Dr. Dennis Gross Peel Pads

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there! Today we’re talking about a serious skincare favorite of mine: peel pads. Peel pads are a type of exfoliator packed with acids, like AHAs and salicylic acid, that slough off dead skin cells and target different skincare concerns. You can get affordable versions, like from Loreal and Neogen, or moderately priced ones like from Peter Thomas Roth. I haven’t tried other brands other than Dr. Dennis Gross, but I definitely have to. It’s just hard to sort through all the products when there’s so many players in the game. I can attest, though, that the Dr. Dennis Gross ones are amazing, despite their ridiculous price tag.

9B9B2655-C871-4C71-B81D-AC731E04E1BBFirst, he has several versions, the Universal version, Ultra Gentle for Sensitive Skin, Ferulic + Retinol Wrinkle Recovery, and the Extra Strength version, among others. All but the Wrinkle Recovery ones are priced at $88 for 30 treatments (two steps), while the Wrinkle is the same price for just 16 treatments. I would never pay $88, but luckily he offers five treatments for $17 in the Universal and Extra Strength versions, the two I’ve tried. Now you may be thinking five treatments isn’t a lot, but the pads are large so when I plan to use them daily or multiple times a week, I cut them up into three or four pieces, put them back into their package and put the package into a ziplock. One little square is more than enough product to saturate your whole face many times over and I don’t feel like it’s dried out by the time I get to the third or fourth day, but you should definitely experiment yourself. I’m currently using the Extra Strength just once a week (and once a day, not the am and pm they suggest), because an esthetician suggested I try a specific exfoliator 2-3 days a week and I don’t want to over do it. I use it at night and then follow with a moisturizer once it’s dry. I don’t cut the pads up when I use them once a week because I do think they’d dry out.

Here’s the information from the Extra Strength Sephora page,

Achieve smooth, beautiful skin in two minutes with this extra-strength version of the peel Dr. Dennis Gross uses on patients at his NYC practice. The patented two-step formula contains seven acids, is easy and safe to use at home, and does not require any recovery time. Step one is packed with rejuvenating, powerful, yet gentle exfoliating acids. Step two controls the alpha hydroxy acid activity, delivers anti-aging actives, nourishes, and keeps skin balanced, smooth, and radiant. Skin immediately looks refreshed and perfectly prepped for a more effective skin care routine. Expect to see improved texture and diminished fine lines with continued use.

Despite having sensitive skin, I like the Extra Strength versions because they’re specifically targeted towards acne and blemishes, which is my biggest concern, as well as enlarged pores, fine lines and wrinkles, and dullness and uneven texture (the Universal is targeted at those other things, not acne). I don’t feel like the Extra Strength is too drying or harsh, but I did start with the Universal ones and recommend anyone trying peel pads for the first time do the same. I also would start out using it every other day before you see how it’s going to affect your skin.

The good thing about peel pads over grainy exfoliating scrubs is that they’re gentler on skin, while still delivering real results. I’m not afraid of creating little tears on the skin, like the St. Ive’s Apricot Scrub which is still somehow so popular despite its negative effects.

Any other fans of Dr. Dennis Gross out there? And if you’ve tried any other brands please tell me below. I’d be interested in checking out more affordable options.


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