11.26.2014
9
1170
Hydra-Pure Vitamin C Brightening Serum
Rating
1 fl. oz. for $95
Category:Skin Care > Serums
Last Updated:11.26.2014
Jar Packaging:No
pH:>4.70
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

Hydra-Pure Vitamin C Brightening Serum has a beautifully smooth silicone base and contains an impressive amount of vitamin C (as ascorbic acid, whose acid component can be a skin irritant). Two other stabilized forms of vitamin C are also in the formula, along with the antioxidants quercetin, vitamin E, willow bark, and kudzu. Gross also added cell-communicating ingredients and salicylic acid, but the amount of the latter is too low (and the pH of this product too high) for exfoliation to occur. All in all, this is a well-formulated antioxidant serum that is packaged to ensure potency.

Claims

Promotes optimal skin function with a high-performance complex of Vitamin C. This nourishing serum contains three forms of Vitamin C to provide maximum efficacy. Vitamin C works in the lipid-soluble and water-soluble layers of the skin so this potent and effective serum has been created to deliver the appropriate form of Vitamin C to each layer of the skin. Vitamin C is singled out as the most potent anti-aging ingredient, requiring its own formula with multiple forms of Vitamin C to provide maximum benefits to the skin without irritation.

Ingredients

Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclomethicone, Ascorbic Acid, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Squalane, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Quercetin Caprylate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Linoleic Acid, Sodium Chondroitin Sulfate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Salicylic Acid, Lactic Acid, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Pueraria Lobata Root Extract, Salix Nigra (Willow) Bark Extract, Acrylates/Carbamate Copolymer, Butylene Glycol, Panthenol, Pentasodium Pentetate, Phytic Acid, Potassium Citrate, Potassium Gluconate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Purified Water, Phenoxyethanol

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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02.26.2015
Why not try Resist C15 if you don't like price?

I read the above reviews. For those of you who like 15% vitamin C, try PC Resist C15. It's my favourite product from PC (brightens, evens skin tone, reduces pores). And it's half the price.

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Reviewed by
Ann K
02.04.2015
Not great

I think I'm allergic to the ascorbic acid in it. It stung horribly when I put it on and this was followed by 4 days of red excema like symptoms on my face. Not nice! For gods sake, why not just use Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate instead....far less reactive and still a great product. I'll go back to my Dr Aspect C serum as its fantastic and doesn't irritate, its just difficult and expensive to get in Norway...

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Recommend
Reviewed by
Estee, A
07.30.2014
Great serum, makes skin glow

I love this Vitamin C serum from Dr. Dennis Gross. It works very well on my normal to oily combination skin. I wear it at night alone (no moisturizer) and over the past few months of wearing it, my skin texture has improved quite dramatically -- smaller looking pores, even skin tone. However, the price of this product ($95) is astronomical! I buy this only when it's on sale. I think there are other products out there that are better for a far lower price.

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Reviewed by
Evie
07.23.2014
Holy Grail Status For Me

I love how this glides on and how it seems to absorb rapidly. My skin has been very sensitive to vitamin C compounds in the past with other products, often causing breakouts because of irritation. This formulation allows the vitamin C to do its work without causing the problems meaning I use it more frequently allowing for better results. Is it expensive? Yes! But it does seem to go a long way and I adore the packaging which keeps the product fresh. Worth it, in my opinion

Recommend
Value
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Reviewed by
The Scarlett
02.24.2014
Either the formula or my skin changed...

I've used this product off and on for 6-7 years (started when it was MD Skincare). For awhile, it was worth every cent. My complexion was glowing, radiant, soft, even...this product got my skin as close to perfect as possible. However, I picked it up again after a 2 year hiatus and the results are problematic. My skin is radiant once again...except for the small red bumps appearing (and staying) under my eye. Either I'm more sensitive or they changed the formula. Sad b/c this was my skincare HG!

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Recommend
Reviewed by
Victoria
01.28.2014
This is not a good product

I am shocked that paula would say this is best. This product has Ascobly Palmitate which is very bad for the skin.

Value
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Recommend
Reviewed by
Anonymous
01.29.2014
Beautypedia Team Response

Hello, and thanks for your comments! Are you perhaps thinking of another ingredient? Ascorbyl palmitate is actually very good for skin, and is a non-acidic form of Vitamin C. You can read more about it, and its benefits, here: http://www.paulaschoice.com/cosmetic-ingredient-dictionary/definition/ascorbyl-palmitate

—Paula's Choice Research Team
08.24.2013
Truly worth the money

Since Skinceutical's CE Ferulic serum, I've been very encouraged by the results from well formulated vitamin C products. I know Paula recommends modest amounts from a variety of antioxidants over a large concentration of a single rock star ingredient and in that respect, this serum does not disappoint in spite of it's name. That said, if it's place on the ingredients list is any indication, ascorbic acid is present in large quantities and it's made a huge difference in my pore size/skin tone.

Recommend
Results
Value
Reviewed by
Anthony L
08.23.2013
Update: No way.

Was excited to try something with high % of vitamin c. This just made my skin DRY and irritated. I'm sure some people would get good results, though. And I still maintain the texture is incredible. But thinking about how I could have bought almost 4 of my HG Paula's Choice RESIST Super Antioxidant Concentrate for the price of ONE of these Dr. G serums, I decided to go back to my tried-and-true. Good ingredients. Price is one if its downfalls.

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Reviewed by
NATHAN R.
07.27.2013
Very silky!

Very expensive. Don't have to spend almost 100 dollars for a good c-serum, seriously. However, just because there are better-priced options out there doesn't invalidate this serum. It's texture is nothing I've ever felt in a product I've used before. Haven't used much so cannot comment too much on results. I will update later.

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Reviewed by
NATHAN R.
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