Enjoy free shipping on retinoid services

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How does it work?

    1. Share your skin story in minutes. After checkout, share details about your skin by completing your Skin Profile. You’ll answer a few questions and upload photos of your face and ID.
    2. Your doctor tailors your formula. Your doctor evaluates your Skin Profile within 24-48 hours and writes a prescription, if applicable.
    3. Voila! Retinoid in the mail. Get your tailored retinoid serum delivered to you.
  • Which states is Dear Brightly available?

    Our over-the-counter products ship anywhere in the US. We are limited by telehealth regulations for prescription-grade services, but they’re always changing so stay tuned! If we’re not available in your state, please email support@dearbrightly.com and we’ll look into it.

  • Does Dear Brightly service other countries outside the US?

    No, we are limited by telehealth regulations and only service certain states in the US. We don’t ship over-the-counter products outside the US right now.

  • Can I use my insurance?

    No. Services are not covered by insurance. Also, some insurance companies do not cover prescription retinoids for beauty or cosmetic reasons.

  • Can I use my HSA/FSA card?

    We’re not set up to accept HSA/FSA payment directly. If your payment doesn’t go through, you'll have to check with your insurance to see if your HSA/FSA covers this type of purchase. If you need an itemized receipt after your purchase, just email support@dearbrightly.com and we can provide it for you.

  • Can I choose my pharmacy?

    Yes. Your prescription formulas are compounded by Curexa, who offer the convenience of shipping the order to your home and a lower negotiated price. However, we are happy to have your provider send in your prescription to your preferred pharmacy. When choosing your pharmacy, please confirm that they are a compounding pharmacy and are able to receive e-prescriptions. Please email support@dearbrightly.com to let us know your preferred pharmacy before your provider performs your consult so that your prescription can be sent to the correct place. You'll only be charged an online doctor's consult fee.

  • When will my provider review my Skin Profile?

    If you’re waiting for your initial Skin Profile to be reviewed and have not heard from your provider, please make sure your order status is Pending Medical Provider Review. If your Skin Profile is incomplete, go to your Skin Profile to complete it.

    You can expect to hear back from your provider within 24-48 hours of completing your Skin Profile. During the weekends and holidays, you can expect to hear back within 72 hours. If your provider hasn’t reviewed your Skin Profile after 48 hours of completing it and you’d like to check the status of your order, please email us at support@dearbrightly.com and we’ll be happy to help!

  • When can I expect my shipment?

    You can expect to receive over-the-counter products within 5-7 business days after placing your order. For prescription-grade products, expect to receive your order within 5-7 business days after completing your Skin Profile. When an order is shipped, a shipping confirmation email along with tracking information is emailed to you. You can also check the status of your shipment in your account Overview.

  • What’s the return policy?

    For over-the-counter products, all returns or exchanges must be processed within 14 days of receiving the order. You will receive your refund in the original form of payment. Credit card refunds take 5-10 business days to appear on your statement. Shipping fees for returns are not covered by Dear Brightly.

    For prescription-grade services/products, you can cancel your order if you have not completed your Skin Profile. No refunds will be issued as your payment has only been authorized, not charged at this point. If your provider has already reviewed your Skin Profile, but your order has not shipped, you are eligible for a refund less the provider fee.

    Please reach out to support@dearbrightly.com with your order ID. If your product has shipped and is in transit, returns, refunds, or exchanges are not allowed.

  • Contact us

    Dear Brightly Support: support@dearbrightly.com

    This is the best channel to reach us about anything non-medical. We’re always happy to help! We can help you with questions or concerns regarding billing, order status, address changes, etc.

    You can expect to receive a response within 1 business day or sooner. We’re open Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM PST so emails received during the weekend and holidays will be answered during normal business hours. There’s a human behind every response and rest assured we’re giving it the attention it deserves.

