Adventures in Bespoke Skincare (+ All Your Questions!).

Skinceuticals - The Stripe

If you follow along on Instagram then you know that two weeks ago I got to do something really cool – I visited Skinceuticals, where I received a skin consultation and CUSTOM D.O.S.E. serum. I got a lot of questions from you guys about this (and answer them at the end of the post). It was pretty cool. I’m obviously (duh) very big into skincare but my routine has always been a product of trial and error – trying lots and lots of products until I’ve figured out what’s worked for me.

The idea of having a serum created just for me (and my own skincare needs + concerns) really appealed to both my vanity and my nerdiness. When developing this service, Skinceuticals looked at over 250 skin types. There are 24 individual ingredients (formulated at different percentages) and over 2,000 possible combinations! I loved the idea of receiving my own perfect product but also loved learning about all of the different ingredients and why certain combinations are so potent. I sat down with Dr. Kavita Mariwalla from Mariwalla Dermatology for a consultation. She evaluated my skin using Skinceuticals’ patented diagnostic tool and I answered a handful of questions. From there, Dr. Mariwalla made the necessary selections and and from there, the machine delivered a made to measure serum, just for me!

Skinceuticals Custom D.O.S.E. Serum with Mariwalla Dermatology - The Stripe

My formula contained…

  1. LI+M – licorice root and mulberry extract, which help to promote even skin tone and minimize discoloration.
  2. PXN – Proxylane, which helps to support the skin’s matrix and improve firmness.
  3. RET – Retional (.1% but you can go up to .5%) helps to improve uneven skin tone, promote cell turnover, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Lastly, she used an emulsion base which is ideal for dry skin types as it contains conditioning agents and has a light, milky texture. (For oilier types they offer a hydroalcoholic base which is oil-free and has a lighter, more viscous texture!)

I have been using the serum every night now for about two weeks. I am really impressed so far. The most immediate thing I noticed was waking up with more even skin. I noticed a subtle difference after the first night. With time my skin has gotten firmer and smoother and I swear the fine lines in my forehead are gone. But it’s only been two weeks… I’m excited to see what changes I notice in the coming weeks and will definitely keep you guys update on Instagram stories.

I highly recommend having your own CUSTOM D.O.S.E. treatment , especially if you’re starting to have age-related skin concerns. I’m really happy with mine so far.

Custom D.O.S.E. Serum with Mariwalla Dermatology - The Stripe


I got so many DM’s about the serum/the session that I thought I would do a mini Q&A with the most common questions I got asked.


A girl after my own heart! Skinceuticals C E Ferulic is one of my favorites too – it’s one of the best vitamin C treatments I’ve tried.  This does not replace C E Ferulic as there are no antioxidants in the Custom D.O.S.E serum. You can continue using it in your routine in addition to the serum.


The Custom D.O.S.E. treatment is definitely an in person thing. As the serum is made just for you, it’s important to have a dermatologist on hand to give you a consultation and make any adjustments to the formula to ensure you are getting the most perfect combination of ingredients. As mentioned above, my consult was with Dr. Mariwalla from Mariwalla Dermatology (she’s amazing and came into the city for the day for the event, if you are on Long Island GO SEE HER!) You can find a professional who has the machine available at their practice here. It’s a quick process – the evaluation takes about 5 minutes and then it takes the machine about 5 minutes to create the serum.

The good thing is that a label with your information and formula ID will be printed and applied to the bottle for easy replenishment. When you run out, your derm can make adjustments to it, or just send you a new bottle.


You answer a set of questions (on the tablet) and the dermatologist adjusts based on your skin concerns. From there, the machine’s algorithm develops (and mixes!) your perfect serum.


As this was my first foray into a professional-grade retinol I had .1%, but they go up to .5%!


It’s reacting really well to it. I use it very night before bed. As it’s pretty intense, I massage it in and then put a really rich oil or night cream on over it to seal it in but also hydrate my skin. I have heard of people experiencing peeling or skin purging when they add retinol to their routines, but my skin has been fine. The only side effect I’ve noticed has been some tightness so I’ve really upped my moisturizing game.

Retinol moves any bad stuff (blackheads, whiteheads, pimples) up from under the skin at a faster rate, so a purge period (if you have acne prone skin) can last up to 4-6 weeks. I think I was lucky in that I don’t break out very often, but I’m told that if this happens, stick with it – the results are worth it and then the bad stuff is out!


