2020 has been the year to pare back your make-up and up the ante on your skincare routine, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that we're digging Australia's first ever prescription skincare brand, The Secret Skincare.
Brought to us by the fresh-faces of Dr Clara Hurst and Dr Deb Cohen Jones, The Secret has gained cult popularity in Perth since launching in 2019 and it became available to anyone in Australia earlier this year.
Deb and Clara were both working in the skin game when they met a couple of years ago and realised they had both been prescribing similar products to their patients.
“Mine were similar to The Secret but never produced by me, so the results were always varied as they came from various chemists. Clara had been prescribing the same ingredients for over 10 years with fantastic results but with a more complex, multi-step process costing five times our current price,” Deb says. It didn’t take long for them to come up with The Secret.
After hearing the hype and seeing Deb and Clara’s skin (they are their own success story, just look at them), I decided it was time to take these products for a spin.
Why The Prescription?
Because it’s hardcore skincare. Not in a scary way, but in a way that actually works. The star of the show is their Cellular Repair Night Cream which contains a prescription retinoid, a form of Vitamin A, which will help your skin to shed dead cells really quickly. You can’t use this if you’re pregnant or have certain sensitivities, so it’s important for them to know your history and make sure it’s appropriate for you. If that product isn’t right for you, they can tailor it so it’s suitable and will still work magic on your skin.
Plus, they make every single batch specifically for you. It’s not something I’d really thought about before using The Secret, but skincare is full of active ingredients which lose their effectiveness after months of sitting around on shelves waiting to be purchased. When you order from The Secret, you know your creams have only just been made and will be at their most effective while you’re using them.
Oh, and did I mention some of the products are available for a private healthcare rebate?
How Does The Essentials Set Work?
I’d recommend starting with their Essential Set which comes with the Cellular Repair Night Cream, the Day Brightening Elixir in either matte or dewy, and the Eye Serum. If you're ready to get serious though, go straight for the Signature Set which contains all three of the products from the Essentials Set plus their Cellular Repair Eye Cream. Formulated with a lot of the same ingredients as the Cellular Repair Night Cream, this eye cream is heavenly to apply and achieves results like you wouldn't believe.
Using the Cellular Repair products, you might notice slight tingling after application for the first few days, that’s normal. Just start small and work your way up to more. On day two, you might be a bit red and by day three or four you’ll be peeling a bit. This is good, it’s the removal of dull, old skin cells to promote new skin cells.
My skin was peeling for about four or five days, never so bad that I was embarrassed to leave the house, but more than I’d want if I had an event on—so keep that in mind when timing your first purchase.
By the end of week two, my friends were commenting on my radiant skin and, I kid you not, the small sunspots on my nose were disappearing before my eyes. The laugh lines around my eyes were less pronounced and I felt glowy, even on those nights where I only managed to clock four hours of sleep (which I absolutely do not recommend). And this was all in the Remove phase—the adjustment period as your skin gets used to the products—which happens from week one to six.
After six weeks, you enter the Restart phase which lasts another six weeks and results in smoother, softer and clearer skin. Weeks 13 to 18 are the Refresh phase, where your skin becomes clearer, firmer-looking, naturally-hydrated and more evenly toned.
After week 18, the jar should be just about finished and they recommend starting on their Total Reset Cream for the next two to three months, before going back on the Cellular Repair Night Cream. You can continue using the day cream and eye serum for as long as you like, and trust me, you’ll want to.
The day cream gives you immediately flawless skin, leaving you glowing while removing any oily sheen you might get, while the eye serum can be used all day long to give you a bit of a pick-me-up—totally perfect before that 3pm meeting.
What Other Products Are There?
The range is expanding quickly and you can get specific formulations for acne, pigmentation, pregnancy, and, one of Dr Deb’s favourite products, the Cellulite Cream. It’s a combination of acid exfoliants and caffeine which “promotes vasodilation to help penetrate fat cells, shrink cellulite and reduce the appearance of stretch marks and dimpling”. Cellulite Cream might not be glamourous, but let’s just go ahead and admit we probably all want to try this one.
How Do You Order The Prescription Online?
You’re probably wondering how you can order prescription-only products online, but really, it’s pretty simple. You fill out a form which will ask some relevant medical questions and that gets sent to one of their medical professionals. Once they are sure there are no red flags, they’ll get in touch and let you know and then they’ll send your order off to their pharmacist who will whip up a fresh batch just for you. If you’re in Perth, you can pick them up, otherwise they’ll get sent straight to your door.
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Image credit: The Secret Skincare