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I took home a sample of MD Skincare's Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel (this product is now Dr. Dennis Gross Original Alpha Beta Peel and is $88 in the shop) last week and let me just say this: the results were fabulous.

Before I get into the particulars, I’ve got to share one thing.  The day after I used it, I was sitting in my living room in my natural face, i.e., with out any makeup on, when my roommate came in. After a moment or two of looking at me from across the room she said—out of nowhere—“I want you to know that you look really pretty right now, without any makeup on.”

“Thanks,” I said, kind of taken aback.  Was it that I normally look like some horrible Tammy Faye incarnation? Or maybe I was just having a good day.

Later that night, before turning in to bed, I made sure to perform a close examination of my skin.  There was something remarkably different.  My skin was brighter, more even, tighter and toned.  There was a radiance to it that I had lost since living in polluted NYC.  And even more exciting, my pores were nearly non-existent.  Needless to say I was really pleased.

So what was it?  Over the past two weeks the only things different in my normal skin care regime were the two-time application of Your Best Face’s eye cream and last night’s use of MD Skincare’s alpha beta daily peel.  Yet there was a remarkable difference!  So much so that for the next few days the only cosmetic enhancement I needed was a single coat of mascara on my way out.

So far I’ve only used the facial peel once, but it’s definitely on my shopping list.  Although it’s a two-step process, it’s incredibly easy to use.  All I had to do was open the aluminum sealed packets, take out the moist pads, and then apply it to my face.

According to MD Skincare’s website, the pads contain five or more antioxidants and use a process known as microexfoliation to remove cellular debris from the surface of the skin.  The effects of all this work to not only diminish the appearance of wrinkles, but also to help complexion problems, balance oil, tone skin, and increase clarity and radiance.

Step 1 involves massaging the alpha beta refining pad onto the face and neck.  While following this step I remember noticing the cloth turning a bit brown after a few swipes, perhaps with dead skin cells or maybe a bit of F train grime.  I also noticed a slight tingle on my skin as I waited the two minutes to move on to step 2.

The ingredients for Step 1 include: glycolic acid, lactic acid, malic acid, salicylic acid, genistein, chamomile extract, green tea

Glycolic acid (source: sugar cane), lactic acid (fermented milk products), and malic acid (unripened apples) are all alpha hydroxy acids with proven skin-rejeuvenating properties that increase exfoliation and have a positive effect on the skin’s ability to hold moisture.  What’s more, they improve the appearance of fine wrinkles, irregular pigmentation and rough skin texture.

Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid that causes shedding of the outer layer of skin, preventing pores from clogging up, and allowing room for new cell growth.

Genistein is a soy-derived isoflavone with antioxidant properties.

Chamomile extract contains flavonoids and possesses anti-inflammatroy, antierythema (reddening of the skin) and antipruritic (itchiness) properties that help improve the speed at which damaged skin heals.

Green tea has proven antioxidant properties, and is known for its ability to repair UV photo-damage and phototoxicity.

Step 2 requires the same things: Swipe the pad over the face, from forehead downward to neck in semi-circular strokes. Avoid contact with eyes and lips. Continue to apply evenly until pad feels dry.  The tingling that I noticed with the first application stopped as soon as I applied the second pad, which apparently neutralizes everything that was going on earlier.

The ingredients for Step 2 include: green tea extract, phospholipids, sodium bicarbonate, vitamins A, C, and E

Phospholipids are phosphorous lipids containing natural substances with a fatty nature, and fulfill a synergistic function for a number of skin care products.

Sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda, is a natural exfoliant.

Vitamins A, C, and E are all known antioxidants.