Beauty

Curology Review

About Curology

Curology Review

Imagine a dermatologist taking the time to get to know your skin and all its issues, and then choosing the ingredients specifically for your zits, wrinkles, spots, etc. Realize that dream with Curology

Once you begin your Curology free trial, you receive a custom formula that is curated specifically for your skincare needs. The Curology skincare collection includes products designed for fixing zits, clogged pores, dark spots, firmness, skin texture, and wrinkles.

Curology is featured in many prominent publications including SHAPE, INStyle, and teenVogue. The skincare brand has an impressive Instagram following of over 426k. Does Curology actually work? That’s what we’re here to find out.

This Curology review will take you on an in-depth look at the brand, its most popular products, customer ratings, promotions, and more to help you decide if their skincare solutions are right for you. 

Overview of Curology

Curology Review

Curology was founded in 2014 by Dr. David Lortscher, Dr. Nancy Satur, and Glenn Lortscher. Dr. Lortscher was moved by one of his patients who had been suffering from acne for years. After just six weeks of using the creams he provided, her skin was almost completely clear

Skin problems can have a substantial psychosocial impact. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), researchers found that acne is related to anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, decreased quality of life, and isolation. A clinical study[1] was conducted in the UK addressing the prevalence of acne and its consequences in adolescents. 317 high school students between 14 and 16 years old completed a survey.

Researchers found that 50% of participants suffered from acne, with 11% having moderate and severe forms. The analysis of the results showed that students with acne were twice as likely as those without acne to have emotional and behavioral difficulties. In addition, their knowledge about the disease was poor, and less than one-third of the affected participants had sought help from a doctor. An early professional evaluation and treatment can prevent these painful issues. 

Dr. Lortscher’s patient admitted she had never bothered to see a physician for her skin problems before because that was “just for rich people.” That’s when Dr. Lortscher approached his brother, Glenn, and his mother, Dr. Satur. The family came together to start an online company that provides healthy skin for everyone, not just those who can afford it

What is Curology? 

Curology Review

Now, what is Curology? Their mission is to care for people’s skin conveniently and without hassle. Curology is headquartered in San Francisco, CA and all products are custom-made using state-of-the-art equipment in San Diego, CA. Curology is backed by an online team of dermatologists that get to know you personally, history, and skincare goals, so they can pick the right active ingredients for your skin.

Before we get into top selling skincare, here are some highlights that this Curology review came across:

Highlights

  • Customized skincare products
  • Dermatologists work directly with you to get to know your skin, your history, and your needs
  • Skin products work for 88% of their customers
  • All ingredients are FDA approved
  • Trial order is free, you only need to pay for shipping
  • Affordable pricing

Curology Free Trial Review

How do you get started with a new product? A free trial of course! We decided to take the Curology quiz to provide you with a Curology free trial review. 

First, to sign up for your free trial, click ‘START TRIAL’ at the top right-hand corner of the Curology website. You’ll be asked for your postal code and your date of birth. Curology doesn’t ship everywhere in the US, so they want to make sure they can ship to you before making you go through the quiz.

Once delivery availability is confirmed, the Curology Quiz begins. Let’s take a look at what this Curology review found in the quiz:

Curology Quiz

Curology Quiz Review

The Curology Quiz provides insight into your skin type and objectives. This Curology review went through each question of the quiz, which deals with specific skin issues, as well as your health and medications. All answers you provide are private.

The first question asks you about your goals, which can be a single (or multi-part) response:

  • Fight breakouts 
  • Treat clogged pores 
  • Fade dark spots 
  • Boost firmness 
  • Improve skin texture
  • Fight wrinkles

The remaining skin-related questions focus on your answer in the first part of the quiz. Then, it moved to questions like: Do you wear sunscreen? What’s your skin type? etc. 

You’ll then be asked about your health and any allergies to medications. Curology needs to know what they can prescribe that won’t cause allergic reactions or mess with your current medications. Curology customized products are real prescriptions, so everything needs to be legitimate.  

