As a beauty writer, I receive an influx of skin care products on the regular. Some good, some bad and some that become mainstays in my routine (shout out to CeraVe, my one true love).
But occasionally even I can get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of products on rotation in my bathroom cabinet. So much so, that I fall into a rut where my skin isn’t actually getting what it needs. And while plastering layers of different serum formulas all over my face sounds like a luxurious activity, after months of failing to find something to cure my perpetually dry skin, I’d become distraught.
Then, one day in October I received a lovely email offering me a skin consultation service via Zebrafish Collective.
At first, I was slightly cynical, thinking it was just another skin care brand with an agenda to sell me products I didn’t need. But on closer inspection of their website, it became apparent that this so-called collective was in fact referring to a literal collection of some of the most trusted brands in the skin care space (SkinCeuticals, Medik8, iS Clinical, just to name a few), with an emphasis on cosmeceutical formulations that promised results (and didn’t rely on fluffy marketing to do it either).
The truly impressive part (well, it impressed me), was that Zebrafish Collective offered 20 minute consultations with qualified dermal clinicians at no extra cost. Yep, no hidden fee whatsoever, meaning the only thing you’re paying for are the products you’re actually using.
The complementary consultation
To prepare for my video chat consultation, I came up with a number of questions I wanted to ask my dermal clinician (Dr. Jayde Taylor). Things like what ingredients I should be using to help with my dry skin and what ingredients I should be avoiding, etc, etc. Dr. Taylor was so thorough, however, that my queries were made moot by the end of our skin chat.
We discussed what products I knew my skin loved, the ingredients I’d been avoiding (retinol, vitamin C — my sensitive skin just isn’t a fan unfortunately) and my skin goals. Dr. Taylor made note of my history and agreed it wasn’t necessary to put my skin through any more stress. But it was my aversion to hyaluronic acid that sent up warning signals. It was Dr. Taylor’s professional opinion that I had been experiencing severe transepidermal water loss and the solution was to find a formula with a HA molecule small enough to penetrate deep into the dermis and deliver the hydration I so desperately needed.
Coupled with formulas rich in highly bioavailable ingredients such as fatty acids, lipids and cholesterol, Dr. Taylor made it their task to find the right skin care fits for me; products that would replenish my skin, while protecting its integrity. Meanwhile, my main concern? Ensuring I had a juicy, dewy complexion – priorities. And thus, my skin care prescription was created (and it arrived in less than a week after our consultation too).
The prescription skin care routine
Admittedly, I’ve only been using my prescribed skin care routine for the last three weeks, but they’ve also been the least stressful weeks of my life (well, as far as my skin is concerned anyway).
I wasn’t expecting to see a huge change in my skin overnight, but just as Dr. Taylor predicted, my skin has been happily drinking up all the hyaluronic acid and lipids I’d been prescribed, leaving my skin looking juicy and plump as promised. My facial redness and the clarity of my complexion have definitely improved (kudos to the Medik8 Calmwise serum and SkinCeuticals 2:4:2 moisturiser for that one).
I’ve even taken to spritzing my face with a light misting of Avene Eau Thermale Spring Water ($22.99 at Chemist Warehouse) to prep my skin for all the formulas I’d been sent — a tip I’d received from Taylor for helping to minimise water loss and promote product absorption, that has been helping immensely.
And as far as routines are concerned the simple ‘cleanse, serum, moisturise’ regimen was a welcome change from playing Russian roulette with the contents of my ever-growing skin care collection.
The thing that impressed me the most was the focus on education. Having access to a qualified dermal clinician was amazing and something I previously thought would require half of my paycheck to acquire.
The knowledge I received surrounding my skin and it’s needs was so helpful and is something I can use regardless of whether I choose to stick to the exact routine I was prescribed.
An expert we always love to hear from is TikToker Mikayla Noguiera. This boujee foundation is going viral on TikTok (and she claims it’s so good she’s wearing it on her wedding day).
Main image credit: Beauty Crew
Briar is the Beauty Editor at BEAUTYcrew. Her 'down for anything' attitude has resulted in more than a handful of hair transformations, and she doesn't mind being used as a guinea pig for the industry's most unusual products and treatments. Her work has also appeared on Refinery29, Girlfriend and beautyheaven.