Ever since physical exfoliants were outed as potentially damaging to the skin, chemical exfoliants have taken over the scene. The most popular are alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), which work on the surface, and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), which penetrate deeper into the skin to clear pores.
While there are plenty of options in the market for each, the most effective ones are those that include both in their formulations. One such example is Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta® Universal Daily Peel. Often seen in glowy skinned makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes’ IG beauty prep tutorials, the Dennis Gross peel pads promise to reveal radiant, smooth skin with anti-ageing benefits. Seeing how well it works on Katie Jane made me want to try it for myself. So, here’s a little review on the product after consistently using it for a week.
Packaging, Scent, and Texture
True to its founder's medical background, the pads are stored in an unassuming white and orange box and come in hygienic, individually wrapped packets. The packaging reminds me of a box of prescribed multivitamins which I think, really gives it a no-nonsense, professional look. I like how easy they are to store and use. The only downside is that these single-use plastic packets also contribute to a lot of waste.
As for the texture, the pads come pre-soaked in the formula. The pads are thinner than your average wet wipe and are what I assume to be one of those organic facial cotton variants, which tend to absorb more product. They also provide a bit of physical exfoliation as they’re a bit on the scratchy side though nothing too rough.
Application and Effects
I’ve had a bit of experience with different types of acids but it’s the first time I’ve used a multi-acid formulation. The Dennis Gross peel pads feature a blend of glycolic, salicylic, citric, lactic, and malic acid to deliver some serious exfoliation. Step 1 is the Exfoliate & Smooth pad, which contains the AHA/BHA mix. I applied after cleansing and noticed a slight tingling, though not uncomfortable, sensation — which is a pretty common effect I get when it comes to using acids in my routine. This was followed by Step 2, the Anti-Ageing Neutraliser, which contains known age-fighting ingredients ascorbic acid, retinol, and resveratrol. I found that this soothed my skin quickly and any hint of tingle disappeared immediately afterwards.
While I was using the Dennis Gross peel pads, it was around that time of the month when my skin would be extra oily and problematic due to hormonal changes. I noticed that it really helped keep the usual breakouts from developing. After just a week of use, I can say that my skin texture looks smoother, feels a little more refined, and my overall complexion brighter to the point where I feel confident enough to go out with just a hint of concealer on. I’ve yet to see any noticeable difference on dark spots but as for the anti-ageing benefits, I did notice that the little lines that had begun to form on my forehead are no longer noticeable. I haven’t used any retinol product prior to this as I was always a bit intimidated, but after seeing the effect it has on my skin, I just might be a convert.
At SGD135 for a box of 30 packets, the Dennis Gross peel pads do come with a rather hefty price tag. Still, I think the results really speak for themselves and it’s a product worth trying especially since it’s gentle enough for sensitive skin. It's a good choice even for first-time acid and retinol users. It doesn’t skimp on the cost but neither does it skimp on the positive effects and I look forward to seeing how it does over time. I highly recommend the Dennis Gross peel pads for those looking for skincare products that are simple to use but sophisticated in formulation.
The Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta® Universal Daily Peel is available at Sephora SG.