Monday, 28 March 2011

Putting a Popular At-Home Facial Peel to the Test: Update!

If you’ve been reading, you’ll remember that I started using Dr. Dennis Gross’ Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel last Monday, to initial rave reviews. As a refresher, this product promises to clear imperfections, even skin tone, soothe redness, and smooth fine lines, all in a formula that’s gentle enough to use every day. I purchased the most affordable option in the line, the 10-pack of treatments, sold for $32 at Sephora.

Well, I’ve been using the peel for about a week now, so I thought it was time for an update! The salesperson at Sephora suggested that I use the peel for a few nights in a row, until my skin calmed down, and then gradually spread the treatments apart to about once per week. He said that even though the product claims to be suitable for daily use, once a week should be plenty in the long term, especially for sensitive skin like mine.

I used the peel four nights in a row (last Monday-Thursday nights) and this is what I noticed:

·         The flakiness and dryness in my skin had almost completely disappeared. My skin seemed to be absorbing moisturizer better as a result.
·         About 75% of the bumps on my face had significantly shrunk and flattened out, giving my skin a smoother appearance.
·         Because of the reduced dryness and bumps, my foundation applied a lot more evenly on my skin. With my foundation and concealer on, my skin looked nearly flawless!
·         Any irritation I experienced remained minimal, temporary, and tolerable.

·         I did not notice an evening of my skin tone. In fact, it looked a bit blotchier than it had before I started using the product.
·         There was still a lot of redness to my skin. Although many of my blemishes had reduced in size, they remained quite red and apparent against my fair skin.

Overall, with makeup on, my skin looked much improved. With no makeup on, however, my skin’s appearance was not any better and, if anything, a bit more uneven. Although I was extremely pleased that my makeup was wearing better and my dryness had reduced, ultimately my hopes with any skincare product is that it will make my bare skin look more clear, calm, and even- thus requiring less makeup to cover things up.

Then on Friday, I started to notice a few new blemishes popping up. And not just any zits- red, painful, and- dare I say- angry looking ones. This was upsetting! My best guess at what had happened was that by using the peel four nights in a row, I had actually over-exfoliated my skin, leaving it irritated and more prone to breakouts. So, rather than ditching the product altogether, my goal now is to start spreading out the treatments (to twice a week initially, then to once per week), to see if the irritation subsides. After taking two nights off, I used the peel again last night and no new skin disasters this morning! Hoping this trend continues J

While I suppose that this review would be a bit more compelling if the product was a complete success or an utter failure, my dedication is to providing you with realistic, veracious reviews that truly reflect the product and my experiences with it. And hey, with all those blindly glowing product reviews in magazines, maybe it’ll be a bit refreshing to read an unbiased account once in a while!

Regardless of my mixed opinions of the Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel so far, the plan is to continue using it (on a non-daily basis) and see how my skin looks and feels once I’ve used up all 10 treatments. When I’m finished, I promise to give you another update about the product, complete with my final verdict. Hope you’ll check it out!


  1. Is there any way to post a pic of the ingredients list on the box? I'd be curious to see if there's any specific ingredient that might have caused the angry breakouts. I find it really helpful to see the ingredients in any skincare review.

    It's disappointing to hear that this product might be exacerbating blotchiness. Maybe the concentration of AHA is too high? I have sensitivity to AHA, and that might explain the smoothness of your skin and the simultaneous increased redness.

    Keep up the great reviews!

  2. Good point, Sheri. I'll make sure to include the ingredients in future reviews, especially for skincare! My camera isn't the greatest, so rather take a picture of them, here are a list of ingredients taken from the Sephora website:

    Step 1: Purified Water (Aqua Purificata), Alcohol Denat., Glycolic Acid, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Leaf Extract, Potassium Hydroxide, Salicylic Acid, Polysorbate 20, Citric Acid, Lactic Acid, Malic Acid, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Soy Isoflavones, Disodium EDTA, Copper PCA, Zinc PCA, Fragrance (Parfum), Sodium Benzoate.

    Step 2: Purified Water (Aqua Purificata), Sodium Bicarbonate, Ascorbic Acid, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Retinyl Palmitate, Retinol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Resveratrol, Ubiquinone, Achillea Millefolium Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Soy Isoflavones, Phospholipids, Copper PCA, Sodium PCA, Zinc PCA, Simethicone, Octoxynol-9, Tetrasodium EDTA, Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol.

    Step 1 does have Alcohol Denat in it, which has irriated my skin in the past. Also, too high a concentration of AHAs can definitley cause breakouts. I can't find the concentration of the AHAs in this product anywhere! Guess they're keeping it a secret :)

  3. Hi,

    Alpha beta daily face peel is the amazing anti aging facial peel that reduces wrinkles. This is the first acid peel that has a 2 step process. Thanks a lot...

    Brides Services


All of your lovely comments make my day! Thanks for taking the time to share your musings, ideas, and opinions. Feel free to leave a link to your blog- I'd be happy to check it out :)