When our skin’s looking a bit lack-lustre, we want something that can tackle all our beauty bothers in one step. In a dream world, this product would brighten up our dull complexion while hydrating dry patches to give our skin the brightening lift it needs. Could Dr Dennis Triple C Peptide Firming Oil be exactly what we’re looking for?

The Claims

The ‘triple C’ in this product is three types of zingy vitamin C, which the company claims will fight against the activity of damaging free radicals while supporting the skin’s production of collagen. It also contains a blend of three peptides, apparently to firm and tone the skin, and a number of moisturising ingredients. With its cocktail of vitamins, fatty acids and botanical extracts, this product promises ‘a luminous complexion that instantly snaps back into shape’ – let’s put these claims under our Beauty Geek microscope!

Vitamin C

Sure enough, vitamin C is present in as three different compounds: ascorbyl glucoside, ascorbyl palmitate and tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate. These are all more stable than ‘classic’ vitamin C, ascorbic acid, and so should hold onto their precious potency for longer. Topical application of vitamin C has been shown to have a rejuvenating effect on the skin, by driving the production of collagen (an essential protein for skin’s strength) and simultaneously blocking the enzymes that act to break it down. It’s also a powerful anti-oxidant, much like a number of the botanicals in this serum, meaning it will neutralise the free radicals that have been linked to skin damage and accelerated ageing processes. This ingredient has two ticks so far, but vitamin C’s ability to gently improve hyperpigmentation makes it a triple threat – this should help to brighten up our complexion!

Palmitoyl tripeptide-1, palmitoyl tripeptide-28 and tetrapeptide-21

When our skin needs a bit of repair work, short amino acid chains known as matrikines naturally stimulate collagen synthesis. The peptides in this product have been shown to mimic these matrikines and so can have a renewing, anti-ageing effect on the skin by increasing the amounts of collagen being produced. The extra collagen being produced could help to firm up the skin and gradually improve its strength and bounce-back-ability – we’re happy!


This ingredient is very similar (in both name and structure!) to squalene, which makes up 13% of the sebum our skin produces. It behaves as an emollient to make the skin feel and look smoother, while putting up a barrier against water loss.

Moisturising Ingredients

Sunflower seed oil is high in linoleic acid, a fatty acid that has been shown to improve skin’s condition, while also increasing the skin’s hydration. While other emollients can just act to mask the problem and temporarily relieve uncomfortably dry skin, this ingredient will actually help to solve our biggest winter skin concern. Argan oil also contains linoleic acid and it too has been shown to up skin’s hydration. Add sodium hyaluronate into the mix, which can hold onto vast quantities of water, and this product should leave our skin’s moisture levels replenished!

Salicylic acid, Lactic Acid and Glycolic Acid

Salicylic acid is a BBTG fave, especially when it comes to brightening our complexion. By loosening the interactions between skin cells, salicylic acid helps to speed up the natural shedding of dead skin to unveil a more radiant complexion. This has been shown to help treat hyperpigmentation issues such as melasma or those annoying blemishes that hang around long after your spot has healed! Lactic acid and glycolic acid work in a similar way, but unfortunately without knowing the concentrations of these ingredients we can’t say for certain how effective they are likely to be in this oil.

The Verdict

On the whole, we’re quite impressed! Vitamin C not only provides anti-oxidant protection with a brightening boost, it works to increase collagen production too. With the blend of peptides having the same effect, we’re confident that we’d see some firming results with this product. Teaming this with some hydrating ingredients covers the promises made by the company – we’re very tempted to splash out on this serum!

You can find Dr Dennis Triple C Peptide Firming Oil here (UK) or here (USA)

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Clinical, biometric and structural evaluation of the long-term effects of a topical treatment with ascorbic acid and madecassoside in photoaged human skin

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Development of a LC-MS/MS method to monitor palmitoyl peptides content in anti-wrinkle cosmetics

Tetrapeptide 21 – Cosmeceuticals and Cosmetic Practice

Biological importance of squalene and squalane

Study of sensory properties of emollients used in cosmetics and their correlation with physicochemical properties

Role of topical emollients and moisturisers in the treatment of dry skin barrier disorders

Effect of olive and sunflower oil on the adult skin barrier: implications for neonatal skin care

Does argan oil have a moisturising effect on the skin of postmenopausal women?

Hyaluronan: a truly ‘youthful’ polysaccharide – its medical applications.

Salicylic acid as a peeling agent: a comprehensive review

Glycolic acid peel therapy – a current review

Randomised clinical efficacy of superficial peeling with 85% lactic acid versus 70% glycolic acid

Dr Dennis Gross Skincare Triple C Firming Peptide Oil


Squalane, Silica, Silica Silylate, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Ascorbyl Glucoside (Vitamin C), Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C), Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (Vitamin C), Rose Flower Oil, Tetrapeptide-21, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-28, Retinol, Emblica Officinalis Fruit Extract, Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D), Phytonadione (Vitamin K), Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Panthenol (Vitamin B), Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Chlorella Protothecoides Oil, Hippophae Rhamnoides Fruit Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Phospholipids, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Geranium Maculatum Oil, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate, Linoleic Acid (Vitamin F), Biotin (Vitamin H), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter Extract, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Ubiquinone, Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Acrylates/Carbamate Copolymer, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Butylene Glycol, Tribehenin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hydroxyethyl Behenamidopropyl Dimonium Chloride, Bentonite, Corn Starch Modified, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Water/Aqua/Eau, Polysorbate 20, Carbomer, Glycerin, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Behenyl Alcohol, Sorbitan Isostearate, Cyclodextrin, Phytic Acid, Phenoxyethanol.