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What's Working for Me Now: Fall 2015

marta wohrle
September 29, 2015 Reviewed by Marta 13 Comments

Looking back at my last regimen update in April (What’s working for me: Spring 2015), a lot of things have changed. Not only have I introduced a lot of new products, the basis of my regimen has shifted substantially. And I am happier with my skin than I have been for a long while — perhaps ever.

The new foundation of my skincare regimen is peels and exfoliation. This is really a first for me since I have always been cautious of these procedures, but now I am very much a convert — to the regular, but gentle variety. The breakthrough came with the Dr. Dennis Gross system of at-home peels, the starting point of my morning regimen.

I have been using the daily Alpha Beta Peel ($88 in the shop) — the Original and more recently I have trying out the Sensitive — for a little under two months and have found them transformative. Although called a peel, no flakiness or extreme exfoliation occurs. My skin is smoother, clearer — I’d go as far as to say radiant — with shrinking pores. I feel sure that this regular exfoliation is contributing to an increased firmness (regular exfoliaton is supposed to encourage new cells and collagen production). I have been augmenting the daily two-step system with the Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Medi-Spa Peel ($110), a weekly at-home peel with 15 different acids that is followed by a serum.

The other big change is that I have tossed my cleansing brushes. I have been a fan of Clarisonic since it launched but have now evolved to something new and better. Would you believe it, the skin spatula. The Trophy Labelle ($149 in the shop) uses sonic vibrations at 24,000 Hz per second and is applied to wet skin to complete the cleansing process (see more on my cleansers below) and keep pores unblocked. I tend to use it in the evening 2-3 times a week. These additions mean that in addition to giving up brushing, I have stopped using scrubs and toner.

Nightly, I use the Dr. Dennis Gross Triple C Peptide Firming Oil ($62 in the shop), with three forms of vitamin C, a veritable alphabet of other vitamins, a peptide, nourishing oils and much more. This is having an impact on fine lines and seems to work synergistically with the Alpha Beta pads, especially on lip lines. As Dr Gross says, vitamin C is the only antioxidant to also boost collagen.

My day time serums are otherwise the tried and trusted. There’s nothing better than Stemulation Hi-Impact ($185 in the shop) for instant gratification. It gives my skin a nice, dewy look and silky feel that often elicits compliments, while the epidermal growth factor is working on the longer term. And, I can’t imagine giving up my E'shee KI Therapy Serum ($189 in the shop). I must be on my seventh bottle of this unusual serum with far infrared ceramic powder.

Most days, I add a little moisturizer before finishing with Dr. Dennis Gross Sheer Mineral Sun Spray Sunscreen ($42 in the shop). My moisturizers of choice are both lovely. I Pekar’s honey-infused peptide cream ($78 in the shop) gives a nice glow. I am trying out the soon to be released updated formula, which is much more stable than the old version.

Two new eye creams have stayed beyond the testing phase to become staples of my regimen. These are the SkinOwl Eye+ ($46), an out of the ordinary gel with tons of amino acids and a firming effect, and the recently launched ExPürtise Effective Anti-Aging Eye Serum ($65 in the shop), with a packed formula that makes it very good value for money. Some users have noted pilling, but this only happens if too much is used. The tiniest amount of this concentrated serum is all that is required. It must be said that I do fall back on AQ Eye Serum ($99 in the shop) from time to time — if nothing else I like that it makes my eyelashes grow.

Circling back to cleansers, there are two new favorites and as they are a little different from each other, I use them depending on how my skin is feeling. Dawn Lorraine Green Tea Nourishing Cleanser ($37) is a creamy cleanser that smells of sunshine and has plenty of antioxidants. On grimier, oilier days I am more likely to reach for SimySkin Anti Aging Gel Cleanser ($45) is a water-based gel cleanser with my favorite cleansing ingredient, moringa.

I should also mention that Trophy Skin Rejuvaderm ($199 in the shop) has made microdermabrasion a regular part of my regimen. I use it for white spots on my arms (a slow process, but visibly having an effect), a couple of dark spots and my neck. And, of course, there’s my ever faithful Truth Vitality Lux Renew ($279 in the shop), although the new innovation is that I love to finish my sessions with a spritz of  iS Clinical Copper Peptide Mist ($38 in the shop).

  • January 30, 2016

    by Marta

    Hi Amy, I hope that my article on The Truth About Peels will explain my latest understanding of this and why I prefer AHAs to scrubs:

  • January 30, 2016

    by Amy

    Hello: I read in one of your other reviews that AHAs are not recommended for exfoliating for older skin because they can thin skin and make sagging and wrinkles worse. However, I am nervous about scrubs that might tear the delicate fabric of the skin. Here you are now recommending AHAs, so I am wondering what the latest theory is on how best to exfoliate older skin (mid-50s). Thank you.

  • October 13, 2015

    by Jan

    Great post! Thanks, looking forward to trying some of these.

