. 9 Facial Oil and Smoothing Eye Cream. Spoiler alert: if you’re looking for your next quality Serum, look no further! Their serum, currently sold out in travel size, is by far the best serum that I’ve used. Below, I’ll try to review step-by-step the routine I followed for 6 days using DIRMA products religiously.

First, however, I want to explain my usual routine pre-DIRMA, so that you can understand a bit more of why I probably saw the effects that I did while using their products. In general, I was used to cleansing my skin with my Olay Regenerist Face Cleansing Device and the Clean & Clear Continuous Control, Acne Cleanser. Then, I would clean my face with the Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 Cleanser & Waterproof Makeup Remover and put on the Clinique Anti-Blemish Line Correcting Serum. Then, in the mornings, I would put on the DR. JART+ Ceramidin Cream. This process usually ensured that my skin would be relatively pimple-free, at least during non-exam weeks. Still, I was unhappy with my eye bags—which I do recognize are also partially natural—and with my blackheads and uneven skin tone. Further, I was, and still am, worried about my already-present expression lines on my forehead.

When I first opened the DIRMA kit, I was extremely excited to see if any of those issues would be remedied. I opened the kit and saw a personalized letter written by Mary, that explained the steps I should follow to ensure the best results possible. Now, bear with me, it was a six-step process that I would have to go through every morning. I decided, then, that I would try the products for 6 days religiously and take daily pictures (at the same place and with the same lighting) to show the before and after. These were the results:

I started those six days complaining of an oily forehead, blackheads on my nose (my nose redness isn’t just redness in the first picture), the eye bags, and some minor pimples on my forehead as well.  For the next six days, I followed Mary’s advice carefully. First, I would use the Advanced Cleanser, the I would follow with the Advanced Tonic, Advanced Serum, Smoothing Eye Cream, DIRMA No.9 Oil and finally, the Advanced Moisturizer. I also used the Litchi Bliss, suggested as a spot treatment, on days 1, 2, and 3 on the red pimples on my forehead near the hairline, and I used the Mask on the night of day 5-6, so that my final results would be even better. As Mary wrote, the Mask can be used overnight so that it’ll enhance the effects of the products you use afterwards!

As the pictures can attest (I suggest zooming it to see my pores at your own risk), I did see a huge improvement on oiliness, my eye bags and skin tone. The redness of the pimples were also gone by day ¾ of using the Litchi Bliss. I didn't see a lot of improvement in regards to my blackheads, but alas, at this point I don’t think that has much of a solution. Still, DIRMA’s products were really extremely effective and really delivered on their mission. I was very surprised, especially in regards to how effective it was in evening my skin color and getting rid of marks.

So will I continue using the brand and will I finally retire my Clinique and Dr. Jart? Well, I have already… I confess, it’s really hard to follow the rules step-by-step every day, especially since I’m an early riser and I start working first thing in the morning. Still, I have replaced my Serum and now I have been using DIRMA’s Advanced Facial Cleanser, Advanced Facial Tonic and Serum and Oil every night before bed. My skin is not exactly as in that last picture after 6-days of full nourishment, but it does look very healthy and way more even that it did before. In fact, I’m not using moisturizer most of the days. The smell, the texture and the way the Serum and the Oil make my skin feel afterwards is more than enough to get me through the day. I definitely more than recommend those two products if you’re not going to commit to using the full line every day.

Granted, our skin is also heavily influenced by our eating and exercising habits, as well as by stress. Nonetheless, I found that using DIRMA’s products really made my skin healthy and I find myself happy with my makeup-free skin more times than before. Is it worth it? Well, the pricetag is a little too high, especially for college students, but if you compare to Clinique, for example, it’s a close-call. I  personally think that our skin is one of the things we should care about the most: if your skin doesn't look good, the more makeup and caking-your-face you’ll need. So just look at this as an investment into the future: you’ll probably be spending less on concealers and foundation in no time!




Her Campus 

Ps. Special gift from DIRMA for our Her Campus at Harvard readers!! 25% off with the code HCHARVARD25