30 Application Packettes
Dr. Dennis Gross' Alpha Beta Ultra Gentle Daily Peel is the sensitive skin alternative to renowned dermatologist Dr. Dennis Gross' original peel. Ideal for easily irritated skin types, this at-home peel uses three types of acids to exfoliate and reveal more even and radiant skin, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and minimize pore size without irritating sensitive complexions. This mild formula is perfect for anyone wanting to try a peel for the first time, yet effective enough that chemicals peel veterans will benefit from it.
So how does Dr. Dennis Gross' 2-step system work? Step 1 is packed with exfoliating acids designed to boost your skin's natural cell turnover; follow it up with Step 2 to control the AHA activity and deliver skin-conditioning actives and botanicals for a fresh finish. Additionally, calming, hydrating ingredients like oatmeal soothe and protect delicate skin. Plus, you can use this product with pride because it is cruelty- and paraben-free.
Tested for 30 days and approved by Sion:
I’m in my early 40s with combination (very oily around the T-zone, very dry elsewhere), highly sensitive skin. My skin reacts extremely negatively to almost every cosmetic/skin-care product, whether it’s scaly patches, redness, pimples, etc. I’m beginning to show faint laugh lines. Wrinkles are not obvious or pronounced yet, but if one looks closely, the telltale marks are becoming increasingly noticeable.
I had used Dr. Dennis Gross’s Original Alpha-Beta Peels
several years ago, but had to discontinue use after about 1 week, as the peels seemed to dry out my skin extensively. I then had to moisturize to counteract the dryness and subsequently had to buy products for the pimples that followed. When I discovered – from TIA’s trial studies — that there was now a new Ultra Sensitive option, I was rather ecstatic. Perhaps I could finally join the Alpha Beta Peel fan club.
Purely based on my experience of believing the claims of the hundreds of skin care products in the past, I was wary of expecting miracles. I hoped that the peels would ameliorate to SOME degree my skin’s uneven texture, discoloration, and laugh lines. As I knew I was going to be reviewing the product for public consumption, I made sure to be extra diligent with respect to reading/following the enclosed instructions. (Admittedly, I am guilty of being a “skimmer,” regarding the pamphlets that emphasize that the user read the directions carefully before using product).
As I perused the instructions that came with the peels, I noted that if individuals found the peels to be too harsh when used each day, they could use the peels every other day, until the skin became more acclimatized. Hmmm, perhaps I might finally join the Alpha Beta Peel fan club.
I then began to wonder whether the original formula peels might have been tolerable if I had used the same acclimatization method, as was described. To satisfy my curiosity, I purchased a box of the original peels (now renamed Universal Alpha Beta Peels). As with the Ultra Sensitive formula, the Universal formula lists its benefits as, “improves radiance, improves skin tone and texture, and minimizes pores and fines lines.” Upon receipt of this order, I was ready to begin my testing/experimentation.
With respect to my regular skin care routine, I did not change anything, but for the addition of one more step — application of the peels. My nightly routine consisted of the following:
1) Cleanse face (Skinceuticals)
2) Use Ultra Sensitive peel
3) Apply toner (Lavo)
4) Moisturize (Shiseido)
It is important to emphasize that I followed the above routine on only the right side of my face! As to the left side, I used the Universal peels every 3 days, rather than daily. I ran this experiment until I used all 30 Ultra Sensitive peels.
When I finished the 30 Ultra Sensitive peels, I took a well-lighted mirror and examined my face closely. I was more than a bit astonished at both the results, and the DIFFERENCE between the two sides of my face.
There was a slight change to uneven texture and discoloration on the right side of my face, where I used the Ultra Sensitive peels daily. There was no visible change to fine lines. On the left side, where I used the Universal peels every 3 days, there was a significant improvement in uneven texture, discoloration and lines.
My next task was to investigate and compare the ingredients, listed for both peels.
Active ingredients in the Ultra Sensitive formula:
Willow bark extract
Active ingredients in the Universal formula:
As can be seen, the greatest differences in the formulas, for the two types of peels are in the type and number of acids. Most of the acids in the Alpha Beta Peels are pretty common in any form of exfoliating product. However, there were some [ingredients in the Ultra Sensitive Formula] that were unfamiliar to me:
Mandelic acid is also an AHA, with an exfoliating strength slightly higher that of glycolic acid. However, in multiple trials, researchers found that mandelic acid was tolerated much better, resulting in less adverse side effects that can sometimes be seen with glycolic acid. In particular, over dryness (sometimes taking the form of dry, scaly patches), and hyperpigmentation, were tolerated much better by individuals who had previously used hydroquinone or tretinoin.
Willow Bark Extract is a BHA. The positives of this ingredient are several (exfoliation, stimulation of new skin cells, clearing of pores). However, there remains controversy as to whether it does indeed clear or prevent acne, though it is often advertised on products as an anti-acne agent.
Though my skin responded to the Ultra Sensitive peels, Universal Peels used every 3 days showed far more dramatic results (with none of the usual side effects I experienced when I previously used them daily). Though this method may certainly not work for everyone, I would suggest giving it a try. I loved that I did not have to go through the peel routine EVERY night, as was necessary with the Ultra Sensitive formula, and I only need to purchase one box every three months!
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