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.
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.
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
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.