Dr. Dennis Gross, Dermatologist

picture of Dr. Gross

We all know that makeup is applied to our skin, but what is the impact? Enjoy this visit with Dr. Dennis Gross, a Manhattan dermatologist and creator of MD Skincare®. Dr. Gross provided LoveToKnow Makeup with this exclusive interview including an interesting medical perspective on makeup use and highlighting some of his famous products.

If you want to learn more from this celebrity dermatologist, be sure to visit his website and read his book, Your Future Face (Viking 2005).

Background on Dr. Gross

Dr. Dennis Gross is a board certified dermatologist and dermatological surgeon in New York City. Early in his career he was a medical scientist who specialized in skin cancer.

Currently he has become widely known for his innovative skincare line with a strong reputation for products that employ some of the most advanced technology. Dr. Gross's product line, MD Skincare, has received publicized acclaim as a surgical procedure alternative. An expert in his field, his products and advice has been featured in a variety of fashion magazines, television shows and even textbooks.

Interview Questions

From the medical perspective, how does wearing makeup impact the quality of your skin?

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One of the biggest mistakes women make is going to sleep with their makeup on. Doing so can block pores, leaving oil trapped inside. This leads to bacteria buildup and, yes, breakouts!

What are the best techniques for removing makeup to preserve skin health?

I recommend using multi-taking products. For example, our All-In-One Cleanser with Toner is a cleanser, a makeup remover and a toner all in one.

How does makeup affect the aging of the skin?

If you don't remove makeup before bed, it could clog and pores and oil glands. When the makeup becomes impacted in pores, it can make them appear larger which is a part of aging! Once your collagen levels decline, the pore does not snap back as easily once it has been enlarged. It is best to break this habit sooner rather than later. Additionally, leaving makeup on the face could lead to inflammation, which can generate free radicals and collagen breakdown.

If your skin is maintained properly, its natural healing powers will be maximized, and it will stay in better condition for a longer period of time.

Are there any special recommendations you have to prep the skin before applying makeup?

Our tap water contains great variations of heavy metals which include iron, copper, magnesium, zinc and lead. These heavy metals can lead to skin inflammation and even wrinkles. I recommend using products which contain chelators prior to makeup application. Chelators have been incorporated into the MD Skincare Hydra-Pure category (such as the Hydra-Pure Mist) and are an organic complex that engulf and neutralize the heavy metals on the surface of the skin so they are unable to cause damage.

MDSkincare products

What is your opinion on spray tanning?

When self-tanning, don't be fooled into thinking that because your skin is darker you are more protected against the sun and will not burn as easily. This is NOT natural pigmentation; instead it is a dye so you still must be very careful to apply sunscreen when in the sun. Additionally, if you are using a self-tanner with an SPF, it is important to realize that the SPF is good for one application ONLY and your skin will not be protected once it is washed off, although the darker pigmentation on the skin may remain.

Can you share any easy tips to help us all look younger longer?

  • Changing to Satin Pillowcases to Reduce Friction on the Face while Sleeping - Persistently pressing our faces into a pillow causes trauma to the skin. Over time, this trauma, aggravated by the friction of a cotton pillowcase, can create permanent creases as our collagen breaks down.
  • Reducing High Impact Exercise or Alternating Routines to Incorporate both High and Low Impact Exercise - Most die hard runners have premature lines, wrinkles, and sagging. If a woman's foot strikes the surface, the force of her body weight bounces back off the ground and up into her body. I believe this jostling not only can damage joints but can cause collagen breakdown.
  • Applying Sunscreen to the Back of the Hands and One Full Inch into the Hairline
  • Frozen Green or White Tea Bags will Aid in Deflating Puffy Under Eyes and Decrease Swelling
  • Traveling with Your Own Bottled Water to Prevent Breakouts and Skin Irritation when in Different Cities
  • Wear Color - Wearing color- any color- instead of black, white, or beige near your face can make you look like you've been getting eight to ten hours of sleep every night.
  • DON'T SMOKE!!!!
  • Remove Makeup Before Going to Bed - If you don't, it could clog and pores and oil glands. When the makeup becomes impacted in pores, it can make them appear larger.

What is your take on the more natural forms of cosmetics available, like mineral makeup?

Not all minerals are skin-friendly. Calcium and Magnesium have been shown to cause oils on skin to become comedogenic- which can lead to acne. They must be used very carefully in order to prove beneficial. Copper-peptides are a new form of anti-aging ingredients that build collagen. However, Copper alone or unbound is one of the worst minerals for the skin. Copper, like Iron, can generate free radicals and create wrinkles when left unbound. It can be harmful if not used in the proper form. Minerals can be helpful if they are used properly. However, it is important to understand that one must understand the complexity of the chemistry- minerals can cause problems if they are not bound.

External Links

For more information on Dr. Dennis Gross, his MD Skincare product and additional advice - please visit his website at:

The newly revamped site allows users to get healthy skincare tips directly from the site, speak with other skincare aficionados in their forum, and also take a quiz to determine which skin level they are at!

Dr. Dennis Gross, Dermatologist