Curology vs Lumin Review

About Curology  

Curology vs Lumin Review

I’m pretty sure Curology took a page from the Three Musketeers. This cosmetic brand believes that skincare is ‘all for one and one for all.’

Considered an alternative to individually buying products, this online company simplifies the shopping process by offering custom formulas. Yep, there’s no need to second guess here. All of its cleansers, creams, and moisturizers are suited to remove those pesky imperfections. 

Of course, the brand’s straightforward approach has won the likes of several customers online. For instance, they boast over 452k followers on Instagram. The company has also been featured on various media outlets, including WWD and Cosmopolitan

You can thank founder Dr. David Lortscher for Curology’s success, as he established the company in 2013 after years of making custom formulas for his patients. Today, the brand is situated in San Francisco, California. 

About Lumin 

Curology vs Lumin Review

Despite the industry’s emphasis on women as its sole audience, Lumin just straight up asks, ‘Hey, what about the guys?’ Formulated for men by men, this skincare company offers high-grade solutions without the need for super-exclusive marketing. If anything, this Los Angeles-based brand initiates some well-needed conversations about male self-care. 

Dreamed up by founders Richard Hong and Darwish Gani, Lumin was created as a solution to Hong’s struggles with acne. He eventually found salvation through South Korean skincare and used it as the basis of his own cosmetic company. Since 2018, Lumin has grown in popularity. Aside from their 344k following on Instagram, they’re most commonly affiliated with celebrities such as Tan France and Jonathan Van Ness. 

Skincare should never feel like a ‘girls only’ party. Fortunately, both of these companies bank on inclusivity and diversity. Unless you’re gearing up to try both of them, this Curology vs Lumin review will provide a side-by-side comparison of the two. We’ll touch on their subscription plans, products, and overall customer feedback to help readers settle in on a final decision. 

What to Consider

Curology vs Lumin Review

Product range 

Skincare isn’t just a matter of water and soap. If you’re a cosmetic veteran, chances are that you’re well familiar with the products that go into the iconic 10-step regimen. It usually includes a cleanser, exfoliator, moisturizer, serum, and a face mask. With that in mind, it’s always ideal for skincare companies to include at least one of each formula. 

Target audience 

Here’s an unspoken truth: skincare is not a ‘one-size-fits-all.’ Regimens should be formulated around your skin type, whether that be dry, oily, normal, or combination. It’s also important to consider diagnosed conditions, as some formulas may not be suited to treat rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis. 

Customization extent 

In terms of skincare subscription boxes, it’s important for all customers to fill out a preliminary quiz. It’s a way for the brand to gauge the severity of your skin condition, as well as weigh out any needs and wants. In order to do this, companies must ask critical questions concerning your regular skincare routine, diet, and the sensitivity of your complexion. 

Subscription options 

Sometimes commitment isn’t the best way forward, and no—I’m not talking about relationships here. Regarding skincare subscriptions, it’s ideal if the company offers some flexibility in buying their custom formulas. That way, customers can see if their products are worth pressing forward. 

Ingredients and sustainability 

An ideal skincare regimen should be free of harsh substances. This usually includes a no-no mix of parabens, SLS, fragrances, and synthetic dyes. With that being said, a brand shouldn’t just use organic botanicals as a frilly excuse to go ‘holistic.’ All ingredients should serve a purpose. On top of that, it’s best that all brands implement some degree of sustainability. A clean complexion shouldn’t come with an environmental cost. 


In most cases, you’re required to put in your age and zip code before signing up for a skincare subscription plan. This is to prevent any minors from making an account and to also see if the brand is available in your location. Accessibility also accounts for the price as well, as nobody wants to pay for a monthly membership at an exorbitant fee. 

Curology vs Lumin: Who Are They For?  

Curology vs Lumin Review

The empty-handed Sephora search is a nightmare for several people. You’re not a beauty guru, because brands like First Aid Beauty and Clinique go right over your head. The lights are bright, the employees give you a concerned eye, and before you know it—you’re already past those massive, glass doors. I thought Sol de Janeiro was a place, not a cream? 