    Please make sure you use the email address registered with your Dear Brightly account and whitelist support@dearbrightly.com to ensure our emails don’t go to your spam folder. If you cannot use the email address that you used to register, please include it in your email. We need as much information as possible to confirm your account.

    Your Provider: Provider Messages in Secure Portal

    Your provider is here for you. You can message your provider with any medical questions related to your treatment through our secure messaging portal. You have access to your provider at any time as long as you have an active plan. You can expect to receive a response to your message within 24-48 hours during the weekday or 72 hours during the weekend and holidays.

    We respect your privacy and the security of all of your information. We've taken the necessary steps to make sure your privacy and information are safe via our HIPAA-compliant protocols and system.

    In the case of an emergency, please see your in-person provider or call 911 immediately.

    For any non-medical questions or if you’d like to follow up on your message to your provider, please email support@dearbrightly.com. We’re always happy to help!

    Our Preferred Pharmacy: Curexa

    Our preferred pharmacy to fill prescriptions is Curexa. Their contact information is the following:

    Curexa
    3007 Ocean Heights Ave
    Egg Harbor Township, NJ 08234
    (855) 927-0390

  • Will I definitely get a prescription for a tailored formula?

    It’s not always the case that each person is fit for a tailored formula. After a thorough review of your skin and medical history, your provider determines whether you are a good candidate for the tailored formula. In the case that the provider determines that you are not a candidate, then you’ll only be charged an online doctor’s consult fee.

  • How do I talk to my provider?

    Your provider is here for you. You can talk to your provider about medical questions related to your treatment on our secure messaging portal, which you have access to as long as you have an active plan. You can expect to receive a response to your message within 24-48 hours during the weekday and 72 hours during the weekend and holidays.

    We respect your privacy and the security of all of your information. We've taken the necessary steps to make sure your privacy and information are safe via our HIPAA-compliant protocols and system.

    If you’d like to talk to your provider via phone or video chat after your initial consult, please email us at schedule@dearbrightly.com to set up a 15-minute appointment for $30.

    In the case of an emergency, please see your in-person provider or call 911 immediately.

    For any non-medical questions, please email support@dearbrightly.com. We’re always happy to help!

  • Do providers assess patients for anything other than photoaging?

    No. At this time, providers only review your Skin Profile for the treatment of photoaging in the realm of cosmetics. Although retinoids are proven to treat acne as well, providers do not review your Skin Profile to treat acne.

  • Why do I need to upload a photo of my ID?

    Just like you would when you physically go in for a doctor's visit, showing a photo ID is necessary to verify your identity. Your ID is not used for anything else. We respect your privacy and the security of all of your information. We've taken the necessary steps to make sure your privacy and information are safe via our HIPAA-compliant protocols and system.

  • Photo uploading tips

    Help your provider better tailor your formula by uploading photos. You need to upload three photos: one selfie and one of each side of your face.

    Tips on how to take great photos:

    1. You have a neutral facial expression.
    2. The area is well lit, preferably in natural lighting.
    3. You are not wearing makeup, skin products, etc.
    4. Your hair does not cover your face.
    5. Your face fills the screen.
    6. There are no shadows on your face.
    7. Flash is disabled if there’s natural lighting.

    If your provider cannot evaluate you with the photos provided, they may ask that you upload new photos. We respect your privacy and the security of all of your information. We've taken the necessary steps to make sure your privacy and information are safe via our HIPAA-compliant protocols and system.

    If you encounter an "Unable to upload photo" error or any other error during your photo upload, please log out, then log back in to go to your Skin Profile to upload your photos.

  • Emergencies

    In the case of an emergency, please see your primary care physician or call 911 immediately. Dear Brightly’s service is not meant for medical emergencies. It’s very important that you be seen promptly if you have any concerns. Please message your provider with an update should an emergency occur so the appropriate care can be arranged.

