What You Should Know Before Subscribing To Curology

When it comes to acne, it's normal to wish there were a miracle product that caters to all your needs and takes the guesswork out of shopping. If you're ever seen their commercials, you know that's exactly what Curology claims to be. Curology prides themselves on being the most personalized skincare in the game, and asks users to complete a skin care quiz as well as snap a few selfies so that the company can create a custom formula just for the client and their specific skincare needs. But can it really be that simple?

The basic Curology skincare routine comes with the personalized formula based on the answers to your questionnaire, a cleanser, and two moisturizers (via Medical News Today). They also sell additional products like acne spot patches, acne body wash, and dark spot corrector formula.

So many of life's basics are now available online. Can we really include skincare?

You may not be working directly with a dermatologist

According to New Mexico-based dermatologist Dr. David Lortscher, Curology's founder, the personalized skincare company was established in response to a shortage of dermatologists in the United States (via Healthline). Lortscher, inspired by the efficacy of telemedicine, had a goal to make quality skincare products accessible to people without the hassle of having to go into an office. The Curology process is a fairly simple one: Once you set up an account and fill out the online questionnaire about your skin type and concerns, you'll be paired with your provider, who helps you on your skincare journey.

Curology's providers are all nurse practitioners and physician assistants, rather than dermatologists (via Cosmopolitan). However, according to Lortscher, there are board-certified dermatologists on staff who oversee all providers. So, while you may not be working directly with a dermatologist during your skincare journey, you can trust that the providers you're working with benefit from their expertise.

Be ready for the "purge" process

Since its founding in 2014, Curology has accumulated a strong community of users and followers, and consistently receives rave reviews (via Healthline). Their Instagram boasts over 400,000 followers, many of whom document their own skincare journey with Curology on social media.

There seems to be one consistent complaint among Curology users, known as the "purge period" of using the products. The "purge period" refers to the very beginning of starting a new skincare routine, in which your skin can break out more than usual due to the shift in ingredients. Side effects of the "purge period" can include dryness, mild irritation, redness, flaking, and worsened breakouts (via Cosmopolitan).

According to the company, purging is a normal part of introducing your skin to prescription-strength acne-combating ingredients. When this happens, it means that the ingredients are working correctly, and bringing breakouts to the surface of the skin to fight them.

Online ordering makes membership easy

As was the goal of its founder Dr. David Lortscher, Curology operates entirely online so that people have access to quality skincare without going into a doctor's office. Depending on what products you're getting, what size they are, and at what frequency you're receiving them, the price of Curology varies (via Healthline). Every new Curology member gets access to a free trial of their personalized formula once they've set up their account and subscribed, for only $4.95.

While insurance doesn't cover treatment through Curology, after the free trial the amount that you pay depends on the products you want. A small bottle of your personalized formula runs $24.90, while a larger, two-month supply costs $39.90 (via Cosmopolitan). The whole skincare routine, including a cleanser, a customized moisturizer, and the custom mix, costs in total around $59.90. If you subscribe to the larger formula, you have the added option of being able to add products like the acne body wash and pimple patches.