review dr.dennis gross retinol + ferulic triple correction eye serum

If I used an eye cream or serum, I’d go with Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum. So why don’t I? Eye serums are just glorified moisturised packaged in smaller jars and sold at a higher price. I don’t believe in buying the same thing twice. Just slather your facial serums on the eye area and save the rest of the money for a Vitamin C serum or other anti-aging product.

I had to say that. This baby costs a pretty penny and I don’t want anyone to feel like they have to splurge on it or else they’ll never be able to get rid of dark circles and crow’s feet. Said that, some people just like to use a separate product for the eye area and don’t mind splurging for it. If that’s you, you want to go with the very best eye cream or serum on the market (your skin deserves the best, right?).

So, no you don’t need a separate eye serum. But if you want to use one, this is the one I recommend. Let me tell you why:

About The Brand: Dr Dennis Gross

NYC dermatologist Dr Dennis Gross founded his namesake brand in 1990 with the aim of bringing to the skincare market products that deliver office-like results. The first breakthrough was the brand’s iconic AHA/BHA peel. I personally find it too drying, but I must admit it was revolutionary when it first appeared on the market. Back then, there weren’t many brands that were using exfoliating acids (or active ingredients) for that matter. Since then, Dr Dennis Gross has used his expertise as a dermatologist to create products you don’t want to switch away from. But, they don’t substitute office procedures. Anything that’s sold in a department store can’t be as powerful as an in-office treatment. Just saying.

Key Ingredients In Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum: What Makes It Work?


It’s so rare to see licorice root extract high on the ingredient list. I’m glad Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum made this choice. For starters, licorice has anti-inflammatory properties.2003 study found that it treats atopic dermatitis and reduces itching, swelling, and redness in over two weeks.

That’s not all. Licorice can also fade hyperpigmentation. Studies show that glabridin, a component in licorice inhibits the production of melanin (the pigment that gives skin its colour). If hyperpigmentation is the cause of your dark circles, licorice can help you banish them.

Related: Three Ways Licorice Extracts Benefits Skin


Wanna know why Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic + Triple Correction Eye Serum is named after ferulic acid? Easy. Ferulic Acid is an antioxidant on steroids. Usually, each antioxidant fights only one type of free radicals. That’s why I always tell you to look for products with a gazillion antioxidants. The more you use, the younger your skin will look.

Ferulic acid fights THREE types of free radicals: superoxide, hydroxyl radical, and nitric oxide. Adding it to your skincare routine will give your antioxidant defences a powerful boost. One more thing: ferulic acid also inhibits both UVA– and UVB-induced matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). In plain English, it stops the degradation of collagen (the protein that keeps your skin firm).

Related: Why You Should Add Ferulic Acid To Your Skincare Routine


The other gem that gives its name to Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum is retinol. Retinol (a form of vitamin A) is an anti-aging superstar. It fights wrinkles in three ways:

  • It has antioxidant properties that fight free radicals.
  • It boosts the production of collagen, the protein that keeps skin firm
  • It speeds up cellular turnover (the skin’s natural exfoliating process)

That means it can reduce crow’s feet and dark spots caused by hyperpigmentation. Of course, it takes time to work. Retinol is irritating and drying, and the eye area is very delicate so this eye serum only contains a tiny dose. Translation: it can treat wrinkles and dark spots, but expect results slowly. We’re talking months, not days.

Related: 3 Reasons Why You Should Add Retinol To Your Skincare Routine


Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum also contains a blend of AHAs and BHA (Salicylic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Mandelic Acid). They’re my fave exfoliants. Too bad they don’t do anything here.


Here’s the deal: these acids work only when their concentration is high enough and the pH is right. This serum doesn’t meet these conditions. 🙁 It’s not entirely a bad thing. The eye area is very delicate and using exfoliating acids together with retinol can be too irritating for skin. These actives work, but they should be used sparingly.

Related: AHAs VS BHA: Which One Is Right For You?

The Rest Of The Formula & Ingredients

NOTE: The colours indicate the effectiveness of an ingredient. It is ILLEGAL to put toxic and harmful ingredients in skincare products.

  • Green: It’s effective, proven to work, and helps the product do the best possible job for your skin.
  • Yellow: There’s not much proof it works (at least, yet).
  • Red: What is this doing here?!

