Skincare Journal wk20: Dr. Dennis gross Extra Strength Alpha Beta Peel Pad

Wow that was a mouthful, let’s just call it DDG extra strength peel pads. I have one of the original and 4 extra strength and that’s what I’ve been using for the past couple of weeks. The original didn’t have much of a scent while the extra strength have a stronger scary scent, a somewhat chemical (and honestly, a bit of a radish) scent for step 1. Step 2 for both does not have much of a scent. Aside from that, there isn’t much of a difference I could tell since I only had one original. The DDG peel pads are a two step process. You apply step 1 to cleansed/dry face, wait 2 minutes, then apply step 2.


First step stings a bit when applied, probably due to the concoction of acid and astringent. I then waited for 2 minutes while the acid work, and my skin feels a bit dry but nothing as bad as when I use products with salicylic acid. The second step does not sting and feels rather soothing, probably because the first two ingredients are water and sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda. Baking soda? It is apparently an anti-acid and helps to detox/relieve sunburn. So after the cocktail of acid from step 1 does its magic for two minutes, this helps to balance out the pH of the skin and reduce inflammation/irritation. After step 2, my skin feels smooth and no longer dry. I then followed with a basic moisturizer or oil. I nixed the scrubs and serums during the two weeks I’m using it to better tell if any positive/negative effect are from the peel. My skin did not peel/feel tender, but it did get slightly drier and bumpier after a few days/my 3rd peel as the under-skin whitehead etc are brought out.

It’s suppose to help with fine lines, pores, breakouts and dark spots.  It makes the skin feel smooth by exfoliating away the dead skin. It brings out/up the under-skin whitehead and dries them up. However, it doesn’t really do much with the acne or pores. Nothing will change the size of your pores permanently. Pore minimizing products work by filling your pore with silicone/dimethicone (mostly makeup-ish products) so make up doesn’t sink in and it looks smoother, or with acid (salicylic or glycolic) to prevent oil/dirt from getting stuck in/enlarging the pores, dissolving them to keep the pore clean. The only other peel pad I’ve used more than once is Origins Brighter by Nature, which I had 20 pads of. It is very slightly more potent and does work on lightening dark spots. Actually, I only had and used 6 DDG peels, so if I had 20 of them, I can probably see a difference in dark spots, too. But pores/acne? nah.

Skin condition: I was down to my last 2 peels this week and started to get a bit of breakouts and feeling itchy in certain areas. After a cursory search, it seems that mild itchiness is apparently normal with peels as the new skin surfaces (kind of like how your wound may feel itchy when the scar is falling off). As for the stress breakout, it have nothing to do with the peels and I will explain in “other influences”.

Products used: I don’t want my skin to get too sensitive/tender, which is what happened last time I used a peel pad regularly (Origins Brighter by Nature), so I’ve been using the peel pads every other day instead of my toner and no scrubs/brush/other exfoliators. Normally you should only be exfoliating 1-3 times a week anyways, better safe than sorry:

  • AmorePacific Gentle treatment foam cleanser
  • Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Extra Strength Peel or Etude House Wonderpore toner
  • Nude ProGenius oil or AmorePacific Moisture Bound Rejuvenating Cream, both of which I finished this week, yay!

I skipped the serum for fear of bad reaction. The MoistureBound cream, the overnight mask, the cleanser, and an eye gel are the 4 products I’ve tried from AmorePacific. I really like the eye gel, and the other products are nice, but for the price, I think I’ll dabble in other brands instead of trying more of this brand (except for the Enzyme Peel that everyone raves about and I already got). The peels brings out/up underskin whiteheads then dries them up, but since I ran out of peels mid-purging, I used Mario Badescu drying cream on it. I previously bought the buffering lotion since the SA told me it penetrates deeper, but it’s a bit drying and the drying cream (which is actually not really drying and I typed “crying cream” before correcting myself, lol) had a more immediate/speedy effect in shrinking the whiteheads. I will be buying the drying cream in the future for my blemishes.

Other influences: My breakout this time is happening in the same area as the mysterious cluster at beginning of this year….but on the opposite cheek. It’s not from spicy food, which give me acne around nose area. It is not from hormone/period, which gives me acne under my chin. Acne in the cheek area is supposedly caused by stress, but I’ve been eating well, sleeping enough and not any more stressed than last month. I even started exercise this month, with sweat, so that helps with detox right? so why?!?!? As I was absentmindedly checking out skincare articles, I saw one on Refinery about stress acne “sleep? check. Food? check. Sunshine? yea yeah. Water?……AH!”

Whatever the culprit is, it can take acne a few days to show up. The week before my last breakout, I drank half the amount of water I usually do. And same with last week! I know that not drinking enough water can cause dry skin, but forgot it may also cause breakouts. When your skin is drier than normal, sometimes your oil glands/pores try to produce more oil to compensate and for certain skin types that can lead to acne etc. So, I’m pretty sure my “stressor” this time is lack of water since I was only drinking ~2 cups of water daily the week before last/this breakout. The breakout have already started to fade due to the drying cream I use, but I will be more mindful of drinking more water and hopefully have no more breakout in the future (unless I caved and binge on spicy food, but that’s another matter)…


4 thoughts on “Skincare Journal wk20: Dr. Dennis gross Extra Strength Alpha Beta Peel Pad

  1. Oh I love the DDG peel pads. I stocked up when DDG had a BOGO on his site! Weird, but the Extra Strength ones leave me less sensitive than the original ones.

  2. I’m just starting the 2-step pad process from a twitter giveaway I won- hoping the 30 day process will show positive results! So far my skin is definitely move even and soft, but I’m still getting acne here and there. >0<

    Blushing Biddies

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