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Brand Profile: how the science-led approach of Dr. Dennis Gross has stood the test of time

Kelle Salle
14 September 2022

According to Statista, the beauty industry has gone from strength to strength over the past year, with a global market size of £395.7 billion.

This is set to continue for the next few years with the industry’s worth expected to grow by 3.76% between 2022 and 2026. Although there may be a number of reasons why the industry has continued to thrive during a challenging economic period, innovative product launches have encouraged consumers to reflect on their attitudes towards beauty.

In the midst of it all, there are brands and products that have stood the test of time and continue to attract new and existing consumers, and Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare is one of them.

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare is the brainchild of board certified dermatologist Dr. Dennis Gross. The brand’s line of skincare has been formulated with clean and potent ingredients that deliver clinical-level results for consumers from the comfort of their own home.

The brand launched in 2000 and introduced the world to one of the best-selling skincare products of our time, the Alpha Beta Daily Peel, soon after. The peel is the number 1 best-selling product at online retailers such as Sephora, Space NK and MECCA. According to Gross, one Alpha Beta Daily Peel is sold every 2 seconds.

The Alpha Beta Daily Peels were inspired by the professional peel that Dr. Gross was offering in his practice over 20 years ago. “Back in the 90’s, single acid chemical peels at high concentrations were all the range. Treatments were too harsh and left patients raw, red and injured, so I created a multi-acid chemical peel with low dose, potent concentrations to effectively treat the skin without any downtime or irritation,” Gross said.

Not only were the treatments effective, but they were also such a success that Gross’s wife, Carrie, had the idea to make the treatment available for everyone, and that was the moment when the Alpha Beta Daily Peel was born.

Dr. Dennis Gross

Dr. Dennis and Carrie Gross

Dr. Gross has always taken a science-led approach to all his formulations and as a result, the formula for the peels remains the same, with minor tweaks. “I am proud to have reliable formulations that have stood the test of time. I always stay connected to research, clinical studies and innovative projects and take a science-led approach to all my formulations, relying heavily on clinic data and evidence,” Gross said.

When the peels first launched, the brand was targeting a wide range of consumers, hence the name ‘Universal Daily Peel’. The peel is a multi-faceted treatment that treats acne, uneven skin tone, scars, discoloration, dryness and signs of premature ageing. “It is incredibly effective and safe for all skin types because the treatment has a second step that neutralises any activity from the acids,” Gross said.

Compromising the quality of the treatment was not an option for Dr. Gross as he wanted to ensure that the treatment provided clinical results, just like the peel in his office and this approach worked as he has created two additional strengths (Extra Strength for oily and combination skin and Ultra Gentle for people with rosacea). “There is a peel strength for every skin type,” Gross said.

The peel’s combination of low strength acids have also contributed to its success. Unlike many peel-based products on the market, it comprises two steps: the first being a cocktail of AHA and BHAs to gently exfoliate the top layers of the skin, which improves the skin’s ability to absorb product and the second being a neutraliser that turns off the acids and floods the skin with repairing and strengthening ingredients.

The treatment is so unique because it is a micro peel, meaning it gently removes the top layer of oldest, most skin cells without causing any irritation. It provides an immediate boost in radiance and benefits the skin in the long-term. I am so touched by the thousands of people all over the world that have used this product to improve their skin health,” Gross said.

The brand has conducted a new study that shows with continued use of the peels, collagen production, skin density and firmness can all be improved. This study is the first of its kind from Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare. “We have always collected clinical data on our products, determining efficacy and expected results but what we recently collected was data from a pharmaceutical-level study, focusing on change in specific biomarkers,” Gross said.

Gross used his research expertise to look at the skin cells and their biomarkers to have a complete understanding of what was causing the effects they have been seeing for the past 20+ years. The study showed that low dose, multi-acid chemical exfoliation increases collagen production and protects existing collagen in a statistically significant manner which improves skin density, fine lines, forehead wrinkles, skin firmness and skin bounce.

Although barrier repair products have become popular over the past years, this is an area that Dr. Gross tapped into over 20 years ago with his revolutionary peel, proving that when it comes to good quality, effective skincare, having a healthy skin barrier is essential.

“The Alpha Beta Daily Peel supports the skin’s barrier function through an upregulation of filaggrin, a precursor protein which is critical to the moisture barrier, “ Gross said. The study proves that the Alpha Beta Daily Peel supports overall skin health and function due to its ability to support the moisture barrier. “I have been a strong advocate for 2-step peel exfoliation because it is the safest and most gentle way to exfoliate,” Gross said.

Another secret to the peel’s longevity is the brand’s ability to use research to make informed decisions on marketing and product development. While Dr. Gross acknowledges that some consumers may be frightened by the word ‘peel’ due to less than pleasant experiences, the brand has taken steps to ensure that education is at the forefront of all conversations with the consumer.

“We invest a lot in education through masterclasses, offering free consultations with licensed professionals, in-person or tele-consultations with myself and more. I believe I can help someone on their skin journey if they can better understand their skin," Gross said.

For new and existing consumers, the brand shares the best practices for using their peels (such as waiting 2 minutes between step 1 and step 2). “Social media is our forum to answer questions and share education – we know it’s what the consumers want!” Gross said.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the peels, the brand launched reusable peel tins. To expand the line, they’ve added a body peel to the line which has completed the head-to-toe need for peels. As for further expansion, this isn’t something the brand is considering at this time but this may change in the future. “Science is constantly improving and we are always striving to have the best, most efficacious products possible, “ Gross said.

Dr. Dennis Gross

The new Vitamin C Lactic range

As for what’s next for Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare as a whole, the brand has recently launched a range that contains Vitamin C Lactic Technology. The range includes the 15% Vitamin C Firm and Bright Serum, Dewy Deep Cream and Firm and Bright Eye Treatment. “Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that we need every single day and applying it topically can have a direct improvement on skin’s texture and firmness,

The Vitamin C Lactic range combines two of the most powerful active skincare ingredients with the aim of addressing free radicals in all layers of the skin. “Lactic acid is a great pair for Vitamin C because it gently renews the skin surface by removing any build-up to better facilitate absorption for Vitamin C," Gross said. The range has been formulated with everyone in mind, especially those who have sensitive skin that may be more vulnerable to free radical damage.

After 20+ years on the market, the Alpha Beta Daily Peels continue to be a staple in the routines of many beauty-loving consumers.

Although the formulation process has been slightly tweaked through the years, Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare’s commitment to consistency and customer loyalty has always remained the same and it is through this that they have been able to reinforce the credibility of their peels while introducing the product to a new generation of consumers, something they will undoubtedly be doing for many years to come.

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