• Amy Suto

If You Have RA, Beware of Curology and Other Skincare Products Bad for Gut Health

Hello, hello friends!

Today's post is about skincare, specifically the skincare you should be avoiding if you have RA or any autoimmune disease or chronic health issue.

Avoid Curology, Antibiotics, and Bad Ingredients

When I got back from working remotely in Europe for three months last year, I had developed some pretty bad acne on my face and chest. It could have been from a number of things: I had a stomach bug in London (the worst) and had gotten sick several times in November and December, and my body was trying to get all the dairy out of my system from eating pizza in Italy for three months.

(Unsurprisingly, there's not a ton of vegan food options in Italy.)

In the past, I haven't quite nailed down a skincare routine that works for me. I'm still figuring out what products are clean, get results, and aren't an overkill routine that will destroy my skin's natural barrier.

I turned to Curology, hoping that when a dermatologist reviewed my skin's needs, they'd pair me with the perfect formula. After Googling "is Curology OK for RA" and all that jazz, I reached out to the dermatologists at Curology and wanted to see if they could help me.

Instead, they gave me a formula that had an antibiotic, which, if anyone who has been healing holistically from rheumatoid arthritis or another autoimmune disease knows -- is death to your gut health.

I didn't realize the formula contained an antibiotic, and so for months I was confused why I was feeling so bloated, had stomach pain, and had way more swelling than normal.

It took me sending the ingredients to my nutritionist to realize the antibiotic was in the formula, and I felt super dismayed. Hadn't the dermatologist on Curology read my notes that I had RA? Didn't they know antibiotics are bad news for those of us with conditions that stem from bad gut bacteria?

So I ditched Curology and switched to Paula's Choice Clear skincare set and watched my skin clear up in a matter of weeks -- without the pain and bloating and gut issues.

It's like magic, and the ingredients in Paula's Choice are super clean, and much cheaper and more comprehensive compared to Curology.

Moral of the story? Do your own research. Don't expect these buzzy startups and dermatologist-on-demand "experts" to help or understand the intricacies of what triggers autoimmune diseases or symptoms.

Getting Smart on Skincare for RA + Autoimmune Conditions

I'm still (slowly!) building the right routine that works for my skin, but so far I use that Paula's Choice set, Jojoba oil for my gua sha routine, and daily sunscreen and Cerave night cream.

Cerave has been the other brand that I've loved, and it's great because just like Paula's Choice, it doesn't contain irritating fragrances.

Generally, the basics of good skincare if you have an autoimmune disease include daily cleansing, sun protection, and moisturizing. Exfoliation and mud masks are great on a regular basis, just make sure you don't use them too often or else you'll dry out your skin.

Clean, non-irritating ingredients -- and avoiding antibiotics! -- is also key.

At the end of the day, my take is this: less is more when it comes to skincare, and starting from the inside out is key. Drink more water, eat clean, and pick the core products that you'll use every day, and don't overdo.

Happy skincare hunting!