Dear Brightly Review

Why We Like Them

Dear Brightly is a digital clinic whose goals are to educate and treat women on the effects of photoaging. They give you access to affordable, effective, and customized retinoid treatment to help your fight against photoaging.

San Francisco, California | Founded 2017
Does Not Accept Insurance
Does Not Accept HSA/FSA

Products & services

  • Digital Clinic
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More about Dear Brightly

Table of Contents

    Dear Brightly Company Overview

    Dear Brightly provides users with a customized retinoid to help treat photoaging. Dear Brightly uses premium ingredients that have been formulated by dermatologists that are cruelty, paraben, and fragrance-free. Their products contain Tretinoin, a natural collagen booster, and hyaluronic acid to help retain moisture. Dear Brightly is proud to be your one-stop shop, by providing an online doctor consultation, a customized prescription-grade retinoid, and free shipping, all this without ever having to leave your home. You simply start by choosing the product package you are interested in, set up an account and complete a brief questionnaire and photos of your skin, your doctor will then evaluate your skin profile and write a prescription if applicable, and your customized retinoid treatment will be delivered to you. If you wish, Dear Brightly allows you to choose to have your prescription sent to the pharmacy of your choice.

    Dear Brightly over-the-counter products can ship anywhere in the US, however, their prescription-grade products are available in 31 states (AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, HI, IL, KY, MA, ME, MI, MO, MN, MT, NE, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI, WV, WY).

    Is Dear Brightly Right For You?

    Through the use of telemedicine, healthcare is becoming more accessible to all. Dear Brightly was created to provide easier access to educate people on why the use of retinoids is so beneficial and to provide easier access to see a dermatologist to receive a prescription for this treatment. Dear Brightly is a one-stop shop making it a great option for anyone, especially those with a busy lifestyle who may not have the ability to take time out of their schedule to visit a doctors office, or to those who have limited access to see a dermatologist due to living rural, transportation issues, or mobility issues. 

    Dear Brightly has a goal of getting the word out there about the major photoaging benefits of retinoid use, but wants to emphasize that it is not their goal to send the message that we should look younger or perfect though. Dear Brightly does not use the word anti-aging, they use photoaging, because they want to create a world where everyone feels secure in their skin. They want to illuminate their users and help them to forget perfection and provide products to help you live life as your best self. If this sounds like something you are on board with then Dear Brightly might be just the thing you need to add to your life.

    Is Dear Brightly Credible?

    Dear Brightly was not founded by doctors but by two women who have had personal experience with the difficulties of gaining access to a dermatologist in-person and access to affordable skin care treatments that fight photoaging. These women used their expertise as engineers and faithful retinoid users to leverage technology and shed light on why retinoids should become a part of your skincare routine and to provide easier access to dermatologists. They looked at the over 40 years of research that proves retinoid use provides long-term benefits to improve fine lines, wrinkles, pigmentation, uneven skin tone, enlarged pores, and acne and created Dear Brightly to make access to this product easier for everyone.

    Dear Brightly uses board-certified dermatologists who specialize in cosmetics and aesthetic medicine to bring you your tailored retinoid treatment. The Dear Brightly platform is HIPAA compliant and they take your privacy seriously.

    Healthcare Conditions Treated by Dear Brightly

    Dear Brightly is a dermatology company that prescribes retinoids to specifically treat photoaging. These are common photoaging signs that could improve with the use of a retinoid from Dear Brightly.

    • Wrinkles-using a retinoid stimulates the production of collagen to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
    • Pore size-using a retinoid helps to clear out cellular debris around your pores making them look smaller.
    • Acne-using a retinoid decreases the number of comedones and micro comedones(acne papules) which helps to decrease your non inflammatory and inflammatory acne.
    • Roughness-using a retinoid helps to improve the roughness of your skin by diminishing the layer of dead skin cells and increasing the production of glycosaminoglycan (they support and maintain the skins structural proteins like collagen and elastin)
    • Sun and Dark spots-using a retinoid helps to improve the pigmentation of freckles, melasma, sunspots, and dark spots by scattering melanin granule

    Retinoid vs. Retinol Treatments

    Retinoids are vitamin A derived. Vitamin A supports the body in more ways than just your skincare, it is used to improve vision, regulate cell proliferation, grow bone tissue, activate immune function, and contain tumor suppressor genes.

    • They work faster on your skin
    • They have had over 50 years of research that proves its long-term safety and efficacy
    • They contain the active ingredient retinoic acid which is the key ingredient to boost collagen levels
    • FDA-approved to treat acne and photoaging
    • They have protective effects against precancerous skin lesions
    • They are prescription grade and require a prescription from a doctor
    • 20 times more potent than retinol

    Retinol is a non prescription grade retinoid often found in skin aging creams purchased over-the-counter.

    • Is a weaker form 
    • It takes a much longer time to see visible results
    • It does not contain the active ingredient retinoic acid
    • It contains a weaker precursor of the active ingredient
    • Not prescription-grade
    • Can be found over-the-counter
    • Not FDA approved to treat photoaging

    Side effects of using a retinoid

    • Sensitivity
    • Peeling
    • Redness
    • Sensitivity to the sun

    The good news is that many of these common side effects will be greatly reduced with proper use. Many of these side effects are temporary and will last up to 4 weeks after use as your skin learns to tolerate the new product. It is also important to use sunscreen when using retinoids to help reduce your sensitivity to the sun. The use of retinoids has been studied for over 40 years and they have yet to find any systemic side effects or risk to long term use of topical retinoids. However it is not proven that topical retinoids are 100% safe for pregnant or nursing women, so Dear Brightly will not accept those in these situations.

    How Much Does Dear Brightly Cost?

    Tailored Retinoid Set & Physician Consult 

    • Contains retinoid serum and moisturizing salve
    • First time bottle set $48.50/month and lasts about 2 months
    • Refill bottles $137/quarter, each refill lasts about 3 months
    • Free shipping
    • Contains Tretinoin ranging from 0.015%-0.1% depending on your skin profile
    • Contains Hyaluronic Acid

    Tailored Retinoid & Physician Consult

    • Contains retinoid serum
    • First-time bottle is $29.50/month and lasts about 2 months
    • Refill bottles billed at $99/quarter, each refill lasts about 3 months
    • Free shipping
    • Contains Tretinoin ranging from 0.015%-0.1% depending on your skin profile
    • Contains Hyaluronic Acid

    Medical Grade Moisturizer 

    • $38/bottle
    • Designed to be used alongside your retinoid

    What Do We Think About Dear Brightly?

    We think that Dear Brightly is a great option for anyone looking to treat their signs of photoaging. Dear Brightly makes gaining access to prescription retinoids super simple and affordable when compared to going into a dermatology clinic. We really appreciate that they are not just pushing their product, they also care enough to inform you about the benefits their product provides along with numerous articles on their blog with a ton of skincare advice all written by the founders of Dear Brightly or by their board-certified doctors. When browsing their website you can really see how much Dear Brightly cares about their users and creating a simple process to start receiving your treatment. If you are looking into adding prescription retinoid treatment to your skincare routine we think that Dear Brightly is a great place to start!