It is utterly disappointing that this anti-acne product was formulated by a dermatologist. The crux of the formula is water, alcohol, and a form of witch hazel, none of which have any benefit for acne; in fact, they will make matters worse.
Also on this list of terrible ingredients is the potent disinfectant sulfur, which is rarely used to treat acne because of its odor, drying nature, and alkalinity. The claim of 20% active ingredients is inaccurate because not a single ingredient in this product is called out as active. Active ingredients are a specific designation regulated stringently by the FDA, something the people at Dr. Gross seem to ignore.
Nonetheless, if the amount of alcohol and sulfur this contains really did approach the 20% mark, it would put your skin in dire straits, including dryness, irritation, collagen breakdown, reduced healing, and potential for flaking.
To add insult to injury, all of these irritating ingredients can actually stimulate oil production directly in the oil gland. Trifix is likely to be tri-damaging.
Trifix is the only product to contain 3 natural acne-fighting ingredients, enhanced by the revolutionary Trifix Clearing Complex to deliver immediate results for even the most problematic acne conditions. Trifix Clearing Complex consists of over 20% active ingredients scientifically proven to treat acne, heal blemishes and prevent scarring.
Active: Colloidal Sulfur (3%), Other: Purified Water, Alcohol Denat., Witch Hazel Water, Glycerin, Willow Bark Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Farnesol, Retinyl Palmitate/Carrot Polypeptide, Epilobium Angustifolium Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Epilobium Fleischeri Extract, Chlorella Vulgaris Extract, Sea Water, Bisabolol, Hydrolyzed Algin, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylates Crosspolymer, Alcohol, Xanthan Gum, Disodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Sodium Gluconate, Polysorbate 20, Sodium Hydroxide, 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.