Review: Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Extra Strength Formula

Earlier in the year I got a few samples of Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Extra Strength Formula. Unfortunately, I'd forgotten they were sitting in my sample stash until I was watching reviews on Youtube and the name kept coming up! Needless to say, I was beyond grateful for this hidden find in my closet. 

Product Claims: A quick and convenient way to rejuvenate your complexion, Dr. Gross’s Extra Strength formula is the only peel on the market to combine five alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids with potent, wrinkle-wrestling antioxidants (including retinol (vitamin A), ubiquinone and resveratrol), to simultaneously smooth, refine and protect your skin in a jiffy. The patented two-step pads instantly enhance skin’s luminosity, while with regular use, you’ll quickly see a difference in the visibility of pores, redness and uneven skin tone (the formula’s phenomenally brightening). Perfect for anyone looking to repair signs of superficial skin damage, these anti-ageing pads are suitable for all skin types (especially those who suffer from persistent skin conditions) and won’t cause any discomfort, irritation or unsightly skin-shedding.


Step 1: Purified Water (Aqua Purificata), Alcohol Denat., Glycolic Acid, Potassium Hydroxide, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Leaf Extract, Salicylic Acid, Polysorbate 20, Lactic Acid, Mandelic Acid, Malic Acid, Citric Acid, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Menthyl Lactate, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Soy Isoflavones, Copper PCA, Zinc PCA, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance (Parfum), Sodium Benzoate Ingredients

Step 2: Purified Water (Aqua Purificata), Sodium Bicarbonate, Resveratrol, Retinol, Ascorbic Acid, Ubiquinone, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Phospholipids, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Soy Isoflavones, Achillea Millefolium Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Copper PCA, Sodium PCA, Zinc PCA, Octoxynol-9, Simethicone, Tetrasodium EDTA, Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol

Review: Two words - instant gratification! As soon as I use this, I feel the difference in the texture of  my skin. It becomes incredibly smooth, and any breakouts begin to clear up virtually overnight, and I'm not even exaggerating. It's shocking how effective these. I went through a few weeks of an seemingly endless breakout, and nothing was helping until I tried this. I used the Alpha Beta Peel Extra Strength Formula every other night until my breakouts cleared up. Now I use them 1-2 times a week. On days that I don't use them, I stick with my Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 and a retinol ester oil. I actually think using the peels helped me to adjust quickly to the strength of P50, which I only needed to dilute for about a week before using on it's own. 

This first step of the peel system contains the following alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs): glycolic acid, lactic acid, mandelic acid, malic acid,  and citric acid. AHAs increase cell turnover by exfoliating the top layer of skin. AHAs are also thought to encourage collagen production at certain concentrations. Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA). A BHA is similar to AHAs in that it exfoliates, but it also penetrates the pores and cleans them out. BHAs also have antibacterial properties. 

The second step is an anti-aging neutraliser, meant to be applied 2 minutes after the first step. It contains retinol (Vitamin A) and retinol palmitate, which is an ester of retinol combined with palmitic acid. Retinol is touted as the number one ingredient for anti-ageing. Vitamin C and a vitamin C ester are also in the formula, further helping to brighten and revitalise the skin. 

The fragrance is light and fresh, a bit like a green tea fragrance. The packets are convenient and easy to travel with: they won't dry out and each packet is adequately saturated to cover your face several with several swipes. 

Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Extra Strength Formula are available in 5-, 30-, and 60-day packs. These retail for £15 for the 5-packettes, £73.50 for the 30-packettes (£70 for the 30-day jar packaging) and £124.00 for 60 packettes. In the US, it's $16.00 for the 5-packettes at Sephora, and from DermStore, $88.00 for the 30-packettes ($84 for the 30-day jar packaging) and $148.00 for 60 packettes. Note, DermStore offers 20% off when you sign up for the mailing list. If you're already registered you can get 15% off by signing up for subscriptions, which you may cancel at any time. 

I struggle with the price of this because of the actual number of uses. Considering the effect and quality of the ingredients though, I'm willing to splurge occasionally. I also only buy products during sales so that cuts some of the cost also. I initially had 2 of the 5 packs and those lasted me for almost two months. After one week of using it every other day, I was able to get by with using it just once a week. This isn't a product that requires everyday usage so a couple 5 packs might very well be enough for you. Buying the larger packs saves you some money in the long run. I've also seen people with the jar packaging, cut the pads in half so they get two times the usage. These are also frequently available as free samples with purchases at Cult Beauty, Space NK, DermStore and Sephora

I don't recommend purchasing these from unauthorised sellers, it's never a good idea to do that with skincare but especially with acid products. Always check the expiration date on these; it's at the bottom of the box and stamped on each packet. 

Would I repurchase? Already have, peep the big box in picture! The small boxes are empties. This 2-step peel system is incredible. It's one of those overhyped products where the hype is actually real. I love it. I've also used the original formula, which is nice, and great for when you need/want to alternate strengths. I don't always need such a strong formula, hence I only use it a once or twice a week now. There is an ultra gentle version of the formula also, but I have not tried that one. 

Price: 3.5/5 
Packaging: 5/5
Fragrance: 5/5
Performance: 5/5

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