A beauty mini quickie: Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Extra Strength Formula

I’ve had this little mini hanging around in my bathroom drawer for quite some time now because I was kind of scared of it. When I think of a chemical peel, I think of that Sex and the City episode where Samantha gets one before Carrie’s book release party and has to veil her face. And while I know this at-home peel is nothing compared to what you’d get at the dermatologists’ office, the words extra strength made me very hesistant to try this. Last week was not a good one for my skin because of some hormonal breakouts (I’ll let you figure out why) and I just wanted those pesky blemishes gone. I figured there was no better time to give the Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Extra Strength Formula a try.

According to the brand (taken from Sephora’s website):

“This more powerful version of the Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel provides higher concentrations of Alpha Beta® Acids—plus new antiaging boosters that deliver a stronger peel without added irritation or recovery time. Especially suited for stubborn skin conditions that have not responded favorably to other antiaging treatments, this peel improves the appearance of fine lines, reduces pores, and treats breakouts. Regular use can visibly improve dark spots and skintone. Easy to apply, simply sweep the pre-soaked cotton towelettes across the face according to the two-step system.” Source

This sample sized box contains 3 of the 2-step packets. They remind me of alcohol wipe pads, but larger.

The directions state:
-Apply Step 1 to clean, dry skin in circular motions from forehead to neck.
-Continue until pad feels dry.
-Wait two minutes before applying Step 2 using same technique as Step 1.
-Do not rinse after either step or use products containing alcohol.

-Sunburn alert: this product contains an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that may increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun and particularly the possibility of sunburn. Use a sunscreen and limit sun exposure while using this product and for a week afterwards.

I used this product over the span of a few days only at night, taking 1-2 days in between uses. I don’t usually like to read reviews before trying a product, but I wasn’t clear as to if I was supposed to use this on subsequent days or if I was supposed to leave a day in between. Most said that it would probably be best for a first time user to leave time between uses. One reviewer also suggested cutting each pad in half to save money on product, which I actually did try. I actually preferred using the whole pad though, so I only tried that once. Although half a pad was enough to cover my face, it just didn’t seem as effective. After washing my face, I skipped the toner and just applied Step 1 all over my face and neck until I felt I’d used every bit of moisture on the pad. After two minutes, I applied Step 2. I skipped my usual nighttime skin treatments and just went straight to moisturizer and eye cream.

I will say that you will feel a burning sensation with both steps, more so with the first. It’s not intolerable and it does start to fade before you even open the packet for Step 2. It did leave my face a bit red, but nothing long-lasting and nothing compared to Samantha. The next morning, my face did appear smoother and my blemishes did appear smaller. I don’t feel like my fine lines were much different and it didn’t fade my acne scarring at all. I already exfoliate regularly so I think that’s why I didn’t see significant differences there.


  • convenient packaging
  • quick and easy for at-home use
  • skin appeared smoother
  • blemishes were reduced


  • may be too irritating for sensitive skin
  • no changes were seen in fine lines and acne scarring
  • make your skin more sun sensitive
  • expensive (5 treatments for $16 to 60 treatments for $148)

Verdict: I didn’t see enough change in my skin to feel like this is worth the investment, I’m guessing I’d need even more than 5 treatments and I’m not willing to pay the expense. It did help with the breakouts I was having which was nice, but the exfoliation and skin treatments I’m using now seem to be effective enough for my skin concerns for the time being.

If you’ve tried this already, please share your experience!


14 thoughts on “A beauty mini quickie: Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Extra Strength Formula

  1. I’ve never tried this but have heard about it. What % AHA is in this? I tried looking online but didn’t see it mentioned. The pads sound kind of wasteful, to be honest.
    I’m a big advocate of chemical exfoliants rather than physical exfoliants (I was a die-hard apricot scrub user in my teens, cringe) and AHA is my jam! Paula’s Choice Resist Weekly Resurfacing Treatment 10% AHA is my current HG. Whenever I have a skin emergency, it is my go-to product to save the day. It sloughs off the dead skin and makes my skin glow – a visible difference whenever I use it. I highly recommend! A bottle lasts me at least 6 months and it costs only $32 for a 60ml / 2oz bottle.
    This business:
    (I do NOT make a commission off this product, but I push it onto all my friends, ha!)


    • Good question, I have no idea! I don’t think it was on the sample box. I use the Ole Henriksen night treatment that has AHA and have been loving it! So you don’t find using an AHA and a retinol to be too irritating?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t do AHA and retinoids on the same nights – I rotate everything. I read somewhere that AHA / BHA render retinols ineffective (or at the very lease, less effective) so I keep them separated. Usually my routine goes something like: Mon / Wed: AHA or BHA, Tue / Thur: retinoid, Fri: vitamin C / antioxidant. I also give my skin a rest completely at least once a week. I will switch it up if my skin is acting up, but I mostly make sure I don’t do the same type in consecutive nights.

        Liked by 1 person

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