Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum
Although most eye-area products aren't necessary (we explain why in the More Info section) we understand why you'd be tempted by the recently reformulated Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum from Dr. Dennis Gross, as its formula is exemplary. Here's the thing, though: not a single ingredient in this eye serum is unique for the eye area. Rather, the formula is bursting with ingredients that can improve wrinkles and other signs of aging anywhere on the face. If you decide to invest in this this eye serum, it certainly won't be a waste of money!
The lightweight, fluid, gel-like texture is housed in a transparent brown glass bottle outfitted with a sleek pump applicator. The former paper label has been replaced and now there's a bit of concern about the bottle letting in UV light; however, careful storage (or if your bathroom is windowless) makes this a non-issue—and for certain this type of packaging keeps delicate ingredients (like retinol) protected from routine exposure to air.
This fragrance-free serum is chock-full of anti-aging, wrinkle-fighting ingredients! From antioxidant plant extracts with soothing qualities to a good amount of retinol plus plant-based ingredients that can lighten brown discolorations, this is one well-rounded serum that's suitable for all skin types.
This eye serum contains the exfoliating ingredients salicylic acid (BHA) plus the AHAs glycolic acid and (lesser-known) mandelic acid. The amounts of each is too low to exfoliate skin but even if they were present in greater quantities, this serum's pH is outside the range needed for effectiveness.
That's not the best news but it's a minor ding on an otherwise impressive formula. Used around the eyes, this can make good on its firming claim and, if your dark circles are caused (or have been made worse) by sun damage, it should help lighten them, too. It will not work for hereditary dark circles or dark circles due to undereye hollowing that can occur with age. For the latter, dermal fillers around the eye can make a big difference!
Interestingly, the brand recommends applying this serum to the eyelids, too, in order to improve signs of loose, crepe-y skin that can occur with age. We advise caution if you follow such usage instructions, as applying products to the eyelid risks getting the product in the eye itself.
- Lightweight, gel-like texture suitable for all skin types.
- Loaded with anti-aging ingredients, from potent antioxidants to retinol.
- Contains some soothing agents to reduce inflamed, puffy eyes (but not age-related puffiness).
- Fragrance-free formula.
- None, though one could argue it's a bit on the pricey side; the formula is no slouch.
Why You May Not Need an Eye Serum: Most eye serums aren't necessary. That's either because they are poorly formulated, contain nothing special for the eye area, or come in packaging that won't keep key ingredients stable.
There is much you can do to improve signs of aging around your eyes. Any product loaded with antioxidants, skin-repairing ingredients, skin-lightening ingredients, anti-inflammatory ingredients, and effective emollients will work wonders and those ingredients don't have to come from a product labeled as an eye serum.
You would be shocked how many eye-area products lack even the most basic ingredients to help skin. For example, most eye serums don't contain sunscreen. During the day that is a serious problem because it leaves the skin around your eyes vulnerable to sun damage and this absolutely will make dark circles, puffiness, and wrinkles worse!
Whatever product you put around your eye area, regardless of what it is labeled, must be well formulated and appropriate for the skin type around your eyes! That may mean you need an eye cream, but you may also do just as well applying your regular facial serum around your eyes.
Smoother, younger looking eyes with breakthrough retinol technology designed for the upper eye lids. Gentle enough for the eyelid yet powerful enough to smooth the look of crows feet, elevens, crepiness, and uneven texture. It even doubles as an eye makeup primer.
Dr. Dennis GrossSkincare At-A-Glance
Strengths: Almost all of the products are fragrance-free; several serums and moisturizers contain a brilliant assortment of beneficial skin-care ingredients; all of the sunscreens contain sufficient UVA protection; almost all of the antioxidant-rich products are packaged to ensure stability and potency.
Weaknesses: Expensive; no effective AHA or BHA products (including the at-home peel the line is "known" for); problematic toner; incomplete selection of products to treat acne, and whats available is more irritating than helpful; a few "why bother?" products.
As you may have gleaned from the name, dermatologist Dr. Dennis Gross created this skin-care line. Based in New York City, he claims that all of his products provide "maximum results without side effects," a statement any doctor should know better than to make. For instance, a consumer would logically assume, especially coming from a doctor, that "maximum results" means the products in question really will firm, lift, tighten, plump, or peel the skin. ButDr. Dennis GrossSkincare products don't provide maximum results, not in the least, and definitely not in any of the ways suggested by the marketing copy. In fact, although Gross includes some very impressive ingredients in his products, they cannot make good on the most enticing claims he makes for them.
As for the promise of "no side effects," that is easily refuted with a simple overview of his underachieving products. A quick summary: lavender oil can cause skin-cell death, sulfur is extremely irritating and drying to skin, ascorbic acid can be sensitizing, as can retinol, and the synthetic active sunscreen agents he uses can also present their share of problems. That's not to say that all of these ingredients are bad for skin (only the sulfur and lavender oil qualify for that description), but it's foolish to make a blanket statement that your cosmeceutical-type products are free of side effects. How could he possibly know what a person may react to?
Gross also asserts that he uses cutting-edge technology in his products, a point which I concede given the number of superior moisturizers and serums he offers, all of which compete nicely with other well-formulated products. His products are expensive, but if you're going to spend a lot of money on skin-care products, you should be purchasing state-of-the-art formulas, and these do rate. Of course, this technology (read: efficacious ingredients) doesn't extend to everyDr. Dennis GrossSkincare product, but overall this is one line whose formulas have improved considerably since the previous edition of this book, and that is excellent news!
Several of the products in this line contain emu oil. While there is research indicating that emu oil is a good emollient that can help heal skin, it is not that different from other oils that offer the same benefit, such as grape or olive or even mineral oil for that matter (Source: Australasian Journal of Dermatology, August 1996, pages 159161).
Last, please ignore the tired claim that these products are your alternative to surgical procedures and that they use medical-grade ingredients. Concerning the latter, there is no such thing; Gross uses the same cosmetic and over-the-counter active ingredients found throughout the cosmetics industry. And although his line offers some remarkable products, none of them can provide results equivalent to Botox, dermal fillers, chemical peels, or laser treatments (and definitely not a face-lift).
Note: Unless mentioned otherwise, all MD Skincare products are fragrance-free.
For more information about Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare, call (888) 830-7546 or visit the Web site at www.dgskincare.com.
NOTE: In Spring 2010, MD Skincare became Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.