Once you complete the quiz, Curology reveals your customized free trial box and allows you to review the selection before it ships. This Curology review was recommended these products: 

  • Custom Formula 
  • Cleanser and Moisturizer Set  
  • 20-pack of Emergency Spot Patches
  • Acne Body Wash 

Curology Ingredients

Curology Ingredients Review

Depending on your quiz answers, your Customized Formula (included in every box) will consist of three out of the seven active Curology ingredients used in their skin products. This Curology review breaks them all down, so that you know exactly what to expect for each one: 

  1. Clindamycin:  An antibiotic cream used to treat inflammatory acne by suppressing the growth of bacteria (Propionibacterium acnes) responsible for the skin condition. In a review article[2], D. Guay concludes that topical clindamycin is safe and effective for the treatment of acne. However, the use of antibiotics alone for long periods leads to bacterial resistance. For that reason, it is usually combined with other drugs. It is well tolerated.
  2. Azelaic acid: A naturally occurring anti-acne acid that reduces inflammation and brightens hyperpigmented scars. As described in a review[3] published in the Journal of the AAD, azelaic acid is an effective anti-acne agent proven to reduce the growth of Propionibacterium acnes and normalize skin keratinization processes.
  3. Tretinoin (Retinoic Acid/Synthetic Vitamin A): A medication used to treat acne and sun-damaged skin. Curology Tretinoin can reduce fine lines, dark spots, or rough lines. In a 2008 review[4], authors reported the efficacy of topical tretinoin for the treatment of mild and severe inflammatory acne. In addition, topical tretinoin is one of the most effective treatments for skin aging. As described in a review[5] published by the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, many studies have demonstrated the efficacy of topical retinoids in the treatment of photoaged skin (skin with deep wrinkles, inelasticity, easy bruising, mottled pigmentation, and roughness). Common side effects[6] include skin irritation, redness, and skin desquamation (peeling). It’s not recommended to use retinoids during pregnancy. 
  4. Niacinamide (form of Vitamin B-3): Has anti-acne and anti-aging properties. In a study[7] where 41 patients between 18 and 25 years old with mild and moderate acne applied 4% niacinamide gel to the face for two months, authors reported that the drug was effective and safe with a significant improvement in acne lesions. Niacinamide has been used in recent years as an anti-aging agent. In a clinical trial[8] conducted in the US, 50 women with photodamaged skin applied topical 5% niacinamide to half of the face for 12 weeks. A significant improvement in skin appearance (reduction in fine lines and wrinkles, dark spots, red blotches, and skin yellowing), as well as an improvement in skin elasticity, was reported. It’s usually well-tolerated.
  5. Zinc Pyrithione[9]: It has antimicrobial and antioxidant  properties. It’s used in the treatment of several skin problems such as acne, dermatitis, hyperpigmentation, and photoaging.
  6. Tranexamic Acid: Has a powerful and specific anti-inflammatory property to help with skin discoloration and improve brown patches, calm the skin, and restore the skin barrier. In a study[10] published in 2016, 23 participants with melasma (a common type of skin hyperpigmentation) applied 2% tranexamic acid to the whole face for 3 months. After that period, researchers found a significant improvement in skin lesions. When comparing biopsies obtained from the hyperpigmented areas before and after the treatment, they reported a substantial reduction in melanin deposits in the epidermis. It’s well-tolerated.
  1. Metronidazole: An antibiotic commonly used in dermatology for its anti-inflammatory properties. In a literature review[11] published in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, the authors highlighted the efficacy and safety of topical metronidazole for the treatment of moderate and severe rosacea. Side effects are uncommon, being dryness and itching the most frequently reported.

Check out the difference these ingredients can make with these Curology before and after photos! Many may ask: Does Curology work? Look at the difference Curology has made in this customer’s life after one year of treatment. 

Curology Review

Acne can be a serious confidence destroyer and even cause physical pain. Hormonal imbalances and fluctuations, environmental conditions, and diet are just some of the contributing factors. 

