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How it works:

  • Share your skin goals and snap selfies

  • Your dermatology provider prescribes your formula

  • Apply nightly for happy, healthy skin

How it works:

  • Share your skin goals and snap selfies

  • Your dermatology provider prescribes your formula

  • Apply nightly for happy, healthy skin

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Changing your Curology formula

Not sure your first formula is “the one”?

Curology Team Avatar
by Curology Team
Updated on Sep 28, 2023 • 5 min read
Curology Team Avatar
by Curology Team
Updated on Sep 28, 2023 • 5 min read
We’re here to share what we know — but don’t take it as medical advice. Talk to your medical provider if you have questions.

In this article

When you sign up for Curology, our hope is that your first custom formula will be the perfect match for your skin. But when it comes to skincare (or really anything else) you don’t always find the perfect match on your first try —and that's totally okay. If your first formula isn’t the one, we promise to work with you until we find a perfect match.

Curology skincare routine with custom formula

If you haven’t noticed improvement by week 6–8, we recommend you chat with your provider about changing your formula or trying a new approach.

Even if your formula is working, you can always talk to your provider if your goals shift! Maybe your acne is clearing up and you want to tackle additional skin goals like fine lines or dark spots. Whatever change you’d like to make, this guide will talk you through how to do it.

Sometimes true ❤ takes time: Your first 6 weeks

No two journeys are alike, especially in the first few weeks. Some Curology members meet their match in the first week, while others may need to navigate some bumps in the road before they see results — and that’s totally normal. Some members may adore their results, and decide 6 months into their journey that they want to adjust their ingredients as new skin goals come up. At any point in your journey, your provider is here to help you perfect your formula . Before you make a change, it’s important you give your current formula a chance.

If you’re less than 6 weeks into your current formula, we recommend trying the following before you explore a change:

  • Give it time. Try giving your skin at least 6 weeks to adjust to your prescription.

  • Be true to your cream. Make sure you’re applying your formula nightly (or as directed by your provider).

  • Try some TLC for irritation. If you’ve got mild irritation, drying, or a temporary increase in breakouts, try easing into your treatment with our pro-tips for reducing irritation. Irritation is totally normal when adjusting to a topical acne prescription, and isn’t cause for concern unless it continues for more than 2 weeks after trying these tips.

  • Break up with your old skincare routine. All you really need for healthy, glowing skin is your custom formula, plus a recommended gentle cleansermoisturizer, and sunscreen. Beyond that, additional products could be doing more harm than good by clogging up or drying out your skin. We recommend you look up every product and cosmetic in your skincare routine on to make sure they aren’t making a mess of your pores. Do your skin a favor and ditch anything that scores above a 2 in the “acne” column.

If you’ve tried these things and you’re still not feeling it, you can always talk to your provider about a formula change.

Photograph of a smartphone. On the smartphone's screen is photo of the left side of a woman's face.

How to have the talk

Your provider picked your first formula based on what they learned from your skin survey and photos, but it can be difficult to predict exactly how your skin will respond. Your skin may need something a little stronger, or a bit gentler — and the more you tell your provider about what’s going on, the easier it is to tweak your formula to perfection.

Pictures can be worth a thousand words. So first, snap some new makeup-free selfies like no one’s watching, and make sure you answer the following questions in your message to your provider:

  • How is your skin reacting to your formula? Any dryness or irritation? Describe what’s going on in as much detail as you can.

  • For how long have you been using your formula? And how often? (For example: nightly, every other night, whenever you remember🙈 — your provider won’t judge!)

  • What does your skincare routine look like? List out the full names of the products in your routine — or line up the products in your routine for a quick, clear photo. If you haven’t already, we recommend that you look up all the products in your skincare routine on to make sure they aren’t acne-causing. Let your provider know if anything scores above a 2 in the “acne” column.

  • Can you think of any potential breakout triggers that might be contributing to your acne? Let your provider know if you think there’s a chance that hormonal changes, stress, diet, or other medications in your life might play a role.

That’s it! For most members who don’t see results with their first formula, the second time is usually the charm.


Taking it to the next level: Formula changes after 6+ weeks

Once you find a formula you love, stay true to your nightly ritual. Continue to apply your cream to keep your skin clear. Or you may find yourself seeing results above and beyond your expectations — after acne heals, most people continue to see improvement in hyperpigmentation, redness, and texture, which take longer to clear up.

But it doesn’t need to stop there. The beauty of long term relationships? They grow and change as you grow. After a few months of treatment, you may decide you’re ready to take on new and more ambitious skin goals! You can always talk to your provider about tackling new concerns like skin texture, fine lines, or dark spots.

Whatever it is you’d like to work on, just ask! We got you.

Curology Team Avatar

Curology Team

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