Review: Dr. Dennis Gross Universal 5 Day Peel



Ahhh yes, winter has now settled in around here and my skin knows it. Grumpy, itchy, dry skin that begged for exfoliation even after exfoliating. Remembering that I have some products stashed away, I decided to have a peek to see if I have anything to help my skin and wouldn’t you know it, I happened across this five-day treatment by Dr Dennis Gross that I bought when I was in Canada and totally forgot about. It was like my skin spirit animal was singing to me.

I decided to document my progress over the days and see if I can revive my very grumpy skin.

I remember being attracted to getting this because I loved how cheap and quick is was. I’ve done different exfoliating/microdermabrasion pads like Philosophy and First Aid Beauty in the past but never an ‘express’ product like this with a little two-step process. This is also the first product I’ve tried from Dr Dennis Gross’ line, so I’m really excited and curious.


Dr Gross_Peel_ingredients

The ingredients via

So Step 1 has ingredients that are commonly found in exfoliating or skin renewal products, where dead skin can be easily sloughed away (a lot are in foot peels, as you might remember). I would definitely not use this product on open sores – unless you get your kicks from stinging and slight burning sensations.
Step 2, the “Deeper Treatment”, has retinol pretty high up on the ingredients list, which is excellent because I want to accelerate the healing of fresh acne and blemish marks.





I had to wash my face before starting anything because it felt really gross and dirty. Straight after cleansing and pat-drying I ripped open Step 1 and started doing circular motions all over my face, making sure never to rub the sheet into my skin. There’s no strong smell and it only stung on a little spot I picked earlier, but it wasn’t painful.
Like the instructions say I left it for 2 minutes to dry before doing the same thing with Step 2, this time just moisturising afterwards and going about my day. That’s it!

A few hours later I did a checkup to see how my face was looking. I noticed that the fresh spots (including the one I picked) from the morning are almost gone which is awesome. I have high hopes that the older marks and blemishes will be on their way by the end of the treatment.



Today I was stupid and went for my daily walk around midday. Thankfully I injured my foot and came back 15 minutes later. Even though I hadn’t done today’s treatment yet, I forgot to slap on sunscreen and wear a hat because retinol makes your skin much more sensitive. When I looked in the mirror after being back for only a few minutes I realised my skin was warm and quite red.
I waited half an hour before I had a shower then did today’s treatment, it still was a little sensitive-looking though. In hindsight, I should have waited to do the treatment in the night time, when it’s actually the best time to apply anything with retinol in it. I’m an idiot.


DAY 3 & 4

Back on track! Kept my face in the shade while hanging clothes then covering myself when in the car. No sensitivities like I had yesterday and have planned my walk near sunset.
My skin is smoother and while I have had a few new spots emerge (thanks, pre-period!) they haven’t been too noticeable. My problem area under my lower lip where I always have inflammation is healing really well.


DAY 5 

No treatment today, see below.

I left a day treatment-free between 4 and 5 because I was curious if my skin would just go back to its evil ways or if anything would change. Woke up on Day 5 with no new acne (except one whitehead, but that’s amazing seeing that it’s coming up to Evil Week). Not even flaring. Went and did my last treatment, a little sad to see it end.


Results & Verdict

I really, really enjoyed trying the 5 day treatment. It’s enough time to get your skin out of the dermal gutter and renew it. I think it would be a great product if you’re getting ready for a big event coming up. Even doing two over a weekend would help anyone and if you don’t want to use it consecutively (perhaps one every few days), you could. I think the price makes it well worth it, especially with the ingredients and the fact you can shove sachets in your bag if you’re going away.
The only downside is that I couldn’t find the five day treatment on any Australian site! Mecca does stock the 30+ treatments (prices below), but I wish the 5 day treatment was available when you’re a bit strapped for cash.

Price: AUD$123 for 30 days /US$16/ CA$20/ UK£15 (link is for extra strength)
Important Things To Consider!

  1. This product has effective but strong ingredients, so applying to face should be done as gently as possible.
  2. As I said earlier, as this product has retinol so practice sun safety! Slap on sunscreen in the day and keep your face covered with a hat.
  3. If you have any sort of open sores, wait a day or two until they’re closed before using the product. Remember to stop using the product immediately if you have any uncomfortable or painful sensations and get advice.


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