Attention, Acne Sufferers! Help Is Here: Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta 2% BHA+ Breakout Solution

7 minutes
April 05, 2024

You ask, we listen. While a lot of our skincare innovations lately have been pretty universal (like our Retinol + Ferulic Perfectly Dosed Treatment and our DermInfusions Plump + Repair Lip Treatment), none of our recent product launches have addressed acne head-on. 

And we know many of you have been asking for breakout treatments that go beyond our Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peels (although that’s an excellent, not-to-be-missed step in any blemish-busting regimen). But we didn’t want to introduce anything until we were 100 percent sure it truly was the answer to resolving unwanted acne. 

So without further ado, we present our new Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta 2% BHA+ Breakout Solution.

What makes 2% BHA+ Breakout Solution unique?

Where to begin? Any true anti-acne treatment needs to contain beta hydroxy acid (BHA). That’s just table stakes. The reason is that only BHAs are oil soluble, meaning they can be absorbed into skin’s lipid layer (like dissolves like, remember?)

A clogged pore is typically a mix of sebum and dead cells. To flush out the plug, you need an exfoliating ingredient that can travel to the heart of the oily pore. Only a BHA can make that claim to fame. As great as they are, all alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are water-soluble. While they’re extremely effective at exfoliating dead cells, AHAs are strictly surface agents.

But 2% BHA+ Breakout Solution is so much more than just BHA. This allover treatment liquid is formulated with four additional treatment acids, plus three more ingredients that hydrate and soothe to give you skin benefits, like reducing the appearance of fine lines and uneven skin tone. After all, a clear complexion is awesome, but a clear complexion that’s also smooth and plump is even better.

Girl using Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta 2% BHA+ Breakout Solution

What are some key ingredients in 2% BHA+ Breakout Solution and how do they work?

Salicylic acid

This is probably the most widely used BHA in skincare (it’s certainly the best known). Our treatment liquid is packed with plenty of salicylic acid to ensure blocked pores don’t stay that way for long. Salicylic acid dissolves the glue holding clumps of dead cells together, allowing the oil in the pore to flow freely to the surface and get washed away.

Azelaic acid

A chemical compound (dicarboxylic acid), azelaic acid is antibacterial. (P. acnes is the bacteria for your breakouts.) But it does a lot more than just kill bacteria. Azelaic acid is also an anti-inflammatory, and as anyone who’s ever had a pimple knows, redness and swelling are part and parcel of a clogged pore. But azelaic acid’s secret superpower may be that it also helps block production of an enzyme integral in pigment formation. Not only does this help brighten skin overall, it can mean post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and other dark spots become a thing of the past.


A plant extract, farnesol can kill bacteria, but we added it to our formula here because farnesol is also an anti-inflammatory that helps reduce redness.

Hyaluronic acid

Even though we’ve debunked this myth many times before, there are still some of you out there who believe that drying out skin is the only way to put an end to acne. Not only is that not true (skin will just make even more oil if you withold moisture from it), but your complexion will actually look better, faster the more hydrated it is. Hyaluronic acid is the water-attracting molecule that will help keep skin tissue plump.

Lactic acid

While we’re all in on BHA for treating acne, since day one we’ve espoused a combination of both beta hydroxy and alpha hydroxy acids in a skincare product (as opposed to one type or the other) — no matter what your skin goal. Simply put, it’s the most comprehensive, efficacious formulation. Lactic acid is an AHA that will help loosen dead surface cells while also helping skin hold onto moisture — a lovely double act.

Phytic acid

An extremely gentle AHA, phytic acid is known more for being an antioxidant than an exfoliant. It’s also a whiz when it comes to regulating oil production, keeping skin from making too much (or too little).

Pyruvic acid

Another AHA, pyruvic acid is the one to reach for if your skin is on the reactive side. That because pyruvic acid is prized for its ability to calm red, angry skin.


You may know it as a popular cooking spice, but turmeric used topically can help speed wound repair (such as skin post-pimple) and limit the melanin production, leading to a brighter, more even complexion.

What are the benefits of 2% BHA+ Breakout Solution?

• Quickly clears skin

• Prevents future blemishes

• Kills acne-causing bacteria

• Regulates oil production

• Calms redness and inflammation

Shop Alpha Beta 2% BHA+ Breakout Solution

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