Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel Two-Step System is the system that made Dr. Gross famous, or so the company says. Step 1 is the Alpha Beta Refining pads which consist of a blend of AHA and BHA (salicylic acid) ingredients in a base of irritating alcohol and witch hazel. The formula allows exfoliation to occur, but so do plenty of other AHA and BHA products that spare your skin needless irritation (not to mention are also much more cost effective). Step 2, the Enriched Neutralizing System, consists of water-based pads designed to stop the action of the peel. This step is superfluous (plain tap water can neutralize a peel) so step 2 is basically a toner formula in pad form. It includes several antioxidants and retinol, but the jar packaging won’t keep them stable during the lifespan of this product. The Enriched Neutralizing System also includes enough baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) to cause further irritation due to its alkalinity. In the end, this is a great big expensive “why bother"?
Note:Although we do not recommend this at-home peel, we felt compelled to mention that the company sells the pads individually packaged, which would keep the antioxidants in both steps stable before use.
In just 2 minutes a day, our patented, easy 2-step system gives you a highly developed skincare regimen plus Microexfoliation- without recovery time. Microexfoliation is a gentle, non–irritating method of removing cellular debris from the surface of the skin, resulting in a smoother, firmer more even complexion. MD Skincare Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel yields results far superior to other methods of exfoliation. Significant, notable and lasting improvement is achieved through daily use – maintain a luminous look all day long.
Step 1: Alpha Beta Refining (30 pads): *pH~4.4* Purified Water, Alcohol Denat., Glycolic Acid, Witch Hazel Leaf Extract, Potassium Hydroxide, Salicylic Acid, Polysorbate 20, Citric Acid, Lactic Acid, Malic Acid, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract, Matricaria Flower Extract, Soy Isoflavones, Disodium EDTA, Copper PCA, Fragrance, Sodium Benzoate, Zinc PCA Step 2: Enriched Neutralizing System (30 pads): Purified Water, Sodium Bicarbonate, Ascorbic Acid, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Retinyl Palmitate, Retinol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Resveratrol, Ubiquinone, Achillea Millefolium Extracts, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Soy Isoflavones, Phospholipids, Copper PCA, Sodium PCA, Sodium Phosphate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Zinc PCA, Lecithin, Octoxynol-9, Polysorbate 80, Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate
As you may have gleaned from the name, dermatologist Dr. Dennis Gross created this skin-care line. Based in New York City, he claims that all of his products provide "maximum results without side effects," a statement any doctor should know better than to make. For instance, a consumer would logically assume, especially coming from a doctor, that "maximum results" means the products in question really will firm, lift, tighten, plump, or peel the skin. But Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare products don't provide maximum results, not in the least, and definitely not in any of the ways suggested by the marketing copy. In fact, although Gross includes some very impressive ingredients in his products, they cannot make good on the most enticing claims he makes for them.
As for the promise of "no side effects," that is easily refuted with a simple overview of his underachieving products. A quick summary: lavender oil can cause skin-cell death, sulfur is extremely irritating and drying to skin, ascorbic acid can be sensitizing, as can retinol, and the synthetic active sunscreen agents he uses can also present their share of problems. That's not to say that all of these ingredients are bad for skin (only the sulfur and lavender oil qualify for that description), but it's foolish to make a blanket statement that your cosmeceutical-type products are free of side effects. How could he possibly know what a person may react to?
Gross also asserts that he uses cutting-edge technology in his products, a point which I concede given the number of superior moisturizers and serums he offers, all of which compete nicely with other well-formulated products. His products are expensive, but if you're going to spend a lot of money on skin-care products, you should be purchasing state-of-the-art formulas, and these do rate. Of course, this technology (read: efficacious ingredients) doesn't extend to every Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare product, but overall this is one line whose formulas have improved considerably since the previous edition of this book, and that is excellent news!
Several of the products in this line contain emu oil. While there is research indicating that emu oil is a good emollient that can help heal skin, it is not that different from other oils that offer the same benefit, such as grape or olive or even mineral oil for that matter (Source: Australasian Journal of Dermatology, August 1996, pages 159–161).
Last, please ignore the tired claim that these products are your alternative to surgical procedures and that they use medical-grade ingredients. Concerning the latter, there is no such thing; Gross uses the same cosmetic and over-the-counter active ingredients found throughout the cosmetics industry. And although his line offers some remarkable products, none of them can provide results equivalent to Botox, dermal fillers, chemical peels, or laser treatments (and definitely not a face-lift).
Note: Unless mentioned otherwise, all MD Skincare products are fragrance-free.
For more information about Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare, call (888) 830-7546 or visit the Web site at www.dgskincare.com.
NOTE: In Spring 2010, MD Skincare became Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare.