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Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta® Extra Strength Daily Peel Ingredients Explained

3.7   from 3 ratings
15
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Published on July 13, 2020

Overview

What it is

Facial treatment with 44 ingredients that contains AHA, BHA, exfoliants, retinoid, Vitamin C and Vitamin E

Cool Features

It is vegan, cruelty-free, and reef safe

Suited For

It has ingredients that are good for fighting acne, anti aging, brightening skin, sensitive skin, oily skin, reducing pores, scar healing, dark spots and better texture

Free From

It doesn't contain any oils, parabens or sulfates

Fun facts

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare is from United States. This product is used in 107 routines created by our community.

We independently verify ingredients and our claims are backed by peer-reviewed research. Does this product need an update? Let us know.

You should know

Here's our breakdown of the notable ingredients, benefits, and concerns we determined from the ingredients in this product. Click any item to learn more.

Notable Ingredients

AHA (5)
BHA
Retinoid (2)
Vitamin C (2)
Vitamin E
Exfoliators

Benefits

Good For Oily Skin (5)
Redness Reducing (3)
Reduces Irritation
Skin Texture (8)
Reduces Large Pores (9)
Anti-Aging (8)
Dark Spots (6)
Scar Healing (10)
Acne Fighting (5)
Brightening (10)

Concerns

Drying (6)
May Worsen Oily Skin (3)
Irritating (11)
Rosacea (9)
Eczema (7)

Ingredient Info

Click any item below to learn more and view relevant ingredients.
alcohol-free
silicon-free
fragrance-free
sulfate-free
paraben-free
oil-free
fungal-acne safe
reef-safe
eu-allergen-free
vegan
cruelty-free

Ingredients Overview

Here's our quick-to-read summary of the ingredients in this product. Keep scrolling if you'd like to learn more about what each ingredient does!
Ingredient
Features
1
Skin Conditioning, Solvent
2
Antimicrobial, Astringent, Masking, Solvent
Alcohol IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconMay worsen Oily Skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
3
Buffering
AHA IconGood for Oily Skin IconMay cause irritation IconGood for Skin Texture IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing IconMay worsen Rosacea IconHelps brighten skin Icon
4
Buffering
5
Astringent, Skin Conditioning, Soothing
Can worsen Dry Skin Icon
6
Masking, Preservative, Skin Conditioning
BHA IconPreservative IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconGood for Oily Skin IconMay cause irritation IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps fight Acne IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea IconHelps brighten skin Icon
7
Emulsifying
0 / 0
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
8
Buffering, Humectant, Skin Conditioning
AHA IconMay cause irritation IconGood for Skin Texture IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea IconHelps brighten skin Icon
9
Antimicrobial
AHA IconMay cause irritation IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconMay worsen Rosacea IconHelps brighten skin Icon
10
Buffering
AHA IconMay cause irritation IconGood for Skin Texture IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Scar Healing IconMay worsen Rosacea IconHelps brighten skin Icon
11
Buffering, Masking
AHA IconMay cause irritation IconGood for Skin Texture IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Scar Healing IconMay worsen Rosacea IconHelps brighten skin Icon
12
Astringent, Skin Conditioning, Soothing, Tonic
Good for Oily Skin Icon
13
Refreshing
14
Antimicrobial, Antioxidant, Astringent, Emollient, Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Tonic
Antioxidant IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconHelps fight Acne Icon
15
Cleansing, Masking, Refreshing, Skin Conditioning, Soothing, Tonic
16
Masking, Perfuming, Skin Conditioning
Fragrance Icon
17
Skin Conditioning
18
Humectant, Skin Conditioning
19
Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Good for Scar Healing IconHelps fight Acne Icon
20
Emollient, Emulsifying, Skin Conditioning
21
22
Antimicrobial, Astringent, Masking, Solvent
Alcohol IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconMay worsen Oily Skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
23
Emulsifying
0 / 0
May worsen Oily Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
24
Masking, Perfuming
Fragrance IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
25
Perfuming
Fragrance IconMay cause irritation IconEU Allergen Icon
26
Perfuming, UV Absorber
Fragrance IconEU Allergen Icon
27
Masking, Preservative
Preservative IconMay worsen Eczema Icon
28
Preservative
Preservative Icon
29
Masking, Preservative
Preservative Icon
30
Abrasive, Buffering, Skin Protecting
Exfoliant Icon
31
Antioxidant, Skin Protecting
Antioxidant Icon
32
Skin Conditioning
Retinoid IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconGood for Oily Skin IconMay cause irritation IconGood for Skin Texture IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps fight Acne IconMay worsen Eczema IconHelps brighten skin Icon
33
Antioxidant, Buffering, Masking, Skin Conditioning
Vitamin C IconAntioxidant IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconGood for Skin Texture IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin Icon
34
Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
Antioxidant IconHelps with Anti-Aging Icon
35
Antioxidant, Masking
2 / 0
Vitamin C IconAntioxidant IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconGood for Skin Texture IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing IconNot safe for Fungal Acne IconHelps brighten skin Icon
36
Skin Conditioning
37
Skin Conditioning
1-3 / 1-3
Retinoid IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconGood for Oily Skin IconMay cause irritation IconGood for Skin Texture IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing IconNot safe for Fungal Acne IconHelps fight Acne Icon
38
Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0
Vitamin E IconAntioxidant IconHelps brighten skin Icon
39
Astringent, Skin Conditioning
40
Humectant, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0
41
Antioxidant, Masking
Antioxidant Icon
42
Emulsifying
0-1 / 0
43
Emollient, Skin Conditioning
1 / 0
Silicon Icon
44

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 44 ingredients. Click on any ingredient to learn more about it
1
What it does: Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Community Rating: Loved

Water. It's the most common cosmetic ingredient of all. You'll usually see it at the top of ingredient lists, meaning that it makes up the largest part of the product.

So why is it so popular? Water most often acts as a solvent - this means that it helps dissolve other ingredients into the formulation.

You'll also recognize water as that liquid we all need to stay alive. Talk about multi-purpose! If you see this, drink a glass of water. Stay hydrated!

Learn more about Water
2
What it does: Antimicrobial, Astringent, Masking, Solvent
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Alcohol Denat. is an alcohol with a denaturant property. It is created by mixing ethanol and other additives. It has a low molecular weight and will evaporate quickly. This helps other ingredients become better absorbed and dry once applied.

Alcohol Denat. is volatile and may cause irritation. It helps draw out natural oils in skin and dry out your skin.

One study from 2005 found adding emollients to propanol-based sanitizer decreased irritation.

Alcohol is antibacterial by nature. This can help preserve products and increase their shelf life.

Other types of astringent alcohols include:

Learn more about Alcohol Denat.
3
What it does: Buffering
Community Rating: Loved

Glycolic Acid is arguably the most famous AHA with research to back up its benefits. Its main role is to peel the top layer of skin cells from the newer layer of skin underneath. This helps skin to remove dark spots and look more even.

Glycolic Acid has shown to boost collage production, a protein that helps skin stay firm. Overall, Glycolic Acid helps with improving uneven tone, rough patches of skin, fine lines, wrinkles, and sun damage. It also increases skin hydration by playing a role in creating molecules that create hyaluronic acid naturally.

When applying Glycolic Acid, it is normal to feel slight stinging. The pH value and concentration of glycolic acid play a role in the effectiveness of the product.

Recent studies have shown Glycolic Acid may protect the skin against UV damage. However, you should always wear SPF, especially when using exfoliants.

Read more about some other popular AHA's here:

Learn more about Glycolic Acid
4
What it does: Buffering
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Potassium hydroxide is commonly known as caustic potash. It is used to fix the pH of a product or as a cleaning agent in soap. In cleansers, it is used for the saponification of oils.

Sapnification is the process of creating fatty acid metal salts from triglycerides and a strong base. During this process, Potassium Hydroxide is used up and is not present in the final product.

Using high concentrations of Potassium Hydroxide have shown to irritate the skin.

Learn more about Potassium Hydroxide
5
What it does: Astringent, Skin Conditioning, Soothing
Community Rating: Disliked

Hamamelis Virginiana Water is made used distilled parts of the witch hazel plant. The witch hazel plant is native to eastern North America.

The name 'Hamamelis Virginiana Water' refers to the distillation while the name 'Witch Hazel' is used when it is an active drug ingredient. Unless it is specified to be non-alcohol, many types of witch hazel are distilled in denatured alcohol.

Witch Hazel water is an astringent, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial ingredient. The tannin in witch hazel has a drying effect when used on skin and constricts proteins. This helps minimize the look of large pores. The tannins present and the fragrance may be sensitizing. The catechins in witch hazel have anti-inflammatory properties while the gallic acid is antibacterial.

Indigenous groups have used witch hazel to help treat inflammation, which was then used by early settlers to North America.

Learn more about Hamamelis Virginiana Water
6
What it does: Masking, Preservative, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Salicylic Acid (also known as beta hydroxy acid or BHA) is one of the most well-known ingredients for treating skin that struggles with blackheads and acne. It helps to exfoliate both the skin's surface and pores, and also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.

This multitasking property makes it a great ingredient for cleaning out pores, controlling oil production, and reducing inflammation.

Unlike AHAs which are water soluble, Salicylic Acid is oil soluble. This means that it's able to exfoliate the inside of pores and reduce blackheads.

Concentrations of 0.5-2% are recognized by the U.S. FDA as an over-the-counter topical acne product.

It can cause irritation and/or dryness if one's skin already has a compromised moisture barrier, so it's best to focus on repairing that before introducing a Salicylic Acid into your routine.

In general, Salicylic Acid is a great ingredient for oily acne-prone skin.

While salicylic acid does not increase sun-sensitivity, we still recommend wearing SPF.

If you are looking for the ingredient called BHA or Butylated Hydroxyanisole, click here.

Learn more about Salicylic Acid
7
What it does: Emulsifying
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Polysorbate 20 is made by combining ethoxylation of sorbitan, ethylene oxide, and lauric acid. It is a mild cleansing agent, surfactant, and emulsifier.

As a surfactant, it helps collect dirt and oils for washing. Emulsifiers prevent oils and water from separating.

Polysorbate 20 also adds scent to a product. Since it is made using sorbitol, it has a sweet scent. Sorbitol can also be found in fruits such as apples and peaches.

The lauric acid used to create Polysorbate 20 is often derived from coconuts.

Polysorbate 20 may not be fungal acne safe.

Learn more about Polysorbate 20
8
What it does: Buffering, Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Lactic Acid is an AHA that is derived from fermenting lactose, a carbohydrate from milk. It removes the top layer of old and dead skin cells and helps increase cell turnover.

Benefits of Lactic Acid are that it can help to reduce large pores and reduce the effects of aging. Some potential downsides are that it can be bad for dry skin, cause irritation, worsen eczema, and worsen rosacea.

Not only does it help exfoliate the skin, it helps strengthen the skin's barrier. When applied, lactic acid helps the skin create ceramides.

Lactic acid is an over-the-counter chemical exfoliant that comes from the fermentation of lactose — a carbohydrate found in milk.

Legend has it that Cleopatra used to bathe in sour milk to help reduce wrinkles.

Read more about some other popular AHA's here:

Learn more about Lactic Acid
9
What it does: Antimicrobial
Community Rating: Liked

Mandelic Acid helps exfoliate skin. It also contains antioxidant properties.

As an AHA, Mandelic Acid removes the top layer of skin cells from the newer layer of skin underneath. This helps skin to remove dark spots and look more even.

Mandelic Acid may be an alternative to Glycolic Acid for those with sensitive skin.

Mandelic Acid may help reduce wrinkles, acne, and hyperpigmentation.

Read more about some other popular AHA's here:

Learn more about Mandelic Acid
10
What it does: Buffering
Community Rating: Mixed

Malic Acid is an AHA derived from unripe fruit. The word "Malic" comes from the word "Malum". In Latin, "Malum" means apple.

Malic Acid has both AHA and BHA properties, but is considered an AHA because its AHA properties are stronger. Like other AHAs, it removes the top layer of old and dead skin to reveal the newer layer underneath. It also helps with improving fine lines, wrinkles, skin tone, skin texture, and acne blemishes.

Due to its exfoliating properties, you should wear SPF when using Malic Acid.

Read more about some other popular AHA's here:

Learn more about Malic Acid
11
What it does: Buffering, Masking
Community Rating: Disliked

Citric Acid is an AHA derived from citrus fruits (think oranges, lemons, and limes!).

If you spot Citric Acid near the end of an ingredient list, it's likely there as a pH adjuster rather than an active ingredient.

As an AHA, Citric Acid removes the top layer of skin cells from the newer layer of skin underneath. This helps skin to remove dark spots and look more even.

Read more about some other popular AHA's here:

Learn more about Citric Acid
12
What it does: Astringent, Skin Conditioning, Soothing, Tonic
Community Rating: Liked

Salix Alba Bark Extract comes from the white willow tree, which is native to Europe and Central Asia.

Salix Alba Bark Extract has often been described as salicylic acid's cousin. This is due to the salicin it contains. However, studies are limited showing salix alba bark to be an effective salicylic acid alternative.

Salicin does have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It has shown to decrease the formation of inflammatory mediators, such as tumor necrosis factor-α and nuclear factor-kappa B. Salicin also has a mildly exfoliating effect on the skin.

Several other components in salix alba bark extract also contain antioxidant properties, such as flavonoids and polyphenols. Antioxidants may help with anti-aging as they neutralize harmful free-radical molecules.

Willow Bark extract has been used for thousands of years. Ancient civilizations used white willow to help treat pain and fevers.

Learn more about Salix Alba Bark Extract
13
What it does: Refreshing

We don't have a description for Menthone Glycerin Acetal.

14
What it does: Antimicrobial, Antioxidant, Astringent, Emollient, Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Tonic
Community Rating: Loved

Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract is derived from the leaves of the tea plant. Black tea, green tea, and oolong tea are all harvested from this plant.

Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract has many benefits. It contains polyphenols, a strong antioxidant. Antioxidants help fight off free-radical molecules that damage skin cells. The antioxidants in green tea neutralize free-radicals from the sun. This gives the skin some extra UV protection, but should not replace sunscreen.

Many components of tea have anti-inflammatory properties. Polyphenols and L-theanine help soothe the skin and reduce irritation. L-theanine is an amino acid that makes up most of the amino acids found in tea leaves. The caffeine in Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract helps calm inflamed blood vessels.

Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract also contains Vitamin Bs, linoleic acid, magnesium, calcium, iron, and zinc.

Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract also has antimicrobial properties.

Research has shown both drinking Camellia Sinensis Leaf Tea and applying it to the skin can help boost skin elasticity and hydration. Studies also show using tea extract may reduce sebum, or oil, production.

Learn more about Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract
15
What it does: Cleansing, Masking, Refreshing, Skin Conditioning, Soothing, Tonic
Community Rating: Liked

Achillea Millefolium Extract comes from the yarrow plant. Yarrow is rich in antioxidants and fatty acids.

16
What it does: Masking, Perfuming, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Mixed

Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract is from the Roman Chamomile flower.

Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract helps soothe the skin and contains antioxidants. Antioxidants help fight free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin cells

17
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Disliked

We don't have a description for Soy Isoflavones.

18
What it does: Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

We don't have a description for Copper PCA.

19
What it does: Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Zinc PCA (or "zinc salt") differs slightly from zinc itself. PCA stands for pyrrolidone carboxylic acid. However, Zinc PCA comes from zinc.

It can help reduce redness, regulate sebum, and promote the general healing process of the skin.

Zinc PCA tends to be especially useful for those with oily, acne-prone skin. It's certainly an ingredient worth trying out!

