In another life, our dermatologist founder, Dennis Gross, MD, would be the ideal matchmaker because he has a true gift for creating perfect pairs for our breakthrough skincare formulations: alpha + beta; retinol + ferulic; and now vitamin C + lactic acid as part of our brand-new Dr. Dennis Gross Vitamin C Lactic line.
Why Dr. Dennis Gross Vitamin C Lactic is Revolutionary
It often seems that there’s nothing vitamin C can’t do: build collagen; neutralize free radicals; minimize hyperpigmentation — the list goes on. You’ve probably asked yourself if you really need another ingredient in your skincare routine (aside from SPF, of course). But even Thor has help. The fact of the matter is combining vitamin C with one very specific ingredient (spoiler alert: it’s lactic acid) takes vitamin C’s power and efficacy to new levels of awesome. If you’re using vitamin C by itself, it will still give you great results — but combine it with lactic acid and the results you see in your skin will be nothing less than game-changing.
How vitamin C and lactic acid work
Lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that’s typically derived from milk, although there are vegan sources for it as well (Dr. Dennis Gross uses vegan lactic acid in its formulations). Like all AHAs, lactic acid chemically loosens dead skin cells. But it’s often recommended for dry complexions because lactic acid has the added ability to stimulate ceramide production. This, in turn, strengthens the skin’s moisture barrier, increasing hydration and thwarting irritants.
Because lactic acid is removing the cellular buildup on your skin’s surface, vitamin C has an easier time penetrating the skin to deliver its benefits because there’s less trash blocking its path. So that’s the first point. But since lactic acid helps make ceramides (and also GAGs aka glycosaminoglycans, which improve skin barrier function as well), it has the bonus of reducing any potential irritation your vitamin C might cause. But wait, there’s more! Vitamin C is water-soluble, meaning it absorbs into water layers (as opposed to in oil/lipid layers). If you increase the water levels in the skin, thanks to the hydrating effects of lactic acid, vitamin C can penetrate that much deeper. Recent medical reports have even shown that lactic acid may help neutralize free radicals in the lipid layer of skin (where water-soluble vitamin C can’t go), just one more reason why lactic acid is vitamin C’s perfect wingman.
Where to find vitamin C and lactic acid in skincare
The pH ranges of lactic acid and l-ascorbic acid (a form of vitamin C) overlap, allowing them to be combined in a single skincare formula without sacrificing stability or potency. This dynamic duo is the cornerstone of the newest innovation from Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare — the Dr. Dennis Gross Vitamin C Lactic skincare collection.
With a 15 percent concentration of ultra-potent vitamin C, this all-over skin serum helps to firm skin, even tone, and decrease the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots. In addition to complexion-refining lactic acid, this lightweight fluid also contains licorice and mulberry extracts to provide additional brightening benefits.
It’s designed to work with your Alpha Beta Daily Peel, so you can apply this serum directly after your peel. Since the second step of the Alpha Beta Daily Peel neutralizes the acids in the first step and effectively shuts them off, you don’t need to worry that the lactic acid in Dr. Dennis Gross Vitamin C Lactic 15% Vitamin C Firm & Bright Serum is going to mean you’re adding acid on top of acids and end up with a wildly irritated complexion. However, the high level of vitamin C in the serum could cause a slight tingling sensation upon initial application until your skin gets acclimated to the ingredient.
Clinically proven to reduce the appearance of puffiness, crepiness, dark circles, and fine lines in just one week, this silky emulsion combines three forms of vitamin C with C’s BFF, lactic acid. Plus, it contains tranexamic acid, an amino acid derivative that inhibits melanin production, and Centella Asiatica, a medicinal herb with antioxidant and skin barrier-boosting properties.
Yes, even oily complexions need hydration! This oil-free, non-comedogenic formula won’t clog pores but will deliver three forms of complexion-enhancing vitamin C, along with all-important lactic acid. Also in the mix: Niacinamide, a topical form of vitamin B3 that’s been shown effective at controlling sebum production, as well as at helping improve skin barrier function. And plant-derived squalane, which also reinforces the skin barrier and helps prevent transepidermal water loss (TEWL).
For skin types that require more moisture, this rich cream delivers. It bathes the complexion in vitamin C (to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles) and hydrating lactic acid. Ceramides, moisture-locking lipids that strengthen the skin barrier, are also in large supply in this formulation, alongside squalene to prevent existing moisture in the skin from evaporating.