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Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Wrinkle Recovery Peel Review

is a Solution for:
Hyperpigmentation, Sun Spots, Uneven Skin, Wrinkles
dr dennis gross ferulic + retinol wrinkle recovery peel
January 14, 2016 Reviewed by Marta 1 Comment
TRU Rating
A gentle, effective peel that works best in conjunction with a moisturizer


Lightens dark spots, leaves skin radiant


Contains benzoic acid, BHT and sodium benzoate

I have a healthy respect for retinol. I appreciate what it can do to help reduce wrinkles, but I am also aware of the hazards of overdoing it — particularly for aging, sensitive skin such as mine. When asked to try out the Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic and Retinol Wrinkle Recovery Peel ($88 in the shop), I was cautiously curious. Would it fit in with my current regimen that includes (nèe relies on) DDG’s AHA pads, would the results be worthy of a heavy hitter, and would it be too much for me? The answer is yes, yes and no.

Ferulic and Retinol Wrinkle Recovery Peels are designed to be used 2-3 times per week, at night. I have been using the peels twice a week. I have also continued daily use of the Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel ($88 in the shop), which means twice week I have been getting to have two peels. Surprisingly this has not proved too much for me. The results have been fantastic (with two caveats that I will come to in a moment). Plump, radiant skin and much-reduced freckles and dark spots. I expect, with continued use, to see diminished fine lines and wrinkles.

The caveats are that this peel does leave my skin a little dry. Using it at night, I initially did not apply a moisturizer afterward as I didn’t want to interfere with the peel’s performance and was interested to see what my morning skin would look like. Well, it looks and feels a little dry. Nothing, however, that can’t be rectified with a slightly richer-than-usual moisturizer. The other is that this is no quick fix. At least there were no overnight results for me. Two weeks in (which would be four peels), I did start to notice a difference, although I wondered if this was mostly just the effect of the daily pads. But now at the end of four weeks, I am convinced that the Ferulic and Retinol Peel is definitely a significantly augmenting factor.

The product comes in the form of saturated pads. To me they have a noticeable whiff of bergamot, which I find pleasant (but then Earl Grey tea is mother’s milk to a woman brought up in England). I rub the pads firmly over the skin as directed, lingering on areas that need the most help (dark spots, lip lines). Before tossing the used pad, I eke out the remaining product on my knees and elbows (thanks, Kim, for that tip!). I did not experience any tingling and certainly no actual peeling.

I think that one of the strengths of this formula is that is so well-balanced with moisturizing ingredients. There’s hydroxyethyl urea (comparable to glycerin, which is also here), squalane and moisture retaining phospholipids and sphingolipids. An interesting ingredient is the botanical extract, rehmannia glutinosa root, which is credited with regulating the growth factor, TGF-beta1, as well as type IV collagen (source). Ferulic acid is an important antioxidant that improves the performance of vitamins

There are a few ingredients that I would prefer to do without, including benzoic acid, a pH balancer, preservative and potential irritant, the possible carcinogens BHT and sodium benzoate. These aside, I would recommend Ferulic and Retinol Peel to anyone looking to give their anti-aging regimen a serious boost.

  • January 14, 2016

    by Karin

    (3 out of 5)

    I was one of the individuals who tested this product a few months ago. Much like Marta's experience I found this to be drying and also did not want to use a moisturizer in fear of interfering with the products efficacy. Sadly that was a mistake as this product was way too drying for me to be using 3 times a week. It took a few visits to an esthetician to repair the serious dryness. But once my skin was well moisturized again I could see that these pads had made a difference in the overall appearance of my skin tone and size of my pores. I would use this again but only once a week. I also used it on the backs of my hands and seriously they look 10 years younger! I recommend this product but I also suggest being cautious and making sure you do some heavy moisturizing.

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