  • Ingredients

    Night Shift: Hyaluronic Acid, Tretinoin (strengths range from 0.015% to 0.1%), Cyclopentasiloxane, Polysilicone-11, C30-45 Alkyl Cetearyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, PEG-16 Macadamia Glycerides, Dimethicone, Oenocarpus Bataua Fruit Oil, Pentaclethra Macroloba Seed Oil, Phosphatidylcholine, Tocopheryl Acetate, BHT

    Medical Grade Moisturizer: Water/Aqua/Eau, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dimethicone, Cetyl Alcohol, Isopropyl Palmitate, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Stearic Acid, Bisabolol, Stearyl Alcohol, Ceramide NP, Ceramide AP, Ceramide EOP, Opuntia Ficus-Indica (Napol Cactus) Extract, Sacchara- myces Cerevisiae Extract, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Biosaccharide Gum-1, Allantoin, Phytosphingosine, Cholesterol, Hydrogenated Soy Polyglycerides, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Ethylhexylglycerin, Dimethiconol, Panthenol, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Disodium EDTA, Carbomer, C15-23 Alkane, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol

  • What’s in my formula?

    After your provider has reviewed your Skin Profile and your order status is Pending Pharmacy, you can view your Treatment Plan to learn more about your tailored formula. Your Treatment Plan includes a list of the active ingredients, along with their strengths, in your formula, as well as product application instructions. Your bottle will also come with a prescription label that includes the ingredients and instructions.

  • Where is my shipment?

    You’ll receive a shipping confirmation email with tracking information when the pharmacy ships your order. You can also check your Personal info section for your order status and shipping information. For new orders, your order will ship within 1-3 business days of your doctor consult. Once you’ve been charged for a new refill, your bottle will ship within 1-3 business days. If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to email us at support@dearbrightly.com.

    Missing shipment?

    In rare cases, a shipment may take up to 36 hours to arrive even if it has been marked as "delivered" by USPS. In the meantime, we suggest confirming your shipping address in your account, looking around your residence or checking with neighbors to see if the package was placed in a different location, or contacting your local post office.

    If you still haven’t received your package after 36 hours from the time your shipment was marked as delivered, please contact us at support@dearbrightly.com.

  • I’m having trouble pumping my bottle

    The bottle uses an airless pump, which keeps the product fresh. When first using the bottle, you may need to prime it by pumping it a few times to remove the excess air. If you’re still encountering problems, email us at support@dearbrightly.com.

  • How should I store my bottle?

    You can store your bottle at room temperature in your medicine cabinet, or on your bathroom counter or vanity with the rest of your skincare products. Just make sure you keep your bottle away from extreme temperatures! Extreme temperatures may change the texture of your formula but it won’t make it less effective so it’s perfectly fine to use.

  • How do I access my account?

    You can log in to your account here. If you’re unable to log in, you may be attempting to login with the wrong email address. Please reach out to us at support@dearbrightly.com if you’re unsure what email address is linked to your account. If you need to reset your password, you can do so here.

  • Do I have to enroll in an auto-refill plan?

    Yes. Right now, we only have an auto-refill plan with an option to cancel anytime. We offer an auto-refill plan because dermatologists really encourage consistent use to prevent "retinization". Retinization is the period of time in which your skin needs to adjust to retinoids, which usually lasts 4 weeks. When you stop using retinoids for more than that time period, you'd have to start all over and your skin would have to re-adjust to the product. Your first-time trial bottle is a 2-month supply and subsequent refills are 3-month supply.

  • What is the shipping frequency of my refills?

    Refills are sent out every 3 or 4 months to reduce carbon footprint. You can select your frequency in your Plan settings.

    Your first refill will ship out 2 months after your trial bottle, then you will receive refills every 3 or 4 months. You can view your shipment date in your Plan settings. If you need an early shipment, you can click "Ship now" and you’ll be charged immediately. Your shipment will not be sent until your payment has gone through successfully.

  • When is my next shipment?

    You can view your next shipment by going to your Plan settings

  • When do I get billed?

