Dr gross peel pads reviews

This daily facial treatment is pricey, but it’s the only thing that’s helped to prevent and clear up my cystic acne and uneven skin

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Dr. Dennis Gross

  • I’ve been dealing with cystic acne, rosacea, and uneven skin tone and texture for most of my adult life.
  • The only product that has made a significant difference for me is the Dr. Dennis Gross Extra Strength Alpha Beta Peel ($86.95).
  • It’s pricey, but incredibly effective at clearing up my skin — and it comes in a few different strength variations including extra-strength, original, and ultra-gentle.
  • The treatment includes two single-use facial wipes pre-soaked with a powerful cocktail of ingredients that help prevent and treat acne, even up skin tone, and reduce redness all at once.
  • You can find a set of 30 treatments on Amazon for $86.95 or get the Sephora exclusive box that includes five extra treatments for $88.
  • During the Nordstrom Anniversary sale, get a pack of 60 treatments plus a mini version of the brand’s new Resurfacing Liquid Peel for $130 (a $197 value).

As a teen, I really hoped adulthood would be better to my dry, sensitive, acne-prone skin. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been too kind.

Even at 27, I still deal with bouts of cystic hormonal acne — the painful kind that sits deep under the skin but never really comes to a head. I also have rosacea (albeit pretty minor), which causes redness, roughness, and all-around uneven skin, and a sensitivity to a lot of products. It’s not a great combination.

Needless to say, when I find something that works to clear up my acne and my redness and my roughness and my unevenness all at once, I cling to it for dear life. Even if it costs me an arm and a leg.

Dr. Dennis Gross Extra Strength Alpha Beta Peel is the only product I’ve found that can do all of those things. It is exorbitantly expensive at $88 per package of 30 treatments, but boy is it worth the money.

Dr. Dennis Gross

Though its packaging would have you believe it’s simply an anti-aging treatment, tightening up fine lines and wrinkles is just one of the things these peels are effective at. They also drastically reduce unevenness in texture and tone, clear up and prevent acne with regular use, and minimize pores. I now use mine daily (followed by a lot of sunscreen), and I’ve noticed a significant reduction in the frequency and intensity of my breakouts, redness, unevenness, and dryness.

Here’s why they work:

The peels contain both alpha and beta hydroxy acids which gently exfoliate the skin and, according to Dr. Dennis Gross, “weaken the connection between dead skin cells.” This helps to accelerate the shedding process and remove bacteria and buildup, keeping dead skin cells from getting trapped in your pores (which is the main cause of acne).

They also have potent ingredients like retinol, which has been proved to increase collagen production and skin cell turnover, and resveratrol, which essentially prevents free radicals from damaging the skin.

Dr. Dennis Gross

Here’s how to use them:

The Alpha Beta Peel comes in treatment packets that contain two pre-soaked cotton towelettes. When it comes to the extra-strength kind, the first packet is marked “Exfolliate and Smooth” and the other is called the “Anti-Aging Neutralizer.”

You’ll need to apply them on dry, clean skin, starting with the Exfolliate and Smooth towelette. The instructions say to swipe it all over your face until the cloth is pretty much dry. This one is more intense and may leave your skin looking red at first, but the next layer will help calm it down.

Once you’ve finished the first towelette, let it soak in and dry for a few minutes before opening the second one. Then repeat with the Anti-Aging Neutralizer until it’s essentially dry. Make sure to wear sunscreen during the day even if you do the treatment at night, since the hydroxy acids can make your skin more prone to sunburns.

If you want to see the full benefits of the treatment, you should use one of these pretty much every day. I used to go long periods of time between use, only taking them out when my skin was experiencing a bout of hormonal acne — mostly because they’re so costly that I was hesitant to use them up too quickly. But I’ve since realized that long-term use is key to not just treating but preventing breakouts over time.