If you can’t handle the heat, perhaps it’s best to leave the ‘kitchen’ and do things at home. Curology and Lumin serve as a more straightforward solution to help you address your skincare needs. They’re both customizable, but only to a certain extent. There’s no need to cross your fingers and hope for the best, as each box is curated towards your complexion type. In order to do this, customers must fill out a personalized quiz at the start. 

As a general head’s up, this Curology vs Lumin review will provide a cheat sheet of what questions to expect.

  • How sensitive is your skin?
  • How much money do you usually spend on skincare?
  • Do you wear sunscreen?
  • What’s your daily skincare regimen?
  • Have you ever used prescription topicals?
  • What is your skin type?

After completing both quizzes, customers are recommended a one-month bundle based on the answers they provided in the questionnaire. Ultimately, it’s up to you if you want to press forward with the subscription plan. If not, they do provide some insight into products that you should be using to help treat your skin. 

As I was clicking through each question, I did manage to get a better sense of each brand’s intended audience. Lumin seems to be geared for novice skincare users, as they primarily ask general questions about your skin type, the products you use, and if you implement a daily regimen at all. 

Curology, on the other hand, appears to be more ‘dermatologically directed’ regarding its queries. They’re definitely for customers who have dire skin conditions, as some questions entail any allergies and prescription history. 

Curology vs Lumin: Subscriptions

Curology vs Lumin Review

Reading the fine print isn’t a desired pastime, but it’s important to mitigate any misunderstandings. To keep things simple to read, this Curology vs Lumin review will provide a condensed summary of the subscription policy for both of these brands.

Curology memberships are divided into two different plans, the Small and Large Custom Formula. Customers can also buy other products to add to their pre-existing order. For those looking to ‘size up’ their monthly boxes, this Curology vs Lumin review will provide a brief summary for all of their separate formulas:

The Cleanser and Moisturizer Set 

Dermatologist-approved and easy to use, this 2-in-1 bundle is a must-have for those riddled with unbalanced skin. It’s designed for all complexion types, ranging from oily to dry. Best of all, both blends are formulated to be super gentle during application, which basically means that it doesn’t strip away any essential oils. 

This Curology kit is made out of 6 hydrating ingredients, which include hyaluronic acid and shea butter. Together, these additives help to boost skin moisture while treating inflammation. It’s worth noting that members can choose between the ordinary moisturizer or the rich lotion when ordering a new batch. 

The Acne Body Wash 

Can’t manage to reach that pesky back zit? Don’t subject your friends to that intrusive pimple pop. As a better solution, the Acne Body Wash is designed to rid the skin of excess sebum and debris. It’s a great add-on to any facial cleanser, exfoliant, or any loofah you have lying around. According to Curology, this formula is calibrated at 2%, which helps clean the complexion without inflaming certain areas.

This shower must-have introduces the power of salicylic acid, which helps to unclog oils and debris locked away in your pores. Customers should know that this product is not customized as part of your pre-existing order since it’s open to all skin types. 

Emergency Spot Patches:

Considered a better alternative than the ol’ toothpaste method, the Emergency Spot Patches help to unearth oil and pus in a more discreet manner. Basically, these stickers are hydrocolloid bandages, which help to draw out unwanted debris in a safe and concise manner. It also promotes healing, which is definitely a plus compared to the pinch-and-pop procedure.

Offered in a 20-sticker set, this kit is best applied to freshly cleansed skin. Curology states that you can proceed with your regular regimen but to avoid the areas where the patch is located. Oh, and customers can also use these bandages overtop makeup as well. 

The Lip Balm

Everybody deals with chapped lips from time to time. To help prevent that unwanted, flakey texture, Curology’s Lip Balm provides a quick dose of hydration to dry kissers.

Vegan in formula, this blend utilizes a blend of natural butters. This includes shea butter, jojoba seed oil, and carnauba wax. Currently, you can choose from 4 delectable flavors, such as original, vanilla, mint, and passion fruit. 

The Micellar Makeup Remover 

Nobody likes waking up to eyeliner residue under their eyes. If this happens to be an ongoing occurrence, it’s probably best to switch your old cleanser with the Micellar Makeup Remover. This cosmetic necessity removes excess foundation, eyeshadow, debris, and oil. Ideally, it’s applied before any skincare routines. 

