curology review photo

Curology Review: Does It Really Work?

Written By : Dr Ruby Shah   ✓ Fact Checked

Curology offers prescription-strength acne and anti-aging skincare blended into a custom formula online, saving you the cost and time of visiting a doctor.

(Last Updated on November 9, 2022)

Have you battled with acne for some time?

If so, am sure you have tried almost everything in the market from prescription to over the counter regimes.

Skin breakouts can be frustrating and even take away your confidence.

This may force you to try every combination in an effort to achieve smooth complexion.

But are your trial and error combinations right?

Curology promises to tailor a once-a-day cream that fits the right ingredients for your skin.

But, how effective is the Curology cream?

Let’s get started on our Curology review to get the facts right.

What Is Curology?


Curology offers personalized acne and anti-aging skin care provided online, saving time and money spent visiting a doctor.

Their customized products are made using prescription-only ingredients while considering your skin goals, medical history, and photos.

Curology was started by dermatologist David Lortscher, who was concerned about how difficult it was for his patients o get proper skin care in rural New Mexico.

Each customized bottle contains three active elements used to treat the following skin conditions


Curology states that their well-formulated products can eliminate almost 90% of acne. This cream contains Tretinoin, Azelaic Acid, Clindamycin, Zinc Pyrithione, and Niacinamide.

Skin firmness

Curology have an evidence-based report that shows that their tailor-made formula increased skin firmness by 38% within 2 months of use. It contains Vitamin C and Tretinoin.

Zits, whiteheads, and blackheads

They have tailored a rich formula that helps to ease and reduce clogged pores which contain Tretinoin, Clindamycin, Azelaic Acid, Zinc Pyrithione, and Niacinamide.

Skin texture

Curology promises that their cream which contains Tretinoin enhances skin glow rejuvenates skin cells and helps in achieving an even skin surface.

Anti-aging effects

Curology has a wrinkle formula which contains Vitamin C and Tretinoin.

Dark pigmentation

Curology claims that their once a day cream helps to remove dark spots caused by acne and sun exposure. It contains Tretinoin, Azelaic Acid, and Niacinamide.

How Does Curology Work

how it works

Curology has available staffs of physicians, nurses, and dermatologists who work directly with clients to create a face cream that fits their specific needs.

It involves filling in an online questionnaire in the following steps.

Step 1: Skin Goals

An individual is expected to share their skin goals.

To begin with, you are asked to choose what conditions you wish to treat from the questionnaire.

Some of the listed aspects include:

  • Acne
  • Clogged pores
  • Dark spots
  • Skin texture
  • Firmness
  • Wrinkles

They do not have a limited number, so you can choose as many as you want.

Then, you proceed to choose your skin type from the listed skin types:

  • Very dry
  • Often dry
  • Combination(oily t-zone & dry cheeks)
  • Often oil
  • Very oil

We were, however, concerned that there is no option of ‘normal’ skin type and there were no descriptions to provide further details for each.

Thirdly, you are required to choose your main areas of concern such as face, neck, chest, back, and shoulders among others.

You are allowed to choose as many areas as you would wish.

Finally, there are a few questions on this step. One focuses on the number of pimples you have had in the last week while the other focuses on the frequency of sunscreen use and other forms of SPF.

Step 2: Medical History

This step requires you to provide a little bit of your medical history.

To understand the skin history they ask questions that focus on:

  • The current product, its efficiency, and effects on the skin.
  • Ingredients that have non-prescription retinoids like retinyl palmitate and retinol.
  • Any prior use of prescription topicals such as gels or creams for acne or anti-aging.
  • The specific product you are using.
  • Effects of products used previously.

Then they proceed to ask general medical information such as gender, and hormonal birth control use among females.

Females are also required to state that they are not pregnant or nursing.

Lastly, there is a section for additional information that would be useful to the dermatologist, for instance, your daily skin care routine and any special requests on the medication.

Curology Side Effects

side effects

Curology states that this is not a magic bullet but they try their best to design a cream that meets specific needs.

However, some users have reported that this cream had some side effects.

Some reported that they experienced irritation and more breakouts.

Jensen M gave this formula a try but she shares her regrets on the cream effects on HighYa.