Learn more about Zinc PCA
20
What it does: Emollient, Emulsifying, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Disliked

Lecithin is a term for a group of substances found in plants, animals, and humans. They are made up of mixture of fatty acids. These fatty acids usually are a mixture of phosphoric acid's choline ester connected to stearic, oleic, and palmitic acids. Most lecithins are created from plant ingredients scuh as sunflower.

Lecithin is an emollient. Emollients help soften the skin and creates a barrier to keep moisture in.

As an emulsifier, it also helps prevent water and oil ingredients from separating. Lecithin can help ingredients be better absorbed by the skin. The phospholipids in Lecithin can produce liposomes. Liposomes help other ingredients get through the skin barrier.

Learn more about Lecithin
21
What it does:
Community Rating: Disliked

Disodium EDTA plays a role in making products more stable by aiding other preservatives.

It is a chelating agent, meaning it neutralizes metal ions that may be found in a product.

Disodium EDTA is a salt of edetic acid and is found to be safe in cosmetic ingredients.

Learn more about Disodium EDTA
22
What it does: Antimicrobial, Astringent, Masking, Solvent
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Alcohol comes in many different forms. Different types of alcohol will have different effects on skin. This ingredient is usually an astringent alcohol.

These alcohols are drying on the skin. They may strip away your skin's natural oils and even damage your skin barrier. Astringent alcohols may also irritate skin.

Other types of astringent alcohols include:

According to the National Rosacea Society based in the US, you should be mindful of products with these alcohols in the top half of ingredients.

Any type of sanitizing product will have high amounts of alcohol to help kill bacteria and viruses.

Fatty alcohols come from plant oils such as coconut oil. These can help hydrate the skin and are non-irritating. Some fatty alcohols include cetyl and stearyl alcohol.

Learn more about Alcohol
23
What it does: Emulsifying
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Polysorbate 80 is a surfactant and emulsifier. It is used to keep ingredients together, and prevent oils and waters from separating.

It is made from polyethoxylated sorbitan and oleic acid. This ingredient can be found in cosmetics, foods, and medicine. It is water-soluble.

Polysorbate 80 may not be fungal acne safe.

Learn more about Polysorbate 80
24
What it does: Masking, Perfuming
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Parfum is a catch-all term for an ingredient or more that is used to give aroma to products. Parfum, or fragrance, can be a blend of hundreds of chemicals or plant oils. This means every product with "fragrance" or "Parfum" in the ingredients list is a different mixture.

In the US, the alternative name for parfum is 'fragrance'. The term 'fragrance' is not regulated in many countries. In many cases, it is up to the brand to define this term.

For instance, many brands choose to label themselves as "fragrance-free" because they are not using synthetic fragrances. However, their products may still contain ingredients such as essential oils that are considered a fragrance. One example is Calendula flower extract. Essential oil ingredients still impart a scent or 'fragrance'.

Depending on the blend, it can cause allergies and sensitivities on the skin. Some ingredients that are known EU allergens include linalool and citronellol.

Products use parfum often to give products a scent or cover up smells of different ingredients.

The bottom line is: not all fragrances/parfum/ingredients are created equally. If you are worried about fragrances, we recommend taking a closer look at an ingredient. And of course, we always recommend speaking with a professional.

Learn more about Parfum
25
What it does: Perfuming
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Linalool is a fragrance and helps add scent to products. It's derived from common plants such as cinnamon, mint, citrus, and lavender.

Linalool has the same effect as Limonene when exposed to air. Oxidized linalool can cause allergies and skin sensitivity.

Linalool has a scent that is floral, spicy tropical, and citrus-like.

Learn more about Linalool
26
What it does: Perfuming, UV Absorber
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Benzyl Salicylate is a solvent and fragrance additive. It is an ester of benzyl alcohol and salicylic acid. This ingredient can be naturally found in some plants and plant extracts.

In fragrances, Benzyl Salicylate may be a solvent or a fragrance component. In synthetic musk scents, it is used as a solvent. For floral fragrances such as lilac and jasmine, it is used as a fragrance component. The natural scent of Benzyl Salicylate is described as "lightly-sweet, slightly balsamic".

