Like Valerie, who reviewed Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Wrinkle Recovery Overnight Serum ($88 in the shop) for us recently, I approached this serum with some caution. I have sensitive skin and a healthy respect for retinol based products, appreciating their usefulness, but anxious not to overdo them. I was curious as well as a little trepidatious as to how I would do on a month-long nightly trial of this serum.
I already use and very much like Dr.Dennis Gross Ferulic & Retinol Fortifying Neck Emulsion ($75 in the shop), but my neck seems to have rougher, tougher skin than my face. Therefore, I started out with a cautious every other night. Within a week, I realized that not only was the Overnight Serum very gentle, but I was waking up looking pretty damn good. I upped it to every night and have used it thus for the past four weeks.
I am getting compliments on my skin and I, personally, am appreciating improved radiance, clarity and smoothed out fine lines. I should note tbat I have decreased my beloved Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel ($88 in the shop) to every other day in the interest of not over exfoliating, as there are several alpha hydroxyl acids in the Overnight Serum.
In addition to retinol, there is retinyl palmitate and a combo new to me that is listed as retinyl palmitate/carrot polypeptide. Now, retinyl palmitate is a controversial ingredient since, according to a National Toxicology Program report based on a year-long study on mice, it becomes carcinogenic in sunlight. Since I am only using this product at night, I am not overly concerned by this. I did do some additional research on retinyl palmitate/carrot polypeptide and found that it is marketed under the name of Vitazyme A-Plus. The company that makes it says that the peptide “it reduces or eliminates the well-known toxicity of the fat-soluble vitamins.” Intriguing.
What I appreciate about the DDG formulations is that there are a ton of antioxidants to compliment the retinol. In addition to what is almost Dr. Gross’ signature ingredient, ferulic acid, niacinamide gets pride of place and there’s ellagic acid and gallic acid, two antioxidants that are found in many plants.
I was especially thrilled to find silybum marianum (silymarin). This is the active component in milk thistle, one of my favorite antioxidant plant extracts (I included it in my Treatment Gel). As I discovered in my review of a most interesting potion called Difinsa, silymarin activates a protein that protects us from cancer and triggers sensors for UVB-induced DNA damage and signals DNA repair (source). This is pretty useful in product that contains retinol and retinyl palmitate.
There are all the usual suspects in the preservative department, but overall, Overnight Serum has a fantastic array good ingredients that make this an extremely effective and highly recommended night treatment.