11.26.2014
2
802
Clinical Concentrate Hydration Booster
Rating
0.5 fl. oz. for $36
Category:Skin Care > Serums > Serums
Last Updated:11.26.2014
Jar Packaging:No
pH:<4.70
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

Clinical Concentrate Hydration Booster includes an impressive mix of ingredients to moisturize, soothe and provide anti-aging benefit. Whether used alone or to "boost" your regular moisturizer or eye cream, this is an outstanding option for dry to very dry skin, including acne-prone skin that's also dry.

Housed in a dropper-style bottle, this contains a formidable series of light but substantial emollients, skin-identical ingredients (sodium hyaluronate, multiple ceramides, collagen and more) plus the main ingredient, anti-inflammatory evening primrose extract (the tea form of this plant). Given its moisturizing abilities yet lack of heavier or oily ingredients, we weren't surprised to find it feels light on skin, setting quickly without leaving a greasy residue or appearance. It's definitely a different feel than traditional facial oils (this booster product is oil-free).

Dr. Gross added an impressive list of antioxidants such as green tea extract (camellia sinensis leaf extract), gotu nut (centella asiatica extract), a peptide (terapeptide-21) and retinol—that's just to name a few!

Additionally, this contains the antioxidant quercetin caprylate, which is a derivative of quercetin. Research has demonstrated it works quite similarly in terms of potent antioxidant protection as well as potential ability to lighten skin discolorations (Experimental Gerontology, 2010).

This formula also contains glycolic and lactic acids—both AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) that can exfoliate skin, assuming the pH is within the right range for them to work in this manner. Although these ingredients aren't called out in the claims as exfoliants, the pH of Clinical Hydration Booster is too high (4.4-4.7) for any of them to actually work as such. That's OK, as there are more than enough benefits here and this product would work beautifully alongside your favorite AHA (or BHA) leave-on exfoliant.

We should note that this does include a small amount of comfrey extract (Symphytum officinale) and added fragrance. The amounts of both are likely not high enough to be problematic for most, and is certainly far less aromatic than many of the facial oil products on the market (though again, this booster product is not to be confused with facial oils, as it isn't an oil).

All things accounted for, Clinical Hydration Booster is a stellar product and the price isn't exorbitant for what you get. Note that the glass packaging is nearly transparent, with a slight blue tint. Due to the complexity and antioxidant-loaded formula, this should be kept in a drawer or bathroom cabinet to protect its delicate ingredients from degrading due to daily light exposure.

Pros:
  • Multiple anti-irritants to soothe skin.
  • Contains an excellent mix of antioxidants and cell-communicating ingredients (and quite a few of them).
  • Lightweight moisturizing formula is beneficial for dry skin.
Cons:
  • Nearly transparent glass packaging should be kept away from direct light sources.
Claims

These hydration boosting microdroplets contain hyaluronic acid, watermelon extract, and centella asiatica, smoothing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for luxuriously softer skin. Multifunctional and easy to use, you can simply apply directly to targeted zones or mix into your favorite skincare products for a customized treatment and enhanced benefits.

Ingredients

Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Glycerin, Saccharide Isomerate, Yucca Aloifolia Leaf/Root Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Linoleic Acid, Centella Asiatica Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Ceramide AP, Ceramide EOP, Ceramide NP, Citrullus Lanatus (Watermelon) Fruit Extract, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Quercetin Caprylate, Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Extract, Retinol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Symphytum Officinale Extract, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Juice, Tetrapeptide-21, Copper PCA, Sodium PCA, Urea, Bisabolol, Acrylates/Carbamate Copolymer, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Phytosphingosine, Zinc PCA, Laureth-7, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Isosteareth-200 Linoleate, Polysorbate 20, Carbomer, Cholesterol, Polyacrylamide, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Fragrance.

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.

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04.12.2015
Hydration booster

I really love this product. I have sensitive skin.

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Reviewed by
melanie
10.04.2014
Not Stellar For Me

I gave this a shot based on Paula's reviews as well as many others. Like many here I have tried so many products for my difficult and perpetually irritated skin. After several months of using faithfully, this product has done nothing to soothe, calm or hydrate the dry irritated patches on my skin. And I believe that too many of us think - oh, this just must be my skin - but I am beginning to think that these products are tested only on women with close to flawless skin to begin with.

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Reviewed by
Karen R.
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