    You get billed when a new refill is processed. You can view your next shipment in your Plan settings. We also send a reminder email a week before your shipment. Please make sure you add support@dearbrightly.com to your contacts list to ensure our emails don’t go to your spam folder. You have 5 days from the receipt of this email to make any changes including postponing your shipment and canceling your plan.

    Once your card has been charged successfully, the pharmacy processes your order and ships it to you within 1-3 business days. No returns are accepted and any changes to your plan made at this time will only take effect on the next shipment.

  • How do I upgrade my plan to a set?

    You can upgrade your plan to a set which includes your tailored formula, along with a moisturizer. The set is $137.00 plus tax, where applicable (~$46/month). To upgrade, go to your Plan settings and add the moisturizer. Please note that the upgrade will take effect on your next order.

    The moisturizer can also be purchased one-off on our website here. There is no auto-refill for the moisturizer if you do this.

    If you’d like to upgrade to a set after placing your initial order, you’ll need to make a one-off purchase of the moisturizer. The upgrade will take effect on your next refill.

  • How do I update my shipping address, phone number, or email?

    We want your orders to go to the right address! You can update your shipping address and phone number by going to Personal info. Make sure you see a confirmation message that says your update has succeeded after clicking Save to ensure your account has been updated. If you’re having any trouble, please email support@dearbrightly.com.

    If you have an upcoming shipment, you’ll need to update your shipping information 2 business days before. Once your card has charged successfully, no updates can be made.

    Please note if you’re moving to a new state, you’ll need to confirm if we cover that state. We may need to assign a new provider to you depending on where your current provider is licensed.

    If you need to update your email, please email support@dearbrightly.comand provide the email address you registered with.

  • How do I update my payment information?

    You can update your payment details by going to your Personal info and clicking on "Payment Method" tab.

    Please note your card must be updated a minimum of 1 full business day before your next scheduled refill to apply to that order. If you'd like confirmation that your card has been updated or that a payment has been processed, please email support@dearbrightly.com. We’re always happy to help.

  • How do I postpone my next shipment?

    If you have an upcoming refill and receive a reminder email, you have 5 days to make any changes including postponing. To postpone your next shipment, go to your Plan settings. You can select to delay your next shipment by 15 or 30 days.

    Please make sure you postpone 2 business days before your next shipment. You can check your next shipment date in your Personal info section. Once your card has charged successfully, the pharmacy will start order fulfillment. No returns are accepted. Any changes made will take effect on the next shipment. If you have any questions, please email support@dearbrightly.com.

  • I’m running low! How do I get an early shipment?

    You can process an order earlier than your set shipment date as long as 30 days has elapsed from your last shipment. To do so, go to your Plan settings and click Ship now. You will be charged immediately and, if the payment is successful, the pharmacy will fulfill and ship your order within 1-3 business days. Your next shipment in your plan will also be pushed up earlier.

  • How do I cancel my plan?

    Our auto-refill plan is flexible and you can cancel at any time by emailing us at support@dearbrightly.com.

    If you’re new to the product and have not used the it for more than 90 days, your formula may not have enough time to work on your skin. It can take up to 2-3 months to see how your skin reacts to any new skincare product, including prescription medication.

    Your skin may need time to get used to the product. In order to do so, your provider may intentionally start you on a lower ("starter") strength before ramping you up to a higher strength for all your remaining refills (this would be the highest strength you'll get for the year before your next evaluation). You can refer to your Treatment Plan to view the strength of your formula.

    Before you cancel, please check in with your provider or email us at support@dearbrightly.com. It might also be helpful to check out these articles:

    If you have an upcoming refill and receive a reminder email, you have 5 days to make any changes. You can cancel your plan by sending us an email at support@dearbrightly.com. For a faster response, please send us an email from the account that is registered with Dear Brightly or provide it in your email. We’re always open to feedback that will help us improve our service.