Other notes to consider with Curology’s subscription plan: 

  • All first-time clients receive a free trial of small-sized products. Afterwards, subscriptions will transition to larger-sized items 
  • Customers can adjust when they’d like to receive their next shipment. This includes moving up or pushing back their set delivery dates 
  • You can pause and cancel your plan at any time 
  • Every subscription plan comes with a free provider consultation credit (they’re used to initiate medical conversations with Curology’s team of professionals)
Curology vs Lumin Review

Lumin membership plans come by the dozens. You can either opt for a single-product delivery or sign up to get a full set of products each month. To keep things short, this Curology vs Lumin review will only look at three of the brand’s best-selling bundles for a quick view. 

The Classic Maintenance Set 

Considered the brand’s most basic bundle, The Classic Maintenance Set is designed for those who have common skincare problems. This kit includes the No-Nonsense Charcoal Cleanser, the Ultra-Hydrating Moisturizing Balm, and the Reload Exfoliating Rub. Together, these formulas help to prevent breakouts, fade acne scars, and even out the skin tone. It’s an excellent 3-step procedure that requires minimal time to complete. 

The Classic Maintenance Set is formulated with three primary ingredients: charcoal, rosemary leaf extract, and green tea extract. When combined, these additives prove crucial in detoxifying the skin while clearing up oily complexions. 

The Anti-Fatigue Essentials Set

If coffee isn’t enough to awaken your senses, perhaps it’s time to find a solution through skincare. Case in point, the Anti-Fatigue Essentials Set helps to even out the complexion while diminishing acne scars. It can also reduce the signs of aging while fading out dark circles. 

Don’t worry; this kit isn’t just a hot cup of coffee. Instead, it’s a 3-in-1 bundle that includes the No-Nonsense Charcoal Cleanser, the Ultra-Hydrating Moisturizing Rub, and the Reload Exfoliating Rub

Designed to impart that youthful glow, this kit introduces a blend of ginger extract, charcoal, and rosemary leaf extract. Trust me, it’s a much more effective alternative than the regular ‘water and soap’ method. 

The Age Management Set

Pushing 30? If not, perhaps those wrinkles and aging spots are just getting a head start. But for those who want to cling to their youth for just a little bit longer, the Age Management Set can definitely do the job. This kit includes the Ultra-Hydrating Moisturizing Balm, the Anti-Wrinkle Defense serum, and the Dark Circle Defense cream.

Formulated with vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and pomegranate extract, the Age Management Set is designed to soften wrinkles while preventing breakouts. Best of all, it’s suitable for dry, oily, and combination skin. 

Other notes to consider with Lumin’s subscription plan:

  • First-time customers are treated to a 30-day free trial. After this period is over, they’ll receive the same products on a monthly or bi-monthly basis 
  • Members can adjust their delivery dates and cancel their subscription plans at any given time 
  • Bundles can also be purchased individually without the need for a subscription plan. But those who decide to sign up are entitled to 20% off 

Fortunately, there is no ‘catch’ when it comes to Curology’s and Lumin’s respective subscription plans. It’s a good thing that both of these brands offer a free trial, as customers don’t have to commit to a membership without first trying their products.

In my opinion, differences start to unravel when it comes to flexibility and add-ons included in each program—but again, it’s up to you to choose whether these assets matter. 

Curology vs Lumin: Ingredients 

Curology vs Lumin Review

A good skincare company should never close its curtains when it comes to ingredients. Thankfully, Curology and Lumin aren’t shady in the slightest. In fact, they’re quite upfront with the additives they use. For a better view, let’s take a short look at what their formulas entail and do a quick quality-control on safety, potency, and company transparency

Curology states that their formulas are devoid of fragrances, dyes, and parabens. They’re also non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic for those who have sensitive complexions. Oh, and just to add to the list—all products are cruelty-free, vegan, BPA-free, recyclable, and suitable for all genders. Talk about a brand that’s super inclusive. 

Ingredients vary depending on the product. But, you should at least know a few common additives they use, which include niacinamide, salicylic acid, and azelaic acid. Compared to other leading skincare brands, Curology provides a pH balance for all of its formulas. They also inform the customer of any inactive ingredients to help prevent any hidden ‘surprises.’

