Reviewed: Curology’s Custom Formula for Acne

I’ve been using a custom formula for acne from Curology that contains 0.01% tretinoin, 1% clindamycin phosphate, and 4% azelaic acid for about a week. First, I was a bit nervous to start using tretinoin again because I previously used a prescription-strength 0.05% cream from the dermatologist for years and did some real damage to my skin barrier. After taking an eight-month break, I figured I could slowly incorporate it back in at a much smaller dose (lesson learned). My skin is also pretty sensitive, and some products traditionally used to fight acne are way too strong for it and make me break out more. 

Since I’ve only been using this formula for a little over a week, my skin definitely isn’t completely where I want it to be, but I’ve definitely noticed an improvement already. You can see in the above and below photos that I have some scars and a few active blemishes. My dark spots have faded a bit, and a few active pimples are a lot less noticeable than they were before. Although I haven’t been using this formula long enough to see a huge difference in my skin yet, I’m excited about the long-term results it could deliver. I put it on at night after my serum and before my moisturizer and have noticed no excessive dryness or peeling. I also started with a small amount so as not to irritate my sensitive skin.

Overall, if you have skin that’s also extremely sensitive and have tried every trick in the book to clear up your acne, I would definitely say trying a custom prescription from a place like Curology is worth a try. I also think it’s great that custom skincare brands like this are making prescription-strength ingredients available to those who may not have insurance or the budget to go and see a dermatologist regularly. I really like the formula I’ve been using, and since I’ve been using it sparingly to start, I’m impressed that it already seems to be working so well. If your skin isn’t used to prescription-strength ingredients like tretinoin, you may want to start by only using it a few nights a week. From there, you can work up to every night if it’s tolerable. I’m excited that brands like this are offering custom formulas, especially ones that can treat multiple concerns at the same time. My formula simultaneously helps with acne, hyperpigmentation, and fine lines. I’m going to stay consistent with it to really see those long-term results.

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