Dr. Dennis Gross Peel Pads Review: ‘They Brightened My Pigmentation And Complexion’June 3, 2021
The primary skincare concern for those of us with melanin-rich skin tends to be hyperpigmentation—something that can be hard to treat at home, especially when it comes to a deep-rooted scar or pigmentation that has been there for months (or even years).
When I first started trying to treat the dullness and pigmentation I had after years of cystic teen acne, I spent hundreds of dollars on expensive facials, serums, moisturizers, and oils that promised revolutionary results, only to be disappointed—till I tried Dr. Dennis Gross’ cult-favorite peel pads ($17, Sephora).
In just one week of daily use, the easy-to-use pads lightened my hyperpigmentation and brightened my complexion. Here’s why I’ve kept these stocked in my beauty closet for the past five years:
They’re sensitive skin-friendly.
Traditional peels, whether they’re in a salon or at home, tend to leave my sensitive, dry skin feeling flaky and looking red. These pads have a blend of three acids in them (glycolic, salicylic, and lactic), so when I first tried them, I was armed with my most hydrating overnight masks and oils. Though I still get a satisfying, tingling sensation when I use these, they don’t leave my skin feeling parched or irritated in the slightest.
While they do have a high amount of potent ingredients like retinol in them, I don’t feel like those are stripping my skin of its good, healthy oils. In fact, I feel like my skin looks glowier than ever after I use these.
The pads are easy to use.
Where most peels involve spreading some product out of a jar and on to your face, then leaving it for about 10 minutes, these deliver almost instant satisfaction—perfect for the impatient or busy skincare lover. Each peel comes with two pads, clearly labeled “step one” and “step two”. I simply swipe the first one on to my face, wait two minutes while I brush my teeth, then swipe the second one over my face.
I love using this in the nighttime if I want to wake up with a glowy complexion, but because it leaves my skin instantly softer and brighter, I also love using it in the day. (Just be sure to apply SPF after using it since acids can make your skin extra sensitive to the sun—I swear by this easy spray made for and by women of color from Habit.)
They work quickly.
I first discovered these when a makeup artist used them on me five years ago. He swiped these pads over my skin before applying my makeup, and before he even put any color on my skin, my complexion looked instantly more glowy. I went home with a box of them, tried them every single day for a week and was shocked by the results. I have scars that have been on my jawline for years that had simply been erased.
Usually, it takes a magnifying glass to see serious, dramatic results with skincare—especially if you’re doing it outside of a dermatologist’s office, but these pads are the exception. At $88, the pack of 30 can get pricey (though it’s still less expensive than a salon facial), so I recommend starting out with the mini size. For under $20, you’ll get five treatments, which should be just enough to start seeing results and getting addicted in the same way I did.
To be clear, I don’t use these every single day. I’ll use them for a couple of weeks straight about twice a year to erase any pigmentation I’ve accumulated since I last used the pads. They’re a must before any big event or vacation if you want that lit-from-within glow we all lust after.
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