“Clinical concentrate” sounds kind of scary doesn’t it? like something potent that doctors do that we probably shouldn’t touch. Well, these Clinical Concentrate Boosters are from Dr. Dennis Gross, but they seem pretty foolproof. Having combination skin means my skin gets very oily sometimes and very dry at other times, so this set of clinical concentrate boosters is perfect for me. The blue is a hydration booster for dry or dehydrated skin, the orange is a radiance booster for dull skin or dark spots, and the green is a purifying booster for large pores and blemish prone skin! Aside from the colorful dropper bottles, what caught my attention is the “water-free” claim. Now, why would you want something to be water-free? There isn’t a lot of conclusive scientific evidence, but basically a lot of active ingredients are water soluble so they may be less effective or unstable in water-based solutions. Water-free skincare may also penetrate the skin better than water-based skincare (maybe due to the fact water is a cleansing agent?). And lastly, water is often the first or second ingredient in a lot of skincare product so 50% of that fancy skincare product you buy is the same as what came out of your faucet. With that said, quality and combination of ingredients are more important than whether it contains water or not, so let’s not put the cart before the horse.
Hydration Booster (blue)
It’s got all the right ingredients, from rose extract, cucumber extract, coconut water to hyaluronic acid and ceramide to hydrate and soothe the skin. It is a colorless and odorless liquid that absorbs quickly. It leaves no residue or any trace of it behind and did not irritate when I used it on dry/damaged/chapped skin either. I also used it on my eyelid with no problem. I’ve mostly used it as a serum by itself, but it works just as well mixed with moisturizer for a boost of hydration or to make thicker creams easier to apply/absorb. It has no scent and is great for all skin types from dehydrated oily skin to sensitive dry skin.
Ingredients: Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Glycerin, Saccharide Isomerate, Yucca Aloifolia Leaf/Root Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Linoleic Acid, Centella Asiatica Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Ceramide AP, Ceramide EOP, Ceramide NP, Citrullus Lanatus (Watermelon) Fruit Extract, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Quercetin Caprylate, Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Extract, Retinol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Symphytum Officinale Extract, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Juice, Tetrapeptide-21, Copper PCA, Sodium PCA, Urea, Bisabolol, Acrylates/Carbamate Copolymer, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Phytosphingosine, Zinc PCA, Laureth-7, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Isosteareth-200 Linoleate, Polysorbate 20, Carbomer, Cholesterol, Polyacrylamide, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Fragrance.
Radiance Booster (orange)
The cloudy serum has no scent and feels comfortable on the skin. I was afraid it was going to be irritating or drying since it says radiance. While it does contain a blend of different acid to exfoliate and brighten, the main ingredient is yucca extract, which moisturizes and soothes. The serum absorbs quickly, leaving the skin feeling clean and slightly more hydrated. However, I don’t really notice any radiance/brightening when using it. It’s appropriate for all skin types. If you want radiance and have dry/sensitive skin, this is great. If not, then vitamin C serums or peels will be better for radiance and brightening.
Ingredients: Yucca Glauca Root Extract, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Polyacrylamide, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Centella Asiatica Extract, Quercetin Caprylate, Pyruvic Acid, Tartaric Acid, Linoleic Acid, Bisabolol, Resveratrol, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Citrullus Lanatus (Watermelon) Fruit Extract, Retinol, Salicylic Acid, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Ellagic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ceramide 2, Symphytum Officinale Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Extract, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Potassium Azeloyl Diglycinate, Saccharide Isomerate, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ferulic Acid, Gallic Acid, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Commiphora Myrrha Oil, Copper PCA, Sodium PCA, Mandelic Acid, Tetrapeptide-21, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Glyceryl Oleate, Acrylates/Carbamate Copolymer, Butylene Glycol, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Zinc PCA, Urea, Laureth-7, Polysorbate 20, Disodium EDTA, Phytic Acid, Octoxynol-9, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance.
Purifying Booster (green)
It’s a clear, scentless liquid that feels just like water. Because it’s so watery, it’s better to put drops into palm then pat on like a toner/essence or mix into creams. I was afraid it was going to dry my skin out but it didn’t. While it does contain a blend of acid, willow bark extract etc that helps with acne-prone skin, the main ingredient is rose extract. It didn’t dry or hydrate my skin. It mildly purifies the pores but don’t really treats/prevents breakouts.
Ingredients: Rosa Centifolia Flower Extract, Butylene Glycol, Polysorbate 20, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Algae Extract, Opuntia Ficus-Indica Extract, Farnesol, Bisabolol, Potassium Azeloyl Diglycinate, Mandelic Acid, Tartaric Acid, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Salicylic Acid, Phytic Acid, Potassium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance (Parfum), Chlorophyllin-Copper Complex (CI 75810).
NOTE: While they mentioned that the boosters can be mixed with anything, I would be wary of using radiance or purifying booster on the eyelid, but hydration booster was fine.
Purifying and radiance boosters were nice but didn’t really do much. They might be great mixed with your cream/makeup to give it a skincare boost, but as a serum there are more effective ones out there. However, I’m a big fan of the hydration booster and would definitely repurchase this. It is lightweight enough that I can apply to areas prone to clogged-pores/acne without any worry. If the moisturizer/cream I’m using during the winter is too thick/rich, then I can mix this in to thin it out so it’s not as stuffy and is easier for my skin to absorb. If you have combination skin and likes to switch things up or mix&match, then this set is great to balance the different areas in this changing weather.