Gone are the days when a consistently radiant glow is chalked up to good genes alone. In this era of multi skin-care regimens, what everyone really wants to know when they see a lustrous complexion is, “What are you using and who is your dermatologist?” Enter Manhattan dermatologist Dennis Gross, MD, and his eponymous skin-care line. A favourite of the perfectly complected Naomi Campbell and January Jones, it includes the award-winning Alpha Beta Peel, a must-have in ELLE editors’ routines.
Dedicated to making industry secrets available beyond his Upper East Side offices, Gross is tackling new frontiers in anti-ageing and developing accessible treatments and products to help smooth and luminise your skin.
The most common question he gets from patients
The phrase “tired-looking skin” has grown organically among my patient population. Dull, less vibrant, not responding like it used to.… The skin gets exhausted and runs out of energy. It can be from stress or pollution or lifestyle. Even the amount of heavy metals from hard water alone starts taking its toll on the skin and makes every problem you have look worse.
The solution to tired skin
It’s a rather quick fix. Skin needs an influx of energy from the mitochondria, which is like the battery within skin cells. This can come from a topical ingredient like vitamin C, the most powerful and important part of any antiageing routine. It’s an antioxidant, which means it both increases collagen levels and protects the collagen you already have. It also works on uneven skin tones—an incredible combo. Vitamin C does lose some potency when exposed to air, so look for products with airtight valves, as well as amber bottles to help protect from light degradation.
The biggest changes in anti-ageing technology he’s seen in the past few years
Now we can do things that don’t have a downtime. Treatments like Fraxel, with its significant recovery time and pain, are being phased out in favour of non-invasive lasers that smooth and firm without destroying or injuring the skin. My 3D laser treatments, for instance, are a combination, a cocktailing, of two lasers that stimulate collagen, remove uneven skin colours, work on redness, and firm skin on the face and neck. Another advantage of this approach is its reach: The cells that make collagen lie at multiple levels, but previous lasers have worked on only one skin layer.
Also, five years ago, no one thought that heat could destroy fat. We had the idea of freezing fat, maybe, and trying to break it up with ultrasound, but now there’s SculpSure, which is a breakthrough, revolutionary treatment to reduce body fat with non-invasive lasers. The laser safely raises the temperature of body fat to destroy fat cells [adipose tissue] beneath the skin, which are then naturally eliminated by the body and don’t return. If there is excess fat in certain pockets that have been resistant to diet and exercise, it’s now possible to get rid of them. I think SculpSure will replace liposuction.
The anti-ageing supplements that are most effective
Supplements are an important part of healthy living. My motto is, anything good for the heart is good for the skin. I’m a big fan of omega-3 fatty acids, fish oils, resveratrol, and vitamin D. I believe they will slow the ageing process to keep skin looking younger.
The future of anti-ageing
LED light increases energy in fibroblast cells, stimulating collagen production. And it’s completely non-irritating. You want to be sure, with any LED device, to look at the instructions and the claims. Government regulations require backup for statements that devices produce collagen; they require photos of people who have gotten results. LED light is the next frontier.