Peel Addict: FAQ’s with Jess Abrams, Director of Product Development

We’re going back to school with serious skin buff Jess Abrams, the Director of Product Development at Dr. Dennis Gross. Listen in as she debunks what we need to know about the science behind our iconic award-winning Alpha Beta Daily Peels. Take note, because it’s pretty cool stuff, this business of science-backed skincare.

 What makes the Alpha Beta Daily Peel a cult product?

The Alpha Beta® Daily Peel is a cult product because it is easy to use, provides instant results, and is a true multi-tasking product.

How to they actually work?

Two critical reasons here: two steps to exfoliate & the important of your skin’s pH balance. Why two steps?  Step 1 is a carefully selected blend of Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids to polish the skin, remove daily buildup of corneocytes and excess sebum, and improve desquamation (the scientific word for exfoliation of your skin’s top layer). Dr. Gross designed the peel to have two minutes of acid activity, before moving to Step 2 which neutralizes the acids, stopping the action (which is why you don’t feel dry afterwards). However, Step 2 is so much more than just neutralization.  Now that the skin is in the perfect state to absorb ingredients, Step 2 delivers vitamins, antioxidants, and anti-aging ingredients like Genistein, Resveratrol, and Coenzyme Q-10, while reinforcing the skin’s barrier with Phospholipids.

Where the skin’s pH is critically important and determines the activity of the acids: Going back to high school chemistry, we know that 7 is neutral, <7 is acidic, and >7 is basic. Acids will not exfoliate if the pH is too high. Step 1 has an acidic pH to get the optimal action of the acids; Step 2 has a higher pH (basic), to stop the activity and balance the pH of the skin.

Did you know that the ideal pH of skin is ~5.5?  Something else is going on here too! With the fluctuation of pH between Step 1 and Step 2 (after both steps are used, skin is returned to a balanced state), Dr. Gross has coined a term called “phlux” which he explains is just as important as the actual exfoliation itself, as a catalyst for cell turnover and collagen production.

Why are acids not so scary?

The acids used here are not scary because they are:

  • Formulated at the optimal pH: They are working safely and effectively
  • Properly dosed: Blended and tested to be gentle on skin. The acids used have different molecular weights, so they each have their own “job” so to speak
  • Neutralized: We are controlling the activity

What’s your favorite peel and why?

The Extra Strength Alpha Beta Daily Peel is my favorite, I’ve really noticed such a big decrease in my acne scars and melasma … But I’m not monogamous! I switch out between Universal and Extra Strength daily, then I turn to Ultra Gentle if I’ve recently had a professional, in-office treatment. As it still gives my skin all of the nourishing benefits of the daily peels.

Do you have any secret skincare tips when using them?

Yes! The peels are saturated so generously, that I am always left with extra product which I bring down to my chest and back to help avoid breakouts!

AM or PM. What is the best time to use peels and why?

Although there’s not ‘wrong or right’ time of day I prefer peeling in the AM! Getting that instant glow to start your day means you have it all day! Also, it means I’m leaving my PM routine open to pulse in the Ferulic + Retinol Wrinkle Recovery Peel, to wake up glowing. Owning my glow all day.

Want more expert advice? See what Dr. Gross has to say here.

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