This free derm consultation service saved my dry skin

And even cured my aversion to hyaluronic acid

BEAUTYcrew Content Producer / November 03 2021

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).

“I have looked at every ingredient and selected skin care based upon your concerns and goals for a more hydrated complexion. Ultimately ending up with “juicier” skin. This routine is about replenishing lost lipids (oils) and water molecules. It is also coupled with anti-inflammatory ingredients to calm inflammatory mediators that are increasing the redness in the cheeks. If we can bring all this together we can enhance the barrier and repair your skin to give you the goals you desire.”
Dr. Jayde Taylor
/
Zebrafish Collective Dermal Clinician

The prescription skin care routine

Cosmedix Purity Solution

Cleanser AM/PM: Cosmedix Purity Solution ($60 at zebrafish collective)

“This oil-based cleanser is rich in antioxidants and lipids to restore what is lost. It will also restore some essential fatty acids needed for skin function. [It’s] fantastic for removing makeup and SPF; it literally melts the day off for you. Your skin will feel so nourished.”
Dr. Jayde Taylor
/
Zebrafish Collective Dermal Clinician

Medik8 Hydr8™ B5

Serum AM/PM: Medik8 Hydr8™ B5 ($79 at zebrafish collective)

“This is your HA. A dermal depth HA to ensure you receive [the] deepest hydration. It also contains panthenol (B5) to help your skin drink more of this. B5 also acts as an anti-inflammatory to help [with] any redness. Unlike other HA's [Medik8 Hydr8™ B5 ] won't ball up on your skin or ruin your makeup.”
Dr. Jayde Taylor
/
Zebrafish Collective Dermal Clinician

Medik8 Calmwise™ Serum

Serum AM/PM: Medik8 Calmwise™ Serum ($72 at zebrafish collective)

“Containing minimal ingredients, Calmwise is [formulated] using gentle actives to soothe the inflammation in your cheeks and restore the skin barrier. Teprenone is the magical ingredient here that helps with redness.”
Dr. Jayde Taylor
/
Zebrafish Collective Dermal Clinician

SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2

Moisturiser AM/PM: SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 ($183 at zebrafish collective)

“Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 is made for you as it is formulated with a maximised concentration of lipids: 2% pure ceramides, 4% natural cholesterol, and 2% fatty acids. This is based upon the science of the skin and what it needs to restore the barrier when dry. This sounds like what your skin is lacking.”
Dr. Jayde Taylor
/
Zebrafish Collective Dermal Clinician

SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Masque

Mask: SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Masque ($89 at zebrafish collective)

“Used post-procedure for even the most red and sensitive skin, [the SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Masque] will surely calm those cheeks after even the most brisk walk. [It] contains calming dipeptides, HA and gentle botanicals [and] also has a similar texture to some of your faves.”
Dr. Jayde Taylor
/
Zebrafish Collective Dermal Clinician

Societe Eye Peptide Mask

Mask: Societe Eye Peptide Mask ($165 at zebrafish collective)

“Cooling and jam-packed with collagen and peptides to enhance anti-ageing at a DNA level, [Societe’s Eye Peptide Mask] will surely calm down those upper cheeks before an event and leave skin hydrated. Collagen is very regenerative for impaired barriers, while niacinamide [helps to] calm the inflammation.”
Dr. Jayde Taylor
/
Zebrafish Collective Dermal Clinician

The verdict

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 a Content Producer at BEAUTYcrew. She is a self-professed skin care obsessive, always on the hunt for the perfect mascara, and can't go past a plumping lipgloss.