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Gone are the days of waiting three months for a dermatologist appointment and paying hundreds of dollars for an office visit and prescription. I, for one, am so thankful for the new world of teledermatology! I’ve tried three different companies so far to get my prescription tretinoin. And now I’m going to spill about the most popular one: Curology. What exactly is Curology and does it actually work for acne?
Curology, and other teledermatology companies have made it possible for everyone to have access to prescription skincare. No matter if you have insurance or not, Curology is affordable and super convenient.
Have you been thinking about trying Curology, or have you heard of it but not sure what it’s all about? I’m going to shed light on the world of teledermatology and Curology. What exactly is Curology and does it really work?
As someone who has been using prescriptions for about 10 years now, I’m giving my honest Curology review, so you can decide if Curology is worth trying for you.
What Is Curology?
Curology is a teledermatology service that creates custom prescription strength skincare for you and your skin. Sounds too good to be true, right?
Well, it’s not! Welcome to the 21st century, y’all!
You mean I can get a CUSTOM and PRESCRIPTION skincare treatment delivered to my door, without stepping foot in a doctor’s office, for less than a office visit co-pay??
Yep! You sure can.
Curology assigns you to a licensed healthcare provider that will assess your skin and prescribe a custom formula for your skin. Right now, Curology treats acne and anti-aging and offers multiple ingredient combinations based on your skin type and concerns.
Curology also allows you to change your formula at any time if you find it too drying or not strong enough. You also get to message your provider if you have any questions or concerns about your skin or formula.
How Does Curology Work?
It’s a super simple process that takes less than 10 minutes! No more waiting weeks for an appointment and hours at the doctor’s office. All you do it answer some questions and take pictures of your skin. Seriously, that’s it! Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect:
- Answer a questionnaire: they will ask about your skin type and concerns, medical history and what other treatments you have tried in the past
- Take pictures: they’ll have you take a few pictures of your skin so your provider can see what kind of acne you are dealing with
- Your provider will message you: he or she will give you your prescription, and tips about what you can expect during your treatment, lifestyle tips and advice
- Your prescription is delivered right to your door: in just a matter of days, your custom prescription will be delivered
- You start your new routine: if you have any questions or concerns you can message your provider and they can change your formula if necessary
See, I told you is was super simple!
Your Curology Formula
Your Curology formula will have three ingredients picked just for you at the right concentrations for your skin type and concerns. The ingredients Curology uses in their formulas are FDA approved to fight acne, and therefore they are completely safe to use.
They use both prescription only and OTC ingredients to fight acne. Curology uses the following ingredients in their custom formulas:
- Clindamycin: a powerful antibiotic to help kill acne causing bacteria
- Azelaic acid: a mild exfoliant that helps with skin texture, redness, inflammation and acne
- Tretinoin: a powerful retinoid that speeds up cell turnover to unclog pores and fight acne
- Niacinamide: a b-vitamin that helps with skin texture, sebum production and acne scarring
- Zinc Pyrithione: has antibacterial, antimicrobial and antifungal properties to help treat acne and helps control sebum production
- Tranexamic acid: helps with acne scarring, hyperpigmentation and sunspots
- Metronidazole: a type of antibiotic to help control acne causing bacteria on the skin
These powerful ingredients will help with acne, clogged pores, oily skin, wrinkles and fine lines. Your formula will be customized for you based on your skin’s goals and what you are wanting to improve.
Your Curology formula can be for acne or anti-aging.
Benefits of Curology
The convince alone makes Curology worth it in my opinion. But, there are tons of other benefits of using Curology as well. Curology is actually very good for your skin! There are great ingredients that help with skin tone, texture, anti-aging and scarring, so it’s not just about acne.
- Quick: fill out a simple form, upload some pictures and you’ll have a prescription in no time
- Convenient: no copays, doctor’s appointments, you don’t even have to go to the pharmacy to pick it up!
- Custom: your formula will be customized to your skin, something you can’t get at the dermatologist. And you can change your formula at any point
- Affordable: Curology costs less than an office visit copay!
Most of the time, your provider will also be able to prescribe additional medication , if necessary. For example, if you need some oral antibiotics or a prescription face wash. These additional prescriptions will be sent to your pharmacy to be picked up by you. Curology only makes and ships your Curology formula.
One of the best things about Curology is that it can help clear up acne scars as well! Many of the ingredients from above are great at fading acne scars and hyperpigmentation.
Recently, I had a case of perioral dermatitis, and my provider was even able to help and prescribe treatment for that!
Does Curology Make Your Skin Worse Before It Gets Better?
Like any prescription acne treatment, you may experience purging before you get clear skin. Particularly, if you have a tretinoin in your formula and you’ve never used a retinol before.
However, the purge is typically short lived, so don’t let that scare you from starting Curology. A purge will happen with any prescription retinoid.
Does everyone purge on Curology? No. If you have used retinoids in the past, then you shouldn’t experience purging, unless you are using a higher strength.
Who Should Not Use Curology?
Many people ask me “Does Curology work for everyone?” And, unfortunately, the answer is no. Curology is a great option for most people, especially for those who don’t have insurance or may not have the best coverage for acne treatments.
However, for the most part they cannot treat other skin issues besides acne and wrinkles. If you have severe acne that requires something like Accutane, they will let you know you need to see an in person dermatologist. Or if you have a rash or mole you need to get checked, you will have to see someone in person.
