Curology - Acne Treatment

 Curology - Acne Treatment

4.3

34 reviews

85% would repurchase

Package Quality: 4.2

Price: $$$$

Package Quality: 4.2

Price: $$$$

INGREDIENTS

fka PocketDerm

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on 1/23/2016 6:57:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Sensitive, Dark, Cool

Hair: Brown, Kinky, Fine

Eyes: Brown

I started with PocketDerm (Curology) last winter after losing my job and going through a bunch of other stressful situations. I developed cystic acne for the first time in my life. I was desperate and without insurance, but needed something ANYTHING to help me out. After the first consultation, I was hooked. Dr. L was receptive to my concerns and offered helpful suggestions in a very short time. After we were able to clear up my acne issues, Dr. L. worked with me to focus on my hyperpigmentation. Even though I have insurance again, I will happily stick with Curology for the foreseeable future.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.



on 12/10/2015 7:55:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Very Oily, Medium, Warm

Hair: Black, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

I'm not sure I want to attach photos of my face pre-PocketDerm/Curology, but know this: it was pretty bad. I spent a semester in Beijing (terrible pollution) and my skin was just awful (closed comedones/whiteheads, daily zits, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation) at the beginning of 2015. I tried masks, aspirin scrubs, the famous P50 lotion, and chemical peels (ranging from TCA to lactic) which resulted in so-so improvement. No real progress lasted.

I tried PocketDerm in February 2015 and have never looked back.

Result were not instantaneous. But progress in purging the closed comedones and flesh colored bumps was sure and steady. Now fast forward to December... I haven't had a single pimple or zit in months. My skin has not been this clear for years.

My hyperpigmentation has faded as well, it's not completely gone but I'm sure eventually it will.

This serves as my nightly acne treatment and moisturizer so even though I pay $20/month, it's totally worth it for me.

7 of 8 people found this helpful.


on 11/8/2015 9:03:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Oily, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

I cannot say enough good things, I have been using pocketderm since June and my assigned dermatologist Dr. Nancy Satur has been a godsend. She really listens to my concerns and is so quick to write back. After trying a topical with doxycycline with no results, she decided my acne was more hormonal and put me on spirnolactone. Wow. Nothing had ever worked so well before. It is scary how well this medication has worked for my skin. I am not sure about the 3 month maximum for prescription medication another reviewer wrote about as I have been on it for longer than that. When I asked my dermatologist about it, she said that since I am "young and healthy" she didn't find it necessary for me to see a gp or dermatologist in person. Definitely worth a try if you struggle with acne!

5 of 6 people found this helpful.


on 9/10/2015 8:03:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

25 year old female. I've been to hell and back trying to find an acne treatment that works for me. Mostly all creams break me out, mostly all pills broke me out. Nothing seemed to work. A month on this, and wow. This is the first time since I was younger that I was able to walk outside, to a store, with absolutely no foundation. It has reduced my acne to non existent, and it has taken away my dark hyperpigmentation. Around week 2 I had a small purge, and within days they quickly disappeared. I pair this with purpose moisturizer, both of these creams haven't broken me out once. It's absolutely incredible.
Would suggest to anyone to at least try it. For all those people who have tried pills, and cleansers and all that crap... This really nailed it.

6 of 7 people found this helpful.


Age: 19-24

Skin: Sensitive, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I absolutely love Pocketderm. I have cystic acne with white bumps all around my nose. My derm prescribed me my own medication and then answered all the questions I had about soap, moisturizers, sunscreens, etc. With the medication and soap (St. Ives apricot scrub) it has really cleared up my skin. It did take about 4 months though, so patience is key!


Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Fair, Warm

Hair: Red, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Green

i've been using curology for 3 months now & have been extremely pleased so far. i've had persistent acne of varying severity for years & after hitting a particularly bad bout of it & hearing about this service i finally decided it was time for rx-strength treatment again. my skin is very sensitive & while it has gotten more under control by using gentler & better-formulated otc products & an at-home blue light device, i still get breakouts regularly. curology has helped dramatically.

my rx is currently a combo of azelaic acid, clindamycin & zinc pyrithione. i noticed my skin starting to clear up a little within a couple days & have overall noticed fewer blemishes & quicker healing time for the ones i do get. some of my hyperpigmentation is also starting to slowly fade. my skin is still far from perfect but i have seen visible improvement across the photos i submit to my provider each month. i've also luckily had no side effects but as everyone's skin & rx is different ymmv.

as for the service itself, it's been great for me. my provider has been very friendly & helpful in answering all of my questions about my rx & has offered advice about the rest of my skincare routine. i've been able to easily reschedule shipments on the website, too. i think this is an invaluable service for ppl w/ problem skin who have no/inadequate insurance or just want something simple & convenient.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.


Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Medium, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Curly, Coarse

Eyes: Hazel

I heard about this service from several blogs and decided to give it a try. I am 40 years old and have struggled with hormonal acne for many years. I have been on BCP, which helped, but have recently stopped. I started having breakouts on the tops of my cheeks and forehead (which I never had before). I have tried over the counter products, but nothing was working. I had tried RAM in the past, but never was consistent with it. I have also used Clindamycin with good results, but did not want the $150 derm apt and $60 meds. After finding a code for free first month, I sent pictures (from my iphone) in for a derm to check out. She wrote back quickly and suggested a treatment of .018 tretinoin, 1%clindamycin, and 8% azalaic acid. I was skeptical since I had used tretinoin with a much higher percentage in the past, but she assured me the formula would work differently. I received it in about 4 days and began using each night. The breakouts were worse. They were able to be covered by makeup, and not as severe as most, but it was a lot to me. I contacted her one month into it, and she suggested a special soap and adding B6. I did, and still broke out more after the second month. The beginning of the third she suggested using every other night and added Spironolactone from the pharmacy (she called it in). Month four I am breaking out less, but still have a few spots on my cheeks. I will continue to use and see what long term benefits I receive. I pay $20 a month, which is less that I would pay with a prescription from a pharmacy. I know many people experience clearer skin quicker, but I have not. I am very pleased with the service from my PocketDerm derm, Nancy Satur, and would suggest anyone to give it a try (unless you can get better prices from your pharmacy and derm).

UPDATE: After several months and no improvement I went to see an in person derm. She told me that the 25mg spiro was not enough and that normally 100mg is prescribed for oilier acne prone skin. She also prescribed Minicycline, which caused debliltating dizziness then switched me to Bactrim 2x per day which stopped all side effects. She prescribed Epi Duo at night and after using this combo for 1 week my skin is mostly clear and I have not broken out during my cycle! I know that the antibiotics are NOT a long term "cure", so I am happy that the EpiDuo is working also. Unfortunately Pocket Derm did not work for my hormonal acne as I had hoped. My in person dermatologist did say it was a great formula though. She just added that I needed more spiro and an antibiotic to gain some ground on breakouts. Oh, I have hear some say that one needs a blood test for spiro--I did not. Maybe its my age (40).

11 of 12 people found this helpful.


Age: 30-35

Skin: Very Oily, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Green

My biggest issue with Curology is that they tell you to use 2 pumps daily, then that NEVER lasts the full month. There's no way to really tell how much is left in the bottle either. With my last bottle they apparently put the wrong address on it and it's been roaming the country, nowhere near where I live, for two weeks. I was able to get another bottle sent. They seem to put everyone with acne doing the free trial on the same formula. I told my "provider" I wanted to add in a retinoid and increased azelaic acid. After 3 days she responded with a long-winded NO. That was almost enough to make me stop. But I kept using the lotion nightly and my face really cleared up after 2 months!! I was so happy. Then with the shipping fiasco I had no lotion for 8 days and I completely broke out again. So it's like I'm starting all over. If I could just get a consistent supply of this lotion I think it would really keep working.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.


Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Medium, Warm

Hair: Black, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

First, let me say that this is an incredible idea and fantastic service. Everyone I dealt with at Pocket Derm was helpful and informative, which anyone who has ever tried to find a good derm will tell you is definitely not par for the course in the field of dermatology. The service was easy to use, the doctors responsive, and the product arrived quickly and with clear instructions. At $20 a month, I think that this is a really great option for a lot of people.

I sent three photos (no makeup - I actually realized how low my self esteem had gotten when I went to take these, because it was incredibly difficult for me to do) that I had taken on my phone to Pocket Derm through their website, and my doctor prescribed me a custom blend of treatments that was sent to me by a compounding pharmacist. I love the idea of having a treatment that is specifically created for your skin issues. It arrived in a pretty frosted plastic bottle, which lasted me a little less than two months (you can reorder based on how often you go through everything). I applied it once every night to my problem areas. I never experienced irritation, which was amazing after dealing with Epiduo, which is incredibly harsh, for the better part of a year. My skin certainly did not get any worse when I was on it, and I think that certain inflammation and discoloration definitely did approve.

I ended up going off of PocketDerm and finding a derm in my city because I wasn't seeing the results I wanted. I was still breaking out frequently, which my PD doctor said was a result of purging. However, after three full months on this (after almost a year of being on Epiduo, which has adapalene and similarly clears out pores), I felt like I needed to be seeing better results. I was told to wait it out a bit, which I had planned to do. However, I ended up going in to see a new derm in person to get a cortisone shot on two really bad cystic spots, and she mentioned that I probably needed an oral medication such as spironolactone, as my acne is clearly hormonal and topicals can't do anything preventative when the issue is internal. I feel like this is something that my PocketDerm doctor probably should have identified straight away - given the placement and type of breakout I was getting.

