Friday, January 15, 2021

Skincare Update: Two Months of Curology

via Unsplash

Here's a quick update about my skincare routine, even though it may still be too early to do a full review of my Curology experience. I've now been using Curology for a little over 60 days, or two months. 

Because my Curology formula includes some fairly powerful, potentially irritating active ingredients - the tretinoin and possibly also the azelaic acid as well - I use it with a fairly light hand. As with prescription Retin-A Micro, a roughly pea-sized amount should be plenty to cover the entire face in a thin layer. In practice, because of how much the Curology pump bottle dispenses with each push of the pump, I often end up using slightly less than the typical pea-sized amount each night. (One full pump is generally just shy of the right amount, but two full pumps would be way too much and result in some wasted product.) 

Accordingly, even though it's been a little more than 60 days now since I started, I'm actually still using my first supposedly one month-sized, just-pay-shipping trial bottle of my Curology formula. (Which means that the $19.99/month price of Curology may work out to be more like $10/month for me in practice, at least with my current formula.)  Because of the opaque bottle, I also can't tell how much more is left in there! 

I've mentioned that K and I spent the year-end holidays staying over with his parents at their home, after a strict 16 days of quarantine for both households before they picked us up and drove us there. We stayed with them for nearly two weeks total, and my skin reacted somewhat oddly to the change in setting.

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In general, the air felt slightly more dry at K's parents house than it usually is at our apartment, maybe from running the heater more. They don't buy or eat as much in the way of dairy products as we do, a change, however temporary, in diet that past experience suggests should improve my acne. And while we were staying with them, I switched back to using Cerave foaming face wash - a trusted part of my routine for several years, though I recently switched to and now prefer the Vanicream gentle facial cleanser because it's less drying - because that was what they had on hand. 

I was a bit mystified that my acne got noticeably worse all of a sudden while we were staying over for the holidays, especially with the diet change that should be helpful. Any new blemishes got significantly more inflamed and healed more slowly than they had been since I started using Curology. I found it very odd, since I thought the change in my skin's condition was so significant that it couldn't be fully explained by the drier air or the switch back to a face cleanser I'd used with no problems for such a long time in the past. 

Now that I've been back home for a while, however, my skin's back to improving noticeably on Curology. Back when I was around three or four weeks in, I'd already started noticing that new blemishes were smaller and healed more quickly, and that trend has continued. My skin is still a little dry and dull-looking some days, but is also still free of the extreme flakiness and irritation that I had back when I was a first-time topical tretinoin user. I might potentially inquire about increasing the potency of either the azelaic acid or tretinoin in my Curology formula for my next refill - which I may not need for four months, since I just received a two-month sized refill bottle, but haven't opened it yet due to still working my way through the first bottle - though I'm also not sure it's necessary to change my formula.

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