Adult acne is more common than you might think since so many women cover it up with makeup (which only aggravates the condition). Having the freedom to go barefaced if you choose to, without feeling self-conscious, is incredibly empowering.

Curology Moisturizer

This Curology review has the skinny on both moisturizers developed by Curology: the Regular Moisturizer and the Rich Moisturizer. Each Curology moisturizer for acne, dry skin, and even aging skin is designed to keep your skin hydrated with specific uses in mind

The Curology Regular Moisturizer is a gel-cream hybrid that goes deep with Hyaluronic Acid and it feels soft and lightweight on your skin

The Curology Rich Moisturizer provides deep hydration for dry or aging skin and it works twice as hard. It features six hydrating ingredients including Hyaluronic Acid and Shea Butter

Hyaluronic acid is a molecule present in the extracellular matrix (in between the cells) with the capability to retain water. In a study[13] involving 40 women (aged 30-65) with skin-aging signs who used topical hyaluronic acid serum twice a day for 6 weeks, researchers found a substantial improvement in skin quality. The increase in skin hydration was immediately noted after the first application and maintained during the whole study. They also reported improvement in smoothness, plumping, fine lines, wrinkles, and overall skin appearance.  

Curology Cleanser

A cleanser that doesn’t clog, won’t strip your skin and doesn’t contain irritants. Enter the Curology Cleanser. It’s simple, light, foamy,contains no scents or irritants, andit’s made for all skin types.

Your skin may look less irritated after using the Curology cleanser due to a soothing, anti-inflammatory Oat Extract. Is that enough to get you interested? Well, the Curology Cleanser is also gluten-free, paraben-free, oil-free, salicylic acid-free, and fragrance-free.

How Much is Curology?

Curology Review

The Small Custom Formula ships and bills every 30 days, costing $20/month. It contains your Custom Formula, the Cleanser and Moisturizer Set, along with other products recommended by Curology for your individual skincare needs.

The Large Custom Formula contains your usual customized products but in larger bottles. It’s worth noting that Curology does not specify the size difference between the Small and Large Custom Formula bottles. The Large Custom Formula ships and bills every 60 days and costs $40.

With the Large Custom Formula, you get to add as many of the other Curology products that you want and customize your subscription box. These extras will also be shipped and billed every 60 days. 

The Cleanser and Moisturizer Set (which is sold together), includes the Curology Cleanser and your choice of one of the two Curology Moisturizers. The Curology Cleanser is in an 80 mL bottle and the Curology Moisturizer comes in a 50 mL bottle. They cost $20 plus shipping for the pair. 

More Curology Skincare

When this Curology review took the quiz, we were recommended products to target acne and oily skin. First, the Acne Body Wash, which is designed by Curology’s team of dermatologists. It helps prevent acne by washing out your pores of regular dirt and grime. It’s headliner ingredient is Salicylic Acid, paired with inactive substances including soothing tea tree oil, available in a 200 mL bottle for $18

Curology also recommended the Emergency Spot Patches. These hydrocolloid bandages absorb oils without using active ingredients that could irritate your skin. They’re ultra-thin and you can apply makeup on top to hide them. You must leave your Curology patch on for 6-24 hours to get the best results. One pack comes with 20 patches, amounting to $5.

Curology Review: What Do Customers Think?

Curology Review

Our Curology review found a 4.3/5-star rating on Facebook based on 3,461 reviews, 4.6/5 stars on Reviews.io out of 1,030 reviews, and 4.2/5 stars on Influenster from 8,295 reviews. There are no official reviews to consult on the Curology website. 

On Influenster, 57% of customers gave Curology 5/5 stars. Only 4% of the reviews are 1-star ratings. There were customers who, after years of trying a multitude of other products, finally found the solution to their skincare needs. The Curology review section of their website also showed off some impressive Curology before and after pictures.

Curology Review

The timeframe between these photos is unclear, but it’s clear that the products make a significant difference.

Curology Review

On the other hand, there are customers who express disappointment, because Curology products caused more acne, customer service was not great, delivery issues, and some customers had problems canceling orders. Some were also upset because they were charged for their first “free-trial” order

Product sizing was another notable concern since the Curology Moisturizers are the smallest bottles provided, and they run out before the rest of the products, leaving customers bereft or without their skin moisturized.

