A few weeks ago, any of you who follow me on instagram may have seen me post a picture of the Dr Dennis Gross Clinical Concentrate Boosters which I picked up during my trip to NYC. Having tested them out for about a month and a half now, I am ready to offer my humble thoughts. A word of caution, this will be a long post. I thought about splitting the review into three parts (as they are three boosters) but in the end decided on the one post, a one stop shop so to speak…on to the review…
According to the Dr Dennis Gross website “your skin changes daily” and “this trio of anhydrous (water-free) formulas allows you to customize your skincare routine to help ensure your skin gets what it needs for optimum health and beauty”. Each is formulated to address specific concerns. I liked the idea of that.
You can apply the serums/treatments directly to face, focusing on targeted areas, or as a “booster” by either mixing a few drops into your serum/moisturizer or with your makeup/foundation (I count these last two as one method, even though its marketed as two separate methods). During the “testing” period, I employed both methods: applying these directly to my face after cleansing as well as mixing them in with other products. Before getting into the individual components, I wanted to note that all three of these treatments sink into the skin beautifully and are extremely light weight. You feel as if you’ve not put anything on.
All three bottles are fitted with dropper like applicators rather than a pump. This aspect combined with the bright, candied colours of the glass jars, make these feel a little like magical potions. But do they work magic is the question?
The Purifying Booster (Green Bottle):
The purifying booster claims to help “control excess oil and tighten pores for increased clarity”. The primary active ingredients are: willow bark, witch hazel and lactic acid which are meant to fight bacteria, clarify and exfoliate the skin.
I used this booster the most often, in the mornings after cleansing my skin and before my moisturizer/sunscreen. As you may be able to see in the photo below where the product is dripping down the side of my hand, it has a very watery consistency. It is the thinnest of the three treatments/serums. My preferred method of application with this one is directly onto the skin and because it is so water-like I found that the simplest way to make this work is to use the dropper to “drop” the product onto my face, titling my head back slightly. I use about 3-4 drops.
So did I notice it do anything? Although it has been over month, I am still on the fence when it comes to this particular booster. I think it does help slightly with controlling oil but I’ve not noticed anything significant in terms of pore tightening. Strangely enough, I do think that this has helped with my hormonal acne (the larger cysts I can get around my chin during a particular time of the month) but it has had no effect on the average, run of the mill, bacteria triggered pimple. It’s really quite odd. If anything, I find myself getting more “average” pimples but less cystic pimples. I guess I shouldn’t complain?
The Hydration Booster (Blue Bottle):
Sad story: I dropped this two nights ago. Thankfully, it fell into the bathroom sink rather than onto the floor and I didn’t loose the whole thing, but it still kinda sucked. Anyway, the Hydration Booster claims to help “infuse and seal deep moisture for firmer, softer, smoother-looking skin”. Ingredients include hyaluronic chronospheres, watermelon extract, centella asiatica and other antioxidants such the powerful quercetin caprylate, all meant to hydrate, prevent free radical damage and provide anti-aging and healing benefits.
I used this booster almost every evening since purchasing it. The consistency is thicker than the Purifying Booster but not as thick as the Radiance Booster, the texture is closer to what you would expect from a typical serum. Also, it has a slight blueish tint which I think is kinda of fun.
What did I notice? I find that the hydration booster does help combat the drying effects of some of the acne treatments that I use occasionally (such as benzoyl peroxide). It is not, however, a moisturizer in of itself, if you know what I mean. Don’t expect this to be like an oil or a super-charged night cream you can lather on your skin like butter. I find it works best mixed with your existing moisturizer or use as a “spot treatment” on dry areas of the skin (like the corners of your mouth or around your nose).
It is also worth noting, if you follow Beautypedia – Paula’s Choice, that this Booster received a “BEST” rating for is impressive cocktail of ingredients.
I really like this one!
The Radiance Booster (Orange Bottle):
The Radiance Booster claims to “transform dull skin into a more radiant, youthful-looking complexion”. The primary active ingredients are: linoleic acid, pyruvic acid, retinol and quercetin which are aimed toward improving skin tone and texture and brightening.
As you may be able to tell from the swatch below, this booster had the thickest consistency. In fact, it is quite difficult to get this product out of the dropper and I think it would be better served by a pump applicator.
I used this booster primarily as a mixer. A few mornings I used it on its own, but mostly I liked it for mixing with a light moisturizer to prep my face before makeup on a night out. Although I used this booster the least, I liked the subtle, healthy glow it gave my complexion and found that my foundation applied well over it. It will tone down the severity of a really matte base/foundation and make a satin foundation more dewy. No significant long term benefits were noted, though I only used it about a dozen times.
When it is all said and done, this set is a great value if you are interested in trying any of these treatments. Each one of these boosters retails individually for $68.00 USD for a full size (1 fl oz.). The set of three is $58.00 USD and each bottle is 0.5 fl oz or half of a full size. You are essentially getting them for under $20.00 USD a piece. So each bottle is costing you about one third of the price of a full size, even though they are a half size. Did I just confuse everyone? I hope not. I’m sure there was a better way to explain that.
My favorite is the hydration booster, while the purifying and radiance probably tie for second. Over the past seven weeks, I’ve noticed some slight improvement in the texture in my skin. Although I was using all three treatments, given what I know of the ingredients, I primarily credit the hydration booster for this difference.
Have you guys tried these? What are some of your favorite serums and/or targeted treatments?
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