This Really Works: Dr. Dennis Gross Medi Spa Peel

Call me crazy, but I feel like powerful acids are best wielded by trained professionals rather than myself mid-Breaking Bad-binge. That said, when I got a chance to try the admittedly pricey Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Medi-Spa Peel ($110) the clinical-grade step up from his cult-favorite Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel ($86) I tentatively agreed. I can happily say my face hasn’t burned off, and this stuff is completely worth splurging on.

So what’s the upgrade?  It includes fifteen — that’s right, fifteen — acids to correct a whole host of skin concerns (uneven texture, wrinkles, blocked pores, etc.) in one fell swoop, but it’s still gentle enough to use once a week. The secret ingredient is rehmannia glutinosa root extract, a powerful antioxidant that remains active even when surrounded by a host of caustic-but-beneficial buddies.

After washing your face and patting it dry, you sweep the thick pad soaked in the Multi-Acid Concentrate, over your T-zone, cheeks, and chin. (The thicker pad is easier to use than your everyday Stridex.) I waited four minutes (the instructions said three-to-five, so I split the difference) and felt the tingling sensation of the product working: no pain, no discomfort, no active fear that my face would slide off into the sink.

Step Two is the neutralizing Firming Peptide Milk, like a hug for your face. The soothing cream is packed with antioxidants and ingredients to help lift and tighten your skin. And that’s it: you don’t wash it off. Just add a good moisturizer and watch the magic happen.

After using the product once a week for a month, my skin is incredibly even and it looks like there’s light emanating from my face. I can see the volume coming back into my forehead and around my jawline, and tiny lines around my eyes are starting to fade into the backdrop. If I’m making the results sound dramatic, it’s because they are—and frankly, a mix of 15 acids should be.