The Best Skincare Subscription Boxes to Add to Your Regimen

Find a service that addresses your skin concerns.

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While a great skincare routine keeps our skin looking its best, finding one that fits our lifestyle, tackles our biggest skin concerns, and is right for our skin type can be a struggle. There are just so many products out there to choose from, each one promising to do something more miraculous than the next. It can feel impossible and overwhelming, which is why you should consider checking out skincare subscription boxes.

These monthly services do the hard work for you by curating products to suit your skin type and concerns based on questionnaires and high-tech analysis. Some offer a revolving set of products or surprise you with new brands, while others create a product prescription tailored to you that can be re-upped each month. The best skincare subscription boxes help take the guesswork out of your regimen so you can achieve the skin you’ve been dreaming of.

For this round-up, we included a mix of our favorite services to help get you started on your path to smooth, clear, glowing skin. Here are our picks for the best skincare subscription boxes to try now.

Best Skincare Subscription Boxes of 2021

Best for Newbies: Glory Skincare

Glory Skincare

Glory Skincare

Why We Chose It: With its comprehensive skincare quiz, Glory Skincare makes it a snap for skincare newbies to navigate the tricky process of not only shopping for beauty products but also figuring out what the heck their skin even needs in the first place.

What We Like

  • Comprehensive profile takes the guesswork out of product-picking
  • BIPOC-owned
  • Option to switch out the products in your box before your next delivery 

What We Don’t Like

  • Brand selection is small
  • Boxes are delivered quarterly so you need to be careful about how much you use

This non-toxic skincare subscription box service lets you customize your own skincare based on your skin needs, thanks to an easy to use quiz function. Once you’ve gotten your skin prescription, you then have three box options to choose from: The Essentials, The Inaugural, and The Premium. 

In The Essentials box, you’ll get the basics of full sizes of a cleanser, exfoliant, and moisturizer for about $79 a quarter. The Inaugural box rings in at roughly $99 and features a full-size cleanser, exfoliant, toner, moisturizer, and sunscreen.

And The Premium box has it all with a full-size cleanser, exfoliant, toner, moisturizer, treatment serum, sunscreen, and facial tool for around $149 a quarter. Even better? Glory Skincare gives you the option to switch out your products based on how your skin changes over the course of your subscription.

One of the things we love the most is that Glory Skincare partners with female- and minority-owned brands, so you know your money is supporting great companies.

Best for Clean Beauty: Modern Skyn Alchemy

Modern Skyn Alchemy

Modern Skyn Alchemy

Why We Chose It: In addition to being absolutely gorgeous, this service hand makes all of their products in the U.S. using natural and organic ingredients that are free of harsh chemicals and the standard no-no ingredients like parabens, phthalates, aluminum, synthetic dyes, fragrances, petrochemicals, and mineral oils. It’s about as pure as you can get, short of making it in your own kitchen with plants you grew yourself.

What We Like

  • Beautiful packaging
  • Pampering plant-derived formulas
  • Handmade in the U.S.
  • Large selection

What We Don’t Like

  • Expensive
  • Can’t get just facial skincare products in your box
  • Hard to shop on the site

Based in Los Angeles, Modern Skyn Alchemy is the apothecary beauty box of our dreams. The handcrafted, clean skincare for face and body is made using an assortment of high-quality and beneficial plants and botanicals that pamper and care for your skin from top-to-toe. 

The Bath & Body Ritual Box features an assortment of products that can be customized to fit your budget and preferences. Each package features products that retail over roughly $100 retail and contains between five to eight full-size products that can be sent quarterly, bimonthly, or monthly for prices ranging from about $35 to $372, depending on if you pre-pay for your shipments in advance.

Best for Tech Nerds: FaceGenius

Face Genius

Face Genius

Why We Chose It: FaceGenius takes the whole customization thing very seriously— your SkinScanner is meant to be used not just for your initial start-up with the program, but for you to analyze your skin weekly. The company’s team of experts will examine that data and help update your regimen for your next box, ensuring you are getting new products that best match what your skin needs at that moment.

What We Like

  • Super-accurate skin analysis
  • Unique product selection
  • Surprisingly affordable

What We Don’t Like

  • You don’t get the same products in every box
  • Takes a few weeks to receive your first shipment
  • Scanner can be a bit tricky to use at first

Why depend on a skin quiz to tell you about your complexion when you can have a gadget give you an accurate scientific analysis? FaceGenius is a unique service that combines tech, science, and beauty for the ultimate customized skincare experience. When you sign up for the service, you are sent a SkinScanner and asked to download the company’s app. 

The scanner, which attaches to your phone, then takes photos and measurements of your skin—from fine lines and pore size to sun damage, moisture, and oil levels—that are sent to the company’s team of expert dermatologists and advisors to analyze and custom pick the regimen that’s the best fit for you. 

Boxes are sent quarterly and you can choose from a Morning & Night Plan for about $50 a month, or a night plan for roughly $30 a month. Each shipment contains a full-size product of a cleanser, moisturizer, and serum. (Morning & Night has enough to cover you for two applications per day, while Night has enough for your evening routine.) The scanner and app are both included in the price of your plan and you are billed quarterly.

Best for BIPOC: Urban Skin Rx

Urban Skin Rx

Urban Skin Rx

Why We Chose It: Urban Skin Rx made our list because it is one of the few brands specifically formulated for BIPOC skin and it’s got the science to back up its formulations. Its subscription box allows you to experience a curated line-up of products developed specifically for your skin tone, something not many other brands can offer BIPOC consumers.

