How to Exfoliate If You Have Redness or Rosacea

Saturday, January 26th 2019 0

A two-step approach by Dr. Dennis Gross

For a while now, I've been experimenting with different management approaches to the redness in my skin.

Currently, I’m operating with a very simple, fragrance free skincare routine to see if this will minimise my redness. As such, any notion of exfoliation (which is one of my favourite skincare steps) had been abandoned.

You can imagine my delight, therefore, when Dr. Dennis Gross came to the UK this week and allowed me to pick his brains on all things redness and exfoliation.

It can be really overwhelming trying to navigate redness. I’m finding it overwhelming at least, because different people have polar opposite approaches as to what is going to work. But given his credentials, the fact that he is a working dermatologist and chemist who creates products based on the needs of his many clients, and the fact that his products have delivered time and time again when I’ve used them, I wanted to hear his opinion. In addition, I would note that women I hugely respect and trust to tell the truth always support him (name checking Sali Hughes and Newby Hands here), so I was open to trying his approach.

I’m going to talk through it all via the context of his latest launch, a Professional Grade Resurfacing Liquid Peel, because the very product he came to share is one that appropriately fits into this whole notion.

Dr Dennis Gross Professional Grade Peel

Starting the journey: the new Professional Grade Two Step Resurfacing Liquid Peel 

Our conversation began as Dr. Gross explained the inspiration for his latest launch. Speaking about his customer, he said, “I wanted to get her closer to the results she would get in a clinic. The consumer is now more sophisticated than ever. In New York, my clients are living healthier lives, wearing less make-up and wanting to cover up less.” This treatment helps to alleviate uneven skin tone and reduce the appearance of pores which means that women in turn are needing much less coverage.”

Is it safe to exfoliate with acids and/or peels when you have redness? 

“I believe in acids”, Dr. Gross explained. “The skin’s PH is naturally acidic, and it likes to be in it’s own environment.” But surely, I wondered, an acid or a peel is going to be abrasive on a sensitive or redness prone skin? “It’s a very different story when you do a two step peel”, something that the brand have always created in a component, and that this new treatment adheres to also. “When you do two steps, the first step exfoliates and the second step neutralises it. This means it can’t be irritating. The second step shuts it down, the peel has done it’s job, and it can’t be irritating. Now you’ve removed a dead layer of skin, and now all of your other products can do their job.”

Fears cast aside, how can exfoliation actually be helpful to redness and rosacea prone skin? 

“Rosacea comes from an issue with oil chemistry, and the quality of oil in the skin. Certain oils are very hospitable to the growth of certain bacteria, and the bacteria use these oils as a source. This creates free fatty acids in the skin, which are highly inflammatory and cause the rosacea.” I’d never had it explained to me like this before, but it made total sense. My redness always seems like more of an inflammation, even more so when considering that some days my skin can seem totally normal and other days it is angry beyond belief and I find myself battling a skincare Armageddon. “Peels sanitise the skin and kill the bad bacteria.”

Dr Dennis Gross Professional Grade Peel

What does our skin need? Is there one wonder product we all need to use? 

“I believe in cocktailing. There is no such thing as one ingredient we all need because we need a few; Vitamin C, Hyaluronic Acid, Peptides, Green Tea Extract. It’s all about the cocktailing. We research exactly how much your skin needs because excess is often what causes the irritation. Then, we formulate based on the maximum quantity of what will work.”

Instant gratification

Completely immersed in the idea of an exfoliant that could actually work to reduce my redness, I stayed for a treatment using the two step Professional Grade peel. First, my therapist used a cotton ball soaked in formula for each step, leaving two minutes each time for each step to work. Then, I followed up with a blast of LED light therapy from one of his infamously expensive gadgets, each designed to stimulate collagen production (which, FYI, reduces the appearance of pores as the outline of a pore is lined with collagen according to Dr. Gross).

Armed with lots of new information, I took Dr. Gross’ advice and opted for my peel twice weekly with the At Home Peel pads on alternative days. So far? My skin is calmer, noticeably more smooth and looks almost a little like I’ve had botox. A friend came to stay this week after a night on the town the night before so I used the peel on him, and even he agreed it gives an almost botox-like finish. The “instant results” that Dr. Gross claims to aim for are definitely there, but I’ll continue to use and share my findings after a few more weeks in terms of how this really gets to the root of the redness problem.

What do you think so far? A redness remedy you can get on board with? I’d love to know your thoughts. Message me on Instagram at @MixedGemsBeauty or join the conversation in the Mixed Gems Beauty Community on Facebook.

Dr. Dennis Gross? I’m sold. You can find his range in Space NK, at Cult Beauty, and here:

Some of the items mentioned above have been gifted to me as press samples, as are most products featured on this blog. 

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