Adult Acne: A Horror Film (Dr. Dennis Gross & Peter Thomas Roth Acne Kit Reviews)

Photo by Philip Gendreau


Setting: a rainy dark night in a small NYC studio overlooking West End Ave.

::woman screams!::

Cut to me in the mirror with the look of sheer horror, while this stares back at me:


Ok Ok, I was definitely bringing the theatrics for this intro, but I was not happy with this face!! I expected a little bit of a break out after I quit using my birth control, but this was no joke! Never have I broken out in painful pimples. And so many of them! The worst was, after attacking my face at night, I would wake up and the pimples would be lesser in size and annoyance, but then by the middle of the day, they would be back! WAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

So to battle the adult acne I had developed, I decided to try a few different products to see which worked the best.

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Pads in Extra Strength and Ferulic Acid + Retinol Brightening Serum.


adult_acneThe Specs: This kit has the 2-step peel pads (Use Step 1 in circular motion over affected area, wait 2 min, and then repeat with Step 2 – simple enough!) as well as a tiny dropper bottle of the Serum.

According to Sephora

This 14 Day Challenge fights the three most prevalent signs of visible aging: fine lines and wrinkles, enlarged pores, and uneven skin texture. It uses a patented blend of alpha and beta hydroxy acids for younger-looking skin with no recovery time. It smooths the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while reducing pore size, eliminating dullness, improving clarity, and evening skin tone. While clearing imperfections and decreasing excess oil, it works to minimize the look of scars, creating a youthful-looking complexion in as little as 14 days.

– Day 1: Enjoy smoother, softer skin immediately upon application
– Day 3: Skin appears healthier and more radiant
– Day 7: Hydration levels increase and texture improves for better makeup application
– Day 10: Pores appear smaller
– Day 14: Experience a reduction in the appearance of fine line and wrinkles

Rating: 6/10

I do see the draw to this product. The packaging is clean and simple with white and orange drawing your eye in a modern way. Using the pads once every other day, or two days, was enough for my skin. Every day (or twice a day as it recommended) caused my skin to become very dry, tight, and painful, while not preventing further breakouts. Too many chemicals for me. I recommend it as a once a month, tops once a week treatment for the minimizing of pores and for combating those random, once in a while breakouts, but not for fighting serious adult acne issues.

Peter Thomas Roth Acne Kitadult_acne

The Specs:
This kit includes 5 parts:

– 2 oz Beta Hydroxy Acid 2% Acne Wash
– 0.5 oz AHA/BHA Acne Clearing Gel
– 0.24 oz Max Anti-Shine Mattifying Gel
– 1 oz Blemish Buffing Beads
– 0.5 oz Theraputic Sulfur Masque
– 0.25 oz Acne Spot and Area Treatment

According to Sephora

This powerful six-piece set helps clear existing blemishes and prevent the formation of new ones. The maximum-strength blemish-fighting cleanser is gentle on the skin and helps prevent the development of whiteheads, blackheads, and acne blemishes. The Clearing Gel cleanses pores and helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, acne marks, and residual discolorations. Max Anti-Shine Mattifying Gel gives you the added benefit of treating shine, a common issue for those with acne-prone skin. Multitasking Buffing Beads contain powerful acne fighters such as salicylic acid, glycolic acid complex, and sepicontrol to support the body’s natural process of cell turnover and sebum production. The skin-clearing masque banishes blemishes and unclogs pores for a flawless complexion while the highly effective spot treatment works quickly and efficiently to clear skin.

Rating: 8.5/10 

I actually really liked this line. The cleanser wasn’t too harsh to use every day. I did only use the Buffer Beads every other day to avoid over drying my skin. I also loved the Acne Spot and Area Treatment. Wake up with a pimple? Throw a little bit of the spot treatment on top of it, and within hours it will be minimized! It was a GOD SEND! I also really liked the AHA/BHA Acne Clearing Gel. It absorbs easily, and doesn’t leave any white flaky residue like some gels. It also wasn’t too drying which was nice. The other products were pretty good, but he main reason that I did not give this kit a higher score was because my adult acne hasn’t really diminished as much as I had hoped. I know skin cell rejuvenation takes a while, and cleansers with Alpha Hydroxy Acids and Beta Hydroxy Acids (AHA & BHA) are the best for reducing hyperpigmentation by shedding the old skin cells and letting the new ones move to the surface. I think patience needs to be something I practice a bit more :)

Stay tuned to see what other products I’ll be reviewing and keep up with my battle against adult acne!

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Amber Morrow

by Amber Morrow

Amber Morrow In House Editorial Contributor – With three North American tours under her belt, (for Monty Python’s Spamalot, The Color Purple, and Rock of Ages,) this Manhattan, NY based beauty guru provides insight from a professional makeup artist working on Broadway, sharing the tips and tricks that she’s learned along the way, products she loves, and of course her own personal work. Stay current on Amber’s adventures on her blog Lipstick, Liner & Lace.