Dr. Dennis Gross

Deciding which type to buy:

The peel comes in three versions — extra-strength, original, and ultra-gentle. I use the extra-strength kind, but if your skin is particularly sensitive, I recommend at least starting with ultra-gentle and working your way up.

Honestly, the first time I used the extra-strength version, my skin turned bright red and felt hot to the touch — so keep in mind that it may take some getting used to if you go for a heavy-duty peel. As recommended on the box, I started out slow with two treatments a week until my sensitive skin was finally acclimated to regular use.

Overall, this is my most sworn-by product for dealing with acne and redness. It’s expensive, yes, but if you’re going to spend good money on skin care, it might as well be on something that actually works.

Review: Are The Dennis Gross Peel Pads The Key To Glowing Skin?

As for the texture, the pads come pre-soaked in the formula. The pads are thinner than your average wet wipe and are what I assume to be one of those organic facial cotton variants, which tend to absorb more product. They also provide a bit of physical exfoliation as they’re a bit on the scratchy side though nothing too rough.

Application and Effects

I’ve had a bit of experience with different types of acids but it’s the first time I’ve used a multi-acid formulation. The Dennis Gross peel pads feature a blend of glycolic, salicylic, citric, lactic, and malic acid to deliver some serious exfoliation. Step 1 is the Exfoliate & Smooth pad, which contains the AHA/BHA mix. I applied after cleansing and noticed a slight tingling, though not uncomfortable, sensation — which is a pretty common effect I get when it comes to using acids in my routine. This was followed by Step 2, the Anti-Ageing Neutraliser, which contains known age-fighting ingredients ascorbic acid, retinol, and resveratrol. I found that this soothed my skin quickly and any hint of tingle disappeared immediately afterwards.

While I was using the Dennis Gross peel pads, it was around that time of the month when my skin would be extra oily and problematic due to hormonal changes. I noticed that it really helped keep the usual breakouts from developing. After just a week of use, I can say that my skin texture looks smoother, feels a little more refined, and my overall complexion brighter to the point where I feel confident enough to go out with just a hint of concealer on. I’ve yet to see any noticeable difference on dark spots but as for the anti-ageing benefits, I did notice that the little lines that had begun to form on my forehead are no longer noticeable. I haven’t used any retinol product prior to this as I was always a bit intimidated, but after seeing the effect it has on my skin, I just might be a convert.

Dr. Dennis Gross SkincareAlpha Beta® Extra Strength Daily Peel

What it is: A patented two-step anti-aging AHA/BHA peel pad pre-dosed with seven acids to reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles, acne scars, pores, and shine.
Skin Type: Normal, Dry, Combination, and Oily
Skincare Concerns: Fine lines and wrinkles, Dullness and uneven texture, Acne and blemishes
Formulation: Wipes
Highlighted Ingredients:
– Glycolic Acid (AHA): Reduces visible signs of aging.
– Salicylic Acid (BHA): Reduces pore blockages and supports natural collagen.
– Lactic Acid (AHA): A naturally occurring alpha hydroxy acid that supports natural cell renewal.
Ingredient Callouts: Free of sulfates SLS and SLES, parabens, formaldehydes, formaldehyde-releasing agents, phthalates, mineral oil, oxybenzone, coal tar, hydroquinone, triclosan, and triclocarban, and contains less than one percent of synthetic fragrances. This product is also vegan, cruelty-free, and gluten-free, and comes in recyclable packaging.
What Else You Need to Know: Achieve professional-level results at home with this iconic two-step daily peel with a unique delivery system powered by seven acids.
Step 1 uses potent AHAs like mandelic acid and BHAs like salicylic acid to gently exfoliate skin, treat signs of advanced aging, and support natural cell renewal. Step 2, fueled with retinol and resveratrol for maximized anti-aging benefits and skin protection, stops acid activity to hydrate and smooth skin for a youthful complexion.

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Peel review: Will it give me a flawless, poreless, luminous complexion?

