Thanks to social media, nowadays it takes little more than a few carefully curated Instagram posts to catapult a brand into full-blown superstardom. Sure, the brand and products themselves have to have some grounding, but when I really think about it, I can probably count on both hands the brands that really deserve all the hype surrounding them—the ones that offer up super-comprehensive ranges of hardworking skincare products without a single dud.
One such brand is Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare. If you're new to this whole skincare thing, you may not have heard of the brand, but if you deem yourself a skincare enthusiast, no doubt it will be well on your radar (if not already in your bathroom cabinet—it's a mainstay in mine). I won't bore you with the brand's entire history, but what you need to know is that it's an American brand founded by dermatologist—yep, you guessed it—Dennis Gross, M.D., who created one of the first lines offering clinic-worthy formulas and treatments.
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare
Founded: Dr. Dennis Gross, 1990
Based In: New York City, New York
Best Known For: Professional grade skincare formulations that are backed by science
Most Popular Product: Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel
Fun Fact: Carrie Gross, Dr. Gross's wife, is the CEO of the brand.
Other Brands You'll Love: Ole Henriksen, ZO Skin Health, Lancer Skincare
We asked Dr. Gross what inspired him to start his own skincare line. "When I became a
dermatologist over 20 years ago, the at-home skincare products available to the consumer lacked formulas with active ingredients and didn’t really do much for skin beyond hydration. The creation of the skincare line actually stemmed from the Professional Alpha Beta Peel, which I developed as an alternative to harsh, single-acid peels that were popular at the time."
The creation of the skincare line actually stemmed from the Professional Alpha Beta Peel which I developed as an alternative to harsh, single-acid peels that were popular at the time.
"These peels caused a lot of downtime and actually made the skin worse vs improving it. The Professional Alpha Beta Peels used a cocktail of acids that still gave skin a really beautiful exfoliation and immediate glow. It became an instant sensation," Gross continues. "My wife, Carrie, actually had the idea to turn this professional treatment into a skincare product that people could use at home. She knew that we had to create an at-home version that consumers across the world could use at their vanity while still achieving the same results as an in-office treatment. The brand has grown ever since and the at-home peel is still our number one product."
Full of key actives and high-tech ingredients, Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare is the sort of brand (like The Ordinary) that, to use effectively, you'll want to know your stuff. As Dr. Gross says, "The degree of science used in each product formula makes us leaders in the skincare industry. That, combined with my clinical expertise as a practicing dermatologist, makes Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare a very unique and different clinical skincare brand. I hand select every ingredient that goes into our products, ensuring safety and efficacy. The products offer real results, backed by science and clinical studies."
I've laid out the key products I really enjoy using—and I'm sure you will too. Keep reading to find out my faves.
Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel
An excellent entry point into the world of acids, these soaked pads contain AHAs (for exfoliation and collagen stimulation) and BHAs (to hoover out the contents of clogged pores). Regular use has really changed the clarity of my skin, and they're a godsend when patches of those tiny little whiteheads suddenly appear. Oh, and they're so handy for traveling.
Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pad Gradual Glow
These are the same as the aforementioned product, but with added gradual tanning agents that develop over three or four hours. I was dubious too—surely a tanning wipe is just a recipe for a streaky-faced disaster, right? Actually, wrong. It offers more of a tint than a full-on self tan, which, for someone with a tanning aversion like me, is more than welcome. You look glowier and healthier without anyone suspecting a thing.
Dr. Dennis Gross C + Collagen Brighten + Firm Eye Cream
I have a real thing for vitamin C. You know how orange juice gets right to work on a hangover? Well, that's similar to how a sturdy vitamin C product is the quickest route to brighter, perkier skin. Considering my eyes are weighed down by ever-present dark circles, this eye cream is brilliant at taking the purple tone down a notch. And it contains collagen, which I consider an insurance policy for when my skin starts to lose its elasticity.
Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Fortifying Neck Emulsion
If you struggle to remember to extend your serum application down to your décolletage, try adding in a product that specifically targets that area. This one really makes a difference (which is enough to convince you to use it daily), as it contains a little lactic acid to buff over the skin's surface, as well as ferulic acid and retinol to strengthen skin's integrity. Love.
Dr. Dennis Gross Clarifying Colloidal Sulfur Mask
Thankfully, I don't get a lot of spots, but when I do, I only have time for fast-acting formulas like this mask. It contains horrendously smelling sulfur to absorb oil and reduce the signs of acne, as well as prickly pear to calm any inflammation. The result is that a spot that would usually last a week is barely noticeable after a couple of days.
Dr. Dennis Gross Acne Eliminating Gel
If I ever have a breakout that needs to be gone ASAP, I reach for this acne eliminating gel. It's like a three-in-one product—salicylic acid helps unclog pores, niacinamide reduces redness, and glycolic acid helps smooth out texture. Apply this lightweight gel to directly to any pesky spots that you have and watch them disappear within days.
Dr. Dennis Gross DRx SpectraLite™ FaceWare Pro
Once only found in dermatology offices and medical spas, at-home LED light therapy now is the next frontier in skincare. The DRx SpectraLite™ FaceWare Pro has two LED settings to help you achieve multiple skincare goals: the red light helps increase collagen production (bye-bye fine lines and wrinkles), while the blue light fights acne-producing bacteria, reduces redness, and also prevents acne from coming back. You can also combine the two lights into one therapy session to get all the benefits together. We love to see it.
Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum
Lightweight eye serums are my jam. They wear under makeup really well and tend to care for the eye area without irritation. The Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum is formulated with (you guessed it) ferulic acid and retinol and helps address fine lines and wrinkles in our sensitive eye area. If you have dark under eyes and need a little pep in your step, this is one to definitely add to your skincare routine.
The bottom line: Professional-grade products formulated by an in-demand dermatologist… What's not to love?