I’ve been using retinoids for over a year now. Earlier this year, I switched away from OTC retinol products in favor of Rx products. This means you need to talk to a doctor, ideally a dermatologist. But I wasn’t due for my skin check yet, and I was impatient.
After researching a few telehealth options, I decided to try Nurx. TL;DR – I’m still using them, so clearly it’s a positive experience.
High Level Summary
- Simple sign-up process
- Access to responsive dermatologists and Rx retinoids via telehealth
- Personalized treatment based on skin concerns and medical history
- Assistance in dealing with insurance for prescription approval
- Convenient one-stop shop for evaluation, prescription, and dispensing
First Impressions Signing up with Nurx
When I first decided to try Nurx, I was pleasantly surprised by the simplicity behind getting started. There was a brief ~20 question survey that asked about my skin concerns, medical history, and current skincare routine. As part of the process, I took a series of three photos of my face – from the left side, from the right, and straight on – for review by a dermatologist in conjunction with the history and questionnaire I provided.
Then, you pay for your consult up front – which was $35 out-of-pocket (less than a specialist copay for me, which is $40) – and I can talk to them as many times as I need to during the year without additional visit fees.
Talking with the Doc
Interaction happens via an SMS-like messaging tool within the Nurx site. I heard back from my dermatologist the next day, and was thrilled with the turnaround. Based on the consultation, the Nurx healthcare provider determined that tretinoin was a suitable treatment option for me. She explained what strength she prescribed (.025% but everyone’s needs are different, do not compare prescription strengths and get FOMO, please and thank you), and usage instructions.
The cool think about using Nurx for things like this is that it is a one-stop shop. They evaluate, prescribe, and dispense. Once my doctor made the prescription, it was sent for insurance eval and fulfillment.
First, it is very cool and convenient that Nurx is able to accept prescription insurance. The consult part (the “visit”) is often reimbursable by medical insurance, but they do not directly take that (you may need to seek reimbursement from your plan). They also accept FSA funds.
BUT we hit a snag with insurance. It was NOT Nurx’s fault, it was my insurance being a jackass. Evidently they want the prescriber to check in with them before approving to make sure it is being filled for acne (covered) and not anti-aging (not covered). “””Happily,””” I get the occasional annoying jawline cystic blemish (ow), so it is validly an acne Rx for me.
Their fulfillment team let me know that this happened and that it wouldn’t ship as fast as originally committed. Fortunately, though, they have a team that will duke it out with insurance without me having to do anything else. They promised resolution in 1-2 weeks (fair, insurance is awful).
It was taken care of in just two days!
From there, my prescription was sent out in another day or two. It arrived in discreet packaging – which, while I genuinely don’t give a damn who knows I use retinol (hello, am currently writing about it), I generally prefer bland, non-descriptive shipping packaging in general!
From there, I followed my Nurx dermatologist’s orders for usage and have seen great results. A few months later, they sent me a notification to check in – there was another brief survey asking if anything has changed, if I was happy with my treatment, and requesting photos. After review by my doctor, they filled the next tube. You’re billed for that at shipment ($10 copay for me due to my insurance coverage; YMMV. Retail is of course more, but it is LESS than buying “””fancy””” retinol at Sephora).
Other Things You Should Know About Nurx
- If you are seeking retinoids purely for anti-aging and don’t have any blemish complaints, there is a high likelihood that you will pay out of pocket for everything.
- Nurx’s model means it is still not overly expensive to do that (stiiiiiill cheaper than Sephora – yes, I am a broken record on this) if you choose to.
- You will need to pay up front for your consult! I mentioned this already, but want to drive it home. You may be able to get reimbursed by your insurance. You can use an FSA if it has a major card logo (or you can submit for a reimbursement from it).
- Sometimes they have coupon codes for the consults! I recommend searching before getting started. I got a $5 off one!
- They offer skin treatment options that aren’t just retinoids. You can discuss your options with your doctor.
- They offer treatment for other stuff that’s out of the scope of this blog.
The Bottom Line
Overall, my experience as a new Nurx user signing up for tretinoin has been positive. I appreciated the efficiency of the sign-up and consult. I like that I didn’t have to leave my house, take an hour+ out of my day for the appointment or to get the Rx, or talk to my insurer myself. I’ve been a customer since March, and the impact it has had on my routine has been well worth how little I have spent.
Btw – Nurx has no idea who I am. Well, okay, obviously they know who the human behind the blog is, but they have no idea about BeautySkeptic and that the human patient who signed up with them writes content like this. (I wasn’t incentivized.)