Which is the best bang for your buck?
What is going to put a smile on your face during your routine?
When looking for a new treatment, you can be flooded with options. Especially now when counter Brands are making more potent products, dermatologists are on demand, and new brands are emerging with pocket pleasing price points.
Two of the most talked about options are The Ordinary and Curology. The Ordinary is a brand by parent company DECIEM. A brand set on breaking ‘rules’ in the skincare industry. While Curology is a ‘tele-dermatology’ service which provides you with a Prescription and Consultant to finely tune your product for exactly what you need.
Truly, the Ordinary.
The Ordinary has a fairly brief history, started under the DECIEM umbrella to provide affordable, highly concentrated products. With products like 100% rosehip oil or 10% Azelaic Acid Suspension they provide no nonsense, direct solutions for common problems.
The Ordinary stands pretty much as a middle man between you and direct ingredient suppliers. Good thing? Sometimes! Good thing because you won’t see a lengthy ingredient list, anything in there is necessary and has an important function. But, I think a lot of the times we assume when we read ingredient lists one ingredient from one company will be exactly the same as another companies. When in reality they can be just as different as that moldy carrot next to all the fresh ones in the grocery store. The Ordinary doesn’t share sourcing information as freely as some other brands do. Not to say big brands do this, but for a brand that is all about integrity it leaves me questioning why they’d be reluctant to share information that some other companies boast. One time the founder of DECIEM posted a picture of him and a supplier (cute right?) but failed to mention this man has no background in sourcing ingredients and turns out to be just a Chef who likes cooking with that ingredient.
Prescription Strength Cures
Curology has some very interesting points. One is your consultant. Holding at least a NP-C title you’ll get better than Sephora-skincare-Consultant-who-thinks-oil-Cleansing-is-the-only-answer-to-acne advice. You can chat up your provider whenever you have a question, new mark your concerned about, think you need a prescription update, or just to say hello (probably don’t do that).
Another point is a customized prescription. There are 6 active ingredients curology utilizes. Some aren’t prescription only ingredients. In fact, quite a few of them can be found within regular OTC skincare products. However their percentage, such as the amount of Azelaic Acid can be under or over the maximum Over-the-counter percentage. This is a huge plus to me. You don’t always need a maximum strength ingredient, often times just a smidge with other helpful components can make a huge difference.
There are two sizes available. They come out to ~$20/mo and $24.90/month depending on how much you want at a time.
Example of the Azelaic Acid situation: My second Curology prescription contained 9% Azelaic Acid then it eventually moved to 7% as I had less of a need for it. If I was only using The Ordinary products for example, I would be stuck with 10% no matter what.
Another thing I like about Curology is I can use whatever moisturizers, lotions, and potions I want. They don’t tell you too, actually they tell you just to use the prescription at night and use moisturizer if needed. I also start by applying it only every other day at first. I do this to test the product to make sure I’m comfortable with it (if your skin is more sensitive, your provider will give you special instructions) and then usually go back to my regular routine. I just always make sure to leave 20 minutes in between my Curology treatment and my routine, to allow some time for my skin to desensitize and the active ingredients to ‘absorb’.
Curology’s product formulation isn’t much more than the active ingredients and preservatives. But the consistency of your product may vary depending on what your formulation is. But I’ve found all of mine to be very light textures that don’t really leave any residue when the appropriate amount is applied. I have my first curology expierence review here.
The Ordinary’s products can really range in cosmetic elegance, many they veer towards the unpleasant side of the spectrum. With products such as any ‘suspension’ are prone to pilling and can leave a tacky feeling. Other products such as the EUK antioxidant are 99.9% propanediol (a slick, oily, humectant/penetration enhancer) and then the active ingredient. Feeling this single direct ingredient directly on the skin isn’t the most pleasant and things like this can personally ruin my skincare experience so I tend to stop reaching for them. I do have just one lone review of The Ordinary, as well as a NIOD review.
Percentages of The Ordinary products often can’t be beat. Either by crabby brands that don’t want to disclose, or they’ve purposely upped their percentage against competing popular products. Either way it really draws you in.
But at the end of the day, I have to think about which one puts a smile on my face. My results from Curology, their really unique approach put a smile on my face. Every time I apply it I think about how big of a difference the triple threat of prescription grade ingredients makes. The Ordinary products may make me feel like I’m ‘cheating’ the traditional overpriced skincare world, but they make me frown. I was once a huge DECIEM fan, from the day I found them I was pushing important people in my industry to look at them as a vendor. But sadly, Brandon Truaxe’s behavior over and over, makes me pour what I once thought was an ingenious idea: incredibly affordable Gran Active Retinoid packaged and priced for ‘the people’; down the drain and trash my review draft. I’ve even questioned those people who support this behavior, are they not watching? Do they not care? Why don’t they care?
Lastly, I don’t want anyone to think I’m writing this just to say DECIEM sucks. While I’m disappointed in founder, I like to think of the brand separate from of the founder. While I cannot support the brand under his watch, I can give my honest and unbiased-as-possible feedback of the products.
If you want to give Curology a try, follow this link to get your first month’s bottle FREE! You also help me out by giving me a little credit towards my next bottle 🙂