Automation: Check Submission for Duplicates before Publishing

I’m trying to ingest a new user registration (password’s being handled separately).
I want to make sure that the new registration does not use an email address already in the DB (prevent duplicate accounts–ideally even if they’re using “+variable” in something like a gmail address).
I’m currently using automations, but I can’t seem to get around the “Find Records Action 0 results stops the automation” flow. I actually want to update the record AFTER a Find Records determines there aren’t any duplicates.
I’m not using scripting – “Plus” account level and coming in from the #nocode crowd.

Here’s the where I am thus far:

Automation 1:

WHEN: a record is created in Ingest Users Table

ACTIONS:
Find Records in Active Users Table where email = [new record email]
Update Record (that was created) → set Duplicate = true

[I would IDEALLY be able to handle Find Records = 0 results with an Update Records → set Unique = true, then have a When Record Enters View that copies the Ingest User record to the Active Users Table.

Automation 2:

WHEN: a record enters a view (Ingest Users.Unique = true)

ACTIONS:
Create Record in Active Users Table
Update Record (that entered view) in Ingest Users Table → set Processed = true
Find Records in Active Users Table where Created From = [record that entered view]
Gmail send welcome email

[again, IDEALLY handle Find Records in Active Users Table = 0 results with error logging/graceful failure involving logging and emails]

Notes:

  • I have a number of different jukes using multiple different table views qualified by different checkbox variables (and a few formulas). Those fail because somehow the when enters view triggers can fire WHILE another automation is running. So if I, say, mark a record as Unique = true, then check for duplicates, then update → Duplicate = true AND Unique = false, the record already popped into the IF Unique = true view and triggered the next automation.
  • I have read support/Find records automation action and understand that what would be my ideal solution is somehow outside of current automation functionality
  • I have read Finding Record Automation - What if Not Found? and will own up to the fact that it is probably similar
  • I will be cranky if a script is the only solution. But I am tired enough that if someone hit me with a rough script solution I’d probably just cry into my :beer: and upgrade to put it into production.

I was really excited to build my #nocode app out of Airtable. But this has really hit my morale (and momentum)!
Thank you for any help, suggestions, or insights you might be able to provide.