    Please make sure you cancel within 2 business days of your next ship date. You can check your next ship date in your Plan settings. Once your card is charged, the pharmacy will start working on your order. No returns are accepted and any plan changes will take effect on your next ship date.

    You can confirm your cancellation by going to your account Overview.

    Would you like to postpone instead?

    Canceling your plan will limit access to our services. If you want to postpone your next shipment instead, please refer to "How do I postpone my next shipment?" in this FAQ.

    Unsubscribe from our email list

    To unsubscribe from Dear Brightly email, please click the Unsubscribe link at the bottom of our emails. If you’re not able to locate this link, you can email support@dearbrightly.comand we’ll unsubscribe you from our email list. Please note you will still receive emails relating to your orders and plan.

  • How do I restart my plan after canceling?

    We’re always here for you and you can restart your plan anytime! We only allow one account per patient as it is tied to a medical visit. You just need to restart your plan in order to reactivate your account.

    Go to your Plan settings and click "Restart plan". Please note that when you restart your plan, you will be billed immediately. If your payment is charged successfully, your order will ship within 1-3 business days.

    In the event that you’re due for a returning visit (i.e., it’s been over a year since your last visit), you’ll need to update your Skin Profile so that your provider can make sure your formula is evolving along with you.

  • What is the difference between retinoids and retinol?

    Retinoids

    Retinoids are vitamin A and its natural derivatives. Vitamin A is used by the body in many ways beyond skincare: to improve vision, regulate cell proliferation and differentiation, grow bone tissue, and activate immune function and tumor suppressor genes. In the context of skin, retinoids stimulate collagen production, normalize melanocyte function, and regulate skin cell turnover.

    When dermatologists refer to "retinoids," they refer to prescription-grade retinoids, which contain the active ingredient, retinoic acid. Upon direct contact with your skin, retinoic acid is converted by your skin to boost collagen. As such, it improves pigmentation, skin texture and roughness, fine lines and wrinkles, and acne. It also has protective effects against precancerous skin lesions.

    Retinol

    Retinol is a type of non-prescription-grade retinoid often found in anti-aging creams. Retinol is the precursor of retinoic acid, the active ingredient in prescription-grade retinoids, like Tretinoin and Retin-A. Because retinols require further conversion to retinoic acid, they are not as potent as prescription-grade retinoids.

  • What are the benefits of retinoids?

    Retinoids improve fine/coarse wrinkles, mottled hyperpigmentation, pore size, lentigines, elastosis, irregular depigmentation, tactile roughness, and acne. They also stimulate collagen production to thicken and repair the epidermis.

  • Do retinoids help with hyperpigmentation?

    Yes! Retinoids can improve mottled or irregular hyperpigmentation.

  • Do retinoids help with fine lines and wrinkles?

    Yes! Retinoids improve wrinkles by increasing the production of collagen. Fine lines appear over time because your cells produce less collagen (the structural protein of the skin), causing your skin to appear thinner and looser. The less collagen your skin has, the less water it can retain, causing structural folds (i.e., wrinkles and lines).

  • Do retinoids cause acne breakouts?

    Retinoids may cause acne breakouts for the first two to four week of using the product, especially for people with acne-prone skin. This process, in which your acne gets worse before it gets better, is called "purging". Your skin will eventually clear up. Patience is key.

  • Can I use retinoids if I have dry or sensitive skin?

    Any skin type can benefit from retinoids, even dry or sensitive skin. There are three things to keep in mind:

    1. Your provider will start you off with a strength that is appropriate for your skin type.
    2. Be sure to moisturize twice a day. We have a moisturizer that is designed to be used with the retinoids.
    3. Start applying your retinoid once a week and then increase to nightly as your skin learns to tolerate the products.
  • Can I use retinoids if I have acne?

    Yes. In fact, retinoids are used to treat acne. Keep in mind that you may experience an initial breakout period for 2-4 weeks, especially if you have acne prone skin. Your skin will eventually clear up. Patience is key!

  • Can men use retinoids?