  • October 8, 2015

    by Marta

    Hi Shannon, I settled on the mornings as in the evenings it got in the way of my Lux Renew sessions. Bear in mind that there is a 3-minute wait between step 1 and step 2. I do step 1 and then clean my teeth, faff around in the bathroom, then step 2. Then I make my breakfast, drink lots of water and lime, put the laundry on.... Then (20 mins later) apply my serum and finish my morning regimen. It's just a matter of finding out what works for you, but personally, I think waiting before layering serums is important.

  • October 7, 2015

    by Shannon Gilligan

    Marta, I read the above and dug out a sample of Dr. Gross Alpha Beta Peel and used it after cleansing a few nights ago. Do you layer on your serum and moisturizer afterward? Since you use it in the mornings, I assume yes! Also, is there a reason you do it AM vs. PM, as the instructions say either is okay. Thanks.

  • October 4, 2015

    by Howard

    Hello, When I read the e-mail title of Radical it made me think of a new Serum I am trying... Radical Skincare Youth Infusion Serum. I am very impressed. Radical Skincare Youth Infusion Serum gives immediate results. This is one of the few Serums that I have seen that combine Grape Seed VITIS VINIFERA (GRAPE) SEED EXTRACT and Green Tea CAMELLIA SINENSIS LEAF EXTRACT
    I stress the SINENSIS as this true Green Tea. I have seen other products listing Green Tea however it is oleifera (known as tea oil or camellia oil) It is commonly known as the Oil-seed Camellia or Tea Oil Camellia, though to a lesser extent other species of Camellia are used in oil production too.....per Wickipedia
    Ingredients : water (aqua), glycerin, ppg-3 benzyl ether myristate, butylene glycol, dipropylene glycol, niacinamide, octyldodecyl behenate, centella asiatica extract, dimethicone, ethoxydiglycol, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, euterpe oleracea fruit oil, echinacea angustifolia extract, malus domestica fruit cell culture extract, aloe barbadensis leaf extract, vitis vinifera (grape) seed extract, camellia sinensis leaf extract, coffea robusta seed extract, sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer, oryza sativa (rice) extract, coffea arabica (coffee) seed extract, retinyl palmitate, disodium adenosine triphosphate, hydrolyzed oat protein, xylitol, malachite extract, allantoin, glucose, diacetyl boldine, tocopherol, cetearyl alcohol, neopentyl glycol dicaprylate/dicaprate, c10-18 triglycerides, c12-20 acid peg-8 ester, hydroxyethyl acrylate/sodium acryloyldimethyltaurate copolymer, coco-glucoside, caprylic/capric triglyceride, alcohol denat., pentylene glycol, squalane, xylitylglucoside, hydroxyethylcellulose, anhydroxylitol, steareth-2, xanthan gum, ethylhexylglycerin, disodium edta, polysorbate 60, citric acid, lecithin, sorbitan isostearate, phenoxyethanol, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, citrus tangerina (tangerine) peel oil, limonene, linalool.

  • October 4, 2015

    by Marta

    Hi Howard, I am very grateful that you posted this recommendation with the ingredients list. I reviewed this serum by Radical a few years ago: But now it seems that the ingredients list has changed - for the better! I shall definitely look into it.

  • October 1, 2015

    by imelda

    Among those products mentioned the only one that I have tried (and still using) is the AQ Eye Serum. I've tried, but i'm no longer using on a daily basis, the Expurtise Effective Anti-Aging Eye Serum because of its thick creamy texture that tends to pile under make up. I do use it maybe twice a week but only at night before going to bed. I would try the SkinOwl Eye+ or the Beauty Drops PM, if given the chance, for it's anti-aging as well as aromatherapy qualities.

  • September 29, 2015

    by Marta

    Hi Pami, that's a very fair question. When discussing Honest Beauty, I was trying to give a thorough account of the ingredients in the context of the brand's mission. I really don't like sodium benzoate, but it has been endorsed (wrongly in my view) my Eco-Cert and it has become more and more ubiquitous. DDG doesn't claim to be squeaky clean, but the good far outweighs the bad - enough for me to be willing to take the risk. I'd rather it wasn't there, but so be it. You are right to call me on this though and I thank you for raising the issue.

  • September 29, 2015

    by Pami

    I just read your comments on Honest Beauty's ingredients, in particular about sodium benzoate, "there are serious concerns that it destroys DNA and is carcinogenic when combined with vitamin C." It appears that the DDG Alpha Beta Medi-Spa peel contains Vitamin C in its serum & sodium benzoate. Have you decided that the small amount you're using isn't worrisome over the long term, or that the results justify the possible risk, or something else? Obviously, we all have to make choices and weigh them judiciously. Thanks for the thorough information.

  • September 29, 2015

    by Melanie

    I hope that the I Pekar products don't change too much with the reformulation. I adore all three of them.

  • September 29, 2015

    by sujata

    I have freckles on my chick &uneven complexion on my face .want ur valuable suggrstion

  • September 29, 2015

    by Jennifer

    I'm not seeing "Your Best Face" here...... And I'm wondering why? Is it no longer working?

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