While Benzyl Salicylate has been associated with contact dermatitis and allergies, emerging studies show it may not be caused by this ingredient alone.

However, this ingredient is often used with fragrances and other components that may cause allergies. It is still listed as a known allergen in the EU. We recommend speaking with a professional if you have concerns.

Another study from 2021 shows Benzyl Salicylate may have anti-inflammatory properties.

Learn more about Benzyl Salicylate
27
What it does: Masking, Preservative
Community Rating: Disliked

Benzoic Acid is used to preserve and adjust the pH of products.

The antimicrobial property of Benzoic Acid helps elongate a product's shelf life. Its main role is to reduce fungi growth and is not found to be effective at fighting bacteria. Therefore Benzoic Acid is always added along with other preservatives.

In its pure form, Benzoic Acid looks like a white crystalline solid. It has slight solubility in water.

The name of Benzoic Acid comes from gum benzoin, which used to be the sole source of deriving this ingredient. Benzoic Acid is the most simple aromatic carboxylic acid.

Benzoic Acid is naturally occuring in strawberries, mustard, cinnamon, and cloves. It has a slight scent but is not considered to be a fragrance.

Learn more about Benzoic Acid
28
What it does: Preservative
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that has germicide, antimicrobial, and aromatic properties. Studies show that phenoxyethanol can prevent germ and microbial growth. By itself, it has a scent that is similar to that of a rose.

It's often used in formulations along with Caprylyl Glycol to preserve the shelf life of products.

29
What it does: Masking, Preservative
Community Rating: Disliked

Sodium Benzoate is a preservative. It's used in both cosmetic and food products to inhibit the growth of mold and bacteria. It is typically produced synthetically.

Both the US FDA and EU Health Committee have approved the use of sodium benzoate. In the US, levels of 0.1% (of the total product) are allowed.

Sodium benzoate works as a preservative by inhibiting the growth of bacteria inside of cells. It prevents the cell from fermenting a type of sugar using an enzyme called phosphofructokinase.

Sodium Benzoate is the salt of benzoic acid. Foods containing sodium benzoate include soda, salad dressings, condiments, fruit juices, wines, and snack foods.

Studies for using ascorbic acid and sodium benzoate in cosmetics are lacking, especially in skincare routines with multiple steps.

We always recommend speaking with a professional, such as a dermatologist, if you have any concerns.

Learn more about Sodium Benzoate
30
What it does: Abrasive, Buffering, Skin Protecting
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Sodium Bicarbonate has a more famous name: Baking soda.

In cosmetics, it is used to adjust the acidity. Due to its white crystalline solid form, it can also be an abrasive (exfoliator).

This ingredient is water-soluble.

Learn more about Sodium Bicarbonate
31
What it does: Antioxidant, Skin Protecting
Community Rating: Loved

Resveratrol is a famous emerging antioxidant. It is a good alternative for sensitive skin types who cannot tolerate retinoids.

This antioxidant is most famous for it's anti-aging benefits. Studies show it combats the signs of aging by:

Besides anti-aging, this ingredient also helps with skin brightening and soothing.

The most effective forms of resveratrol are isobutyrate and butyrate. These have the strongest effect on increasing A1 collagen and reducing inflammation.

A note on it being a retinoid alternative: Despite it's amazing skin benefits, it is not a replacement for retinoids. However, it is recommended for people with sensitive skin or intolerance to retinoids.

Resveratrol is naturally found in grapes, peanuts, and berries.

Learn more about Resveratrol
32
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Retinol is a gold-standard ingredient for anti-aging. It is a form of Vitamin A and belongs to the class of retinoids that also includes tretinoin.

Why is retinol famous?

It has the most scientific studies backing up its skin benefits out of all the non-prescription ingredients.

Retinol is proven to:

This is why retinol is effective at removing wrinkles, fading dark spots, treating acne, and reducing the appearance of pores.

Studies show retinol is less effective when exposed to UV. Be sure to look for appropriate packaging to keep your retinol potent (similar to Vitamin C).

