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Dermatica Prescription Skincare Review for Melasma

Hi, welcome to my beauty blog. I am Rachael, and this is my beauty blog Written by Rachael on August 2023, last updated: January 2024

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After returning from holiday, I had full-blown melasma/hyperpigmentation from sun damage across my forehead and down the sides of my face. It wasn’t anything I’d experienced, mainly acne and oily skin. This was entirely new for me so I had some investigating to do.

Dermatica personalised skincare with Tretinoin Hydroquinone Niacinamide Azelaic Acid
Nov 2022 – My hot, abroad holiday seemed to worsen my skin as you can see here. Lots of pigmentation, and dryness not to mention (undiagnosed) fungal acne

I’d always had a slight discolouration on my forehead after getting burnt a few years ago, but going on holiday in the sunshine not only gave me a tan but made the melasma so much worse. This is in November 2022 just after my holiday.

I had no idea what it was, so I Googled it and found it’s melasma which is similar to hyperpigmentation, but even after reading a lot, I’m still not 100% sure what the difference is. I think melasma is symmetrical whereas hyperpigmentation is in smaller, more condensed areas.

As soon as the team at Dermatica saw my photos, they instantly told me I needed treatment for Melasma.

Table of contents:

What is Dermatica and how do they help?

Dermatica offers a personalised skincare service that is tailored to your skin problem. You can buy additional skincare that isn’t tailored, such as generic Vitamin C serum (and others).

Dermatica formulas include strong prescription ingredients, such as Tretinoin, which my formula includes, to reduce melasma. This also means sometimes you aren’t able to push back your monthly subscription, because they have to provide a certain amount within a particular time frame. This happened to me when I reduced how much I was using from 3 pumps to 1 due to irritation. I then was able to skip.

Dermatica personalised skincare with Tretinoin Hydroquinone Niacinamide Azelaic Acid
Different types of problems Dermatica can help you with – photo taken from the homepage

You start your consultation online by answering questions and uploading photos – this allows the Dermatica team to review to ensure they recommend the right products. This takes less than ten minutes.

You upload photos every month (or so) into the online system so it’s really easy to look back and compare.

Dermatica personalised skincare before after pictures
This is in my online account – you upload photos every month or so to easily compare

It’s a personalised service, which is one of the main things I was looking for. I wanted something to help that was tailored to me and matched my skin; I didn’t want something random from Boots or The Ordinary (although I love them) that’d be too harsh and worsen my skin.

I wanted something to help as quickly as possible.

Tretinoin, 0.05% per tube - the first 2 months was 0.025

Hydroquinone, 4% per tube

From looking at my upcoming formulas, they are introducing Niacinamide 4% and Azelaic Acid 4% in September (this will be my 5th month)
This is my Dermatica product – simple, nice packaging with a helpful leaflet
Tretinoin, 0.05% per tube - the first 2 months was 0.025

Hydroquinone, 4% per tube

From looking at my upcoming formulas, they are introducing Niacinamide 4% and Azelaic Acid 4% in September (this will be my 5th month)
Each delivery includes a handy leaflet explaining the process and helpful information. the package is letterbox-friendly.

What’s in your Dermatica personalised formula?

Your formula is personalised but I’m happy to share mine. I’m using Dermatica to ‘fix’ my melasma/hyperpigmentation.

The formula is tailored, meaning the formula changes as my skin does. I’ve used Dermatica since my first order at the end of May (so let’s say June is when I started). My skin has had time to get familiar with the ingredients to reduce irritation before it increases with anything that could irritate.

My treatments so far:

  • 1st tube, May 2023 – Fluocinolone Acetonide 0.01% + Tretinoin 0.025% + Hydroquinone 4%
  • 2nd tube, June – Fluocinolone Acetonide 0.01% + Tretinoin 0.025% + Hydroquinone 4%
  • 3rd tube, July – Tretinoin 0.05% (increased from 0.025) / Hydroquinone 4% cream
  • 4th tube, August – Tretinoin 0.05% / Hydroquinone 4% cream

My 5th month is going to be in October rather than September, as I’m a little behind in product so I can skip a month. October includes – Tretinoin 0.05% / Niacinamide 4% / Azelaic Acid 4%. I’ve been putting it on every night so I’m not sure how I’m so far behind. The product seems to last for ages even with the smallish tube.

