Vitamin C is having a moment. While the ingredient itself isn’t new, recent innovations have found ways to make the antioxidant more powerful and less irritating, which means our inboxes have been flooded with exciting new releases lately. One we’re especially excited about? Dr. Dennis Gross’s Vitamin C Lactic line, which hit Sephora shelves this week.
The line includes four different formulas: a serum, a moisturizer, an eye treatment and a cream, all of which combine vitamin C with lactic acid, an alpha-hydroxy acid derived from milk that is known for its gentle exfoliating abilities. According to Dr. Gross, placing the antioxidant alongside this chemical exfoliant allows it to better penetrate the skin to work its magic, boosting both its protective and brightening abilities.
“Lactic acid uniquely builds the moisture barrier,” explains Dr. Gross. “It especially activates genes in the DNA of the epidermis to produce more ceramides and squalane, and actually stimulates the production of the skin’s own ingredients.” Because the ingredient hydrates the skin and encourages increased moisture retention through its exfoliation process, it establishes the skin’s barrier to better absorb the benefits of vitamin C. Once the lactic acid’s work is complete , the antioxidant intervenes to reverse the signs of the sun. damage (think: dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and discoloration), neutralizes free radicals from harsh environmental factors, and increases collagen production.
Combining the two ingredients in a single formula not only helps cut down on steps in your routine, but also ensures you don’t overdo the actives (which, as you may well know, is a sure way to irritate your complexion). “I love keeping control of all the chemistry in the product…by bringing the two ingredients together, you protect the integrity and efficacy of the product,” says Dr. Gross.
What happened when I tried them?
As someone with sensitive skin, the idea of using formulas that include vitamin C (which has irritated my skin in the past) and an acid peel certainly worried me. But Dr. Gross recommended starting with “baby steps,” which meant adding the products to my routine every other night. And that’s exactly what I’ve done: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I follow up with my usual gentle cleanser, peptide-packed serum, and hydrating moisturizer, and Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday I experiment with Dr. Gross’s Vitamin C Lactic. Acid product. Throughout the testing process, I also made it a point to increase my use of sunscreen to be more protected, as chemical exfoliants (like the lactic acid in this serum) make skin more sensitive to sun damage.
After two weeks of using the new products, I am happy (and well, a little surprised) to admit that my skin has remained free of irritation. Instead, it feels smooth to the touch, and I’ve noticed that my freckles (which are technically a sign of damage) aren’t as dark as they usually are in the summer. I was also surprised that the eye treatment has helped diminish the appearance of crow’s feet around my eyes, which I will notice more than ever after my recent birthday. I’d also be remiss not to mention the scent, another thing that normally makes me nervous, but the fragrance strikes a perfect balance between cleanliness and hints of orange that feels like a dream after a long day in the sun.
From now on, the collection will be a permanent part of my complexion and care rotation, and my sensitive skin has never been happier.
Buy Dr. Dennis Gross Vitamin C Lactic
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