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A few weeks back, I was lucky enough to be invited to an event to launch the new serum by Dr Dennis Gross, hosted by his wife and business partner: Carrie Gross. The entire session was really fascinating and I was totally sold on the brand. As part of the event, I was treated to a professional extra-strength peel and the results were incredible! I was kindly gifted a nice big box of the universal mid-strength home peels, but decided I still needed to pick up a couple of packs of the Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel | £19 for 5. This is how they work and why I love them...
This is a two-part peeling system which I am more partial to as an 'every other day' treatment. Partly because doing this every single day would be an expensive habit and partly because it feels a little bit wasteful given it's a single-use product (though I guess this packaging keeps the active ingredients nice and fresh every time). Step 1 is the exfoliating peel, soaked on a pad for you to wipe over your face and step 2 is a calming serum step, to soothe and replenish the skin after the treatment. I do really like this concept and for me it definitely worked because even the Extra Strength version doesn't leave my skin sore, red, irritated or overly compromised. Regardless of that, though, be sure to follow this up with sunscreen!
Let's get into the details of the formula. The exfoliating step pretty much contains all the AHAs and BHAs you could possibly ask for! There's glycolic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid and willow bark. Glycolic acid is the most famous AHA on the market, known for its amazing ability to break down dead skin cells on the surface of the face, so they can be wiped away. Lactic acid works in a very similar way, however instead of being derived from sugars, it's derived from milk (the clue is in the name!) It's actually often considered to be slightly gentler than glycolic and even has humectant (water-attracting) properties, making it great for dry skin types. Salicylic acid is a BHA, meaning it's oil soluble and penetrates deeply into the pores, so is great for more spot-prone skin. It not only helps with active breakouts but with the scarring and hyper-pigmentation left behind afterwards. Willow bark is the natural component from which salicylic acid is derived, so is going to have a very similar effect on the skin. This step also contains zinc, to calm inflammation, camellia to soothe and nourish and copper, which can have a renewing effect on the skin.
The serum step is formulated with lots of good stuff. Again, we've got copper and zinc in there, alongside a small dose of skin-smoothing, anti-ageing retinol. There are also nourishing, moisturising and replenishing lipids, as well as ascorbic acid (a form of Vitamin C) to brighten the skin and treat dark spots. Another antioxidant to help protect the skin against environmental damage is resveratrol, often derived from the skin of grapes and berries.
Overall, I think this is a great combination, my only negative being that there's fragrance in the formula! I was a little disappointed because I was actually told at the event that the brand doesn't formulate with fragrance (I wonder if perhaps they meant 'artificial fragrance? Though it really doesn't make a difference in terms of sensitivity.) And the fact it's just labelled 'fragrance' as opposed to it being, for example, lavender oil, makes it worse because it could contains hundreds of fragrant components. This makes it hard to know what's causing you a reaction, should you have one. I think also because this is an exfoliating product, it's kind of an issue because your skin is more compromised during this process. If you have at all sensitive skin, this might not be for you, because even the Gentle formula contains fragrant essential oils. It's a bit of a shame and I hope they drop the fragrance because outside of that, this product truly does work wonders for me.
Immediately after use, my skin is so smooth, and feels incredibly soft. In terms of appearance, it looks much brighter and I've noticed fewer red marks post-breakout since I introduced this step into my routine. In terms of the texture and the overall look and feel of my skin; this peel has been amazing. It honestly gives me my best skin day (almost) every day. If you suffer from issues like hyper-pigementation and texture, or you just want to reduce the look of early signs of ageing; this has given me immediate and noticeable results.
Have you tried anything from Dr Dennis Gross?