I may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

TGIF my beautiful friends! I’ve been basing blog posts on questions I’ve received from you, my readers! Subscription skincare has been a hot topic among you. Does it really work? Can a skincare professional truly give you a good assessment from a photo without seeing you in person? I’m giving you the deal from my professional perspective.

From a marketing and business standpoint, consultation with subscription skincare services are genius. Having your skin assessed by a professional in the comfort of your own home and on your own time rather than making an appointment in an office with either a Licensed Aesthetician or a Dermatologist? The appeal is very clear! But of course, as your trusted skincare advisor, there are some major caveats to consider.

Building trust with a skincare professional takes time

If you suddenly started following me on social media, and I chatted with you via phone or email and wrote down an entire skincare regimen for you featuring all products that I sell and get a commission off of, would you buy it all and trust me right out of the gate? Probably not.

My affiliations and background might play a role in your trust in my opinion (Do I work in a reputable practice? What is my level of education and experience? Do you prefer to see an Aesthetician for skincare or a Dermatologist? What does my skin look like? etc)

A truly thorough consult is done in person to examine the skin. Tele- Consult comes second to this, relying on a photo alone is a no-go

There is a reason as to why the medical board does not allow physicians to diagnose and treat conditions via social media inquiry (DM, etc) and it’s not just to protect the patient’s privacy. It’s because you can’t diagnose a rash or a skin problem relying on photos alone. Accuracy is EVERYTHING when diagnosing skin disease, and as far as subscription skincare goes, one such as Curology is run by PA-C’s and a Dermatologist, I think they are taking a big risk relying on photos alone to recommend a topical regimen. I don’t believe the practice of treating cosmetic skin via a photo consult is ethical. I’ve worked in Dermatology clinics before in which the Derms as well as their PA-C’s refuse to treat patients over FaceTime in even a legal TeleDoc situation. In person clinical presentation is extremely important- also feeling the skin’s texture and being able to do a biopsy when necessary are crucial to thorough patient care.

Topicals alone may not cut it. Acne is not a cosmetic skin problem, Acne is a skin disease

Any Board Certified Dermatologist will tell you this- acne is not just a cosmetic skin problem. Acne Vulgaris is a chronic disease of the skin that needs to be managed with prescription medication. I know that even as a Licensed Aesthetician with access to medical grade and very active ingredient skin care, I still have my limits as to how I can approach acne.

For many patients, Isotretinoin (aka, “Accutane”) is the only cure for chronic acne. This medication needs to be carefully prescribed and very carefully managed when a patient is on it. Nothing topical can compare to its efficacy when severe acne is involved.

This means starting a subscription skincare even without a consult such as “Proactiv” may not yield you the results you are looking for either! It’s much better to be evaluated by a Board Certified Dermatologist if you have acne, and see a Licensed Aesthetician for treatments and more customized topical skincare to complement your treatment!

In the end, if you are just trying to get on an anti-aging regimen, subscription skincare may be just fine for you

If you are simply looking to enhance your skin’s appearance and age more slowly, I’d say a subscription service like Curology is probably fine. I think it’s much more thorough to see a Licensed Aesthetician in person though! In this case you get personalized attention, a thorough skin consult as well as a treatment. It’s really personal preference.

Have you tried a skincare subscription? I’d love to know! Comment below!

Thanks for stopping by! XOXO, Ashli

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