The Most Overrated Skincare Ingredient (and What a Dermatologist Uses Instead)

After months of winter weather, our preoccupation with achieving luminous, vacation-worthy skin has reached an all-time high—and it's clear we're not alone. Skincare acids have dominated 2018's buzziest product launches, from Glossier Solution to the Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta line, thanks to their ability to deliver glowing, exfoliated, lit-from-within skin.

"We're really starting to explore and understand the brand-new, unforeseen use of acids," Dennis Gross, MD, tells me during a consultation at his Upper East Side dermatology practice. "People hear that word and are either really hesitant or say, 'Give me more.'" If you fall into the former camp, it's time to get acquainted, he says. "The use of acids—the right ones—is ideal for absolutely everyone. You'll see a tremendous difference in your skin."

Gross's two latest products, a cleanser and a moisturizer, are game changers. Both contain a medley of hero and lesser-known acids, so you can reap the benefits without adding another step to your routine. Consider this skincare acid 101, according to Gross: what it is, how it works, and why it'll give you next-level skin.