Exclusive Interview: Dr. Dennis Gross Shares the Perfect Skincare Routine

Sit back as Dr. Dennis Gross answers all your burning skincare questions from the perfect skincare routine to skincare trends of 2023!

Ever wondered what the perfect skincare routine looks like? If you find yourself asking which ingredients are best to use in Malaysian weather or when to start using anti-aging products? Sit back as the one and only Dr. Dennis Gross, board-certified dermatologist and co-founder of Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare, answers all your burning skincare questions. We have already dwelled into Retinol and what exactly it does here. Now with a deep understanding of skincare science, Dr. Dennis Gross sheds light on the specific needs of different skin types and addresses common concerns faced by both men and women.

How did you get to where you are today and what inspired you to launch Dr Dennis Gross Skincare?

I first began my career in dermatology as a skin cancer researcher. After years in the lab, I knew I wanted to see and help patients in a more direct way. When I opened my dermatology practice back in the ‘90s, my patients had a growing concern to treat and maintain healthy skin at-home. However, in terms of skincare, there were no products on the market that offered benefits other than hydration in creams and moisturisers. On the flip side, I was seeing transformative results in my practice with my Alpha Beta Professional Peel. My wife Carrie had the idea to create the at-home version, Dr Dennis Gross Skincare. One day she asked me to bring the peel home and that sparked the idea for the very first at-home, two-step chemical peel system: the Alpha Beta Daily Peel. The Alpha Beta Daily Peel took off with consumers, giving them the opportunity to exfoliate safely from the comfort of home without any downtime.

Now, over 20 years later, we are still the No. 1 peel brand globally, selling one Alpha Beta Daily Peel every 2 seconds. In the last 20 years, we have grown and evolved to include all types of skincare products – LED devices, cleansers, serums, masks and more – that are rooted in science and clinical research. I pride myself in creating multi-tasking formulations with quality ingredients that deliver optimal results without ever compromising the health of the skin.

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What is the difference between male and female skin?

They are more similar than they are different. However to accomplish the perfect skincare routine, it is good to understand that Males tend to have thicker skin than women. Additionally, they produce more testosterone which can cause more sebum production (oiliness) which can lead to breakouts. My philosophy is ‘human skin is human skin’, so it is more important to build a skincare routine around skin type and skin concerns, rather than gender.

What skincare ingredients is best for the Malaysian tropical climate?

AHAs and BHAs work great in the warm, beautiful Malaysian climate to keep skin looking smooth, not shiny, and diminish sun spots. I love the Alpha Beta Daily Peel and AHA/BHA Daily Cleansing Gel specifically for Malaysia because the AHAs and BHAs in these products work to decongest pore build-up and regulate oil production for a smooth, clear complexion.

What does the perfect skincare routine look like?

To see the best results, the key is consistency. Remember to always layer your products thinnest to thickest for best absorption.

Step 1: Cleanse – The first step in any routine should be clean, dry skin. This will create the optimal environment for penetration of all the other products you will apply afterwards. Look for a gentle, PH-balanced cleanser, like an AHA/BHA Daily Cleansing Gel, which won’t strip the skin of natural, moisturising oils but help to keep it smooth and clear of breakouts.

Step 2: LED – LED light therapy is one of the most effective ways to stimulate collagen production and diminish breakouts, all without any negative side effects. In my FDA-cleared LED light therapy mask, DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro, Red LED light works to trigger collagen production while diminishing inflammation and redness. Blue LED light destroys acne causing bacteria – treating and preventing breakouts without causing dryness or irritation. Each treatment is 3 minutes, or do them simultaneously. 3 minutes a day is all you need.

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Step 3: Peel – A two-step chemical peel, like the Alpha Beta Daily Peel, is the most effective and safest way to exfoliate the skin. The key is 2-steps which is how dermatologists, like myself, have been performing chemical peels in their offices for decades. But the 2nd step is so much more than a neutraliser. Clinical research proves that the Alpha Beta Daily peel actually strengthens the skin and improves skin density with continued use, reducing the look of lines and wrinkles.

Step 4: Targeted treatments – At the point, the skin is prepped and ready for targeted treatments, like 15%Vitamin C Firm and Bright Serum or Bio cellulose Brightening Treatment Mask. Remember that a clinically tested formula with multiple ingredients working together will yield superior results than layering single-ingredient products. Follow with a moisturiser or cream for additional hydration.

Step 5: Protect – Preventing damage from free radicals is crucial to protecting young, healthy and vibrant skin. All-physical broad-spectrum sunscreen is the best way to deflect the sun’s harmful rays away from the skin without exposure to toxic, chemical sun filters. Try the All-Physical Lightweight Wrinkle Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30 PA++++ which is enriched with antioxidants (aka more free radical protection) to protect the skin’s hydration and neutralise UVA/UVB rays.

Is it advisable for younger people to use anti-aging products in their skincare routine?

I always recommend patients prevent damage when they can. Sun damage starts the moment we are exposed – for example, no one is born with freckles. For the same reason, preventing damage from free radicals at a younger age with SPF and vitamin C is the best way to keep the skin healthy and strong. Free radicals that destroy our collagen reproduce themselves in a chain reaction causing damage to accelerate and linger long after exposure. Prevention is crucial when it comes to tackling signs of sun ageing.

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What are the biggest skincare trends you foresee in 2023?

Filler has taken a huge role in my New York City dermatology practice. I do like filler – but it has its limitations. It has the ability to add volume to the skin, but it does nothing for the moisture barrier. I wanted to create something that patients could use at-home to add volume to their skin without needing to use a needle, or even yet, they want to prolong their filler results. Coming June 22nd, I am introducing the new DermInfusions Fill+Repair Serum, a creamy, gel formula that not only instantly plumps the skin 3-dimensionally – up, down and sideways – but enhances the moisture barrier with Ectoin, Niacinamide and Peptides.

Products with a higher percentage of concentrated ingredients are growing in the market and are becoming more easily accessible. Do you have any advice for new people starting out their skincare journey?

More is not more. There is a balance to the skin, and the skin does not like to be thrown off balance. If it is, the skin will be vulnerable to more breakouts, redness, inflammation, dullness, lines and wrinkles and flare-ups as a result. Remember that red skin is a red flag. I recommend looking for a clinically-proven formula that uses multiple ingredients to keep the skin in balance. Using a product that has been tested and proven to be effective will not only limit more steps in your routine, but offer a multiple skin benefits.