Why Curology Works on Tough Zits

(Especially when drugstore products fail)

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Curology Team
Aug 07, 2017 · 3 min read

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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.

Do you have a graveyard of failed acne washes and spot treatments sitting on your sink? If so, you’re not alone. Over-the-counter acne treatments may clear only 35% of acne lesions, according to Consumer Reports.

This failure isn’t surprising once you examine what’s in these over the counter (OTC) acne products. Most contain the same two active ingredients, benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. That’s like trying to correct the world’s vision with the same 2 pairs of glasses!

OTC products also lack some of the most effective ingredients out there — powerful Rx ingredients dermatologists prescribe for acne and hyperpigmentation, like tretinoin, azelaic acid, and clindamycin.

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Clinical trials suggest that certain prescription acne treatments may be more than twice as effective as using OTC treatments for acne (1).

The problem is they may also cost you more than twice as much — requiring a dermatologist’s prescription, in person office visits, dermatologist fees, and the cringe-worthy markup that pharmaceutical companies often charge at the pharmacy.

Mission: ditch the derm fees

Frustrated by this dilemma facing acne sufferers, dermatologist David Lortscher, MD, wondered: what if personalized prescription acne care could be as affordable and easy as a trip to the drugstore? In 2013, Dr. Lortscher teamed up with his mother Nancy (also a dermatologist) and his engineer brother, Glenn, with the goal of making personalized acne care affordable online. This is how Curology was born — in a small lab in sunny San Diego.

3 years later, Curology now sees more acne patients than any physical dermatology practice in the nation, providing each patient with a licensed dermatology provider online, and an acne prescription customized to their skin and skincare goals.

How it works

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The concept behind Curology is simple: you fill out a detailed skin survey online, and get matched with a dermatology provider. You’ll share close-up photos with your provider, who creates your treatment plan based on your skin type and goals. Within a week, your custom prescription skincare arrives at your doorstep!

Sound like ordering something on Amazon? It’s not. Dr. Lortscher wanted Curology to be a one-on-one relationship with a medical provider, rather than an anonymous online shopping experience. If your formula isn’t quite right at first, your provider works with you to review your progress photos and tweak your formula as necessary.

Today, 88% of Curology members report seeing results from their custom formula (2). The other 12% can get their money back if they don’t see results in 90 days. And because Curology’s mission is to help people find skincare that fits, it’s free for the first month.

So welcome to the modern age of skincare! Learn more about Curology’s approach and ingredients here, or explore Curology community reviews. You’ll never be rushed out of this dermatologist’s office — in part because it’s likely your own couch.

(1) Biswas S, et al. Comparative evaluation of the efficacy of four topical medications individually or in combination to treat grade I acne vulgaris. J Ind Med Assoc. Apr-2009.

(2) Based on survey responses collected from 432 Curology patients between 10/11/2016 and 11/08/2016, 88% stated they saw noticeable results.

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