12.17.2014
9
20
Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel Two-Step System
Rating
30 application for $78
Category:Skin Care > Anti-Acne Products > BHA
Last Updated:12.17.2014
Jar Packaging:Yes
pH:4.40
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

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.

Claims

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.

Ingredients

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

Brand Overview

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare At-A-Glance

Strengths: Almost all of the products are fragrance-free; several serums and moisturizers contain a brilliant assortment of beneficial skin-care ingredients; all of the sunscreens contain sufficient UVA protection; almost all of the antioxidant-rich products are packaged to ensure stability and potency.

Weaknesses: Expensive; no effective AHA or BHA products (including the at-home peel the line is "known" for); problematic toner; incomplete selection of products to treat acne, and what’s available is more irritating than helpful; a few "why bother?" products.

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.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!


The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

Member Comments
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06.03.2015
Excellent product

I have to completely disagree with this review. I originally bought the 5-pack sample from Sephora after an employee told me that this peel changed her life, and that it would completely change mine. She was 100% right. Even after one use I was amazed. The pores on my nose shrank tremendously, and the dead/oily/dry skin around my nose that I could never get rid of was completely gone. Absolutely no irritation and my skin was beautifully smooth and clean. Would absolutely recommend.

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Reviewed by
Eileen Y.
02.01.2015
Great product. works well for me

I've got pretty Normal skin. Tzone tends to be a bit more oily with some congested pores and I tend to get folliculitis and hyperpigmentation on my neck and chin. After using these pads my black heads are gone, pore size reduced, more even pigmentation and less ingrowns. I also use the Dr.Gross retinol + ferulic brightening serum and a dermaquest b5 matte hyaluronic serum. like with any skin care regimen a balance is needed. I balance the exfoliation with hydration and protection.

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Reviewed by
Ryan R.
09.04.2014
These did work nicely for me

I have oily/sensitive skin. React with redness & irritation to many things, but was able to use these pads (30-pack.) I tried both extra & regular strengths (free samples); bought REGULAR after testing. Switched to Paula's Choice Resist Daily Pore-Refining Treatment 2% BHA now; it is better for me (never redness after application.) On the other hand, application via pads (individually wrapped) was CONVENIENT which meant I USED THEM. Applying creams annoys me so I quit. Resist liquid=easy 2 apply

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Reviewed by
willo L.
06.29.2014
Only Good Results for Me

I received a sample package from a local spa & immediately fell in love. I'm 45 and have started having skin issues over the last 9 months. My dermatologist diagnosed the issue as rosacea and prescribed Finacea and Retin A. By skin went INSANE (insane in the membrane!) I've never had such horrible breakouts in my entire life. I changed doctors and found the original diagnosis was BAD and have battle trying to "fix" my skin ever since. The little pads are godsends. My face feels so smooth now. Pricey but worth it!

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Reviewed by
Anonymous
03.30.2014
DREADFUL PRODUCT!

A combination of Alcohol, Which hazel & fragrance is a complete recipe for irritation! Before I found Paula & her team, I thought that I knew about what products skin needs, but the reality is that like anything, unless you do the research into what scientifically benefits skin, you don't know what you're putting on your face! I used this product which resulted in such severe redness & flaking etc. that I thought I was allergic to AHA's. I now use Paula's 10% with ease.. It's ALL in the formula.

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Reviewed by
Nina A.
01.12.2014
Poreless

They are pricey, but since I don't use them every day, one box lasts me quite a while. I use them a couple of times per week before bed and the next morning my skin is poreless and flawless. I look much younger on those days without a foundation or tinted moisturizer, but I wear one anyway for sun protection. I'm 46 and am still carded in the super market for alcohol purchases. Maybe not the Holy Grail, but quite effective as part of a comprehensive skin care system.

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Reviewed by
Kate A
12.03.2013
Totally Agree

These irritated and dried my skin like nothing else! So badly that I woke up to dozens of little "pimples" that were really from the irritation. My skin was red, shiny, and sore, just awful. I tried these before I knew anything about skin care and didn't bother to read ingredients, I was told they're great to exfoliate dry skin and ease fine lines from dryness. Dry/sensitive skin beware!

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Reviewed by
Anonymous
03.25.2013
I Disagree with this review

I completely disagree with this review. I have tried countless products ranging from average price to very high end and NOTHING worked, including Tazorac. When I tried this my skin completely cleared up within 4 days. My skin looked so smooth and bright and my pores shrunk, just like the product claims. My skin looks really "glowy." I read a lot of 5 star reviews on various sites before investing in this product. It also is supposed to reduce fine lines. I get compliments on my skin now.

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Reviewed by
Anonymous
03.25.2013
Beautypedia Team Response

Thank you for your comments! We are glad to hear that this product worked well for you and that you have had succesful results. For more information on how we rate products (especially skincare), please visit this section of Beautypedia: http://www.paulaschoice.com/Beautypedia-Product-Reviews-About-How-We-Do-Reviews/

—Paula's Choice Research Team
01.20.2013
Not the same experience.

I have to completely disagree with this review. They have created individually packaged 2 step packages so that the product does not lose efficacy and so that part of the argument is invalid. I have found that it tends to calm down the small breakouts I get close to my menstrual cycle. I don't use it every single day as it mentions in the directions, but I like it. No matter what anyone says, I truly think these products should be used by several people and used by people with different skin types and then assessed rather than rated solely by the ingredients.

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Reviewed by
Jennifer D.
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