While there are a growing number of excellent over-the-counter skin care options available, sometimes you need something just a bit stronger. Prescription medications and dermatology appointments have long been inaccessible (and unaffordable) to many, but luckily, a growing number of digitally native companies are trying to change that. In the last year, we've all learned that going remote is possible—dermatologist appointments included. But with so many options available, where does a newcomer start?
You've come to the right place. We rounded up the absolute best in telehealth services for prescription skincare, so you can compare, contrast, and find the one that's right for you.
About: Described as a digital haven for health and beauty concerns, Rory offers prescriptions for everything from menopausal discomfort to eyelash growth. However, according to the brand, skincare is what most patients are after. After consulting with a medical professional, Rory sends your custom treatment via two-day shipping in sleek packaging, so you can start your new routine almost immediately.
Average Cost: Rory waives your consultation costs (and follow-up visits), so you only pay for your prescription. Costs range between $13-$100 depending on the treatment and its duration.
Don't Skip: The brand's signature treatment, Nightly Defense, combats acne, texture, and fine lines with a powerful and effective customized blend of tretinoin, niacinamide, ceramides, and vitamin E.
About: Curology is all about skincare from head to toe, offering prescription acne treatment for your face, body, and beyond. The service offers traditional all-over topical treatments, cleansers, body washes, and even medicated pimple patches for spot treatment. Like many other services, Curology first prompts you to upload several photos of your bare skin in natural lighting, along with describing your current concerns and routine. From there, nurse practitioners and physicians assistants analyze your needs and have a custom treatment shipped to your door.
Average Cost: A monthly treatment plan with Curology will roughly run you between $25-$60 per month, depending on your needs. A one-month supply of topical retinoid-heavy treatment will cost you on the lower end of the spectrum, while a fully customized routine including a cleanser and a two-month supply of treatment will run right around $60. Your initial month is also free, so you'll only have to pay the $4.95 shipping cost the first time around.
Don't Skip: Curology's fully customized sets take the guesswork entirely out of your routine, so why not take advantage?
About: Apostrophe aims to make their consulting and prescription services as close to a "real" doctor's appointment as possible, connecting patients to full-fledged, board-certified dermatologists. The service offers both topical and oral medications, too, which can be long-term solutions for hormonal acne.
Average Cost: Though cost varies, you can expect to pay around $90 for a three-month supply of topical tretinoin blend, while oral prescriptions start at around $15 per month. While there is an initial $20 consultation fee, that money is credited to your first medication purchase.
Don't Skip: If you've struggled with hormonal or severe acne, talk to your Apostrophe doctor about starting with one of the oral medications offered by the service. Mild, effective treatments like spironolactone can often be the solution to stubborn acne when used in conjunction with appropriate topicals.
About: If you feel like you've already seen Hers (and its sibling service, Hims) everywhere, you're not alone. The brand's rapid expansion now includes telehealth appointments and digital prescriptions, non-prescription skincare (like biotin), and a massive range of in-store goods, including hair products that target loss and volume. Hers operates like many other telehealth services for prescription skincare: healthcare providers will analyze medical history and photos, along with your concerns, to prescribe powerful dermatological treatments. What sets Hers apart is that its providers focus on holistic plans that cater to individual needs, not one-size-fits-all treatments.
Average Cost: Hers offers introductory specials, but expect to pay around $58 every two months for your custom treatment. For those seeking care for conditions like hives, bug bites, or fungal concerns, the brand also offers primary care medical visits for $39.
Don't Skip: The brand has made it their mission to provide supportive and discreet care for skin concerns that are unfairly stigmatized. So don't be afraid to bring up any and all issues you're experiencing. From hair loss to rashes, Hers offers solutions that work, so you can feel comfortable opening up and getting the treatment you deserve.
About: Most people know Nurx as one of the first major platforms to offer virtual birth control consultations and prescriptions—it's actually how I order my own. But, the ever-expanding digital platform now offers dermatological appointments and skin care treatments as well. Nurx offers a wide range of oral acne treatments and topical blends, which are often prescribed together as part of a routine.
Average Cost: Nurx offers a huge variety of treatments, so the cost is varied. The most expensive topical costs "as low as $35" per month out-of-pocket (it's cheaper if you have insurance), while the most expensive oral option runs as low as $40 per month.
Don't Skip: If you struggle with acne and already take birth control, consider speaking to a medical professional about switching to a pill known for targeting hormonal breakouts. Nurx even considers a few birth control options for acne, like Tri-Sprintec, when building out your treatment plan.