In a time before Game of Thrones, HBO’s most polarising television series featured four women navigating New York City in a quest for sex, love, and Manolo Blahniks. Yup, that’s Sex and the City, alright. Adored by some for its daring (well, in 1998 at least) portrayal of female sexual autonomy, it was equally loathed by others in its depiction of women as men-, shoe- and appearance-obsessed. And while I consider myself a fan, the show imparted some dubious wisdom on my impressionable young self. At 15, I believed that Vogue would feed me more than truffle fries (as if); an emotionally unavailable man would eventually tell me I’m The One (ha); and chemical peels were reserved for those above the age of 40 — and even then it would likely turn my face into beef carpaccio à la Samantha Jones.

Rightfully so, working in the beauty industry has opened my eyes to the reality of this highly misunderstood procedure. Not only are peels (largely) safe, they provide close-to-instantaneous solutions to a variety of skincare woes — especially when it comes to ageing skin in need of rejuvenating, smoothing, and firming. But what about younger skin? Will its effects be just as discernable on me, or will it be ill-suited for my sensitive complexion? We live in a time when cosmetic procedures and aesthetic treatments are widely accepted, but in this case, is it too much, too fast for us young’uns? I set out to explore this in my debut column, which will detail my virgin beauty experiences with the extreme, the outrageous, and the completely crazy the beauty sphere has to offer (see: my time with salmon sperm).

As luck would have it, cult-favourite Dr Dennis Gross Alpha-Beta Peels recently arrived on our shores, making for the perfect opportunity to document my first foray into chemical peels.

What are chemical peels?

Think of it as a potent form of exfoliation. Comprising exfoliants such as Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs), Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs), and enzymes derived from natural ingredients, chemical peels work to shed of the thinnest, toppest layer of dead skin. They also stimulate collagen production and boost cellular turnover rate so fresh, new skin emerges immediately after.

What the Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Peel claims to do

There are three peels available: the Ultra Gentle, Universal and the Extra Strength Daily. Each box contains 30 treatments and is intended for daily use. Translation: no danger of melting your face off. Reassured, I decided to try all three over three days , beginning with the Ultra Gentle to ease my skin into this new process, as suggested by the experts of the brand. Specifically formulated for sensitive skin, it contains three gentle acids and soothing botanicals to address uneven skin tones, wrinkles, as well as enlarged pores. I’m instructed to use it after cleansing and to follow up with a serum and moisturiser. Don’t forget the SPF if you’re trying the peels in the day-time too — there’s retinol here, which can increase the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight.

What the Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel actually does

I popped open the box to discover 30 individually packaged sachets clearly designed for hygienic and convenience purposes. No complaints, though I did feel a twinge of guilt for the sheer amount of packaging that goes into these bad boys. The two-step treatment is also clearly labelled to prevent mix-ups, with each sachet containing cotton towelettes drenched in its winning formulations. After a beat of apprehension — and several more scans of the instructions at the back of the box — I ripped open the ‘Exfoliate and Smooth’ packet and began wiping my jawline with it.

I braced myself for intense stinging… and was pleasantly surprised to discover that there were none. Feeling brave, I proceeded to apply it to the rest of my skin until the pad was dry to touch as instructed. Colour me impressed — though I did catch myself checking my reflection consistently throughout to make sure I didn’t spontaneously break out into hives (first impressions die hard, guys). A few quick swipes of the Anti-Ageing Neutralizer two minutes later, I was done. While my skin didn’t appear improved immediately after, I did notice a difference the next morning. My face felt softer to touch, and my pores appeared smaller than before.

My experience didn’t differ much with the Universal Peel. It was only with the Extra Strength that I experienced stinging — and boy, did it sting. Not to the point where I felt like my face was on fire, but it did feel a little warm. I reached for the Anti-Ageing Neutralizer before the first pad dried out (silently repressing panic the entire time) and was relieved to discover that the sensation did abate with swipes of pad #2. Phew.

