I love Dr. Dennis Gross Original Alpha Beta Peel ($88, in the shop). This is his signature product that allows you to take his defining office treatment home with you. Using it daily has transformed the texture and vibrancy of my skin, makes it more receptive to the rest of my skincare regimen and little by little softens wrinkles.
I typically have sensitive skin and am prone to rosacea, but this formula is gentle while still being very effective. The results are cumulative, so using it every day – and it has certainly become the foundation of my daily beauty routine – brings incremental improvement.
I also like the ease of use of the two-step process of pre-soaked towelettes. It takes just a few swipes over the neck and face and then, after leaving for two minutes (the time it takes to clean my teeth), the second pad is applied evenly for a deeper effect.
Original Alpha Beta Peel is based on a process called microexfoliation, critical to healthy and younger looking skin. Cells reproduce in the epidermal junction where they are held together by lipids, ceramides and long chain fatty acids. We are constantly shedding and regenerating, but as we age, the turnover rate of our cells slows down. Young cells gradually migrate to the skin surface where they die. Exfoliation removes those dead cells and speeds the process of skin cell turnover.
Step one uses alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), including glycolic, citric, lactic and malic, plus one beta hydroxy acid (BHA), salicylic acid. It is worth noting that BHAs go a bit deeper than AHAs and will loosen dead cells that are lodged deep in the pores. Interestingly, extract of the yarrow plant is more than doing its bit and, according to research, is better than glycolic acid as a “resurfacing molecule”. The solution is rounded out with antioxidant witch hazel, green tea, plus copper and zinc.
Step two simply uses sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to neutralize the acids in step one. However, it is good to know that there is much more, with two forms of vitamin C, vitamin A (retinol and retinyl palmitate), vitamin E, water retaining phospholipids, resveratrol and ubiquinone. The only things not to like are the preservatives sodium benzoate and phenoxyethanol.
I would never have thought that I would use a daily exfoliating product, but Alpha Beta Peel seems to be just the right calibration to be noticeably effective without overdoing things. Now I can’t imagine being without it.