I’ve just scratched the surface here. The reason I’m such a big fan of Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum is that it contains so many other goodies. Here’s the list:

  • Water/Aqua/Eau: The main ingredient in the product, it acts like a solvent to dissolve other skincare ingredients.
  • Propylene Glycol: It’s a humectant and preservative. It increases skin’s hydration and helps the product last longer.
  • Ethoxydiglycol: A solvent that helps active ingredients better penetrate through your skin, so they can do their job better and faster.
  • Bakuchiol: A natural alternative to retinol, studies show it is comparable to retinol in its ability to improve photoaging and is better tolerated than retinol“. So it helps with wrinkles without irritating skin. The catch? It’s weaker, so you need to use it twice a day instead than every other night.
  • Nephelium Lappaceum Leaf Extract: A natural extract that makes skin softer and smoother.
  • Ubiquinone: A fat soluble antioxidant present in all human cells, it helps fight free radicals, stimulate the production of collagen and reduce UV damage.
  • Quercetin: A powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract: Better known as green tea, this powerful antioxidant has anti-inflammatory properties that prevent wrinkles, soothe irritations, and reduces UV-induced sun damage.
  • Sodium Hyaluronate: A form of hyaluronic acid that draws up to 1000 times its weight in water and binds to the skin to deliver a waterfall of moisture. Result? Smoother, plumper, younger-looking skin.
  • Saccharide Isomerate: A humectant derived from plant sugars, it attracts water to the skin to keep it hydrated and plumped up.
  • Phospholipids: Naturally occurring in the skin, they increase the skin’s moisture levels for extra hydration, help deliver active ingredients deeper into your skin, and have antioxidant properties to boot.
  • Centella Asiatica Extract: One of the most soothing ingredients out there, it reduces redness, irritations, and UV-induced sun damage.
  • Caffeine: A vasoconstrictor that tightens the blood vessels in the eye area, making your dark circles and puffiness look less obvious. But it only works if your dark circles are caused by leaky blood vessels.
  • Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract: A natural (and less effective) alternative to Salicylic Acid, it soothes skin and redness. But it’s unclear how well it exfoliates skin.
  • Arctostaphylos Uva-Ursi Leaf Extract: A natural source of Arbutin, a powerful skin-lightener that helps reduce dark spots and dark circles caused by hyperpigmentation.
  • Morus Alba Bark Extract: A.k.a. white mulberry, it has powerful antioxidant properties. It’s also said to have some skin-lightening properties.
  • Potassium Azeloyl Diglycinate: Derived from mixing azelaic acid with glycine, it has skin-lightening and hydrating properties.
  • Panthenol: A powerful humectant with soothing properties that increase your skin’s hydration and calms down irritations.
  • Butylene Glycol: Another humectant that draws water from the environment into your skin to keep skin soft and plump.
  • Tetrapeptide-21: A peptide that tricks skin into producing more collagen. However, the only proof it works comes from the manufacturer. That’s not good enough for me.
  • Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride: A powerful emollient that makes skin softer and smoother.
  • Glycerin: One of the most common humectant found in skincare products, it packs a hydrating punch and makes skin plump and soft.
  • Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate: A preservative that makes the serum last longer.
  • Potassium Hydroxide: It adjusts the pH of skincare products.
  • Maltodextrin: A plant sugar that acts as an absorbent, binding agent, stabilizer, film-forming agent, and skin-softener.
  • PVM/MA Decadiene Crosspolymer: It helps create beautiful textures that spread easily onto the skin.
  • Polysorbate 20: It’s a mild cleansing agent, so not sure what it’s doing here.
  • Citric Acid: It helps to adjust the pH of the serum.
  • Sodium Citrate: Another pH adjuster.
  • Phenoxyethanol: A preservative that prevents germs and bacteria from growing into your skincare products.
  • Sodium Benzoate: Another preservative that prevents bacteria contamination.
  • Potassium Sorbate: A preservative that helps the product last longer.
  • Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492): It gives the serum a yellowish/orangey hue.

Related: What’s Caffeine Doing In My Skincare Products? 


This eye serum has a lightweight texture that spreads easily onto your skin. It’s also non-sticky and doesn’t feel tacky at all. It just absorbs immediately into your skin.


It’s fragrance-free. I like that. Fragrance-free products don’t always smell the best, so I get why some of you are not fans. But, hear me out. Fragrance is one of the most irritating ingredients used in skincare. The eye area is one of the most delicate areas of your skin. Using fragrance there can be a recipe for irritation. Stay safe and opt for fragrance-free products.

How To Use It

Here’s the best way to use this eye serum:

  • Gently pat on a small amount with your ring finger (it’s the gentlest). Rubbing pulls at the skin and causes wrinkles.
  • DON’T use during the day. Retinol is for night use only.
  • DON’T use more than once or twice a week, unless your skin tolerates retinol well. Too much retinol causes irritation and dryness. When your skin is dry, crow’s feet look worse, not better (FYI, retinol doesn’t make wrinkles worse, dryness does).
dr. dennis gross ferulic + retinol triple correction eye serum review


Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Triple Concentrate Serum comes in a small, dark bottle with a pump dispenser. I like it for two reasons. First of all, the dark bottle and pump dispenser mean the antioxidants inside don’t come into contact with light and air. This matters because light and air deactivate retinol and other antioxidants, reducing their effectiveness overtime. Plus, it’s hygienic. The chances of any bacteria finding their way into your serum are very small.

Performance & Personal Opinion

My skin’s used to retinol – I’ve been a devoted fan for years. This means I can use Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Triple Concentrate Eye Serum every night. But if I were just starting out with retinol, I’d cut it back to two nights a week. Why? Retinol is as powerful as it’s harsh. When used too often, it can cause dryness, peeling, and irritation – all things that make your crow’s feet worse.