Was the short-lived pain worth it, though? Heck yes. Staying true to their promise of radically transformed skin, I woke to the sight of a glowing, luminous complexion. The scattering of hyperpigmentation on my cheeks? Faded into oblivion. Pores? Practically non-existent. And the monster zit on my chin? A shadow of its former self.

The verdict

Is it too soon to say that I’m in love? Perhaps. A week’s worth of use later, though, and it’s safe to say that I’m a convert. I’m starting to question if I even had good skin before Dr. Dennis Gross’ peel. Clear skin alone doesn’t cut it, now — especially not when I’ve had a taste of what a truly healthy, radiant complexion truly looks like. At $135 a box, there’s no denying that these coveted peels (Universal Peel is sold out on the Sephora site as we type this) don’t come cheap. Considering what they do for skin, I’d say they’re well-worth my hard earned money.

Like a Virgin is a bi-weekly column by Beauty Writer, Emily Heng, wherein she documents her first trials in the latest, most buzzy beauty treatments as the youngest member of the Buro. Singapore team.

Skincare by
Dr. Dennis Gross

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta peels are a legitimate skincare “cult favorite,” with a huge number of followers. Reviews for Alpha Beta at-home peels number in the thousands—often over-the-top enthusiastic, sometimes even poignant (especially when describing how the peels cleared up severe cases of acne), and many expressing a humorously extreme, you’re-going-to-have-to-take-these-from-my-cold-dead-hands theme: I’m aware the peels are pricey but I refuse to stop using them.

What’s also notable about the peels, even compared with other “cult” skincare products, is that users are from many different age groups (literal 12-year-olds to 70+) and they’re enthusiastic for completely different reasons: dramatic healing of cystic acne; brightening of age and sun-damage spots; shrinkage of large pores; and smoothing out of lines and wrinkles. It’s almost like they’re discussing different products.

“That actually makes sense,” says Ann Balaguera, Mynd Spa & Salon’s National Director of Esthetics. Balaguera was responsible for bringing a professional-grade version of Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Universal peel to Mynd, where clients can now incorporate it into any facial. She says that the peel has this chameleon-like, improves-everything quality because it contains two types of five different acids, each of which works on the skin differently. “Some of the acids, such as glycolic acid, are alpha-hydroxy acids, which are water loving,” says Balaguera. “They encourage the skin to retain moisture. Others are beta hydroxy, which are antiseptic. They close pores and heal acne.”

A sampler of acids—let alone the word “peel”—might sound scary, especially for anyone with sensitive skin or those who have experienced harsh chemical peels, but, Balaguera says, Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta peels are super effective with a very low chance of irritation. More than that, the peels perform essential functions for the skin, which, we learned, are crucial for people hoping to improve the way aging skin looks and feels.

Why Peels Are Positive for the Skin (and Don’t Need to Cause Redness)

“There’s no downtime with the Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta peel,” says Balaguera, speaking of the professional-strength peel available in Mynd facials. “You can receive the peel today and go right to work with those great results—glowy.” Skin is moisturized, not dry or stripped.

But if the peel is so delicate, how does it work?

“The esthetician always has full control,” says Balaguera. “It’s a very smart technology. When you think of it—’Oh wow, five acids—that’s insane.’ But you’re able to use those acids because you have full control. It delivers the active ingredients without a harsh effect,” adds Balaguera, who’s careful to distance the Alpha Beta peels from other chemical peels that cause skin to “scream” red with inflammation.

During the treatment, a Mynd esthetician first cleans the skin twice, so the peel solution has direct contact with the skin (not lingering oils or makeup) and then applies the peel. When she does, the acids in the solution cause the pH of the skin to suddenly drop. The esthetician monitors the skin and asks for feedback from the guest about what the peel feels like. (Often when the pH plunges, you feel a tingling sensation.) When the esthetician determines that the peel has worked, she applies a neutralizing solution, and then another, which quickly raise the skin’s pH back up to the everyday level.

