Licensed Esthetician + Acne Specialist

Acne Skin Care

Curology Prescription Review: The Future of Dermatology and Skin Care

July 19, 2017

Curology Prescription Review: The Future of Dermatology and Skin Care


What is Curology?

First of all, if you would have told me 5 years ago that the skin care industry would evolve to the point of getting virtual skin prescriptions sent to you based on your very specific concerns, I would have told you that was impossible. Guess what? I would have been wrong.

Curology is a virtual subscription dermatology service that allows a personal dermatologist to view images of your skin, and based on that, they diagnose, prescribe, and create a product for YOU and YOUR concerns. They don’t create just any product that you can get over the counter, their products contain active ingredients that are typically only available via prescription.

Your part? Just send them images of your skin, answer a couple of simple questions regarding your current skin condition and your goals, and pay the shipping fee. That’s it (for the first month)! After that, the payments are $19.95 every month. You have the option to tweak your prescription if you have new goals. How awesome?!

My Curology Experience and Prescription


My Prescription:

Tretinoin (promotes cell turnover and unclogs pores): 0.009%

Clindamycin (antibacterial and anti-inflammatory): 1%

Azelaic Acid (antibacterial that also treats hyper pigmentation): 9%


The prescription is white and has a creamy consistency. When it dries on the skin, it leaves almost a matte feel/look.

I received my Curology prescription a few months ago and consistently used it every night for about a month. My initial thoughts were that it stings for a while. I mean, 30 minutes after applying it my face still felt like it was on fire and I couldn’t stop itching, specifically around my nose. I made sure to discontinue using my chemical exfoliants 3 days prior to using my Curology because of the risk of irritation. If I used my acids and this? I’m almost certain I would have burned my face off. I 100% do not recommend using chemical exfoliants alongside your prescription, and neither do the dermatologists.

The stinging gradually gets more bearable after about 10 or so applications, which is also around the time I began to see results. The first result I noticed was that my pores appeared smaller, with or without makeup. Significantly smaller. This is likely because of the tretinoin which promotes cell turnover and unclogs the pores, making them appear smaller.

The second major change I noticed is that my hormonal acne did not make its monthly appearance when I was consistent with applying my prescription, which I attribute to the clindamycin for its anti-inflammatory properties. While using this prescription, I actually didn’t break out at all that entire month. I typically don’t break out often, maybe once every 2 weeks, but not breaking out for an entire month straight?! Sign me up!

Lastly, within 5 weeks of use, my dark marks were remarkably more subtle. I should add that I am very hard to please when it comes to dark spot correctors. This is because most of them simply don’t work or promise unrealistic results. After one month, I saw results that would take at least 2-3 months to see with OTC products.

How To Apply

First: Cleanse your face with a gentle cleanser

Second: Tone with hydrating or gentle toner

Next: Moisturize

Last: Apply prescription directly on top of moisturizer

If you experience irritation, here’s what my Curology dermatologist suggests


Wait 10-20 minutes after washing your face before applying the prescription. This is because it will absorb really quickly on a freshly washed face increasing the possibility of irritation.


Apply the medication every other day while your face is still getting accustomed to it.


Use your moisturizer before your prescription. This will not affect how well the medication works, it will simply reduce irritation.


Dilute the prescription by mixing it in with your moisturizer


Use a humidifier to reduce the dryness of your air, which can further irritate your skin.



I decided not to renew my prescription solely because, by the time they were ready to send me a new prescription, I was not even halfway through with my first one. I simply felt it would be a waste of money to get the same prescription sent to me when I had not completed using the first one, and still haven’t months later.

Do I still use it every day? Nope. My skin care routine keeps my skin very balanced and I only use this when my skin is particularly acting up. I do like that if my skin needs serious help, I have a prescription strength product at arms reach. I would recommend daily use only if you’re acneic, and even then, taking 2-week breaks from it after every 6-8 weeks is recommended to avoid your skin getting used to it.

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