August 17, 2023
Current Obsession: A Face Plumping Wonder
Christopher Ehlers READ TIME: 7 MIN.
The skincare market is oversaturated with hyaluronic acid-based products that promise to plump up the skin and virtually eliminate fine lines and wrinkles. Of course, hyaluronic acid is an ingredient that can do just that (and so much more), but many HA serums on the market just aren't worth splurging on. If you're going to add an HA serum to your routine, just be sure you're spending the money on a product that does more than one thing and has some impressive clinical data to back it up.
That's why my current obsession is DermInfusions Fill + Repair Serum, a newly released wonder serum from Dr. Dennis Gross. It promises to act as a 3D alternative to injectables that fills, plumps, and firms the skin, all while restoring the skin's moisture barrier. Now that's what I call multi-benefit.
Why I Love It
The obvious answer to this question is "because it works." The wonderful thing about this well-formulated serum is that it can provide both immediate and long-term benefits. For example, the plumping effect is immediate, and it imbues the skin with a subtle fullness that wasn't quite there before. But over time, skin hydration improves, the moisture barrier is healthier, and fine lines and wrinkles are less deep. If I accidentally skip this for a day or two, I can see the difference in my skin, and that was my first indication that this product was special. In addition, it's gentle enough to be applied everywhere, including the lips and under the eyes.
What's In It
This is where things get fun. Dr. Dennis Gross is all about cocktailing ingredients for maximum results, and there is no product more emblematic of that than the brand's iconic at-home peels. This serum, too, is a mighty cocktail unlike much else on the market right now. First, it contains four molecular weights of hyaluronic acid so that it can penetrate the skin at various depths, literally plumping and hydrating the skin at various levels. It's this multi-level delivery that visibly fills out the face and plumps the skin.
It also contains a cocktail of four different peptides. For those that don't know, peptides are the building blocks of essential proteins like collagen and elastin. Collagen and elastin are literally the fibers that support our skin and give it its shape. As we age, collagen and elastin production decrease, and this is what leads to sagging and wrinkling. One of the chief goals of skincare should be to protect the collagen and elastin we have left while stimulating the production of more, and peptides are one way that we can help keep our skin looking (and acting) young. The peptide complex in this serum is impressive. First, it contains Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, which is often called the Botox peptide for the way that it blocks signals from the nerves to the muscles so that the muscles can no longer retract, giving expression lines a softer appearance. This DermInfusions Serum also includes Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 (a messenger peptide that essentially tells skin to act younger), Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 (proven to reduce irritation and damage while firming the skin), and Oligopeptide-2 (to dial up the product's firming and collagen-boosting effects).
This serum also utilizes Ectoin, a small, amino acid-derived molecule that was discovered in the 1980s in a salt lake in Egypt's Wadi El Naturn desert, where it was found that it helped guard microorganisms against salt-induced dehydration. In nature, Ectoin is a type of extremolyte that has stress-protection abilities and is often found in microorganisms that live in harsh environments. On the skin, Ectoin is capable of repairing the moisture barrier, holding onto hydration, calming irritation, and protecting the skin against UVA/UBV rays (though it doesn't replace sunscreen).
But there's also a slew of other ingredients that truly make this serum liquid gold: Niacinamide to help with pores and skin tone; green tea leaf extract to soothe and provide antioxidant benefits; Centella Asiatica Extract (a.k.a. cica) to soothe compromised skin; grape seed extract to protect, defend, and soothe; bakuchiol to reduce wrinkles and fade discoloration; and quite literally dozens of other soothing, hydrating, replenishing ingredients that do just about everything under the sun for your skin.
How to Use It
The versatility and ease of use is another reason that this product is a winner. It can be used morning and/or night, and plays well with virtually all your other skincare products. About two pumps for your entire face is all you need.
Why It's Worth It
Retailing at $75 for one ounce, there's no denying that this is an investment product, but it's one that I wholeheartedly endorse. There aren't many products on the market that combine the power of all these ingredients into one. But you're also paying for a delivery system that ensures these ingredients are actually being absorbed into the skin.
Dr. Dennis Gross uses something called a "MicroCelle delivery system" (yes, it's trademarked), which is a technology that reduces the size of water molecules so that they are more easily absorbed and penetrate deeper into the skin. In short, this Fill + Repair serum is not only incredibly formulated, but it's designed in such a way that your skin is going to be able to take advantage of each and every one of the ingredients. Apply this right after using one of Dr. Gross' peel pads and you will look like you just got a professional facial. $70, available at Dr. Dennis Gross and Sephora.