On the Better Business Bureau site, Curology has an A+ rating. While the complaints filed through BBB give Curology 1.16/5 stars, the company’s high rating is based on its interactions with customers, meaning Curology is professional in its handling of complaints.

Is Curology Worth It?

Curology Review

The million-dollar question: does Curology actually work? Is it worth it? Based on surveys collected from 432 Curology patients, Curology products work for 88% of people

Curology has high ratings on popular sites like Facebook, Review.io, and the Influenster. Its star rating on BBB is low due to Curology complaints, regarding customers breaking out more than usual and having adverse effects on the products. However, these are to be expected with any skincare formula, especially ones containing strong prescription ingredients. 

With the number of positive reviews, BBB’s A+ grade on business practices, evidence in Curology before and after pictures, and the fact the formulas are customized, this Curology review says yes, it’s worth trying!

Curology Promotions & Discounts 

Your very first order with Curology is free. They’re dedicated to giving you a real opportunity to test their products and decide for yourself what you need. The only thing you need to pay for is shipping, which costs $5

Sign Up for Curology 

Curology Review

Since Curology is formulated just for you, their products are only available for purchase on their online store through Curology.com

You can only purchase Curology skincare by signing up for the 30-day Small Formula Subscription or the 60-day Large Formula Subscription. Simply follow the steps in the ‘START TRIAL’ section found in the top right-hand corner of the website.

Unfortunately, you cannot purchase the regular Curology products without signing up for the 60-day Large Formula Subscription Box. 

FAQ

Is Curology FDA approved?

The ingredients used in their formulas are all FDA approved. But, the personalized bottles that are created for individuals are not FDA approved. Each bottle is unique to that person’s needs and uses a different combination of the seven ingredients, picked by the dermatologists, that are all approved.

The interactions are specified for each drug so that dermatologists know what can be used togheter and what cannot. It’s their job to make the formulas.

Does Curology charge after the free trial?

Only your trial order is free. Yes, you will be charged after the trial version and the new box will include all products included in your trial version but in larger sizes. You can remove items, but if you forget, they will be included and you will be charged. 

Curology recommends removing them 1-2 business days before your next scheduled shipment or earlier. These changes will apply to future shipments as well.

How to use Curology for best results?

If you are using the Curology Formula, follow these steps:

  1. Apply in the evening
  2. Use your fingertips and apply a thin layer on your face (and neck, if applicable) 
  3. Rub it in gently
  4. Only use enough to cover the areas you need (you can actually cause irritation and slow your progress if you use more than what’s recommended)

If you’re using the Curology Dark Spot Formula, then follow these steps:

  1. Apply morning and night
  2. Use your fingertips or a cotton swab to apply to the affected areas; fingertips work best for clusters and cotton swabs work best for small dark spots
  3. Apply sunscreen with less than SPF 50 every time you go outside 

Remember to always follow your Curology instructions for best results and to help minimize possible irritations.

How long does it take for Curology to ship?

Your trial box will ship out within 1-3 business days. Your first paid Curology shipment will ship out after your free trial ends. Want your products earlier? Use the “Buy Now” option on the website to get your first paid order early, and your next shipment will reschedule to 30 or 60 days from then, depending on your subscription choice.

Most members receive their packages via USPS within 7-10 business days of being shipped, and Curology shipping costs $5. Customers can track their Curology order by logging into their account.

Curology ships throughout the US, except for Arkansas, Indiana, Mississippi, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, US Virgin Islands, and Guam. 

Can I return Curology?

No, Curology does not accept or process returns or exchanges.

Is it easy to cancel Curology?

Once a shipment is processed (billed and has entered their formulation queue for processing), it cannot be cancelled.

You can choose to get alerts of pre-shipment dates via your account settings. This helps you keep track of shipments in the event you want to cancel your subscription.

