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Dr. Dennis Gross himself answers your top skincare questions

January 1 | 3 minute read

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Words by Christie Sinclair

Originally published on | May 19

More than 25 years ago, Dr. Dennis Gross launched his eponymous skincare brand with one of the first available at-home peel products – and boy, did that transform the skincare world.

The development of those medical-grade pads meant we no longer had to head to the clinic to reach our ultimate skin goals, target skin issues or access potent formulas used by the professionals. Gamechanging!

Since then, the New York-based dermatologist and researcher has released an entire range of innovative dermatologist-made skincare and space-age tools, based on the same formulations and technology he uses on patients in his Manhattan clinic.

With his wealth of knowledge on all things skin, Dr. Dennis is more than qualified to dish out the complexion tips. Here, we had the doctor himself answer your burning skincare questions, from what helps with pesky fine lines to a skincare routine for dry and sensitive skin. Get your pens (and wishlists) ready because this is some serious skincare intel.

Which products work best to eliminate pesky lines near the eye area?

DDG: “The eye area is notoriously difficult to treat because the skin around your eye is thinner and more delicate than the rest of your face. The good news is we have science-backed ingredients that are clinically proven to firm skin, boost hydration and reduce the look of fine lines and crepey skin.

“My Advanced Retinol + Ferulic Triple Correction Eye Serum uses a cocktail blend of retinol, ferulic acid, bakuchiol and rambutan leaf extract to ramp up collagen production and reduce the appearance of fine lines. You can even apply it all around the eye area including the eyelid. These ingredients work synergistically to help replenish the skin barrier, restore hydration and smooth the appearance of skin – without causing any irritation or dryness.”

How do I combat signs of early skin ageing and acne? Also, what products are great for skin pigmentation and redness?

DDG: “Chemical peels are a great way to treat both acne and ageing concerns simultaneously. Over 25 years ago, I discovered transformative results with a unique blend of alpha and beta hydroxy acids, in the form of a two-step peel treatment. In my practice, patients saw dramatically smoother, clear and more radiant looking skin with visibly tighter pores and fewer fine lines and wrinkles, without any redness, dryness or irritation.

“The Alpha Beta Universal Peel Daily is always two steps, just like a chemical peel you would receive at your dermatologist’s clinic. The first step contains a cocktail of AHAs and BHAs at low doses to gently exfoliate dead skin cells, de-gunk pores, draw out excess oil and reduce inflammation whilst improving existing collagen production. The second step neutralises the acids in the first step to prevent any form of irritation or discomfort, and floods the skin with soothing, repairing and collagen-building actives.

“The clinically proven results are smoother, healthier-looking skin with an improvement in signs of ageing, like fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots and loss of radiance. The Alpha Beta Universal Peel is easy to incorporate into your skincare routine as your first step after cleansing and LED every single day, and before applying your serum or moisturiser. For someone with oily skin, I recommend starting with the Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel."

I’ve had acne for what feels like forever and worry that I'm using the wrong products to manage it. What are some basic essential skincare products to better manage my acne?

DDG: “Sorry to hear this! There are a few things you can do that will make a huge difference in your acne journey. The best approach is to target the breakout from multiple angles: decongest the pore, control oil production, kill acne-causing bacteria and reduce redness and inflammation. I advise to stay away from harsh, drying ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, which can cause more inflammation around the breakout. Instead, I think it is important to remember that the acne you see today actually started two weeks ago below the skin’s surface, meaning that, ultimately, the best treatment for acne is prevention.

“Look for azelaic and salicylic acid to decongest pores, sulfur to balance our excess sebum production, monk pepper, which regulates hormones that can stimulate over-production of oil, farnesol to kill acne bacteria and soothing ingredients like aloe, bisabolol and green tea to reduce inflammation. You can easily incorporate these ingredients into your routine with my DRx Blemish Solutions™ Breakout Clearing Gel and DRx Blemish Solutions™ Clarifying Mask. And don’t stop using your acne-eliminating products once you see your skin clear up as it is crucial to keep acne at bay through prevention. Spot treatment is not as effective (remember the pimple you see today started two weeks ago!) so use your products all over acne-prone areas on a regular basis for prevention.

“Lastly, you should be using an oil-free moisturiser. A lightweight, gel moisturiser, like the Hyaluronic Marine Oil-Free Moisture Cushion is packed with repairing and hydrating ingredients that won’t ever clog your pores because it is oil-free. Reduce shine and soothe acne breakouts while providing essential amino acids and B vitamins to reveal plump, smooth and healthy-looking skin.”

What is the best Dr. Dennis Gross skincare routine for dry and sensitive skin?

DDG: “First, it’s important for all skin types to cleanse your skin without disrupting its natural moisturisation process. Look to cleanse with pH balanced and soap-free balms and gels that won’t strip the skin of natural oils while removing dirt and impurities, such as the Hyaluronic Marine™ Meltaway Cleanser. Next, reach for a powerhouse serum, like my Hyaluronic Marine™ Hydration Booster, which delivers time-released hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, marine algae and evening primrose extract for long-lasting hydration.

“To treat dry, sensitive skin, look for moisturising products that contain water, hyaluronic acid, ceramides and squalane. These ingredients will help the skin retain moisture and keep its healthy glow without any irritation. I created the Alpha Beta® Daily Moisturizer for this exact reason – to deliver intense hydration throughout the day. Squalane and ceramides soften and smooth dry areas and fine lines while gentle AHAs and BHAs work synergistically to replenish actives to aid cell turnover for a smooth and radiant-looking complexion.

“And finally, some application tips! Try to apply your moisturiser within 30 seconds of showering and towelling off. This will trap some of the moisture from the shower and seal in hydration. For even more moisture, keep the door closed while you shower to trap in steam as you bathe. And, remember to drink water throughout the day to help your skin’s cellular processes to function optimally.”

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Dr Dennis Gross SkincareSkin careSkincare devicesSkincare tools

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