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Isamaya Ffrench Jasmina Vico Skin Hugo Yangüela
Isamaya Ffrench in collaboration with Jasmina Vico and Hugo Yangüela

Barbie facialist Jasmina Vico launches jellyfish-inspired skincare line

The skin health expert, known for her work with Isamaya Ffrench and as the facialist for the cast of Barbie, has debuted her own brand VicoSkin with a serum

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Could jellyfish be holding the secret to human immortality within their DNA? Some researchers think so. A species called the Turritopsis dohrnii has been dubbed ‘immortal jellyfish’ on account of their ability to reverse their life cycles; and this process, named “transdifferentiation”, has inspired efforts to reverse-engineer drugs for renewing damaged or dead tissue in humans. Whether or not full immortality is within our grasp, however, the jellyfish are also inspiring a somewhat more achievable goal: healthy, hydrated and strong skin.

“Jellyfish have always been my muse,” says Jasmina Vico, skin health expert and facialist who has worked on the complexions of everyone from Isamaya Ffrench and Courtney Love to the cast of Barbie, including Margot Robbie. Growing up in Croatia, jellyfish were a big part of her childhood and as she got older she became increasingly fascinated by the creatures who have been on earth for over 500 million years. “When you have survived that long you can teach us a thing or two.” It’s only natural, then, that when it came time to start developing her own products, after decades in the industry, Vico would look to the regenerating Turritopsis dohrnii and the world of marine biology for inspiration.

Released this week, VicoSkin launches with just one hero product: the Screen Star serum. Formulated with a trio of rare macro algae (Fucus Vesiculosus, Jania Rubens and Hydrolysed Rhodophycea Extract), the serum works to ease inflammation and redness, boost the skin’s “intracellular energy”, stimulate collagen formation and protect the skin barrier to support long term skin health.

It was important to Vico to launch with just a single product, one which she says will be your “King in the Cabinet” – a universal product that can answer all of your questions, from hydration and healing to strengthening and protection. “The thing I see most often with clients is that they are using more and more products, many of which they don’t need or aren’t suitable for their skin needs,” she says. “This, coupled with overuse can strip the skin barrier, compromising skin health, leading to troublesome skin conditions.”

Instead, she advises that the best thing is to keep things simple and consistent and to remember to pay attention to what’s going on underneath the surface of the skin as well as on the outside. In Vico’s practice, she works to support gut, liver and brain health with supplements, teas and probiotics, since what’s happening in the body often shows up on the skin. 

“The single most important change you can make is supporting and nourishing your body,” she says. “This can look like getting enough sleep, eating an anti-inflammatory diet, taking regular exercise and reducing stress via meditation. Try to be consistent, these are things we need to bring in regularly, they aren’t costly and can make a big difference not only to our skin but overall health and sense of self.” 

Here Vico speaks to Dazed about her new brand and shares her expert tips and advice for keeping skin healthy and happy.

There are so many categories in skincare – why did you want to start with a serum?

Jasmina Vico: We always wanted to create a product that is ‘suitable for everyone and every day’. Serum texture by nature should be lightweight, easy to blend and absorb and is an ideal skincare step to bring in ingredients and nutrients to support skin health. 

Starting here gave us a scope to create something that delivers and works seamlessly with other products without compromising your skin or existing skincare routine. It was a missing product in my treatment protocols, a serum that could support skin healing, instantly reduce irritation and boost hydration while supporting long-term skin health. It has been used in the clinic as part of our treatments throughout formulation and production.

The serum ‘boosts the skin’s intracellular energy’ – can you explain what that means and how it works?

Jasmina Vico: Our bodies produce something called ATP, which is an energy that your cells need to grow. Our levels of ATP decrease as we age and can be impacted by our lifestyle, for example not getting enough sleep. By increasing the skin’s intracellular energy we boost ATP and fibroblast levels that support skin function from healing to collagen production. It can also help our skin to look less fatigued.

Why are marine activities so useful as skincare ingredients?

Jasmina Vico: For me, it was so interesting to explore algae and where it will take us in the future, I think of them as the mushrooms of the sea. Algaes are fantastic adaptogens, with an incredible ability to adapt and survive in hostile marine environments, while developing different mechanisms and producing different bioactive compounds to survive. Though marine algae use these for protection, communication or reproduction, it’s these compounds that have the potential to improve human health and make for great ingredients, particularly when it comes to skin healing and protection.

What is the best thing someone in their late teens or early 20s can do for their skin?

Jasmina Vico: Prevention is always the key. Follow a supportive skincare routine that aligns with your skin needs and try to be consistent with it. Also, look beyond skincare, as not all support comes in product form. Think about movement, staying hydrated, reducing stress and exploring an anti-inflammatory diet.

Professional skin treatments with an expert that is able to tailor protocols to your skin type and concern can not only support your skin and avoid any mistakes with at-home peels but also build a knowledge base that will help you better understand your skin needs. Lastly, don’t over-exfoliate, avoid washing your face in the shower as the water is almost always too hot, look after your gut health and protect your skin from sunlight and screen light, and always wear an SPF. 

What’s the best way to keep your skin barrier protected?

Jasmina Vico: My number one stress here is don’t over-exfoliate, please use a product that is suitable for your skin and if possible one that is recommended by a professional. By using too many exfoliating products you risk stripping and damaging your skin’s barrier.

Skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis can be exacerbated by stress or emotional distress. Do you think the psychological root of skin concerns is given enough consideration?

Jasmina Vico: These are often a result of there being too much heat and inflammation in the body that leaks through to the skin. I don’t think these causes have been treated from their root as we can be hyper-focused on remedying what’s happening at the skin’s surface with topical solutions as opposed to exploring what’s going on inside. When we start to connect the dots and explore the connection between our gut, brain and skin we can start to piece together what foods and lifestyle factors could be exacerbating inflammatory skin conditions, while also learning how we can best support ourselves through flare-ups and possible preventions.