As I mentioned in a skincare post from last week, I signed up for a free trial month on PocketDerm, a totally online dermatology service. You send photos in order to get a virtual consultation with a dermatologist licensed in your state and they prescribe and ship a customized topical cream.
Currently there are two options available for treatment – acne and anti-aging (which is the newer of the two services). I chose anti-aging. I'm 23 but have never had much acne; my concerns are uneven tone, redness, dullness, and some clogged pores. Plus my extremely pale freckled skin is super susceptible to signs of aging so I'm trying to establish this shit while I'm still young so I don't look like a bag of smashed assholes by the time I'm 40. From what I understand, there is a different price and payment/supply/consultation schedule for acne vs anti-aging. The acne service is monthly. You pay $20 for a one month supply and get a new consultation at the end of the month to tweak the prescription if necessary. The anti-aging service is $50 every three months.
I signed up for my free month, answered some quick questions about my skin (allergies, past treatments and results, SPF use) and uploaded pictures of my skin. I only did three but you can upload as many as you want so the doc can clearly see what's going on with your skin. By the next morning I already had my prescription info – 0.012% Tretinoin, 4% Niacinimide, 5% Vitamin C. The day after that I got an email saying that my topical had shipped. Neat!
I sent a message to my derm Dr. Lortscher, isn't he handsome? To ask if I should continue using the moisturizer and sunscreen I have right now. He got back to me within 24 hours with a detailed and helpful message! SO COOL.
And today I got a little package in the mail with my one-month sample supply of cream in an airless pump bottle plus a couple of samples of SPF moisturizer and instructions to apply on clean dry skin at bedtime. I admit with a little bit of shame that I'm a sucker for cute packaging and this did not disappoint. Look how cute! Teeny samples! It's like a present!
I just applied it for the first time a little while ago – I waited about two hours after I'd showered/washed my face and applied moisturizer. I think if your skin is damp at all it increases the chance for irritation from the medication. It's an opaque white lotion and doesn't have much of a smell. It's fairly thin but not runny or liquidy and spreads across my face easily. Since I applied moisturizer earlier I'm not adding any more but you can put it on before or after or not at all.
So, first impressions – this is so cool and innovative and honestly revolutionary! I've never seen a meatspace dermatologist before but I'm sure it can be expensive so I think the prices are incredibly reasonable and accessible for what you get. It would be interesting to see whether they'll expand their services to other skin conditions like rosacea or eczema.
I'm going to see what kind of results I'm getting from the medication before I decide whether to take the plunge and get a three month supply. If there's any interest, I can do an update post at that time.
If anyone else wants to get a free month – here's a referral link. Disclaimer!! If you use this link I'll get a discount on my prescription. If you think I suck and don't wanna give me a discount you can probably find a referral link with a google search.