Using retinol or any retinoids will increase sun-sensitivity in the first few months. Though studies show retinoids increase your skin's natural SPF with continuous use, it is best to always wear sunscreen and sun-protection.

We recommend speaking with a medical professional about using this ingredient during pregnancy.

Retinol may cause irritation in some people, so be sure to patch test. Experts recommend 'ramping up' retinol use: start using this ingredient once a week and work up to using it daily.

Read about Tretinoin

Learn more about Retinol
33
What it does: Antioxidant, Buffering, Masking, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Ascorbic Acid is is pure Vitamin C. This form makes up the largest amount of vitamin C found naturally in our skin.

Not only is vitamin C great for your overall health and immune system, it also has plenty of benefits on your skin.

Vitamin C is best used for brightening skin. It improves dark spots, acne scars, and hyperpigmentation. This is because it blocks the process of skin darkening when exposed to UV.

Remember: Vitamin C should not replace sunscreen!

Your skin uses vitamin C to build collagen. Collagen is one key component in having a strong skin barrier and plump skin. Vitamin C also plays a role in regulating collagen, thus making it effective in improving wrinkles and fine lines.

Ascorbic acid shows potent antioxidant activity. As an antioxidant, it helps fight free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin cells. These antioxidants also protect skin against UV damage.

The best formulations include Vitamin E and/or ferulic acid. These two ingredients help stabilize and provide a boost in the benefits of ascorbic acid. This is because ascorbic acid becomes unstable when exposed to UV and air. In fact, you can tell your ascorbic acid has oxidized when it turns an orange-yellow color.

Ascorbic acid is generally compatible with other ingredients. However, using ascorbic acid with other active ingredients might cause irritation. Two ingredients: copper ions and benzoyl peroxide, will inactivate ascorbic acid completely.

Read more about other types of Vitamin C:

Foods rich with vitamin C include oranges, strawberries, broccoli, bell peppers, and more. When consuming Vitamin C, your skin receives a portion of the nutrients.

Learn more about Ascorbic Acid
34
What it does: Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Ubiquinone (Coenzyme Q10) is a molecule already found in our bodies. It is a potent antioxidant and skin-soothing ingredient.

Aging and environmental exposure diminishes our skin's natural ubiquinone levels. This is much like our natural collagen and elastin.

The good news is: studies show applying this ingredient topically replenishes ubiquinone levels in our skin. This also comes with a ton of skin benefits. These benefits include:

Ubiquinone is considered a large molecule and cannot be absorbed into the lower layers of skin. This is why it is believed to be such an effective antioxidant: it protects our skin in the upper layers and prevents damage in the deeper layers.

When used in sunscreen, ubiquinone is shown to increase ingredient stability, increase SPF factor, and add to infrared protection.

Fun fact: ubiquinone is fat-soluble.

Learn more about Ubiquinone
35
What it does: Antioxidant, Masking
Community Rating: Disliked

Ascorbyl Palmitate is created by combining pure Vitamin C and palmitic acid. It is an antioxidant and helps reduce hyperpigmentation.

Antioxidants help fight free-radical molecules, or molecules that may break down skin cells. Antioxdants help reduce signs of aging.

Ascorbyl Palmitate is a stable version of Vitamin C, meaning it does not disintegrate when exposed to sunlight. However, studies show it does not penetrate skin as well as pure Vitamin C.

Read more about other types of Vitamin C:

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36
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Phospholipids are naturally found in our skin as they are the main component of cell membranes. Phospholipids have humectant, emollient, antioxidant properties.

The phospholipids in our skin can be naturally depleted. Replenishing the phospholipids in our skin can help hydrate your skin. Due to their hygroscopic nature, they act as humectants and emollients. Humectants draw moisture from the air to your skin, while emollients help trap moisture in. This ingredient is non-occlusive.

Studies show phospholipids display antioxidant activity and may help with reducing the signs of aging.

Phospholipids are complex lipids that contain glycerin, two fatty acids, and a phosphate group. Some foods that contain phospholipids include soybeans and milk. The phospholipids found in soy come from Lecithin. This ingredient can also be synthetically created.