Younger-Looking Skin: Why the Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Reduces Signs of Aging

By plunging the pH of the skin and rapidly bringing it back up, the peel solution helps reduce signs of aging in separate ways. For one thing, the sudden change in pH tells the skin to wake up, Balaguera says—it’s a shock to the system that signals the skin to produce more collagen and elastin. Of course, as a peel, the solution also literally peels, removing the surface layer of dead skin. (With the Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta peel, most people won’t actually see peeling; it’s occurring on a microscopic level. In rare cases, however, if you have a lot of dead-cell buildup that needs sloughing off, you may see some peeling the next day, even though skin remains moisturized.) This exfoliation encourages skin to produce new skin cells, creating a more rapid cycle of turnover, rather than stagnant (wrinkled) skin.

Remove the Barrier That Prevents Other Anti-aging Products from Working

When I went to Mynd Spa & Salon a few weeks ago for another project, an older woman came up to me in the retail area and pointed to a shelf containing Dr. Dennis Gross’s at-home Alpha Beta Daily Peel pads. She was a retired Mynd esthetician, speaking off the cuff now, just there as a customer. “Do that peel first,” she told me, noticing the (very) dry skin on the back of my hands. “If you don’t, moisturizers won’t work.”

Balaguera echoes the same idea when speaking about the how the peel helps aging skin: “Basically, if you have dead-cell buildup, if you have this layer , all the wonderful products you’re using—the amazing serum or moisturizer—they’re not getting in.” But after the peel exposes your live skin cells, she explains, your anti-aging products of choice “will be absorbed into the skin and stay there—they won’t evaporate.”

During the Mynd facial, estheticians focus on applying hydrating products for the skin to drink up after the peel: first a cooling and soothing mask and then a serum and moisturizer (selecting each based on the guest’s skin type and needs). A sunscreen is applied last for protection.

What Results to Expect from Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peels

Before she officially brought the professional-grade Alpha Beta peel to Mynd, Balaguera says, she sent samples to estheticians that she was close with at different Mynd locations and asked them if they’d like to try the peel at home and send in candid feedback.

When the reports came back, “the words that were so prominent were ‘glowy,’ ‘radiant,’ ‘smooth texture,’” Balaguera says. “And you can feel it, too—plump. There are so many benefits that you get right away. Most people will feel a tight feel—a facelift effect—but it’s not from dryness. It’s firmness.”

Why Follow-up at Home Matters

Balaguera recommends that for most guests, a professional-grade Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta peel every four to six weeks is “the perfect timing,” but she says that regular use of Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily peel pads at home is also crucial for anti-aging effects—likening it to going to the dentist for a cleaning but still needing to brush your teeth every day. While the peel that’s administered in the spa is powerful, it’s important to frequently prod the skin to stay in motion, sloughing off dead skin cells and sending collagen and elastin to the surface so skin stays glowy (and plump).


In spa:

The professional-strength Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Universal Peel can be used in Mynd facials of any length. It’s offered as an enhancement ($75) to the 25-minute Mini facial ($75) and 50-minute Essential facial ($150) but comes included in the 80-minute Escape facial ($240). (In the Escape, guests seeking exfoliation can choose between either the Dr. Dennis Gross peel or microdermabrasion.)

As preparation for your peel, avoid tanning or prolonged sun exposure the day before; male guests should avoid shaving 4 hours before the treatment. After your peel, Balaguera recommends avoiding wearing heavy makeup for 24 hours (you probably won’t feel you need it, anyway) and says that applying an SPF 30-50 sunscreen in the days following your peel is a must.

At home:

For personal use, try the Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel, a blend of five acid types, or the Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel, a blend of seven acids (both $88 for 30 treatments, available for sale at Mynd locations). Each two-step treatment includes a peel solution and a neutralizing solution infused in soft, fabric-like pads.

The Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta peel used in Mynd facials is not recommended for pregnant or lactating women. Speak with your doctor if you have concerns before choosing any spa treatment or retail product.