Curology Month 5 Update

Curology anti-aging prescription with tretinoin

It’s that time again! I finished off another bottle of my Curology anti-aging prescription and am back with an update. Just a quick one this time. No B&As, as I think results are easier to see with a longer wait in between, but definitely some progress to report!

My Current Curology Anti-Aging Prescription

My fourth shipment of Curology marks the first time since I signed up that I haven’t pushed for a stronger prescription. I’ve chosen to stick with the 0.05% tretinoin/4% azelaic acid/4% niacinamide combo that I started with my third bottle.

Curology anti-aging prescription with tretinoin
Yes, I’ve been hoarding my empties. I finally let them go tonight.

I decided not to push for a stronger prescription primarily because I don’t think my skin is ready for a higher concentration of tretinoin yet. Although facial oils and daily variations on my basic dry skin routine continue to keep my tretface flake-free and I haven’t suffered any of the peeling that tretinoin is notorious for causing, I have noticed a much greater tendency toward dryness since starting my 0.05% prescription. My skin can suck down every toner, hydrator, essence, serum, and ampoule in my skincare wardrobe in a flash and still be receptive to more. I use heavy creams on most days and layer a sleeping pack over my moisturizer every night. And I double mask almost nightly, sometimes after having used a sheet mask in the morning. Tretinoin has turned my skin into a thirsty, thirsty beast. I have a feeling that increasing the concentration right now would be too much for my skin to handle.

PocketDerm and Curology anti-aging prescription review
I increased my dose steadily from Bottle 1 to Bottle 3, but even I know when to slow down. At least when it comes to my precious, precious skin.

Increasing the concentration doesn’t seem necessary anyway, since I don’t think I’ve reached the full potential of my current prescription. I’m still seeing a slow and steady smoothing away of the fine lines on my forehead and around my eyes. The sunspots on my cheekbones are getting softer and lighter, their fading accelerated now by the azelaic acid I’m using. And something else has happened, something that took me totally by surprise.

For the longest time, I’ve had a trio of little dots high up on my right cheek, close to my eye. The smooth and slightly raised pink dots were tiny burn scars, acquired through my terrible habit of getting too close to sizzling pans of bacon. They annoyed me sometimes because the scar tissue wouldn’t take makeup, but for the most part I hardly noticed them anymore.

Then one day a few weeks ago, I was squinting closely at my face in the mirror (either plucking my eyebrows or checking up on my mustache growth, something to do with unwanted facial hair) and noticed that the little scars were totally gone.

Gone. Poof. Vanished without a trace, as if they’d never been there in the first place. Nothing where they were but smooth, even skin just like the skin around it. Skin that takes makeup just like the rest of my face.

Curology review
I felt like I’d been sucked into an alternate dimension, one where I didn’t regularly get burned by flying bacon fat. Disappointingly, Scarless Dimension is just like Bacon Scar Dimension in that there don’t seem to be any Daleks or Doctors here.

I expect a lot out of long-term tretinoin use, but I hadn’t expected it to totally crush those scars. Amazing. That kind of improvement keeps me motivated to use my prescription, which I have been doing every single night for the past several months.

If you’re interested in giving Curology a shot, you can get your first month for free by using a referral link like this one to sign up! And if you want to see even more long-term results first, keep watching this blog. I’ll be back with progress pics and another update when I start my next bottle.

Curology anti-aging review
It’s taking a lot of self-control not to make a joke here about exterminating wrinkles and fine lines. Just so you know.

Do you use any over-the-counter or prescription-strength retinoids? How has your experience been so far?