How to cancel Curology:

  1. You can contact the Curology customer support team  
  2. Or you can manually adjust your next shipping date at least 1-2 business days before your next order is scheduled to process 

How to Contact Curology

If you have questions that weren’t covered in this Curology review, you can get in touch with the team through:

  • Email: [email protected] 
  • Patient support and medical questions: resubmit an updated consultation to your Curology medical provider

Medical providers are committed to answering questions within 24-48 hours during the business week and within 72 hours on the weekends and holidays.


Explore your skincare options. Check out these popular brands:

Proven

Timeless

Farmacy Beauty

Article Sources

[1] Smithard, A., Glazebrook, C., & Williams, H. C. Acne prevalence, knowledge about acne and psychological morbidity in mid-adolescence: a community-based study Wiley Online Library British Journal of Dermatology, 145(2), 274-279
[2] Guay, D. R. Topical clindamycin in the management of acne vulgaris Taylor & Francis Online Expert opinion on pharmacotherapy, 8(15), 2625-2664
[3] Webster, G. Combination azelaic acid therapy for acne vulgaris ScienceDirect Journal of the american academy of dermatology, 43(2), S47-S50
[4] Thielitz, A., Abdel‐Naser, M. B., Fluhr, J. W., Zouboulis, C. C., & Gollnick, H. Topical retinoids in acne – an evidence-based overview Wiley Online Library JDDG: Journal der Deutschen Dermatologischen Gesellschaft, 6(12), 1023-1031
[5] Riahi, R. R., Bush, A. E., & Cohen, P. R. Topical Retinoids: Therapeutic Mechanisms in the Treatment of Photodamaged Skin Springer Link American journal of clinical dermatology, 17(3), 265-276
[6] Kang, H. Y., Valerio, L., Bahadoran, P., & Ortonne, J. P. The Role of Topical Retinoids in the Treatment of Pigmentary Disorders Springer Link American journal of clinical dermatology, 10(4), 251-260
[7] Kaymak, Y., & Onder, M. An investigation of efficacy of topical niacinamide for the treatment of mild and moderate acne vulgaris Journal of the Turkish Academy of Dermatology J Turk Acad Dermatol, 2(4), jtad82402a
[8] Bissett, D. L., Oblong, J. E., & Berge, C. A. Niacinamide: A B Vitamin that Improves Aging Facial Skin Appearance Wiley Online Library Dermatologic surgery, 31, 860-866
[9] Abendrot, M., & Kalinowska‐Lis, U. Zinc-containing compounds for personal care applications Wiley Online Library International journal of cosmetic science, 40(4), 319-327
[10] Kim, S. J., Park, J. Y., Shibata, T., Fujiwara, R., & Kang, H. Y. Efficacy and possible mechanisms of topical tranexamic acid in melasma Wiley Online Library Clinical and experimental dermatology, 41(5), 480-485
[11] McClellan, K. J., & Noble, S. Topical Metronidazole Springer Link American journal of clinical dermatology, 1(3), 191-199
[12] Draelos, Z. D., Diaz, I., Namkoong, J., Wu, J., & Boyd, T. Efficacy Evaluation of a Topical Hyaluronic Acid Serum in Facial Photoaging Springer Link Dermatology and therapy, 11(4), 1385–1394

Ask the community or leave a comment

Ask a Question
Asked by faith (1 year ago) Reply

how can you get a percfect skincare to remove rushes

Lack of Color
Asked by Mary Hammonds (1 year ago) Reply

All of the pictures seen does not include my dark skin color. My biggest problem is the dark spots not acne.

Answered by Eartha (1 year ago) Reply

Dark spots on dark skin color?

milia
Asked by carmella grano (1 year ago) Reply

Does curology work for milia?

Help.
Asked by Yvonne Bolton (1 year ago) Reply

Need help now.

Should I remove facial hair for better acne treatment?
Asked by Andrew (1 year ago) Reply

Also, would that make it harder for the provider to see the extent of my acne? As well, since I submitted my pictures with (light) facial hair, would that effect how effective my personal formula will be when it arrives?

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