Some types of phospholipids:

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37
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Mixed

Retinyl palmitate is a form of retinoid. Retinoids are the superstar class of anti-aging ingredients that include tretinoin and retinol.

This particular ingredient has had a bumpy year with its rise and fall in popularity.

First, Retinyl palmitate is created from palmitic acid and retinol. It is a retinol ester and considered one of the weaker forms of retinoid.

This is because all retinoids have to be converted to Tretinoin, AKA retinoic acid. Retinyl Palmitate is pretty far down the line and has to go through multiple conversions before its effects are seen.

Due to this long and ineffective conversion line, the benefits of Retinyl Palmitate are debated.

Studies show Retinyl Palmitate to help:

Dermatologists say this ingredient is ineffective because it isn't used in high enough concentrations in cosmetics.

This ingredient used to be found in sunscreens to boost the efficacy of sunscreen filters.

The downfall of Retinyl Palmitate was due to released reports about the ingredient being correlated to sun damage and skin tumors.

While there is a study showing this ingredient to cause DNA damage when exposed to UV-A, there is no concrete proof of it being linked to skin cancer. It is safe to use when used correctly.

All retinoids increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun in the first few months of usage. Be especially careful with reapplying sunscreen when using any form of retinoid.

Currently, this ingredient is still allowed in cosmetics all over the world. In Canada, cosmetics must have a warning label stating the product to contain Retinyl Palmitate

Fun fact: This ingredient is often added to low-fat milk to increase the levels of Vitamin A.

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38
What it does: Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Tocopheryl Acetate is AKA Vitamin E. It is an antioxidant and protects your skin from free radicals. Free radicals damage the skin by breaking down collagen.

One study found using Tocopheryl Acetate with Vitamin C decreased the number of sunburned cells.

Tocopheryl Acetate is commonly found in both skincare and dietary supplements.

Learn more about Tocopheryl Acetate
39
What it does: Astringent, Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Raphanus Sativus Root Extract.

40
What it does: Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Sodium PCA is the sodium salt of pyroglutamic acid and is naturally occurring on human skin.

The PCA stands for pyrrolidone carboxylic acid, a natural amino acid derivative.

Sodium PCA is a has conditioning, anti-inflammatory, and humectant properties. Humectants help hydrate your skin by drawing moisture from the air. This helps keep your skin moisturized.

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41
What it does: Antioxidant, Masking
Community Rating: Liked

This BHA stands for butylated hydroxyanisole. If you are looking for the beta-hydroxy acid, aka as Salicylic Acid, click here.

In cosmetics, butylated hydroxyanisole is used as a perservative. It also has antioxidant properties. The concentrations usually used in skincare are low and do not penetrate through skin.

However, it is considered a carcinogen when ingested.

Butylated Hydroxyanisole is a synthetic and waxy petrochemical. It is used as a preservative in foods and cosmetics.

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42
What it does: Emulsifying

Octoxynol-9 are part of a group called ethoxylated alkyl phenols. Octoxynols are usually found in hair-coloring products.

As an emulsifier, it helps keep other ingredients together.

The 9 stands for the average number of ethylene oxide units used to create this ingredient.

Learn more about Octoxynol-9
43
What it does: Emollient, Skin Conditioning

Simethicone is a silicone. It is an emollient and used to reduce foaming in a product. It is also often used to coat sunscreen ingredients for better spreadability.

This ingredient is created by mixing dimethylpolysiloxane and hydrated silica.

44
What it does:
Community Rating: Disliked

Tetrasodium EDTA is the salt formed from neutralizing ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid with sodium hydroxide. It is a chelating agent and used to prevent metal ions from binding to other ingredients. This helps keep the product and ingredients stable.

Tetrasodium EDTA comes as a white solid and is soluble in water.

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When to use

We've created a guide with info on when you should use Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta® Extra Strength Daily Peel. We've also included some recommended products to use it with, as well as some routine inspiration!

Read our guide on when to use Alpha Beta® Extra Strength Daily Peel ->
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