Skincare can be confusing. Whether you’re a seasoned pro at applying just the right amount of retinol, or you’re still confused as to which serums go first, you’ll probably be familiar with the stress of creating the perfect multi-step routine. Skincare is a multi-billion dollar industry, after all. It makes sense it’s offering you a seemingly endless amount of products to choose from. But: what if you didn’t have to, and could still get a glowing complexion? Prescription skincare might be the answer.
Prescription skincare is both the lazy girl’s answer to a 10-step routine and a more environmental way forward. One of the first companies in Australia to offer it was The Secret, a prescription skincare company founded in late 2019 by Perth doctors Clara Hurst and Deb Cohen-Jones.
Its premise is simple: a few products, made to order, using ingredients stronger than you’d find in store.
“The strength of prescription skincare is unparalleled to anything you will find on regular retail shelves,” Hurst and Jones told PEDESTRIAN.TV.
“Prescription ingredients are medically proven through studies, medical trials and years of research to treat an array of challenging skin conditions – melasma, acne and rosacea, to name just a few. Over the counter products cannot utilise these ingredients in the strengths in which they have been clinically proven to produce results. In the case of The Secret Skincare, our compounded formulas allow multiple medically proven ingredients to be combined into a simple day and night regime.
“You won’t find us on the shelf because we’re not your standard day and night moisturiser.”
It’s on track to hit $4 million in sales by the end of 2021, so you could say they’ve hit a winner here.
How does prescription skincare work?
Each client is asked to fill out a medical questionnaire when purchasing the products. A Secret Skincare doctor will then review your questionnaire and formulate the products to suit your skincare needs. If they don’t feel that the products you’ve chosen will suit your skin, they’ll suggest changes.
Once you’re all aligned, the products will be created and sent out to you, along with a guide on how to use them. Nothing is made until it’s ordered, making it a more sustainable option (!!!). Also, you don’t actually pay anything until a doctor’s signed off on your products.
A few days / weeks later (depending on Australia Post’s stress levels), the products arrive. It’s a very simple yet highly effective routine, using just a few products. (All the products are vegan, sulphate-free, paraben-free, fragrance-free and not tested on animals – you know, all the good stuff.)
For me, Hurst and Cohen-Jones recommended a day brightening elixir cream, an eye serum and a cellular repair night cream. I’ve always been pretty lucky with my skin, so the main concerns were dark circles under my eyes and blackheads on my nose that I pretended not to notice.
The docs also assessed by current routine, and recommended I switch to a gentler face wash (I’m now using the Medik8 Lipid-Balance Cleansing Oil) and keep up my regular sunscreen usage. (Every skincare aficionado will know this, but sunscreen is both the number one thing you can use to protect your skin, and crucial when using retinol.) Other than that, they asked that I stop using my other products.
“The rising popularity of ten-step skincare regimes has results in consumers using too many products at one time, trying new formulas too often, layering incorrectly or combining too many active ingredients at once,” Hurst and Cohen-Jones said.
“All of this overwhelms, overstimulates, and confuses the skin, in other words damages the skin. This is particularly true for the lipid barrier. The lipid barrier acts as a protective barrier for the skin against the world and all its harsh external aggressors. When compromised, it can form all sorts of chaos on the skin such as redness, inflammation, peeling, dryness, dehydration, irritation, intolerance to active ingredients, breakouts and more.”
I’ve only been using the products for a few weeks, but so far it’s brightened my complexion and made a good start on the blackheads.
It’s also done wonders for my peace of mind – I feel like someone else (who knows better) is in charge of my skincare routine, and I can stop stressing if I’m wasting a $70 serum or damaging my barrier with yet another charcoal mask. Plus: my skincare routine takes about two minutes max now, which means I’m much, much less likely to skip it. And we all know consistency is what makes a skincare routine really work.
If you want to give prescription skincare a crack, you can find out more here.