Honestly, the best part about each product description is that it reveals detailed information about its effects and how to properly use it. 

Lumin is also quite commendable in terms of company transparency. The brand states that its products are 80 to 95% natural when it comes to using organic and plant-based ingredients. They’re also free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates.

Lumin doesn’t claim to be vegan or gluten-friendly, as they do use additives like beeswax and malt extract within their formulas—but you can rest easy that they don’t test on animals. Customers will also be glad to know that the company’s packaging is recyclable as well. 

Ingredients-wise, Lumin uses a bounty of holistic additives. This includes a wide variety of extracts and oils, including green tea, apple, lemon, meadowfoam seed, and caffeine. Customers can educate themselves on the use of each ingredient by clicking on its respective picture.

You can also know where it’s found within Lumin’s selection of products. In addition, the company provides a useful FAQ section on how to use its formulas effectively.

Honestly, Curology and Lumin both deserve a round of applause. They’re transparent and educational, which bodes well for any novice skincare user. If we were to pick holes, we’d say that the way they convey information is quite different.

For one, Curology’s list requires a bit of prior knowledge of common cosmetic ingredients, as you’ll run into lots of 12-letter additives. Lumin keeps things relatively simple by providing a ‘click-and-view’ format for each respective oil and extract. 

Curology vs Lumin: Price & Value

Curology vs Lumin Review

It’s time to get into the nitty-gritty of this Curology vs Lumin review. Personalized skincare is great and all—but how much are we talking here? For a better view, I’ll provide a comparative list of the prices offered for each brand: 


  • Offers a free 30-day trial. You just have to pay $5 to cover shipping and handling 
  • The Small Custom Formula: $20 per month plus shipping
  • The Large Custom Formula: $40 on a bi-monthly basis plus shipping


  • The Cleanser and Moisturizer Set: $20 per shipment 
  • The Acne Body Wash: $18 per shipment 
  • The Lip Balm: $5 per shipment 
  • The Micellar Makeup Remover: $8 per shipment 

It’s worth noting that Lumin offers 15 different sets and dozens of individually-packaged products. You should also know that each subscription plan is delivered on a bi-monthly basis. To keep things short, we’ll only feature a few of their best-selling items down below: 


  • Offers a 30-day free trial. Customers will need to pay $8 to cover shipping and handling 
  • The Age Management Set: $52 (one-time purchase costs $65)
  • The Classic Maintenance Set: $48 (one-time purchase costs $60)
  • The Correction Trio Set: $48 (one-time purchase costs $60)
  • The Modern Bathroom Set: $59 (one-time purchase costs $74)


  • The Dark Circle Defense cream: $23 (one-time purchase costs $29)
  • The Reload Exfoliating Rub: $13 (one-time purchase costs $16)
  • The Keratin Recovery Shampoo: $11 (one-time purchase costs $14)
  • The Advanced Repair Scalp Treatment: $12 (one-time purchase costs $15

Obviously, Lumin seems to be on the more expensive side when it comes to skincare subscriptions—but that’s not to say that they’re completely out of the ballpark.

They offer a great selection of products at a semi-reasonable price. Curology is definitely on the more affordable spectrum, as customers can get an entire collection of cosmetic goodies at only $20

At the end of the day, I think we can all agree that Curology and Lumin both beat paying $100+ at your local beauty store. 

Curology vs Lumin: What Do Customers Think?  

Curology vs Lumin Review

Curology and Lumin appear to offer convenience and affordability in one neat subscription plan. Honestly, it seems a little good to be true—but there’s no way of knowing without taking a look at some common customer feedback.

Down below, you’ll find a summarized list of reviews and ratings posted for each skincare brand. 