41 thoughts on “Curology Month 5 Update

  1. I’ve signed up for Curology but haven’t actually consulted with anyone yet; I might be using that referral sometime soon as my actives aren’t really giving me the results I want atm. My tret and retinol XP is super low, as in non-existent lol. It’s really interested considering I’m in OB/GYN block and it’s like no, NO RETINOLS FOR YOU. lmao xD

    By the by, lady cakes, the new blog theme is stellar! ^_^

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh, i am really happy to see your update! Maybe you can answer me a question?
    I have been using tret prescription from my derm (for acne) for over two months now. It works quite nice for my acne- all sweet BUT I actually feel like my nasolabial fold has gotten deeper? If anythink, shouldn’t tret smooth out any wrinkles?
    Have you seen any difference in your nasolabial area?

    In overall my skin’s texture has gotten slightly better in this two months, but I had nearly no visible wrinkles (at age 21 😉 ) and no visible sun damage (thank god teenage my liked playing computergames in the dark over sunbathing all summer)
    I’m still hoping that over time I will be able to minimize some little icepic scarring, but we’ll se 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmm I don’t really have much going on in the nasolabial area, though I have noticed that the skin there is looking firmer overall. I wonder if your skin needs more moisture. Being too dry will make all lines look deeper.


      1. Oh, wow, your’e fast!
        Maybe it’s just the skin at my cheeks looking more plump because i use a little bit more tret there (most of my acne is on my cheeks and chin)
        Or maybe I just notice it more now because my biggest skin problem is beginning to fade…
        My skin dosn’t really feel dry anymore, now that I use sleeping pacs every night. But I think i will try beeing more consistent with sheetmasking.
        Oh, now that i think about it, I really schould drink more- maybe thats where my problems come from?

        Thank you very much for replying ♥

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Woot woot! Excellent results and you are wise to take it slow. I’m bad about wait times, so I have had bad tretface. Even now, I’ll occasionally get flaky in the middle of the day around my mouth and I know it’s because I overdid it with tret. I’m bummed that my forehead lines haven’t reacted to Curology, but they’re a little deeper than fine lines. –Angela

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m still loving my Curology too. I’m on the 0.018% tret, 1% clyndamicin, 8% azealic acid scrip and loving it. The minor forehead lines I had disappeared as in a few weeks after I got my first, less strong scrip, which I thought was incredible. It’s helping fade my PIH and my dark circles and with my fine lines under my eyes, but I also am using other things for both of those issues.

    I don’t blame you for not upping your dosage. It took my skin a little while to get used to this one, but my derm jumped me from 0.009% to 0.018% after a month because I had said the first scrip didn’t seem strong at all. My skin was like wtffff? I now know to slow my roll with tret lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Most of the reviews I’ve seen for Curology were for acne treatments (which I don’t need), but now I’m intrigued. How does the pricing work? Do you pay the $20 every time they ship you a new bottle, which is one month’s supply? Or do you pay the $20 every month even when you don’t get any products or talk to your dermatologist?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. for the small battle it is 24 ish dollars everytime you get it delivered ( they say the small bottle lasts 1 month) the big bottle is 30 something dollars everytime you get it delivered ( they say the large bottle lasts 2 months) and then the bundle is i think 60 ish dollars everytime you get it delivered i dont remember if they say it lasts one or two months

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for the detailed posts about Curology, I just signed up a few days ago using your code, and I am very excited to try my first formula! My starting batch is the exact same as your’s was, which is good since I have sort of sensitive skin.

    Also I wanted to thank you for your blog in general, it has been so much help for me as a beginner in the Korean skincare world. I really appreciate how scientific your methods are with the ph strips, skin tester, and discussion of ingredients. I will be checking in often!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi, just started an anti acne treatment with curology. I wanted a stronger formula to combat my acne and decided to add tretinoin to the prescription and HOLY COW my face stings and feels like someone poured acid straight onto my face without diluting it! I wanted to ask you how you managed to use tretinoin without making your face feel raw.


  8. I love your blog and learn so much! I am excited as I just started Curology. My formula, which shipped today, is exactly the same as your starting one. I suspect my tret will go up quickly as yours did as I am very used to acids and peels and hardly ever even tingle now with them.