The serum has been the focal point of my skincare routine since starting to test it. Since it’s more intense, I keep the rest of my routine very gentle. At night I will wash my face with a gentle, creamy cleanser. After that I will apply toner if my skin feels like it needs it (I don’t always, but sometimes I do!). Then on goes the serum. I pat it on (all the way down to my décolletage) and then leave it a minute or two. Then I apply a thick (but gentle) night cream or oil.

In the morning I just splash with water, apply facial essence, and then more moisturizer and SPF! (I always say that if you have an elaborate bedtime routine you don’t have to do much in the morning… it’s not as though you were getting dirty in your sleep!


It depends upon where you go  – I was told $195!

Custom D.O.S.E. Serum with Mariwalla Dermatology - The Stripe

Skinceuticals Custom D.O.S.E. Serum with Mariwalla Dermatology - Grace Atwood Skinceuticals Custom D.O.S.E. Serum with Mariwalla Dermatology - The Stripe Skinceuticals Custom D.O.S.E. Serum with Mariwalla Dermatology - The Stripe  Skinceuticals Custom D.O.S.E. Serum with Mariwalla Dermatology - The Stripe Skinceuticals Custom D.O.S.E. Serum with Mariwalla Dermatology Skinceuticals Custom D.O.S.E. Serum with Mariwalla Dermatology

Created in partnership with Skinceuticals. Photography by Carter Fish

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Leave a Comment


  1. Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog:

    Wish I could afford custom skincare products too! Seems a lot more effective than the generic products out there!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    10.16.18 Reply
    • grace at the stripe:

      Thanks Charmaine! Definitely a worthwhile investment.

      10.16.18 Reply
  2. Allie:

    How cool! Skincare is so personal, but testing product after product can seem so impersonal. Is there a good return policy if your skin reacts badly? I have very sensitive skin which makes me hesitant to try new products.

    10.16.18 Reply
    • grace at the stripe:

      Thanks Allie! I have asked the brand about the return policy and will advise back once I hear.

      10.16.18 Reply
    • grace at the stripe:

      Hi Allie!
      Finally got an answer for you here! See below:

      Skinceuticals’ network of physicians are committed to customizing D.O.S.E to the exact needs of their patients. Specific return policies vary by practice, but the physician who creates your dose will work with you for a resolution should you have a negative experience with your custom D.O.S.E, including coordinating assistance from SkinCeuticals if needed.

      11.1.18 Reply
  3. Krystal:

    This sounds amazing! I’ve gotten much more into skincare over the last 4 years or so and now that I’m in my 30s I’ve added retinol and AHA/BHA serums into my routine. I think I’m going to set up a personal consultation since I’m on LI it’s so convenient.

    10.16.18 Reply
    • grace at the stripe:

      Oh that’s perfect!!!! If you go, tell Dr. Mariwalla I said hello! She is so nice!!!

      10.16.18 Reply
  4. Lyss:

    This process is really cool and I will definitely check it out. That being said, I know this is really minor but as a LI native I have to: we say “on” Long Island, not “in” Long Island! I know it’s weird because you would say “in” Manhattan or “in” Brooklyn but it is just how it is LOL.

    10.16.18 Reply
    • grace at the stripe:

      Thank you Lyss! That’s funny, I’m from Cape Cod and it’s the same thing. Good to know. x

      10.16.18 Reply
  5. Logan Christine Ranhofer:

    Such a unique experience!! I’m only 24 and take care of my skin religiously so I don’t think I’m in need of this unique blend of ingredients quite yet, but I’ve already looked at the locator and found two dems in my town that offer DOSE. I’m going to tell my Mother In Law about it, because this is right up her ally!

    xoxo Logan

    10.16.18 Reply
    • grace at the stripe:

      Yes! Definitely do that!
      It’s worth noting that you could get it at any age which is part of the beauty of the customization. Carter (who took these photos) had one made, and she’s only 23. They made hers without retinol (haha, they wouldn’t let her have it, I think she wanted it which made me LOL – you def don’t need retinol at age 23, 24… I’m 37 and just starting to use it!)

      10.16.18 Reply
  6. Betsy:

    What a cool process! There are two locations near my inlaws so I am rounding up a few girlfriends to try it with me when we visit over the Thanksgiving holidays!

    10.16.18 Reply
    • grace at the stripe:

      OH GOOD! Let me know how it goes!!!! I love mine.

      10.16.18 Reply
  7. Bob:

    To expensive, everyone is not whealthy or rich. Why not make a smaller version of the product, so More people can afford it.

    2.13.19 Reply
  8. Marie Underhill:

    where do I go to get my Custom Skinceutical
    serum. I live in Redondo Beach, California

    1.24.20 Reply