I’ve never had too much trouble with my skin, just a few pimples here and there. Never suffered from zits but I wanted to give the formula a try [ …] So when painful, almost impossible to get rid of zits started showing up, I figured it was just part of the “purging process” and didn’t give it much thought.

Then I started to get rashes and my skin started flaking. I tried to use less of the medication in case I was maybe overdoing it, but my face just got worse and worse.

She further says that she stopped using the cream for a week and her face cleared.

Nikki M also thought her skin was purging until it got worse, she wrote this on influenster.

At first I did have what I thought was a purge, I gave this product a good 4 months […]

Even after she changed the ingredients, it got worse:

I ended up breaking out consistently with tiny small bumps like I never had before. I stopped using the product and the tiny bumps went away. I really wanted to believe in this.

What’s Included In The Curology Membership?

curology products

When you subscribe to Curology’s program you enjoy maximum prescription-strength skincare which entails a tailored-formula for all your skin needs as well as a professional dermatology provider.

They further, give detailed information on your dermatology provider, including their name and experience.

Curology Reviews & Complaints

Curology has received many positive reviews online.

On Influenster, it has 4530 customer reviews, with an overall rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Here is what customers had to say.

Let’s see the positive ones first.

Mandi D started using Curology formula a few months ago. Here is what she wrote on Influenster.

The process of getting started was quick and easy. And it’s nice to know a dermatologist is designing a product specifically for you. Your name being on the bottle is a nice touch. If you need to adjust the formula you can. I have the treatment, cleanser, and Moisturizer and it does wonders for my combo skin.

Some users reported that their acne was completely gone after using this formula.

This is backed up by Emma, who had this to say on Highya.

I have very sensitive skin. My face swells or itches so bad if I use some strong products and it irritates my acne more […] Curology formulated a customize cream for me and it works. My acne is gone and I will still continue using this product.

Cherry was self-conscious and could not face people but Curology brought her confidence back.

She adds on Highya:

I suffered from whiteheads, blackheads, and small red pimples […] I also wanted to combat signs of aging.

I’ve been using Curology for 3 months and 95% of my problem has been eradicated. I can go makeup free, and I feel more confident and comfortable with my skin. I’m 45, I look and feel amazing!

However, Curology has also received negative reviews.

The formula seemed to worsen some users’ conditions as witnessed by Jackie A. on Influenster.

I used curology for 7 weeks. My skin broke out worse than it ever has before and in unusual spots. My provider after 4 weeks and she told me purging is normal and that she likes to give a formula 6-7 weeks to see if it will work before changing formulas. At 7 weeks, my skin continued to get worse. I discontinued use and my skin immediately cleared up. Definitely not worth it. The one star is for the providers on hand.

Curology Before And After Photos (Taken From Google)

curology before and after photos

curology before and after photos

Curology Membership Price

Curology offers various plans for its members.

  • 30-day free trial super bottle: $4.95 shipping fee
  • 30-day super bottle: $19.95 +shipping and handling fee
  • 60-day super bottle: $39.90 +free shipping
  • 60-day full Curology package (super bottle, moisturizer & cleanser): $59.90 + other applicable taxes

Curology states that you can request early shipment if your formula runs out before 30 or 60 days.

Members are required to contact their dermatology provider between 30 and 90 days after treatment begins.

Note: No extra charges for frequent contact.

This is how the official website looks like.

curology official website

Is There A Refund Policy?

Curology membership subscription has no limitations and one can cancel if they are not satisfied.

Curology offers 100% money refund within 30 days of purchase.

Curology Pros & Cons


  • Customized skin-care formula.
  • Professional dermatology care provider.
  • Convenient since treatment is done online.
  • A personal chat with the care provider throughout the treatment.


  • Some reported side effects.
  • Reported cases of poor customer service.

Curology Review: Final Words

curology skincare treatment review - verdict

Curology seems to bear positive results among many users.

Their membership plan is relatively affordable compared to the cost of seeing a dermatologist.

The ingredients used in the formula are well known in improving skin conditions as well as offering anti-aging effects.

Additionally, users get to enjoy online services and receive their skin care products at their doorstep.

However, some users reported that the formula seemed not to work or worsened their conditions.

If you choose, Curology make sure they make suitable adjustments that fit your skin

We laid out the facts, will you try Curology? Comment below and tell us what you think!

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