What We Like

  • Comprehensive skin type quiz
  • Clinically developed and tested products
  • Made specifically for melanin-rich skin

What We Don’t Like

  • Boxes are delivered quarterly so you need to be careful about how much you use
  • No control over what’s in the box
  • No returns accepted

Developed by a licensed medical aesthetician and certified laser technician, this line of clinical products isn’t about pampering your skin with pretty-smelling oils—it’s about correcting it with exhaustively tested formulas that tackle everything from acne and eczema to aging. The line was formulated with darker skin tones in mind, after founder Rachel Roff observed the serious lack of products and treatments that were safe and effective for those with melanin-rich skin.

The Urban Skin Rx Beauty Box is a quarterly box that ships on the 15th of September, December, March, and June. Each box contains a sampling of full-size products or bestsellers for the brand, new product launches, and premium travel sizes for about $40 per box. Or, you can pay for a year’s subscription upfront for a discounted price of roughly $149.

For those who would like a little more control over their skincare subscriptions, there is also a subscribe and save option within the brand's regular line-up. You can take a quick skin quiz to get a customized slate of products recommended to you (plus score a 15% off discount code to use on your first order), then build your monthly subscription out and get it delivered to you for a 20% discount.

Best for Acne-Prone Skin: Curology

Curology

Curology

Why We Chose It: Having easy, affordable access to a dermatologist who can provide prescription acne medication and advice is a luxury many people either don’t have immediate access to or can’t afford. Curology’s medical team is made up of nurse practitioners and physicians' assistants who are trained and overseen by dermatologists, and they allow you to get prescription topicals that can help control your acne breakouts without having to go to the doctor’s office or requiring health insurance. The convenience and affordability are a lifesaver for anyone dealing with the realities of acne, who are often overlooked with these types of subscription services.

What We Like

  • Control over your shipment schedule
  • Custom formulas
  • Work with a licensed medical provider

What We Don’t Like

  • Very basic routine
  • Might skew too young for those dealing with other issues in addition to acne
  • Shipping isn’t free

One of the biggest struggles those with acne-prone skin face is finding something, anything, that will keep breakouts under control. Curology aims to solve that quandary with a unique subscription service that pairs derm-designed products and expert advice with straight-to-your-door service. 

While Curology offers a variety of products to choose from, including a cleanser, moisturizer, body wash, and spot patches, the real hero is a custom prescription cream designed specifically for you.

Fill out an online skin assessment, submit a few photos of your face, and then you are paired with a licensed medical provider (not an AI or algorithm) who customizes a prescription cream for you based on your individual skin needs. Your cream could contain one or a few of the following: tretinoin (a prescription retinoid), clindamycin (an antibiotic), metronidazole (an antibiotic), or zinc pyrithione (an antibacterial and antifungal), among others.

Depending on which plan you choose, Curology will cost anywhere from roughly $20 per month for just the prescription cream to about $30 per month for the cream, cleanser, and moisturizer, plus shipping and handling. You can also add on the medicated body wash for around $9 per month or the emergency spot patches for approximately $3 per month. You can choose to have your formula ship every two months or every month, and you can also work with your skin expert to tweak your formula as your skin changes to make sure you have the right formulation for your skin. 

The Bottom Line

Finding the best skincare subscription box is about being open to exploring new brands and products. However, unlike other beauty products like makeup and fragrance, skincare is something that you need to be sure works for you, which is why almost all of these boxes have the benefit of a customization option via a quiz or expert analysis. For the ones that don’t, the products themselves are safe and gentle on the skin, so you don’t have to worry about a reaction or irritation, for the most part. 

What Are the Best Skincare Subscription Boxes?

Subscription skincare boxes are monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly packages of products from a brand or company that have been curated or customized for you. Some boxes are meant to serve as a discovery experience, helping you to learn about new brands and try them for yourself, while others function as a personalized skincare routine meant to work on your specific skin issues. Skincare is personal, so you really need to consider which service is best for your needs.

Who Should Buy Skincare Subscription Boxes?

These boxes are great for anyone who is either new to skincare or is having trouble finding a routine that works. Because the skincare market is so crowded, it can be overwhelming to shop for products if you aren’t sure what you need. Subscription boxes can help guide you towards the right routine, especially with the try-before-you-buy element.

How Much Do Skincare Subscription Boxes Cost?

Because they feature such a wide range of offerings, brands, and frequency, skincare subscription box prices can range dramatically in price between roughly $20 to about $372. How much you pay will depend on what’s in the box in terms of quantity and types of products you receive. It will also depend on if you order monthly, quarterly, or yearly, as you may receive a deal for ordering your boxes in advance.

How We Chose the Best Skincare Subscription Boxes

Our five picks for the best skincare subscription boxes encompass a variety of specialized choices. Rather than focus on generalized boxes that feature a mishmash of seemingly random brands or a “themed” box, we honed in on those that served a specific market. That meant everyone from those who are new to skincare and those looking for clean products, to people that are commonly ignored in the space like BIPOC consumers and those struggling with acne-prone skin.  

After honing in on these categories, we then looked at the product themselves to see what kind of variety was offered, whether the company made their own products or sourced from reputable brands, and ensured there was a diverse array of price points to choose from. 

Finally, we looked at ease of use for the service, how each company helped guide you toward the right products, the method for selecting the items in your box, and the shipping and renewal process. If all of the above met our high standards, they got the thumbs up for this list.

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