  • Influenster: 9,479 reviews with 4.2/5 stars 
  • Facebook: 2,880 votes with 4.3/5 stars 
  • 1,280 reviews with 4.4/5 stars 
  • Trustpilot: 725 reviews with 4.3/5 stars 

Common customer feedback:

  • Customers reported a drastic improvement in their skin after using their products 
  • Seemed to help clear acne while evening skin tones
  • Customization was definitely a plus, according to several users 


  • The Classic Maintenance Set: 355 reviews with 4.8/5 stars 
  • The Age Management Set: 73 reviews with 4.9/5 stars 
  • The Ultra-Hydrating Moisturizing Balm: 186 reviews with 4.9/5 stars 
  • Trustpilot: 11k reviews with 4.3/5 stars
  • Amazon for the Complete Skincare Gift for Men: 361 ratings with 4.5/5 stars 

Common customer feedback:

  • Seemingly convenient and easy to use 
  • A majority of customers noticed an improvement in their skin 
  • Exceptional customer service 

Of course, this wouldn’t be a complete Curology vs Lumin review without including a few negatives. For both companies, some customers reported no positive results after using their formulations.

Others noted issues in the free trial, as well as canceling their memberships. There are a few concerns regarding customer service, but that’s usually expected for all companies in general.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to make your own assumptions for each brand. But, if you’re looking for our two cents, we can assuredly say that they’re both commendable in terms of product effectiveness. 

Curology vs Lumin: Promotions & Discounts

Curology vs Lumin Review

As of lately, Curology and Lumin aren’t offering any promotions and deals at this time. But, as we mentioned before, they do provide a 30-day free trial minus any shipping and handling fees.

It doesn’t seem that they’re too avid in offering any deals on their products or subscription plans, but it’s always a good idea to keep tabs on both of their social media pages. 

Lumin does provide a permanent discount to essential workers. Through its Heroes Program, firefighters, first responders, healthcare workers, veterans, and non-profit organization employees can get a percentage off their final order. 

Curology vs Lumin: Shipping & Returns 

Curology vs Lumin Review

Don’t get your hopes up yet. It’s always important to quickly read over a company’s shipping and return policies to help mitigate any disappointment. Before you click off of this Curology vs Lumin review, we’ll feature a few salient points to help finalize your ultimate decision:


  • Standard shipping costs $5 
  • Doesn’t provide international delivery outside of the U.S 
  • Trial boxes will usually ship out within 1 to 3 business days 
  • Regular shipments may take a span of 7 to 10 business days 
  • Provides a tracking number alongside a confirmation email 
  • Customers can request to get their monthly boxes early by clicking on the “Buy Now” tab 
  • They do not accept returns or exchanges 
  • Members must cancel their subscription before the next shipment date 
  • No glaring reports about unfulfilled orders or delayed deliveries 


  • Offers free shipping on orders $25 or more 
  • Trial sets entail a shipping fee of $8 
  • Does offer international shipping 
  • Domestic packages will usually arrive within 4 to 9 business days 
  • Provides a tracking number alongside a confirmation email 
  • Has a 60-day return order for unused products (exempts trial items and sets)
  • Does not provide a prepaid return shipping label 
  • Little to no concerns regarding delayed or unfulfilled orders 

Curology and Lumin are drastically different when it comes to both of their policies. For one, Curology is only catered for American customers, while its competitor is open to several countries. Returning products is another matter, but that’s usually a problem for later if you encounter issues with your order. 

Who Will You Shop With?

Curology vs Lumin Review

This Curology vs Lumin review has covered the basics, but I’m sure that some of you are still wondering what brand to choose. After combing through subscription plans, customer feedback, and points regarding accessibility, I think I’ve gotten a general sense of each company’s intended audience. 

Curology is definitely meant for those who feel frustrated or excluded when trying out different formulas. After completing their questionnaire, I felt like I was conversing with a certified dermatologist.

Their professionalism and straightforward subscription program makes the shopping process easy. In addition, Curology’s marketing is completely genderless and sexless, making it accessible to a wide group of audiences.

Lumin, on the other hand, is suited for those who are semi-familiar with the skincare world. It’s also perfect for those who aren’t sure where to start their self-care journey, and this is heavily indicated in the questions it asks.

If anything, that acts as an introductory course, as customers are free to purchase their products without committing to a subscription plan. It’s convenient, easy to use, and definitely affordable compared to any in-store Sephora splurge.

Of course, the best way to test out these brands is to do a bit of investigating yourself—but we’re hoping that you at least get a basic sense of what the company offers. To conclude this Curology vs Lumin review, I wish you good luck in pursuing your skincare goals.


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