Every brand is claiming to be the next best skincare solution, but Curology especially has blown up in the last couple of years.
Plenty of social media influencers have been talking about their impressive subscription service, so you might be wondering: does Curology actually work? Is it worth paying for? When it comes to self care and living well, it can be easy to fall into traps.
Allow us to break down everything they have to offer, how the program works and what real customers actually think about the products. Don’t commit your money to something you’re not 100% sold on – the idea of wellness is so often exploited!
How Does Curology Work?
As proudly declared on their website, Curology offers a custom bottle of skincare formulated especially for you: a powerful, customized cream that is mixed specifically for your own needs and concerns.
No longer do you have to depend on the drugstore solutions designed to be suitable for everybody: whatever is going on with your face, you can get alternative ingredients you won’t find in any bottles off of the rack.
First things first, you’ll complete a skincare quiz, so Curology can find out exactly what it is you’re looking for. More on that later! Once that’s all wrapped up, a fully licensed dermatologist will thoroughly assess your skin type and profile, as well as being sure to read through your full medical history.
After giving your answers a thorough evaluation, they will recommend a prescription that mixes up three ingredients from Curology’s list of simple yet effective substances. There are no robots or automated features: just real people ready to support you.
Don’t worry, the medical professionals are highly knowledgeable in the field of skincare, and they’ll do all the heavy lifting for you.
Why you should trust us
Our team has spent over 15 hours extensively testing and researching the best wellness products, including Curology! Our goal is to find the best brands who care about your well-being and help people live better lives. We evaluate beauty products based on their quality, effectiveness and customer support.
We often ask ourselves a simple question: would we buy the product for ourselves and recommend it to our family and friends? This review is medically reviewed and thoroughly vetted by Zoey Low, our in-house dermatologist, wellness expert and product tester herself!
Surprise! Everybody’s first month of Curology is free: all you need to cover is the shipping and handling charges, which come to less than five dollars. A couple of bucks to get glowing skin?!
Simply head to their site and click on the big old button that says Unlock Your Offer – from there, you’ll be directed to input your Zip Code. Unfortunately, they’re not quite available in every state yet, so hopefully, you’ll be able to use them, but the page will tell you instantly if you’re eligible.
Running in your state? Nice! Pop in your date of birth and be honest! For medical reasons, you must be old enough to utilize the service, which means being over the age of thirteen: if you’re between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, you’ll need your parent’s consent to proceed.
Now it’s time for the fun part…
In order to properly tailor your very own skincare routine to your needs, you’ll need to give Curology some information, which starts with your legal first and last name. It is a prescription after all, so it must be issued following legal requirements.
Now it’s time to assess what your skincare goals are – you can select more than one, even all of them if you want to. Whether you want a firmer, plumper face, reduced dark patches or to unclog your pores, it’s important to let them know about it.
For the sake of our review, we said our goals were to Fight Breakouts and Improve Skin Texture. Tell them where your breakouts are based, then provide some more in-depth information about the condition of your skin and how sensitive it is.
Once you’ve answered all of their questions, it’s time to provide some of your medical background and any medications you take: this information is secure and kept private, but must be given in order to prevent unwanted side effects.
For any LGBTQ readers: don’t worry! You have the option to express whether you are a cisgender man or woman – and if not, whether you identify as trans, gender nonbinary, or utilize a different marker.
This is very refreshing to see from a skincare company, and also helps customers feel more comfortable. If you’d rather not say, that’s okay too.
None of the questions are particularly personal, just regarding if you’re pregnant or in the process of conceiving, have any allergies, take any medications, or have had any surgeries recently. This is for your safety and no other reason!
Right at the end, you get an opportunity to add any notes for your dermatologist, for instance, if you’ve got any worries or concerns. No need to write anything for the sake of it though, so feel free to push ahead with the process.
Once that’s all wrapped up, you’ll be issued your own, personalized skincare routine, free for the first month.
After taking the quiz, we were offered several products as part of a thirty-day routine trial, but they also provided the price that will be required once your free period is over:
- One custom formula bottle, ingredients to be determined – $19.95 per month
- Cleanser and moisturizer set – $10 per month
- Single-use spot patches – $2.48 per month
All in, this monthly package would cost $32.43 after the free trial – you don’t pay for delivery once subscribed unless you’re only getting the custom formula. The additional two products were offered to us because of the answers we gave regarding skin type (combination) and the regularity of our acne.
The routine suggested for you could well be different! You also get an option to customize what comes in your box for the free trial (and every month after) right at the bottom, which allows you to remove the cleanser, moisturizer and patches if you like.
For just the formula bottle itself, you’re looking at $19.95 a month, including shipping. This is known as the Small Custom Formula and is mailed out to you every thirty days, alongside any additional extras you’ve added to the plan.
Should you wish to get a larger bottle, shipped every sixty days, you can opt for the Large Custom Formula – though it’s worth noting there is no clarification on the official size difference between these two products – for $39.95.
Want to get the Cleanser and Moisturizer duo on their own? You can get an 80ml bottle of cleanser and a 50ml moisturizer for $10 plus shipping, which you have to pay for if you buy them separately.
Who Started Curology?