    I too already have several sources of Vitamin C which I prefer over their form- was your pocket derm peep easy to work with as far as your suggestions? My main issues are aging and hyperpigmentation so the azelaic acid sounds good to me…

    Also, I am assuming I do not do my Vitamin C while using theirs- is that the case?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad it’s helpful to you! And I actually prefer having an extra vitamin C serum in the mix with L-AA instead of MAP like they use, since L-AA is more potent according to current research.

      My PD provider is amazingly easy to work with and cooperative! I thought she’d be super judgy and side eye my whole routine, but she actually approves and let me quote her on it in a blog post, hahaha. I love her! She and some of the other docs are even working on trying to figure out why I sprouted double eyelids at 36 years old. They’re cool.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Long time reader and blog lurker here! lol I finally jumped on the Cureology bandwagon…and was wondering how you knew when to push for a stronger script? I love having a doc to talk to! What should I be asking her? I want to be using this great resource! Thanks for all of your great content!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you for your very informative blog!! Love ALL the information!!
    I see you add the Vitamin C every other night. Have you been able to continue with the BHA and AHA with the tret?


  11. I’m devastated because Curology isn’t available here in Chile! Nothing will unbreak my broken heart because: customized + nice professionals actually listening to you! Luckily husband is a pharmaceutical chemist (pharmacologist? English gets tricky sometimes) so I’ll just get some standard-packed tretinoin 🙂 Wish me luck!


  12. I was so excited to try Curology …. after thinking about what I wanted to achieve (equal balance between resolving pigmentation troubles and anti-aging) and accepting cost, they are not currently offered in my state (West Virginia). Blah. I’ve got some complex stuff going on medically, and some of my medications affect my skin by thinning it (but yet not in a great way), so I was really looking to interact with a professional. The website says that they will email when it will be available, which judging by the way WV does business, is when hell freezes over.

    I am using the CosRX BHA and AHAs for a month or two now and like them. Maybe I’ll look into adding a vitamin C product, which I have not ever used.


  13. My experience so far with Curology has been horrible. I never received my first bottle! I decided to cancel my account because I was furious. The NP Jennifer is a liar. I asked her 10 days later and she told me it will be shipped first thing in the morning! Not a good first impression. She didn’t even try to retain my membership. I searched around and will probably go with Dermacare. Hope they’re more competent.


  14. Hi Fiddy, I have been routing around your posts, but can’t see … do you leave a wait time after applying your Curology, as you do with acids, before moving on to ‘feeding’ your skin with serums etc?
    Love the Dr Who figures, your blog and the very informative and funny Snailcast (have to turn it off in the car when I arrive at school to collect my 15 year old son!!)


  15. Hi Fiddy,
    Your first prescriptions used both vitamin c and niacinamide. I was under the impression that these two ingredients weren’t good together and either canceled each other out or had harsh effects. Do you know anything about this? Do you use the two elsewhere in your routine or space them out? Thanks!


  16. Hi Fiddy, I wanted to ask if you ever tried adapalene cream as a retinoid (supposed to be the weakest of the retinoids)? I was given that prescription because I have fine lines and I turned into a flaking mess with differin gel. But even once weekly adapalene still causes me to peel for 3-4 days of that week. I am consider if going to Curology would be helpful to decrease the amount of flaking I get? At this point, my routine has turned into I do everything and before my sleep mask, I put on a thin layer of adapalene so that it would not dry me out completely…


    1. I have not tried adapalene. What is the % and the active ingredient? And what you’re doing with putting it on over other layers is probably the best thing until you find a gentler prescription. I do think it’s worth bringing up with your doctor or looking into Curology!


  17. So if you started Curology (mine is centered around acne – ugh adult acne), and were a loyal Sulwhasoo user (like full on, 100% of routine loyal because your adult acne skin has never been better in spite of all of the acne) – where would Curology fall into a Sulwhasoo-based routine?


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