Another thing is that Curology is only available to select states. Fortunately, they are able to treat in most states, there are just a handful of states they currently cannot treat in.
Other than that, Curology could benefit most everyone dealing with acne issues. Even those with sensitive skin, Curology is great because they can customize your formula to make it super gentle and less irritating.
Does Curology Really Work For Hormonal Acne?
Curology can actually work for hormonal acne, as well. Although hormonal acne can be a bit tricker to treat, your provider will be able to prescribe additional medication, if necessary.
In addition, your Curology provider can also prescribe oral medications such as antibiotics, birth control or spironolactone. Your provider can also help you check and see if your birth control could be causing your hormonal acne. Many times, certain birth controls can cause acne, but there are FDA approved birth controls that help treat acne, so make sure to ask your provider about yours.
If you are prescribed any additional medications, they will be sent to your pharmacy of choice for pickup. Curology only shipped their custom formula and will not ship any additional prescriptions.
My suffered from hormonal cystic acne for a long time, and luckily, Curology has kept me free of that pesky hormonal acne for years now.
With the right products, you can treat hormonal acne easily and Curology can definitely help you get there.
How Much Is Curology?
With Curology, you actually get your first month free! You just have to pay $4.95 for shipping. After the first month, if you chose to continue, you can choose one of three plans:
- Small: $19.95 + 4.95 shipping fee. The small bottle is about a month’s supply, so you will get a new bottle shipped right to your door every month.
- Large: $39.95 + free shipping. The large bottle should last you about 60 days
- The Set: $59.95 + free shipping. The set contains a large bottle of your formula, plus a Curology cleanser and your choice between a light or rich Curology moisturizer.
The thing I really like about Curology is that you can change how often you receive your shipments. I personally get more than 60 days worth out of the large bottle, so I can delay my next shipment so I don’t have a ton of extra bottles laying around. Plus is saves money!
So, is Curology worth the money? With Curology, I typically only spend about $120 a year on my prescription. This might differ depending on how much you use and how often you use it. To me, that’s much better than what I used to pay for my prescriptions.
Before, with my insurance, a tube of tretinoin would set me back about $110. And I would go through about 2 or 3 tubes a year. And that doesn’t even include my other prescriptions and copay visits to my dermatologist!
If you have great insurance with low copays for your prescriptions, then Curology may not be the best option for you. But, it is super convenient to have your prescription shipped directly to your door.
Does Curology Actually Work For Acne?
I’ll be honest, I was very nervous to switch to Curology because I was afraid it wouldn’t work as well as what I was using from my derm. But I got to the point where I was spending way too much money on my prescriptions. So, I bit the bullet and tried it out.
And? Does Curology actually work?
I saw no change or an increase in breakouts when I made the switch to Curology. I’ve been using it for a couple years now and it’s still keeping my skin just as clear. I’m super happy that I’m able to save money and still have clear skin. I don’t see myself switching anytime soon!
You can also message your provider anytime. So for example, if your Curology is not working for some reason, you can send a message and your provider can change up your formula or address any concerns you may have.
How Long Does It Take For Curology To Work?
Ah, the big question: how long does Curology take to work? When it comes to acne, we all want a quick fix.
Well, with any new acne product, it takes time to work, and Curology is no different. Depending on your formula, it can take 8 weeks or more to see improvements. For most people, you will start seeing small improvements at first, and full results may not come until 3 or 4 months down the line.
How long Curology takes to work will depend on what’s in your formula.
With tretinoin, it can take Curology longer to work – 3 or 4 months at least, particularly if you are new to retinoids.
If you don’t have tretinoin in your formula, you will likely start seeing results sooner, in about 8 weeks or so.
How To Use Curology For Acne
Curology comes with great resources to help you make sure you are using your formula correctly. Your provider will give you instructions for using your formula, and they also have a great blog on their website with extra tips.
If you’ve never used a prescription acne product, then you should definitely make sure to read through all the directions from your provider.
In general, here is how to use Curology correctly:
- Wash face with a gentle cleanser
- If using tretinoin, wait 30 before applying your Curology formula
- Apply Curology formula
It’s pretty simple! You may need to buffer your formula with a moisturizer if you are using tretinoin. You can also ask your provider for any tips on keeping dryness and irritation at bay.
How much Curology to use? Well, typically you just need a pea-sized amount. I find that a whole pump is too much, so I usually use a half of a pump or so.
Is Curology Worth It For Me?
Yes, Curology is completely worth it for me! With my insurance, my acne prescriptions were costing me hundreds of dollars. Now, I pay about $40 for all my prescriptions in one formula and the bottle lasts me a good 3-4 months, depending on how often I use it.
And Curology really works just as well as the prescriptions I was getting from my dermatologist. But without the heft cost and trips to the pharmacy. So, for me Curology is 100% worth it and the cost is minimal compared to what I was spending.
Have you tried Curology? Does curology really work for you? Let me know your thoughts below if you’ve tried Curology. I highly recommend trying it out for anyone struggling with their skin. And I am so happy that Curology is able to make prescription skincare accessible and affordable. Let’s be honest, prescriptions are so expensive even with insurance!
Did you like this Curology review? I hope you found my honest review helpful! Would you try Curology for acne or hormonal acne?