Dr. David Lortshcer founded Curology back in 2013, after an experience with a patient who had been constantly suffering from problem skin problems for years, and no amount of products would help fix it.
The patient, Rachel, said she “would have seen a doctor for her skin sooner, but she didn’t think she could afford it” – Dr. Lortscher wanted to prove that skincare doesn’t have to be a luxury and that for drugstore prices, you can achieve the complexion of your dreams.
He soon teamed up with his brother Glenn, and mother Dr. Nancy Satur: together they built their official facility for skincare production: fast forward to 2021, and they have over a dozen full-time dermatologists working to professionally prescribe skincare, making it more accessible than ever before.
What Ingredients Does Curology Use?
When it comes to their customized formula, there are seven key ingredients regularly used by Curology to help their many customers begin to glow. These are…
- Azelaic acid: natural acid clearing redness and neutralizing rosacea
- Clindamycin: antibiotic reducing acne inflammation and killing bacteria
- Metronidazole: antibiotic that prevents bacteria growth and treat infection
- Niacinamide: reduces pores and minimizes overproduction of natural oils
- Tretinoin: AKA retinoic acid, minimizes fine lines and treats sun damage
- Zinc Pyrithione: anti-microbial, anti-fungal acne treatment ideal for faces
- Tranexamic acid: anti-inflammatory to soothe skin and repairs its barrier
As for their Dark Spot Formula, there are three active ingredients chosen from a different list, including…
- Ascorbic acid
- Azelaic acid
- Kojic acid
Paired with its own inactive base ingredients, designed to harmonize with the above active substances, it’s non-comedogenic (so it won’t clog your pores up) and fragrance-free, sure to help reduce patches of discoloration on your face and neck.
For cleansers and moisturizers, Curology keeps things simple, with ingredients designed by their in-house dermatologists to provide everything that you need and absolutely nothing unnecessary.
The Curology cleanser is designed to prepare your face for moisturizing, using a combination of natural plant sugars to produce a unique protective barrier, locking moisture in and ensuring you stay hydrated all day long.
Also included is a calming oat extract that helps to reduce irritation and soothe redness; there’s no gluten, no parabens, no oils or fragrances: just exactly what is necessary to scrub your face up good, morning and night.
With Curology’s patented moisturizer, you’ll experience the immediate effects of soft, plump hydration, but thanks to the inclusion of hyaluronic acid, your face will gradually become naturally better at retaining its own moisture over a longer period.
It’s worth noting, however, that they’ve left the SPF out of this formula so it can be suitable for use in the morning and at night. As a result, to ensure your fragile face is protected from the sun, be sure to apply a strong sunscreen over the top.
What Other Customers Are Saying
So, we’ve had a look at what Curology has to offer and how the whole process works: don’t you think it’s about time to find out what real customers have to say about it?
As proudly displayed on their regularly updated website stats, they currently have four-star or above ratings on all major websites:
- On Reviews.io, their current average is 4.42/5, from 1,142 reviews
- On Facebook, their current average is 4.2/5, from 3,441 reviews
- On Influenster, their current average is 4.2/5, from an average of 9,103 reviews
If we calculate an average of averages, that is an approximate score of 4.27/5, based on reviews from 13,686 customers and counting. Plus, the Better Business Bureau lists Curology as having an A+ rating, suggesting they are professional with regard to complaints handling and resolving any potential issues.
Now, you can’t expect a product to be perfect to everyone: there will be some niggles and complaints to be found.
The majority of complaints and one star reviews on each website, which only make up a small percentage of the feedback, are actually regarding delivery and account cancellations, which has nothing to do with the quality of the skincare they offer.
Likewise, there are a few reviews across various platforms expressing concern that a couple of customers actually suffered from more acne and breakouts after using Curology, but this to be expected. As their website clearly states, it doesn’t work for everybody and your results may vary.
It can’t be denied that some folks just won’t like Curology, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying out for yourself!
Just take a look at their Curology success stories. These are real customers sharing their experiences with Curology: they were not paid to leave these reviews, nor did they receive any compensation in the way of products.
Is Curology Worth The Money?
So, we’ve arrived at the most important question: should you consider spending your hard-earned cash on Curology, or would it be a waste of your time and finances?
Well, all of those success stories are pretty hard to deny!
If you’re looking to try a new skincare routine, there are worse risks you could take than giving Curology a go, and you’ll also get the benefit of having everything you need to look after your face shipped directly to your door, as often as you’d like.
Curology has a good reputation across a variety of popular reviewing sites, as we’ve already explained. Plus, the gallery on their website clearly shows that what they have to offer certainly works for a huge number of very happy customers.
As with any product or service, you’re bound to get a section of consumers who aren’t a fan of what they’ve experienced for one reason or another. Humans are fickle and everyone’s skin is different, so the only way to know if Curology will work for you is to give it a try!
Considering you get the first full month for free, and then it’s only $20 a month thereafter (or a bit extra for the full cleanser and moisturizer set, too), it will cost you less than fifty bucks to give the routine a good go for at least twelve weeks.
