It’s been a long time since Dr. Dennis Gross, the board-certified dermatologist and creator/founder of his namesake skin care line, has gotten a facelift. Sixteen years ago he literally changed the playing field with his iconic Alpha Beta Peels. Now, almost every skin care brand offers some form in their lineup, too. Here, the good doctor chats with Beauty Insider on tackling a new category—tired skin—while rebranding himself at the same time.

Beauty Insider: When was the last time you had a massive change like this?
Dr. Dennis Gross: Really, never. Ten years ago we changed our name from MD Skincare to Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare. This year we changed all of our packaging and revamped our logo. We wanted something memorable that was more iconic, so we used my initials in a visually fun and recognizable way.

BI: What made you change your packaging?

DDG: I felt there was a cultural shift in terms of how people think and how to best communicate with them. People think in two ways. One, they’re either looking for a solution, as in they have wrinkles and need to fix them. Or two, they’re looking for an answer to a problem. For us, the question became, “How do we clearly, easily and visually match a product with what they’re looking for?” So, we’ve color-coded packaging to help streamline the shopping experience and to help consumers find the correct category, which allows for quick navigation. It’s a two-prong approach.

BI: You also came out with a new line called C+Collagen. Tell what drove the need for this collection?

DDG: More and more patients were coming in and saying that their skin looked tired, which they felt made them look older. Tired is really a label people have come up with in order to describe a sudden or gradual change in their skin or appearance when they can’t put their finger on what has changed specifically. I realized their skin needed energy. And when you talk about lost radiance and energy, you’re really talking about vitamin C and making the skin come alive again.

BI: It sounds like you’ve found white space in a flooded market.
DDG: I did. This category didn’t exist. Everyone responds to the word tired, which is a real way to describe how you look. And there wasn’t anything in the marketplace that directly spoke to restoring this look, which is what C+Collagen does. We haven’t launched anything big like this since our Ferulic+Retinol franchise three years ago, so this is huge.

BI: What’s your first release this year?

DDG: The Brighten & Firm Vitamin C Serum launches this month. You always want to start with a serum because it’s the most effective and the fastest way to deliver powerful ingredients and to see results while energizing skin.

BI: What products will follow?

DDG: In April, we’re releasing Brighten & Firm Eye Cream, and in September we’re launching Deep Cream.

BI: What’s your best way to grow brand awareness?

DDG: For us, it’s still word of mouth. People either tell a friend about a product or people ask, ‘You look great, what did you do or what are you using?’ Our goal is to get the product into people’s hands, which will be easier now that our messaging and packaging is clearer. Then you need a product that works, which ours does, thanks to new technologies and innovations while directly listening to clients’ concerns, addressing their issues and then offering items to solve those problems. We also have an amazing partnership with Sephora and Nordstrom that continues to grow each year. And for the last four years we have worked with QVC. We’re still deciding where our advertising dollars are going to be spent, but we are expanding our manpower within the company so that’s a big change with big potential.
BI: Starting next month, for the first time, you’ll have a new retail partnership with Selfridges department store. Please talk about the expansion.
DDG: London gives off the same energy as New York.  Always on the go, and people are constantly on the move,
tired and needing to refuel.  It’s also similar in its urban landscape and environment. It seemed like a terrific fit as our new collection should do very well with their clientele. Selfridges offers a mix of heritage brands and up-and-comers. It’s a fantastic space to be in and it’s a very exciting moment to expand our presence.