When my clients tell me retinol makes their skin worse, I know they’re overdoing it. This is something you can enjoy in moderation only. Even if it’ll take longer to see results. How long? Retinol takes up to 2 months to boost collagen. You can’t use it for a week and expect your skin to be already firmer and your crows’ feet smaller. Give it time.

Dr Denis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Triple Concentrate Eye Serum may help dark circles too. I say may because it really depends on what’s causing your dark circles. If it’s a poor night’s sleep, blood pooling under your eyes, or genetics, this won’t do anything for you. It can lighten dark circles caused by hyperpigmentation (like unprotected sun exposure) – slowly.

What about its moisturizing properties? The serum’s more antiaging than hydrating. Oily skin can use it alone, but anyone else needs to follow it up with a good moisturiser (your face cream works, too).

Related: Dark Circles: Causes And Cures

How Does It Compare To Dr Dennis Gross Advanced Retinol + Ferulic Overnight Wrinkle Treatment?

When Dr Dennis Gross creates a fantastic formula, it has the annoying tendency to put it in different products: serum, moisturiser, eye cream. I say annoying because you’re basically buying the same thing twice of thrice… The main difference between the eye serum and facial serum, Dr Dennis Gross Advanced Retinol + Ferulic Overnight Wrinkle Treatment, is that the latter uses niacinamide, a powerful molecule that brightens skin, fights wrinkles, and soothes irritation. Personally, I’d opt for the facial serum because you get more product – and you get niacinamide. It’s one of the best ingredients for skin as it does pretty much anything without irritating skin.

What I Like About Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum

  • Lightweight, fast-absorbing texture
  • Fragrance-free
  • Prevents wrinkles
  • In the long run, it helps to reduce crow’s feet
  • Adds a little hydration to skin.
  • Hygienic and practical packaging

What I DON’T Like About Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum

  • Doesn’t do much for dark circles
  • Not hydrating enough for dry skin
  • You don’t need a separate eye serum (your facial serum will do just as well)

Who Should Use This?

  • Anyone interested in anti-aging (and you want to use a separate product for the eye area)
  • Dark circles caused by hyperpigmentation
  • Oily skin

Does Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Triple Concentrate Eye Serum Live Up To Its Claims?

Designed for use on the entire eye area, including eyelids, this 360° eye serum firms skin, reduces wrinkles, and smooths the eyelid. It can do all this – in time. With retinol, it can take months to see results.
Gentle enough for the eyelid yet powerful enough to smooth the look of crows feet, elevens, crepiness, and uneven texture. It’s gentle when used in moderation. Using retinol every day can dry out skin and make crows’ feet look worse.
It even doubles as an eye makeup primer. I don’t recommend you use it as primer, especially if you have oily lids. It doesn’t stop my eyeshadows from creasing.

Is Dr Dennis Gross Cruelty-Free?

Yes, Dr Dennis Gross doesn’t test on animals, not even though a third-party.

Price & Availability

$71.00/£72.00 at Brown Thomas, Cult Beauty, Dermstore, Harrods, Selfridges, Sephora, Skin Store, and Space NK

The Verdict: Should You Buy It?

No one needs an eye cream or serum. Just extend your facial skincare routine to your eyes too. But if you want something specific to target anti-aging, Dr Dennis Gross Retinol + Ferulic Triple Correction Eye Serum is a good option to consider.

Dupes & Alternatives

  • First Aid Beauty FAB Skin Lab Retinol Eye Cream With Triple Hyaluronic Acid ($44.00): A gentle retinol serum packaged with hydrating hyaluronic acid to counteract its drying effects and plump up skin. Available at Look Fantastic, Sephora, and UIta.
  • Kate Somerville +Retinol Firming Eye Cream ($98.00): A silicone-based eye cream with retinol to smoothen out the eye area and reduce wrinkles. Available at Brown Thomas, Cult Beauty, Nordstrom, Sephora, SpaceNK, and Ulta.
  • Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM Eye Cream ($55.00): A retinol-rich cream with shea butter to moisturise skin and slow down premature aging. Ideal for dry skin. Available at Beauty Bay, Cult Beauty, Peter Thomas Roth, Revolve, Sephora, and Ulta.


Water/Aqua/Eau, Propylene Glycol, Ethoxydiglycol, Bakuchiol, Retinol, Nephelium Lappaceum Leaf Extract, Ferulic Acid, Ubiquinone, Quercetin, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Saccharide Isomerate, Phospholipids, Centella Asiatica Extract, Caffeine, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Salicylic Acid, Arctostaphylos Uva-Ursi Leaf Extract, Morus Alba Bark Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Potassium Azeloyl Diglycinate, Glycolic Acid, Panthenol, Butylene Glycol, Tetrapeptide-21, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Mandelic Acid, Potassium Hydroxide, Maltodextrin, PVM/MA Decadiene Crosspolymer, Polysorbate 20, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492)