If you are suffering from hyperpigmentation of the face and neck, you know the plight. It’s hard to get rid of and even harder to cover up. Mostly, it can make you less confident in yourself.
I have a variety of embarrassing skin issues including vascular rosacea, which dilates my facial veins, and a condition known as poikiloderma which makes my neck and chest look confused with hyperpigmentation and blood vessels. more dilated, called telangiectasias. I have used ablative and non-ablative lasers over the years with varying success, but I hadn’t found any effective (and non-irritating) topical treatments until recently when trying The Secret Skincare, a new skincare brand. custom skin originated in Australia. —A place where sun exposure and resulting damage is a priority.
Developed by Dr Clara Hurst and Dr Deb Cohen-Jones to treat the most difficult cosmetic skin conditions, The Secret launched online in early 2020. “We have worked closely with real patients on their skin journeys for over 20 years in between. we; myself in the field of medical cosmetics treating patients for cosmetic cosmetic conditions such as premature aging, melasma and acne and Dr Deb as a general practitioner with complex cases such as recurrent dermatitis and l ‘hormonal acne, for example,’ Hurst tells me.
Knowing first-hand that treating skin conditions requires an individualized approach, the couple decided to develop their own brand. “We saw a gap in the industry to organize a product that would perfectly complement its owner rather than trying to fit them into a single formula. Prescription skin care does just that; however, it is generally not easily accessible for the everyday individual, with multiple referrals, long wait times and high consultation fees, ”says Hurst. “The Secret Skincare was our solution to this. We can customize and create tailor-made formulations for the individual based on their needs and deliver exceptional results consistently. In fact, it was the results of the before and after photos that prompted me to try the brand in the first place. They are more than impressive.
The Secret Skincare routine consists of three main products (with a few additions). “You won’t find us on the retail shelves because we’re not your standard day and night moisturizer. Our products use the power and strength of prescription ingredients and are handcrafted for each individual based on their medical details and skin history, ”Hurst tells me. “We exist to help each person ‘love the unique skin you live in’ by delivering world-class results through super simple, cost-effective skin care routines, with an added touch of luxury. Our strategic sourcing partnership with a leading compounding pharmacy enables an enhanced scientific process for product development and testing, underpinned by the therapeutic governance necessary to ensure our products are of the highest quality.
The brand’s flagship ingredients are those that have been recommended for years to treat difficult skin conditions, such as tretinoin and hydroquinone. “Years of research, medical trials and studies have shown that they are the most effective ingredients on the market,” adds Cohen-Jones. “It is one of the driving forces behind our brand. Our formulations are based on extensive research, proven efficacy and, of course, results. Prescription skin care requires a prescription for a reason. Our products should be used under medical supervision, as regular consumers accustomed to purchasing mass-produced over-the-counter products often do not understand the significantly superior strength of our active ingredients.
Cohen-Jones continues, “One of the challenges of a prescription skin care line that we have had to navigate (especially being the first in Australia) is to monitor the use of these ingredients by our patients. The service we offer plays a major role in this. One of our core values is taking care of our patients. We always aim to achieve the best possible results for our patients and make sure they use these ingredients safely with proper counseling and education. We provide substantial support information on each order to make it easier for our customers, especially new users. “
When I ask about the controversy surrounding both tretinoin and hydroquinone in skin care, Cohen-Jones tells me that much of the confusion in the market is based on reports of ‘misuse of these ingredients. “People have abused retinoids and hydroquinone in extremely high percentages, for inappropriate periods of time, and without medical supervision. No wonder the skin was damaged! The percentages we use in our products and the methods by which our patients use them are based on studies and evidence proven to allow safe use of these ingredients. Patients with problems almost always ignored the instructions for use. To people who are considering using our products, we would say that these products are different from your regular day and night moisturizer – they will give you results, but they should be used with care. Our team is always there to guide you. “
Hurst tells me that absolutely anyone can benefit from the brand’s product line. “The idea is to create healthy, functioning skin in optimal conditions. When your skin is in peak condition, it doesn’t overproduce oil or cause rashes, overproduce melanin, or cause pigmentation. It doesn’t lose collagen and elastin to cause wrinkles, sagging, and premature aging. Our products not only treat difficult skin conditions such as pigmentation, rosacea, acne and dermatitis, but they also maintain skin health and prevent further damage. The nature of our skin, coupled with the environment we live in, means that the health of our skin is always compromised. “
The brand uses 13 basic formulations which can then be personalized specifically for each individual. “At the end of the day, we want patients to use our Brightening Day Elixir and Cellular Repairing Night Cream. They contain seven different lightening ingredients to help resurface the skin and in turn brighten, nourish and fortify the surface, ”says Cohen-Jones. “Cellular Repair Night Cream is our flagship product in the range. It works to increase cell turnover in your skin at a rapid rate and then to encourage healthy skin cells to rise to the surface while getting rid of damaged cells. Since every hero needs a sidekick, we’ve designed the Brightening Day Elixir to perfectly complement the active effects of Cellular Repairing Night Cream. Not only does it amplify your results, but it supports them by nourishing and protecting the new skin cells that Cell Repair provides. “
Now that summer is coming and more outdoor time is on the horizon, I was curious if the use of retinoids and hydroquinone should stop.
“It’s a subject that fascinates us, especially as an Australian company. Australia experiences some of the highest UV radiation levels in the world because we are close to the equator and have many days of clear blue skies. We are a nation of sun worshipers, which increases the burden of smart skin sun protection, ”responds Hurst. “These ingredients can benefit the skin all year round. Retinoids in particular will help repair the damage that the sun induces on the skin such as the breakdown of collagen and the overproduction of melanin which causes pigmentation. Hydroquinone will also inhibit the production of melanin to help prevent and fade pigments. You would lose an entire half a year of skin benefits if you limited these important ingredients to winter only. The key to using these ingredients throughout the year is sunscreen. If you wear SPF 50+ every day diligently and don’t overexpose your skin to the sun, you can use them. “
After four weeks of regular use, my skin has never looked clearer. The Brightening Eye Day Serum instantly removes and tightens the skin around my eyes and neither the day nor night creams irritate my sensitive skin which was a pleasant surprise. The best part is my poikiloderma is almost gone, which I never thought I’d say. With continued use, I suspect the condition will no longer be visible. With such impressive results, it’s a secret I thought was worth sharing.