Dennis Gross has become a household name among both celebrities and us laypeople when it comes to superior skin. The dermatologist packs a one-two punch with his New York City office and popular at-home skincare line. We got the lowdown on how to achieve flawless summer skin, what trends he’s over and his No. 1 skincare tip.
What prompted you to start your own skincare line?
When I started out, I was completely focused on skin cancer research. I didn’t have a practice or see patients; I worked exclusively in the lab. Eventually, I realized that I wanted to have more interactions with people and make a direct impact in helping patients achieve the best aesthetic results and, ultimately, superior skin health.
Even after I opened my practice, I wasn’t thinking about creating my own at-home skincare line. It wasn’t until I met my wife, Carrie, that I really started to understand the lack of efficacious skincare products in the market and how I could fill that void. I created the Alpha Beta Peel, an in-office peel that uses a combination of multiple acids to achieve the best results, and Carrie insisted that there be an at-home version. That is how Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare was born. I formulate every product myself, combining a blend of the best natural antioxidants, vitamins and botanicals with the most scientifically advanced delivery systems. My inspiration for the line comes from my patients. After listening to their dissatisfactions with other skincare products, I create different at-home solutions.
What’s your top skincare tip for women of all ages?
Women of all ages (and men, for that matter) must always wear an SPF. It does not matter where you live; the sun is our skin’s worst enemy when it comes to skin cancer, damage and premature aging. UVA and UVB trigger free radicals, which act like little darts on our skin, poking holes in our collagen and elastin. Sunspots actually form as a result of excess pigmentation due to too much ultraviolet light. Practicing safe sun and wearing an SPF 365 days a year is our best defense, and I cannot emphasize it enough. Also, sunburns can double your risk of developing melanoma. Everybody with a history of excess sun exposure, especially blistering sunburns, is at risk for developing melanoma. Lastly, everyone should be starting skincare regimens early; you don’t want to fight an uphill battle.
What current skincare trends are you over?
While I was never into this trend, I think that singular acids advertised as high concentrations in skincare products are overrated. A peel with a high concentration of glycolic acid, for example, is not better because it “burns” or damages the skin. I have never believed that you need to injure the skin to get the best results. Instead of using one acid at a high concentration, I formulate my peels with multiple acids; my Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel has seven acids, each at lower concentrations. These acids work together synergistically to provide the best results without irritating the skin.
Celebrities like Olivia Palermo and Zoë Kravitz are among your clientele. What’s the secret to red-carpet-ready skin?
Many celebrities are turning to noninvasive lasers like the Smoothbeam to help stimulate collagen production and fight wrinkles without downtime prior to red-carpet events. At-home and in-office peels are another great way to prep for the red carpet; they work to stimulate collagen and exfoliate dead skin cells to give skin a radiant glow.
How do we achieve flawless summertime skin?
I’ve already talked about SPF, which will protect skin from UVA and UVB so that it looks radiant for summers to come. I would also recommend incorporating an exfoliating cleanser, antioxidant serum and oil-free moisturizer. Try the Alpha Beta Pore Perfecting Cleansing Gel; it exfoliates and tones with hydroxy acids for a deep cleanse without stripping or drying the skin. For an oil-free moisturizer, Hyaluronic Marine Oil-Free Moisture Cushion is a great option. It is a unique water-break gel cream that is enriched with Japanese marine algae and hyaluronic acid chronospheres to help lock in moisture and keep skin looking dewy, supple and plump throughout the day.
You’re known for your at-home peels. Why are regular peels so important?
I suggest chemical exfoliation every single day. It is the key to making skin look beautiful. My Alpha Beta Peels are specially formulated to remove dead, dull skin that is accumulated over 24 hours. Using it daily allows for cell turnover and provides a dose of antiaging ingredients. At-home peels stimulate collagen production, promote cell turnover, minimize pores, and treat fine lines and wrinkles. With continued use, peels help treat acne and skin discoloration, prevent blackheads and rosacea, and exfoliate beautifully to give skin a radiant glow.
How do you predict skincare will change in the next five years?
I think people will visit their dermatologists’ offices more frequently and seek a wider variety of treatments. Celebrities have started to open up about the work they’ve had done, making in-office treatments part of a more transparent conversation. At my office, Dennis Gross Dermatology in Manhattan, I’ve seen a jump in patients requesting Botox, fillers and lasers — these offer both immediate and long-term results, making them attractive to patients.