I know that people have gotten spiro prescriptions through PocketDerm, but this was never offered as an option for me, and I felt better about the fact that my in-person derm keeps track of potassium levels and blood pressure (both things that spiro affects). And so I made the decision to cancel my PocketDerm account, and started with a new derm to go back on Epiduo and also add spiro. The spiro, so far, as been incredible and it's frustrating to think that I went so long without it.

I believe the positive experiences that people have had with PocketDerm and do think that it's worth a try if OTC is just not cutting it and you don't have access to a derm who you trust. Treating acne is a lot of trial and error, and I am glad that I tried this (and will forever by in dept to them for suggesting using hydrocolloid bandages on popped spots).

13 of 14 people found this helpful.


on 10/13/2015 11:30:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Very Oily, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Green

Edit: to Domicos trying to discredit my review re: being prescribed 3+ months: I am younger than you and in perfect health. State laws vary state to state. I am in texas - I checked and see youre in CA. Please show me a link. I still have the email from pocketderm if you'd like a screenshot. So either pocketderm lied or......?
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I added an edit at the bottom to hopefully help more people.


I used Pocketderm (now rebranded as CUROLOGY ) for 6+ months. I believe I have enough insight on the matter to write a proper review. Many derms wanted to put me on Accutane since my acne/oil production was so severe. Everyone in my immediately family (mom, dad, brother) had been on it. I absolutely REFUSE to go that route. Not because it sucks for the duration of the time taking it, that would be well worth it to me. But it's the aftermath that's scared me off. I'm keeping my excessive sebum producing oil glands... because they're a built in moisturizer. It sucks that they cause acne but when I hit 40+ I'll be very pleased to have the extra oil.

I opted for the acne treatment as I have been battling acne/rosacea for many years. Being completely honest, I mainly signed up for the chance of being prescribed Spironolactone. I wanted to be prescribed it via Pocketderm because it would mean not having to do the many bloodtests that come along with Spironolactone.

But if that's why you're signing up for Pocketderm...DO NOT DO IT. WHAT THEY DO NOT PROPERLY DISCLOSE TO NEW CUSTOMERS IS THEY WILL NOT PRESCRIBE IT LONG TERM. After 3ish months they dropped me to the curb and told me they only prescribed it for me to "try it out". My Pocketderm dermatologist told me I will have to go find a local derm to prescribe it long term. Additionally they would not prescribe over 100mg..... which isnt much in terms of spiro. I know MANY women on spiro and there are studies (by derms) stating that 200mg is optimal. Apparently, after doing some digging, they do this to everyone to avoid lawsuits!!!!!! If I had known this info I would have never started it. Spirolactone messes with your hormones so starting/ending it is no easy matter.

Moving forward --- onto the Pocketderm aka Curology acne topical treatment they send you. The actives in mine were: My formula is 4% niacinamide, 1% clindamycin, 4% azelaic acid. I'm *sure* this works for a lot of people. But it did not work for me and after one look at the INACTIVE ingredient list, I knew EXACTLY why.

It's full of vitamin e and sweet almond oil! Those are enough to break my skin out like a volcano. I even confronted Pocketderm / Curology on the matter and you know what they told me? That it was "impossible", because those are non-comedogenic ingredients. I am pissed they insinuated I lied about it breaking me out when there is TONS of info out there on these ingredients causing acne. Even ALL of the derms I've been to will agree. They told me to steer clear of most oils............and they were right. There are very few oils that don't break me out. The vitamin e and sweet almond oil clogged every pore on my face. :( Just like they did in every other formulation ive ever tried over the years.

HERE is the inactives list: water, glycerin, aloe vera leaf juice, PEG-100 myristate, sweet almond seed oil, xanthan gum, methyl paraben, propyl paraben, tocopheryl acetate.

Pocketderm/Curology sucked for me. But I do like the idea of it and I do think it could help a lot of people. IF YOU DON'T BREAK OUT FROM SWEET ALMOND OIL OR VITAMIN E - GO FOR IT!

I'm editing this because I want to point out that I think tretinoin is the only ingredient in this that makes it worth bothering. It is RX only due to being an intense chemical exfoliator. Tretinoin generates collagen, exfoliates the skin, and can do more for anti-aging AND acne than the rest. The reason I'm adament about that is because its a lot deeper of an exfoliator than vitamin c (useless to *me*) or niacinamide (which is also an antioxidant like vitamin c - it's b3!). If they don't prescribe it to you - PUSH for it. Curology/pocketderm (whatever it is atm) DOES try to make patients happy. Azalaic acid is also worth asking for since its RX only and often prescribed for rosacea redness (main ingredient of finacea). Paired with tretinoin can cause it to lighten old scars even quicker. :)

LAST BUT NOT LEAST WEAR SUNSCREEN IF YOU WANT NICE SKIN. Chemical exfoliators cause skin to be more photosensitive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I CAN NOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH. UVA damage will undo all the benefits of tretinoin.

17 of 30 people found this helpful.


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