    Of course! Retinoids are not specific to a particular gender.

  • When should I not use retinoids?

    Unless otherwise instructed by your primary care physician, you should not use retinoids if you are pregnant, trying to conceive, or nursing. If you find that you are pregnant, stop use of your retinoid and contact your provider in our HIPAA-compliant portal. It is not proven that topical retinoids are 100% safe for pregnant or nursing women.

  • Am I too old/too young to use retinoids?

    Dermatologists say you can start using retinoids as early as your 20’s to prevent side effects of photoaging. There is no age restriction for using retinoids, but they are not recommended for children under the age of 13, and we do not accept customers under the age of 18.

  • What are the side effects? Are retinoids safe?

    Some common side effects of retinoids are sensitivity to the sun, peeling, and redness. Good news though! Side effects can be greatly minimized with good instructions and proper use. For example, your skin will better tolerate retinoids if you start off with an appropriate strength or by applying a moisturizer before the retinoid. Applying SPF will also mitigate your sensitivity to the sun (We’re assuming you’re already using daily SPF though, right?). Keep in mind, after a few months, your skin’s response to UV rays will return to normal. Side effects are also temporary, usually lasting 2-4 weeks as your skin learns to tolerate the product.

    For those prone to acne, there may be a two to four week"purging" period where you experience acne breakouts before your skin clears up. Patience is key. Over the past 40+ years, no systemic side-effects or risks on the long-term treatment of topical retinoids have been observed.

  • What should I expect when using retinoids?

    When first using retinoids, your provider will evaluate your skin and start you off with a strength that is appropriate for your skin type. That way your skin can learn to tolerate a higher strength. Feel free to communicate with your provider of your ongoing progress. You may experience some peeling, dryness, and sensitivity, all of which can be managed and prevented by the right strength and proper usage. Don't worry, we will guide you through the process so you get the best experience.

  • How long until I start seeing results?

    Results vary for prescription-grade retinoids, depending on the type of changes you are expecting to see, your skin type, or how consistently you use it. The following is a rough time frame:

    • Rough spots3 - 4 weeks
    • Discoloration3 - 4 weeks
    • Brown spots6 - 8 weeks
    • Fine wrinkles3 - 6 weeks
  • Do retinoids make you more sensitive to the sun?

    Sunscreen to the rescue! It’s a myth that you can’t use retinoids and go out into the sun. Without sunscreen, your skin can temporarily become more sensitive to the sun, but after a month your skin’s response to UV rays will return to normal. Either way, always apply sunscreen to prevent photoaging and skin cancer.

  • Do retinoids thin your skin?

    No. They do the opposite and thicken your skin. While they decrease the layer of dead skin cells on the surface of your skin (this is where the thinning myth comes from), they have been proven to increase collagen production to actually thicken your skin.

  • Will I experience hair loss or liver damage after long-term use of retinoids?

    No, there have been no side effects resulting from long-term use of topical retinoids.

  • What if I accidentally become pregnant while using retinoids?

    You should discontinue using your retinoid as soon as you find out that you are pregnant and connect with your provider through the portal.

  • Is this retinoid the same as Retin-A?

    Retin-A is the brand name and has the same exact active ingredient, Tretinoin, that works to stimulate collagen production and increase cell turnover to improve fine lines and wrinkles, pigmentation, enlarged pores, uneven skin tone, and acne. Where Retin-A differs from the Night Shift is that the base and strength level is different and not tailored, so sometimes it can be very harsh on one's skin especially if you are first starting out. The base used in the Night Shift is a premium ingredient that is normally used for cuts and burns, so it has a very emollient texture. Additionally, the ingredients of the Night Shift are cruelty-free, paraben-free, gluten-free, mineral oil-free, and vegan. And, of course, the strength is tailored by your provider depending on your skin type and history. If you’re currently using or have used Retin-A™ or Tretinoin, please let your provider know via your Skin Profile or by messaging the provider through our portal.