Curology Skincare Box Review #2 + Coupon – May 2017
Curology is a unique prescription skincare subscription service that pairs you with a licensed dermatologist and sends you prescription medication every month, every other month, or every three months. Their products are made in their own lab in San Diego, California.
Curology medication targets acne. Not only do you receive prescription medication tailored to your skincare needs, but you also get one-on-one access to your medical provider. Prescription bottles are defaulted to ship every 90 days (three months). However, if you run out early or need it sooner, you simply request an earlier next shipment in your account.
Upon signing up for Curology you’ll be asked to fill out a questionnaire about your skin and skincare needs. Then, you can upload photos of your bare face so your provider can assess the skin and determine the appropriate medications.
Curology uses multiple active ingredients, but each person gets a combination of three. This combo is determined by your provider. The formulation can be changed at your and your provider’s discretion.
My Subscription Addiction paid for this box (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).
The Subscription Box: Curology
The Cost: Monthly bottle $19.95 + 4.95 shipping or 2-month bottle $39.90 + free shipping ($19.95 a month)
COUPON: Get your first box free! No coupon needed - just use this link.
The Products: Customized prescription skincare delivered to your doorstep + access to your dermatologist at all times
Ships to: Curology is currently licensed in 37 US states.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add Curology to your subscription list or wishlist!
Each shipment comes with a little fold-out card containing application instructions. It’s easy: simply apply once daily to the whole face before bed. Just two pumps are enough.
As of May 2017, Curology subscribers get to pick from 2 plans: the Monthly Bottle or 2-month Bottle. The Monthly Bottle plan is $19.95 a month + $4.95 shipping ($24.90 a month in total), while the 2-month Bottle is $19.95 a month with free shipping.
The bottle on the left is the new bottle under the Monthly plan. The one on the right is my old bottle, which was the 3-month plan (this plan and bottle size have now been retired). The Monthly bottle holds 14 ml (0.47 oz) and the old bottle holds 30 ml (1 oz), so the new plan actually yields a little more volume for the same price.
It’s been a little more than a year since I started using Curology. My prescription is 4% azelaic acid, 1% clindamycin, and 4% niacinamide. My formulation has remained the same since day one. Using all the photo data that I uploaded to Curology’s website, I pinpointed several trends in my skin health.
First, after comparing progress photos over the past year, I noticed that improvements stagnated at the 6-month mark. More specifically, I had much fewer breakouts per month, but when it happened, it undid a lot of progress. While I certainly had beautiful skin days after the 6-month mark, they would always be ruined by a rare breakout a month later. It’s a pity that I’m so close to being acne-free and yet so far!
Second, I noticed that Curology helped some areas of my face more so than others. For example, I used to have small, painless but annoying whiteheads my forehead. One month of medication later– poof! They all disappeared. My chin area also benefitted in a similar manner. However, my cheeks and jawline never got the hang of it. They continued to get cystic acne on occasion, and when it happened, post-acne hyperpigmentation reappeared.
To my Curology provider’s credit, she mentioned a while back that part of my acne problem may be hormonal. If my flare ups are caused by hormonal imbalances, then no amount of medication would be able to cure it completely. Therefore, my hunt for clear skin requires me to go beyond what Curology medication cream can offer. This leads me to my next point…
I had a huge breakout in March, which undid months and months’ worth of nice skin. It might have been caused by stress or bad reaction to a skincare product. Either way, I felt very disheartened and reached out to Jasmin, my provider, for help. She recommended either changing up my prescription (increasing the antibiotic percentage) or adding a zinc pyrithione soap to my routine (which was available on Amazon). I opted for the soap, since upping the antibiotic would have also removed the 4% niacinamide that I really liked. The soap helped immensely with post-breakout damage control, but I have yet to see improvements in preventing future acne.
So, how does my skin perform in real life conditions? Here’s what it looks like with some basic makeup on. A light-to-medium coverage BB cream is enough to hide most redness and fading acne scars. For example, my forehead looks great! But see the bumpy patches on my cheeks and chin? It’s difficult to hide textured acne bumps and whiteheads. It’s especially hard with my cheeks; blush and bronzer only seem to draw attention to them. My Curology has helped immensely with culling breakouts and painful cystic acne, but the bumpy skin remains.
Verdict: It’s safe to say that Curology has made me more comfortable and confident in my own skin. It’s whittled the frequency of breakouts from a few times monthly to once in a blue moon. It’s improved skin texture and hyperpigmentation. Breakouts take less time to heal, as well.
I also love having my Curology provider around. I’ve never had a dermatologist before signing up for Curology, so she’s been an invaluable resource on this journey. I appreciated that she listened to all my concerns, responded quickly, answered all my questions, and gave me options when it came to medications.
All that being said, after a year’s worth of medication, Curology has only been able to take me 90% of the way to acne-free skin. It may not even be the medication’s fault, to be honest. It may be my skincare routine or it may be hormonal. Whatever the reason, medication cream alone is not enough. For now, I have to figure out how to get to that last 10%.
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