When I told Dr Gross that I was most concerned about my lip lines, he was insistent that I incorporate his Triple C Peptide Firming Oil ($62 in the shop) into my regimen (along with the Alpha Beta Peel and Moisture Cushion). One month in, I am seeing a very subtle decline in my stubborn lip lines and overall my face is more radiant and — surprisingly firmer. Triple C Peptide Firming Oil lives up to its name in every respect.
There are three forms of vitamin C: ascorbyl glucoside, ascorbyl palmitate, and tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate. The first, ascorbyl glucoside is a stable derivative of vitamin C that research has shown to have antioxidant and skin lightening effects (more so than plain ascorbic acid). Ascorbyl palmitate is also known as vitamin C ester and has been shown to boost collagen production (the only vitamin that can do this) and works synergistically with vitamin E (also in this serum). The third is tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, which is very stable and powerful at low concentrations.
Since all good things seem to come in threes in this serum, there are three peptides: tetrapeptide-21, palmitoyl tripeptide-1 and palmitoyl tripeptide-28. The first of these goes by the name of TEGO Pep 4-17 and increases collagen synthesis, penetrating the skin well due to its small molecular size. Tripeptide-1 is said to stimulate the synthesis of collagen I and III, fibronectin and laminin. The third peptide is supposed to bind to a growth factor and mimic the natural regeneration of the extracellular matrix.
With collagen-boosting vitamin C and potent peptides, this serum should boast “firming” in its moniker. And deservedly so. After a month of use, I have really noticed the difference — especially around the jawline and the cheeks.
This is where my first (actually only) caveat comes in. If you don’t like oily products, you might not like Tripe C Peptide Firming Oil. Initially, it feels very oily. The important thing to remember is that a very little of this serum should be applied. As a rule, I’m not wild about oils and I was worried that I wouldn’t like this one. But I quickly got over that when I realized how rapidly and evenly it absorbs.
The serum’s base is squalane. A properly refined squalane can permeate into the skin at a rate of 2 mm/second — hence the rapid absorption effect I noted when applying this serum. Squalane is in human sebaceous secretions and declines dramatically as we get older. The many antioxidant oils include rose, rosemary, evening primrose, argan, avocado and more.
Dr. Gross could have inserted vitamins into his serum’s title as well. In addition to all those Cs, there are vitamins K, A, D and E. I especially like the vitamin K, which you don’t come across all that often as it is supposed to help with spider veins, and vitamin D, in which almost of all of us are deficient. But wait! There’s vitamin H and F as well. I don’t think I knew that the vitamin alphabet was so comprehensive. Vitamin F is linoleic acid and it is found in omega 6 fatty acids, while vitamin H is biotin (also more commonly known as B7).
The great thing about oil-based products is that don’t require all the emulsifiers, solvents and preservatives that go into creams. So there’s nothing to dislike here except for a dab of phenoxyethanol. And there is so, so much to love. This is really the best vitamin C product I have used and I’ll be buying a replacement for sure. Although given that a little goes a long way, that will be some time off. Just remember, if you follow me in giving Dr. Dennis Gross Triple C Peptide Firming Oil a try, that it should be applied sparingly and left for a minute or two before layering any other products above it.