Update: January 2024 – I’m now on Tretinoin 0.05% / Niacinamide 4% / Azelaic Acid 4%. I’ve had my subscription since May 2023 and used it 3-5 times per week.

I’ve written about how tretinoin works separately as it’s a hardcore product and should be used with caution.

Before and after pictures

When you purchase your first personalised formula, you upload 3 photos – front, left and right. These photos are what the Dermatica experts use to determine what to put in your formula to fix whatever problem you’ve mentioned.

The photos are also kept within your online account, so you can refer back to see how far your skin has come. You aren’t likely to notice a difference when you’re looking at skin every day, so it’s nice to see the photos side by side (if not a bit cringe).

Dermatica personalised skincare before after pictures
This is in my online account – you upload photos every month or so to easily compare and look back to see if your skin has improved
Tretinoin 0.05% / Niacinamide 4% / Azelaic Acid 4%
1st month of using Dermatica – May/June 2023

From the first photo at the top of this blog back in November when I got home from holidays, I waited a few months as I wanted to finish all of my existing products. You are advised to reduce using other products with Dermatica as they can affect the results. You can still use SPF and makeup though, see more info further down this blog.

Tretinoin 0.05% / Niacinamide 4% / Azelaic Acid 4%
2nd month of using Dermatica – June/July

The lighting is different but you can’t see much difference. It says on the website it can take anything up to 8 weeks to see a change.

July, below, is probably the most dramatic change.

Dermatica personalised skincare with Tretinoin Hydroquinone Niacinamide Azelaic Acid
3rd month of using Dermatica – end of July
Dermatica personalised skincare with Tretinoin Hydroquinone Niacinamide Azelaic Acid
4th month of using Dermatica – August. These pics were taken just before my period so my forehead is more spotty than usual.
Jan 2024 – no filter used. I’ve had my subscription since May 2023 and used it 3-5 times per week.

How long do the results take?

It says on the website results can take anything from 8-12 weeks. I saw a difference within 6 weeks but most noticeable after 2 months.

If you don’t see any results, you can get in touch with them to discuss and they will look at changing your formula. If you don’t see a difference, I would double-check what else you are using – other products could stop Dermatica from working. Are you using enough product? I put at least one pump on each night before I go to bed.

I’m now in my 7th month and can see huge differences, especially in the worst patch: my forehead. I’ve used it sparingly as it contains harsh ingredients that can irritate. I’ve used 3-5 times a week so I could have seen earlier results had I used more product, but I wanted to go easy on my skin.

How and when do you use Dermatica?

I put one pump on my face before going to bed. I was using 2 pumps, but found my skin going slightly sensitive, so reducing back down to one has made my skin feel better again. I apply it then clean my teeth, giving the product at least 3 minutes to sink into my skin. I finish off with moisturiser.

How much is Dermatica and are there discounts?

Dermatica personalised skincare with Tretinoin Hydroquinone Niacinamide Azelaic Acid
Dermatica price options if you take out a subscription

Your first monthly order is £2.90 then it increases to £24.99 per month or you can buy as a subscription which gets you discounts, see the below photo (or use my discount code, see below).

Each month you get a tube of product which slowly changes to increase certain ingredients as your skin gets familiar with it.

Want my discount code?

Click on my link below to get your first month for £2.90 and 10% off your next one:

Click here to use my link then add ‘ahoybeauty’ to the discount box on the payment page – see below for what it should look like.

Can you use other products alongside?

They recommend you don’t, as it could stop Dermatica from working or interacting. You can still use it with SPF though, and make up.

Dermatica’s official stance is on their website:

The active ingredients that we use can increase the sensitivity of your skin. So, we recommend keeping your skincare routine simple. A cleanser, moisturiser and sunscreen are more than enough during treatment. Exfoliants and toners containing salicylic acid, AHAs, BHAs, glycolic or lactic acids should be avoided. They can increase the sensitivity of your skin, and our treatments will help to exfoliate the skin. Products containing retinols can promote further peeling, and should also be avoided. Vitamin C can be used in the morning if you apply your treatment at night, and hyaluronic acid is fine to use. You will get a guide on how best to integrate your treatment into your current regime. Our dermatology team are also available when needed to check on any other ingredients.

In Dermatica FAQs

I hope this helps you decide on whether giving Dermatica is worth a shot! Email me if you have a question. I will continue to add updates to this article 🙂

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