Can we discuss exfoliation? Sometimes my skin needs a little ooomph –a little reminder that underneath it all, there’s still a fresh, dewy bit that is dying to get out and greet the world. Although I don’t think I’m quite ready for the dermatologist’s version that forces me into seclusion for a few days afterwards, I am ready to explore the over the counter versions. I’ve enjoyed the daily exfoliators, like Perricone MD Blue Plasma (reviewed here), Bare Escentuals Intensive Glow Pads Brightening Treatment (reviewed here). I’ve also used Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Peel in the non-extra strength version (reviewed here).
I really liked Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Extra Strength Formula (5 treatments/$15 and other sizes available). I got this in a little “try it” version of five applications. This is a two-part system that consists of two pre-moistened pads in little foil packets. The system is quite easy to use.
Basically, you apply the first pad (in the foil pack marked #1) and leave the solution on for 2 minutes (I set the timer on my phone). Without rinsing, you then apply the second pad (marked #2) all over the face (again, don’t rinse).
I didn’t get an stinging with these pads, but I did get really good results. The exfoliation is definitely good, I could see the difference right away. I’ve since ordered more of these, because I really do like their ease and their impact. Unlike some at-home peels, my skin (which is not sensitive) didn’t get any burning or redness. Instructions on the back:
I’ve used Dr. Dennis Gross Extra Strength Peel pads once or twice per week, in the evening. Although the product allows morning use, it does contain AHA which can make skin sun-sensitive, so I avoid sun exposure and always were sunscreen during the day. I follow this treatment with a gentle moisturizer. Ingredient list:
I’ve also used a try-it pack of the Ole Hericksen Power Peel Professional Spa Grade Kit (2 treatments for $16).
There’s a convenience factor with this system, as each strip includes a full three-part system including 1) cleansing scrub, 2) a 20% AHA peel, and 3) a post-treatment moisturizing mask. Unlike the Dr. Dennis Gross system, which uses moisturized pads, these little envelops are packed with the liquid/cream products that you apply directly with fingers.
I don’t tend to like scrubs with nutty bits, so the first step wasn’t a big winner for me. The second step–the clear liquid which is the chemical exfoliant–works well (although not better than the Dr. Dennis Gross solution, above). The third step is a rich moisturizing mask with a number of oils, including primrose and jojoba. It’s rich. This last step is pleasant and smells really nice, although I have some moisturizers in my stash that I prefer to use. The full ingredient list for all three products is on Sephora’s website (under the “Ingredients” tab).
Overall, I preferred the Dr. Dennis Gross Extra Strength Alpha Beta system over the Ole Henricksen three-step Power Peel. Although the Ole Hericksen system is a nice all-in-one system (convenient for tucking into a suitcase), I liked the five-envelope presentation and was really pleased with the results of the Dr. Dennis Gross system personally. As with all things skincare, your mileage may vary of course.
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