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Dr. Dennis Gross Trifix™ Oil-Free Hydrating Moisturizer Review

Posted Aug 09 2011 12:27pm

Dr. Dennis Gross Trifix™ Oil-Free Hydrating Moisturizer  is the latest in anti-acne products.  Formulated with willow bark and fanesol to target blackheads, and aloe and bisabolol to soothe the skin, Dr. Dennis Gross Trifix™ Oil-Free Hydrating Moisturizer  sounds like a dream come true.  I definitely like it for its unique inclusion of vitamin D – a hot new topical ingredient for acne – but I think you’re best combining  Dr. Dennis Gross Trifix™ Oil-Free Hydrating Moisturizer  with a salicyclic-acid and benzoyl peroxide-laced cleanser and/or toner.  For my reasoning, read on.

Vitamin D for Acne:  LOVE It!

Vitamin D may be the new hot anti-acne, anti-inflammatory ingredient.  Although it has skyrocketed in popularity as a supplement recently, vitamin D applied topically to mouse skin has been only recently been found to significantly decrease the size and diameter of acne lesions ( British Journal of Dermatology , 2006), in a manner similar to retinoids.  However, retinoids in the study decreased the density of acne, whereas vitamin D applied topically did not.

Vitamin D analogs have also been mentioned as recent candidates to treat inflammatory reactions like allergic contact dermatitis and atopic dermatitis.  Vitamin D analogs treat inflammation as they suppress IgE production and IgE modulated immunological reactions ( Experimental Dermatology , 2004).   Vitamin D may also play a role in innate immunity, stimulating the production of antimicrobial peptides through increased CD14 expression ( Journal of Clinical Investigation , 2007).

White willow bark (Salix alba) is often touted by natural health enthusiasts because it is the plant from which aspirin is derived.  White willow bark contains a number of potentially beneficial compounds, including aspirin (acetylsalicyclic acid), salicyclic acid, caffeic acid, ferulic acid, glycosides, tannins, and flavonoids ( Longwood Herbal , 2011).  Clinically, white willow bark has been shown to have anti-pyretic and pain-relieving properties due to its inclusion of salicin ( Skin Therapy Letters , 2000).

There are extremely limited studies testing the efficacy of topically applied white willow bark on acne.  I personally do not like the idea of using white willow bark to treat acne because white willow bark contains 8-20% tannins.  Systemically, it has been shown tannins can interfere with the absorption of salicyclic acid, a known anti-acne agent ( Herb Contraindications and Drug Interactions , 2001).  Although white willow bark contains salicyclic acid, why possibly inactivate a major ingredient?  The rest of the formulation is soothing enough without the white willow bark.  Or at least extract the tannins…

Farnesol is a natural organic alcohol found in rose and orange oils, as well as Lily of the Valley.  Farnesol has not yet been tested in published research against P. acnes, the bacterium responsible for the vast majority of acne.  However, farnesol has been shown to be effective against other bacterial species, including Staphylococcus aureus ( Journal of Dermatologic Science , 2005) and Corynebacterium minutissimumC. urealyticum, and Staphylococcus epidermidis ( International Journal of Cosmetic Science , 2006).  So it is likely farnesol has anti-microbial activity against acne?  Yes.  But how the natural ingredient measures up to gold-standards benzoyl peroxide and salicyclic acid…that remains a mystery for now…

Bisabolol, an alcohol compound derived from chamomile, is very soothing.  In fact, bisabolol has been documented to be capable of inhibiting the same enzymes as aspirin, 5-lipooxygenase and cyclooxygenase, and is useful in treating skin redness ( Chamomile: Industrial Profiles , 2005).  Bisabolol also increases the penetrance of other skin care ingredients into the skin ( International Journal of Therapeutics , 1991).

Dr. Dennis Gross Trifix™ Oil-Free Hydrating Moisturizer  contains some ingredients that are proven effective against acne, namely vitamin D and bisabolol.  It also includes white willow bark and farnesol, which are likely (but not yet proven) to help treat acne.   What I wish  Dr. Dennis Gross Trifix™ Oil-Free Hydrating Moisturizer  contained was the proven major acne fighters benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid and a sunscreen, but I guess you can’t have it all.  When you consider the light yet hydrating texture, the super antioxidant vitamins C and E (plus stabilizing ferulic acid through the white willow bark), the soothing aloe and green tea catechins, plus the aforementioned vitamin D and bisabolol,  Dr. Dennis Gross Trifix™ Oil-Free Hydrating Moisturizer  is a win.  Just be sure to use it with benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid in your regimen for best results!  Product Rating: 9/10 (High/ideal concentration of proven ingredients: 2/3.  Unique formulation or new technology: 3/3.  Value for the money:  3/3.  Sunscreen or sunscreen-boosters [vitamin C and E]: 1/1).

Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Squalane, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Polysorbate 60, Dimethicone, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Panthenol, Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D), Camellia Sinensis Catechins, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Farnesol, Bisabolol, Phyllanthus Emblica Fruit Exctract, Phospholipids, Disodium EDTA, Cyclodextrin, Phytic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Carbomer, Potassium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, Sorbic Acid, Sodium Benzoate.

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