About a year ago, I wrote about my skincare routine, and in reading that post now, I'm amazed by how much has changed. I had a life-altering facial last fall and started using another all-natural product line, but in spite of subsequent facials and a steady dose of Retin-A, I felt that my skin was just not being all that it could be. Serendipitously, a few weeks ago, I was invited to an event whereby I received a free chemical peel from the office of Dr. Dennis Gross, and while I was hoping it would simply buy me some time until my next facial, I was blown away by how amazing my skin looked and felt. I'm talking baby soft, smaller pores, diminished wrinkles, the whole nine yards. It was like I had spent the last decade living clean in a fresh-air cave, versus drinking my way through NYC while the grime and stress settled into my pores. I was ready to do or pay anything to continue looking this way, but luckily my new BFF Salvatore sent me home with the Alpha Beta Daily Peels and thus a new era in my life began.
The peels come in individually-wrapped packets that look like Wet-Naps; you wipe the step one packet all over your face, wait two minutes, then repeat with step two. Your face may burn a bit at first; I started out using the peel every other day until I felt that my skin could handle daily use. (Side note: I have truly sensitive skin that turns red and rashy at the slightest provocation, but it takes the Alpha Beta Peel like a champ.) Once my skin dries, I dab on Dr. Gross' Ferulic Acid + Retinol Brightening Solution, which is also doing its part to make my skin brighter, softer, and tighter. (I will also rave about his cleansing foam, and when my eye cream runs out, I fully plan on buying the eye serum.) I then finish with whatever lotion I find laying around, but I've found that the peel makes my skin way more sensitive to sun, so I'm on the hunt for a new moisturizer with SPF (look for a post on that sometime in the near future). I like to do the peel in the morning, but if sun sensitivity is a major issue, you can do it at night instead.
Important things to note: Dr. Gross' products are formulated without parabens, sulfates, or phthalates, and the line is vegan and cruelty-free. True, it's not the all-natural, organic blah-blah-blah I'd been using before, but as a wise friend of mine once said, you get to the point in your life where you care more about results than ingredients and, well, here I am in my mid-thirties. It should also be noted that the line is not cheap; a month's supply of peels, while less than a facial—which I feel like I no longer need—is still $86, or almost $3 a day. (A slightly more economical option: $145 for a 60-day supply.) Am I a crazy person? Maybe. But at least I'm a crazy person with the skin of a 23-year-old.