This should give you enough time to decide whether Curology is right for you, as well as plenty of time to get in touch with your designated dermatologist and have a chat about what you’re experiencing and how you’d like it to change.
In our opinion, though, and after a thorough review, we would argue that Curology is certainly worth trying. The only thing you have to lose is a bit of money, but you have a whole world of glowing, gorgeous skin to gain!
Frequently Asked Questions
Naturally, we couldn’t quite cover everything in this review, so here are the answers to some of the most common questions asked about Curology.
Is Curology Cruelty-Free?
Indeed it is! Curology received Leaping Bunny certification back in 2019, which clearly indicates that none of its ingredients or products have been tested on animals or been crafted using animal byproducts.
Even better is the fact that Curology requires all of their ingredient sources, their laboratories and absolutely everything provided to customers to be vegan-friendly and totally cruelty-free. As such, you can use their products with full peace of mind.
Does Curology Offer Any Discounts?
Well, yeah – everyone’s first month of the Curology program is free! This means that, for the price of shipping (less than five dollars) you get access to a month’s worth of customized cream, cleanser, moisturizer and some zit patches.
You’ll receive full-sized products, enough to provide thirty full days of skincare, and save yourself approximately forty dollars by taking this free trial. Now that’s what you call a bargain, right?!
Unfortunately, besides this initial freebie, there are no codes or coupons for Curology skincare subscriptions right now, nor do they offer a student or veteran’s discount. That doesn’t mean there won’t be any in the future, however.
Can You Cancel Curology After Your Free Trial?
Yes you can! As their website states, you can cancel your subscription whenever you want to: simply head to your personal payment page via the dropdown menu and answer a couple of follow up questions.
Curology will offer you the option to pause your subscription for the next order and pick up where you left off. You can choose to take a little break and postpone the next order due, or proceed to account deletion.
You’ll need to complete the entire cancellation process in order to ensure that your request is totally submitted: no need to make a phone call or send any emails.
Once your subscription is completely cancelled, you’ll receive an email to confirm deactivation of your account. If you haven’t received this, just get in touch with the Success Team and they’ll confirm closure for you.
Bear in mind that a shipment which has already been purchased cannot be cancelled once it has been sent to the lab to be formulated. You should cancel your account or pause shipments at least two business days before the next order is fulfilled, to ensure this can happen in time.
Not sure when that’s going to be? Don’t panic, just head over to the Shipping Page for your account, where you’ll find the date of the next invoice and production of your next order.
How Long Is Curology Shipping?
As soon as you have finished the sign-up process and received the personalized treatment plan from your assigned dermatologist, it should take approximately three business days for the trial formula bottle to be dispatched, if not before.
After the free trial is over – aka thirty days since your start date – your first paid shipment will be mailed out. Want to receive the next bottle sooner? Simply head to your Account Settings and hit ‘Buy Now’ to push your next shipment forward.
Depending on whether you opt for the Small Custom Bottle or the Large Custom Bottle, your skincare will then ship every thirty or sixty days until you pause or cancel it. To adjust the frequency of shipments and what products you receive, just go to Manage Subscriptions and make any amends.
Do Curology Offer Refunds Or Returns?
Yes! They boast a very impressive ninety day money back guarantee. This means every single customer is eligible to receive a total refund for all of the money they pay Curology within the first ninety days (three months) of subscription.
This obviously does not include the free one month trial, but you will be remunerated for the following two months of products supplied, as well as any costs for shipping and handling throughout the entire period of your membership.
In order to access this refund, you have to send an email to email@example.com, detailing that you would like to cancel your account and get your money back.- this must be done any time on or before the ninetieth day after your treatment plan being completed, which includes the consultation’s day of completion.
If you request a refund after this date, you will not be eligible for a refund; any customers who are returning to the service after a break will also not be able to request a refund, even if they did not have one the first time around.
It’s also worth noting that none of the purchases you make using the Buy Now function are eligible for refunds, and it is not possible to send your products back as a return in order to receive one.
How Long Does Curology Take To Work?
According to Curology themselves, the majority of patients will begin to see clear results in the first four to eight weeks of beginning treatments. It is their belief that it will take two months at minimum for you to see if the acne medication your dermatologist prescribes for you is going to work or not.
They advise you to remember that the majority of users are still going to experience the occasional breakout or pimple now and then, even if there’s not consistent unpleasant breakouts. Instagram filters and makeup lie: nobody can have truly flawless skin, no matter what they tell you.
Remember, lots of things contribute to your acne and cause breakouts, like your stress levels, whether you’re getting enough sleep, fluctuations in your hormone levels or the amount of water you drink, for instance.
It’s possible to treat acne, but pretty much impossible to get it to go away forever. Even after it’s cleared up somewhat, you could still trigger an eruption of pimples. Don’t sweat the small stuff – pay attention to anything serious.
If you’ve reached a point where your breakouts aren’t responding to the Curology treatments or any other medications like topical ointments or orally ingested antibiotics, it might be time to call it quits.
When you’re not able to use the ingredients Curology use, it might be that a family doctor will have to prescribe you isotretinoin, also known as Accutane – this is not an ingredient that Curology offers, so you’ll need an appointment with a dermatologist or another medical professional to discuss your options.