ComScore

I’m No Longer Scared of the Words “Chemical Peel” Thanks to This Product

Alright, friends. Let’s talk about the skin barrier. In case you’re not familiar (and don’t religiously follow @charlotteparler), your skin barrier—or skin barrier function—is the outermost layer of skin cells (the stratum corneum, if you’re fancy) plus the lipid matrix (composed of ceramides, cholesterols and fatty acids) that holds those cells together. In layman’s terms, it’s like a brick wall that keeps hydration in and potentially damaging chemicals and irritants out. If it’s functioning well, your skin appears hydrated (and if you’re lucky, glowing). If it’s damaged or compromised, you’ll likely experience inflammation, flaking, sensitivity or dryness seemingly out of the blue.

Um, it me.

Turns out, my love affair with physical exfoliants was wreaking havoc on my skin barrier. (Nothing a few days of slugging couldn’t fix, but frustrating nonetheless.) What does this have to do with chemical peels, you ask? Well, I’ve always chosen scrubs over acids because I assumed that they were the gentler option. In my mind, the words “chemical” and “peel” were synonymous with red, angry and irritated skin while “exfoliator” seemed safer. It wasn’t until I learned about the Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Peel clinical study that I discovered the exact opposite is true.

dr dennis gross alpha beta peel hero
Dr. Dennis Gross/Victoria Bellafiore

  • Value: 18/20
  • Functionality: 20/20
  • Ease of Use: 20/20
  • Aesthetics: 20/20
  • Results: 19/20
  • TOTAL: 97/100

See, the Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel works to repair your skin barrier. Yes, a chemical peel that can actually increase your dermis. What? How can that be? Instead stripping your moisture barrier, this peel proves that acids can reinforce it. In fact, the brand found that in two weeks, 92 percent of participants showed improvement in skin texture.* The key lies in their two-step process: The first wipe delivers the exfoliating acids; the second contains a neutralizer that turns off the acids and floods the skin with a renewing ingredients. Together, they’re a winning combo. (It’s no wonder one peel is sold every two seconds globally.)

dr dennis gross alpha beta peel review

As soon as I heard this, I was eager to try it. My dehydrated, aging skin was in need of some TLC (especially after exfoliategate). So, I jumped right in and starting using the product every night for a week. The packaging is neat and tidy. Both wipes come in a pack, so you’ll never misplace the pair and it makes for easy application. You can apply either morning or night. I originally chose night to minimize any potential redness. My skin was a little splotchy after the first two uses, but it faded quickly and I was even able to apply in the morning with no issue after the first few days.

The results? I noticed a difference after the first use, no exaggeration. My skin texture felt smoother, but not tight like it once had with my old scrubs. So far, I’ve seen that my pores are smaller, my skin is more supple and a stubborn acne scar on my nose has begun to fade. And I’m not the only one: “Amazing product. My skin in my 30s looks better than it did in my 20s,” raves one reviewer. “This is literally the best thing created in the skin care industry,” says yet another. But out of all the benefits, I’m most blown away by how universally beneficial this peel seems to be. Numerous people say it’s the only thing that treats their cystic acne, and others attest that it has changed the texture of their skin completely. Name any skin concern and there’s a person claiming this peel cures it.

My only qualms are that it’s not exactly environmentally friendly, however the team at Dr. Dennis Gross let me know that they are actively working with vendors and partners to test new biodegradable and compostable materials with the goal to fully transition their peels by 2025 (good news!). The price is also steep for a month’s worth of product, but something I could get past due to the fact that it tackles several skin concerns at once. TLDR; your skin barrier will thank you.

*12-week study conducted on 27 subjects ages 41 to 65 years old with Fitzpatrick Skin Types I-VI (USA 2021)