When we find a product that changes the way we think about our skincare routine, well, we do the digital equivalent of shouting from the rooftops – we write about it here.
There are a few things about Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Ultra Gentle Daily Peel that would’ve certainly turned us away if we didn’t know better. Firstly, it’s a chemical peel, two words so fraught with connotations they’d make even beauty pros think twice. Though brand trainer for U.S. skincare brand Dr Dennis Gross, John Krites, has assured us this is a bit of misnomer. “Peels are just a dermatological term for exfoliation,” he explains.
To catch you up, there are three different ways to exfoliate:
Physical/granular scrubs. Krites says these aren’t controlled so you can run the risk of over-exfoliating.
Natural enzymes and fruit acids. Don’t be scared off by the word ‘acids’. These are natural and very gentle – they are also suitable for sensitive skin types but only work as long as they’re physically sitting on the skin. Ultimately, they need to be washed off.
Chemical exfoliants. These include your natural AHAs like lactic, citric and glycolic acids, as well as man-made BHAs like salicylic and benzoic acids. Krites recommends these because they’re much more controlled and can be left on the skin for maximum effectiveness.
All things we know already, but a great bit of context to explain why chemical peels, specifically these ones, are exceedingly effective…
They work in two stages:
STAGE 1 – An ACIDIC peel
Infused with the gentlest AHAs (natural lactic and mandelic acids), this first step loosens and wipes away dead skin cells that cause dullness and breakouts. Again, nothing new here because exfoliating wipes have been around for yonks.
Allow the refreshing residue to sit on your skin for at least two minutes before you start step 2. The weirdly satisfying sensation should feel like your pores are contracting, which we’re ok with.
STAGE 2 – An ALKALINE conditioner
This is where it gets clever: a second wipe neutralises the skin’s pH. Enriched with soothing collodial oatmeal, the second wipe creates “a pH flux (going from acidic to alkaline) that”, Krites shares, “is the secret to anti-ageing”. This makes a lot of sense since many chemical exfoliants only tackle with acids without taking skin back to optimal pH levels. Skin that’s too acidic will appear red and irritated, and skin that’s too far alkaline will be dry. Healthy skin pH sits in the slightly acidic 5.5 pH range, so if you’ve haven’t had good experiences with chemical exfoliants in the past, this could be why.
Each box comes with 30 treatments, which we’re using sporadically and will last us anywhere from a month to the whole winter. Even though it’s safe to use twice daily, we think it’s best not to mix too many actives if your usual skincare’s already quite high in acids.
Still a bit weary? Ask for a sample of the Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Ultra Gentle Daily Peel at you nearest MECCA store and try the 2-step patented system on one of your hands and compare the brightness after two minutes. See for yourself.
Tell us, how do you exfoliate?