It’s Here: Dr. Dennis Gross Advanced Retinol + Ferulic Perfectly Dosed Retinol

9 minutes
January 29, 2024

Our dermatologist founder Dr. Dennis Gross, MD, isn’t one to sit around twiddling his thumbs. When he’s not seeing patients, Dr. Gross is dreaming up his next skincare innovation. Lately, that’s resulted in entire new collections, like our DermInfusions line for skin filling, plumping, and repair, and new individual devices, such as our DRx SpectraLite LipWare Pro, an LED-powered lip device that uses red light to stimulate collagen production and improve circulation for visibly fuller, more defined lips. To that list, we now add our two latest must-haves: Advanced Retinol + Ferulic Perfectly Dosed Retinol Universal 0.2% and Advanced Retinol + Ferulic Perfectly Dosed Retinol Extra Strength 0.5% treatment pads.

First, why retinol?

Just about every dermatologist you’ve ever met not only swears by the skin-transforming powers of this vitamin A derivative, but they also use it on their skin as part of their routine. If that doesn’t convince you retinol should be a step in your regimen, nothing will.

But retinol can also be tricky business. It’s not one of those ingredients, like SPF, where if applying some is good, slathering on a ton is excellent. Retinol is notorious for triggering irritation, for one thing. There are also a variety of ways the ingredient itself can be formulated — at various strengths and in different delivery systems, from encapsulated to cream. Not to mention an entire offshoot of “natural retinol.” If you don’t have an MD degree or a job as a cosmetic chemist, it can be difficult to navigate all the offerings to determine which formulation will be the most effective for you on your retinol journey. 

And that’s before you consider how to stave off irritation. When someone talks about how awesome retinol is for skin, in almost the same breath, they’ll also warn of its initial irritating effects (read more here) and list ways to offset it (use a pea-size amount over your entire face and apply your retinol on top of a layer of moisturizer are just two of many suggestions). The risk of redness is enough to make some people bypass retinol completely, despite the plethora of benefits. 

What makes Dr. Dennis Gross Advanced Retinol + Ferulic Perfectly Dosed Retinol unique?

“Perfectly Dosed” isn’t a misnomer. Each treatment pad contains the exact percentage of retinol listed on the label, so you know with certainty what you’re applying. And the amount of liquid retinol in each pad is enough to treat your face, neck, shoulders, and décolleté — no more, no less. You no longer have to guess how much of your retinol cream you need to smooth on to treat those areas effectively. 

The treatment pads themselves are also distinct. Each fiber round is naturally textured to whisk away dead surface cells gently. This allows the retinol and other ingredients to absorb into the skin unimpeded, providing maximum improvements in the least amount of time. 

What are some key ingredients in Advanced Retinol + Ferulic Perfectly Dosed Retinol treatment pads and how do they work?

Liquid retinol

Retinol in liquid form is more potent than its cream-based cousins. This will come as no surprise to anyone who’s ever used a serum: Liquids absorb more easily and deeply into the skin than thicker lotions and creams do. Our new treatment pads come saturated with pure liquid retinol in one of two strengths: 0.2% or 0.5%. 

At either level, retinol has been proven time and again to do everything you’d want a skincare ingredient to do: Stimulate collagen growth to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles; increase cellular turnover to help smooth skin texture; inhibit melanin production to help lessen the look of hyperpigmentation; and control oil production to reduce breakouts and other signs of acne. If you’re looking to do a deeper dive on retinol, make sure to check out our retinol guide.


The more moisture that’s in your skin, the less likely it is to react negatively to retinol. Squalane is an oil-free lipid that helps lock moisture into the skin, reinforcing its barrier.

Hyaluronic acid

Beyond keeping existing moisture in skin tissue as a way to minimize irritation, you also want to add to those reserves. That’s where this moisture magnet enters the picture. Each hyaluronic acid molecule can absorb 1,000 times its weight in water from the surrounding air and pull it into skin tissue at various depths. 

Ferulic acid

This antioxidant is retinol’s favorite sidekick. When it’s not busy guarding against free radical damage, ferulic acid is working hard to counteract any potential irritation coming from retinol.


An extract from the “babchi” plant, bakuchiol has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties. It also helps stimulate cellular turnover, similar to the way retinol does, but bakuchiol doesn’t trigger redness and irritation the way retinol can. (However, bakuchiol is not a “natural retinol.” That’s a common mistake.) Bakuchiol’s anti-inflammatory effects can help counteract potential retinol-induced irritation. It also gives the moisture barrier a boost, which also helps keep irritation under control.


Made from the leaves of a tree native to Southeast Asia, rambutan is an antioxidant that defends existing collagen. It also helps protect the skin’s moisture barrier, lessening the chances of irritation from retinol.

What are some primary skin benefits of Advanced Retinol + Ferulic Perfectly Dosed Retinol?

  • Immediate radiance
  • Visibly reduced fine lines and wrinkles
  • Improved appearance of uneven tone and texture
  • Firm and lifted skin
  • Hydrated and bouncy complexion


How do I choose the best Advanced Retinol + Ferulic Perfectly Dosed Retinol version for me?

Dr. Dennis Gross Advanced Retinol + Ferulic Perfectly Dosed Retinol Universal 0.2%

Been hearing all the buzz about retinol, but have you yet to try it for yourself? If you’ve never used retinol before, this is the place to start. This percentage is ideal for skin that needs to get acclimated to the effects of retinol. Use this treatment one night a week as your skin adjusts to the new ingredient. You can work up to applying two nights a week when your skin is ready. 

Dr. Dennis Gross Advanced Retinol + Ferulic Perfectly Dosed Retinol Extra Strength 0.5%

If you consider yourself a pro when it comes to retinol, you’re ready for the extra-strength version of Perfectly Dosed Retinol. The 0.5% level is the maximum amount of retinol skin can tolerate without freaking out. Conveniently, 0.5% is also the percentage of retinol that delivers maximum skin improvements. (Remember what we said earlier about how more retinol wasn’t necessarily better?) Even if you’re a retinol regular, you should still start slow with these pads and only use them one or two times a week when you’re first trying them out. If you don’t experience any irritation, feel free to gradually increase frequency as tolerated. Just keep in mind that these are concentrated treatments and are only meant to be used a few times a week to give your skin a boost, unlike our Alpha Beta Daily Peels which are gentle enough to use every day. 

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