Carrie Gross, 62
Sure, she owns a skincare company and is married to a renowned dermatologist, but Carrie Gross is no poster child for cosmetic procedures (not that anyone is judging). Instead, she favors an inside-out approach to aging that is making her not just more beautiful, but happier.
Describe yourself in three words
Ambitious: An innate desire to make something better has always been a common theme in my life, and thankfully I’ve been able to put my energy into co-founding Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare to help people transform their skin.
Present: My life can get chaotic quickly, but I try to remember to practice compassion and sincerity any chance I get.
Aesthete: I'm drawn to beauty.
What do you think is the biggest myth about aging?
It’s a myth that you must be defined by your chronological age. Your age can be a mindset — more cerebral than physical. There is an element of aging that feels very vulnerable, especially if you’re feeling more physically vulnerable. But that’s where your mindset can have a huge impact. It’s important to challenge yourself in different ways to keep your mind young and body physically strong. No matter where you’re at in your life, I believe that the best years can be yet to come.
What do you think has made the biggest positive difference in the way you've aged?
Being married to Dr. Dennis Gross, of course! Discipline is a big component of healthy-looking skin. Having the discipline to pursue in-office treatments, keeping up a daily regimen and seeking professional advice has made a huge positive difference in how I have aged physically. I utilize in-office treatments, like professional chemical peels and lasers. I never skip on my daily regimen. I do my Alpha Beta Daily Peel every single day and then change up my eye treatments, serums and moisturizers depending on what else my skin needs for that day. In perimenopause, it’s all about boosting collagen production every single day. Lastly, it's essential to have regular check-ins with your dermatologist or aesthetician to track your progress and results. Life changes as does our skin; having expert advice can transform your skin health journey. Mentally, though, you need to stretch in every sense of the word. Stretch your body and your mindset in different ways to keep yourself challenged. Aging can be so freeing when you stay connected to yourself, but also to younger generations that have lots of energy and exciting ideas. If you’re present, then you can be open to all the amazing things life has to offer, instead of being limited to a number.
Who do you think is aging well?
Jane Fonda. I have admired her beauty and grace for years. Luckily, I had the pleasure of meeting her. She was as beautiful on the inside as we see on the outside.
Take us through your skincare regimen
I do our Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel every morning. Step one delivers a cocktail of acids at a low dose to gently exfoliate and immediately improve skin tone and texture. Step two neutralizes the acids in the first step and delivers a potent dose of anti-aging and complexion-clearing active ingredients. Then, I look at my skin and see what I need for that specific day. Maybe it’s more hydration or a boost in radiance. No matter what actives I am using, like hyaluronic acid, vitamin C or retinol, I will use an eye treatment and serum and/or moisturizer. I love our Hyaluronic Marine Hydration Booster. Last, I protect my skin with our All-Physical Lightweight Wrinkle Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 30.
One tool I use to track my progress is a magnifying mirror. I think mirrors are fantastic at giving me a closer look at my pores and skin texture. At first, you might think you’re seeing “flaws,” but if you’re paying close attention, you’ll see results and know what products are working for you.
I use our DRx SpectraLite EyeCare Pro; it is FDA-cleared and proven to stimulate collagen production. The eye area is notoriously tricky to treat without using invasive options, but with red LED light therapy you can build collagen in that area every single day. I also use our Advanced Retinol + Ferulic Triple Correction Eye Serum, which can be applied under the eyes and even on the eyelids. Then I use the Advanced Retinol + Ferulic Intense Wrinkle Cream. It blends so nicely into the skin, and you get all the antiaging benefits of retinol without irritation. And finally, I use our Alpha Beta Exfoliating Body Treatment and DRx SpectraLite BodyWare Pro. The device utilizes red light therapy to stimulate collagen production on areas of the body. It also uses blue to eliminate acne-causing bacteria and deep infrared red for mild pain management. It takes three minutes a day and there's no downtime. You simply can't stop at your jawline.
I do love to experience other products, too, like Jordan Samuels’ Body Oil or Tammy Fender’s Quintessential Serum. I lean on By Terry for my concealer and Virtue for my hair. They have a great treatment oil and volumizing product.
What were your biggest challenges during perimenopause?
During perimenopause, it became such a challenge to sleep at night. My sweet husband would bundle up in sweatpants and socks so we could sleep in freezing temperatures to offset the night sweats. I am a much happier person with adequate sleep, so this was the biggest hurdle to overcome. I felt like I was dragging through the days when I couldn’t get proper sleep. The hormone flux was also uncomfortable to adjust to. I felt a shift in my mood and state of mind. I found that I had to make exercise a priority to release endorphins and feel like myself. Exercising through menopause is one of the best things you could possibly do. Whatever it is you like to do, just do it. Even if it’s going for a walk around the neighborhood or your office building, changing your environment can help adjust your mood and expelling energy can help with sleep.
One tool I use to track my skincare progress is a magnifying mirror. At first, you might think you’re seeing “flaws,” but if you’re paying close attention, you’ll see results and know what products are working for you.
Do you exercise a lot and eat very clean?
I think of exercise as an integral part of my beauty regimen. Lots of yoga, walks, weight training, Pilates and running around with the kids. Increasing circulation can even help keep your face toned and full of the nutrients, oxygen and vitamins it needs for a radiant complexion. I call cooking my “moving meditation." I love to cook with seasonal ingredients. When I am cooking, I can dial back all the noise and get in touch with what I need to feed (literally and figuratively) my soul or my family. I also have a juicer. It's not uncommon for me to have a fresh juice with cucumber, ginger, lemon, turmeric and other seasonal ingredients.
Good for you, that's super healthy! Do you have any vices?
Savory is what gets me. I love a good hamburger and fries or fresh guac and chips. And I can’t say no to a glass of wine. But a plate of chocolate doesn’t even tempt me. I’ve pretty much always been able to pass on sweets.
Define old now versus what you thought old meant when you were in your 20s...
I had the good fortune to watch my mom age very gracefully. She was a beautiful role model. Still, at a young age, I didn’t realize all the positives there were to aging. I only saw the negatives as something I would have to “go through." However, it’s interesting when you hit your 50s. At least for me, I felt more free. I felt unapologetic for who I am, what my needs are and how I want to spend my time in this life. Then I turned 60, and it took me to the next level! If you’re living life with compassion and empathy, then I think that goodness will come back to you and manifest in ways you could not have dreamed.