In today’s article I’m sharing my brutally honest Musely Review with unfiltered before and after photos. I tested all three The Spot Cream formulations (Erase, M+ and HQ Free) as well as the The Spot Peel.
Musely is a prescription skincare brand that targets dark spots, melasma, age spots, rosacea and acne scars aka the most difficult skin conditions that women spend a ton of money (and time) on trying to get rid of. Peels and lasers can cost thousands of dollars, while Musely offers the same results for $64. But does Musely actually work?
With telemedicine services like Musely becoming increasingly popular I decided to give them a try and share my honest opinion and before and after results. Founded in 2019 Musely is on a mission to democratize skincare by eliminating the need for expensive dermatologist visits, appointment making, and expensive products. Instead, everything is done conveniently (and affordably!) online through the Musely website or app. Read on for my honest Musely The Spot Cream review (update: I also tried The Spot Peel) and, if you’d like to try them yourself, use Musely discount code OBL to save 15%
How long until you see results with Musely?
6-8 weeks though it can take longer for some people
How much does it cost?
The virtual dermatologist consultation fee is $20 and The Spot Cream costs $64. The bottle is supposed to last you 2 months.
How Musely works
1. You fill out a brief online medical questionnaire
2. Upload 3 photos of your areas of concern
3. Musely’s board certified dermatologist will assess and write your custom prescription
4. The rx is transferred to one of Musely’s pharmacies then shipped out to you
The entire process of consultation to receiving your product in the mail takes just a matter of a few days. Everything is freshly compounded at the pharmacy then immediately shipped out so your product is as potent as can be.
Does Musely really work on dark spots?
My main concern is sun damage and dark spots, which have always been something I’ve battled since they starting showing up in my early 20s. If I could go back in time I’d tell my younger self to stop tanning in the sun and wear SPF! That suntan might be cute at 13 but the sun damage WILL show up 10 years later.
While I haven’t gotten any peels yet because I don’t want to thin out my skin too early in life, I HAVE tried different lasers. And while they help, laser sessions need to be done regularly in order to maintain the results. At $600 per laser treatment it’s not something I can realistically afford to maintain.
The difficult thing about my dark spots is that they’re not extremely dark so they’re harder to fade. They’re light brown spots that wouldn’t be noticeable until you came up to talk at a face to face distance. But they’re THERE and more light brown spots are showing up in areas that were clear as I’m getting older.
Enter Musely The Spot Cream. This is their hero product that helps with melasma, dark spots, age spots and more. It works to prevent new excess pigments from being formed in new skin cells.
Musely has over 40 different formulations total to address various skin concerns including body concerns, but for the Spot Cream specifically there are 4 formulations.
The four formulation options for Musely’s Spot Cream include 3 hydroquinone formulas and 1 hydroquinone free formula:
- Hydroquinone 12%
- Niacinamide 2%
- Hydrocortisone 1%(for Initial 2-month only)
- Hydroquinone 6%
- Vitamin C 1%
- Niacinamide 2%
- Tranexamic Acid 6%
- Azelaic Acid 10%
- Niacinamide 2%
- Hydroquinone 12%
- Tretinoin 0.05%
- Niacinamide 2%
- Hydrocortisone 2.5%(for Initial 2-month only)
Your dermatologist will assess your photos and choose the prescription for you so it’s not up to you.
I requested the M+ formulation because I thought for the purposes of testing Musely I might as well go with their strongest product. But the doctor looked at the photos of my dark spots and prescribed me the Erase formula, which doesn’t contain Tretinoin.
The good thing about Musely is that after your dermatologist prescribes your product, you’re not left to figure things out on your own. An eNurse is at your disposal throughout your first 60 day journey using The Spot Cream to answer any questions or concerns.
While Musely does offer a HQ free option, they all contain a % of hydroquinone. This is a controversial ingredient that’s banned in certain countries and shouldn’t be used by pregnant or nursing women. It should also not be used longer than 4 months at a time.
The Spot Cream works to prevent new excess pigments from being formed in new skin cells, which is why you won’t see immediate results. It takes about 30 days for skin cells to turnover so you need to be using consistently for an ample amount of time while protecting skin from UV rays as much as possible.
Is Musely Legitimate?
My first concern was whether this was a legitimate company and whether these dermatologists were real. Did an actual doctor talk to me via the chat or was it just some bot? It ended up being a real doctor and my products were compounded at a real pharmacy (in Salt Lake City, Utah) with his name written as the prescribing doctor. He actually did answer the questions I asked him during the prescribing process.
How to Use Musely The Spot Cream
Use just a pea-sized amount morning and night. If you use more the bottle will run out much faster than the 2 months it’s supposed to last.
What To Know When Using Musely **IMPORTANT**
This is very important to follow when using Musely The Spot Cream if you want real results:
- Use SPF 50 sunscreen religiously on top of your Musely cream and reapply every few hours if outside
- If you allow your skin to absorb UV rays (even on cloudy days) for even a day you can set back weeks or even a month’s worth of progress
- Do not use more than 4 months at a time as overuse can cause a blueish gray darkening of the skin
- After 4 months switch to the hydroquinone free option (HQ Free+) for a few months before going back to an hq cream
Other things to know:
- If using a retinoid with The Spot Cream, apply the retinoid first then The Spot Cream on top
- May not be suitable for deeper skin tones
- Use only on the spots you’d like to treat instead of the whole face
- Don’t use other hydroquinone products
- Avoid intense treatments like peels, lasers and microneedling
- You may experience initial side effects of redness, dryness and darkening of spots
The Spot Cream caused some dryness in my skin, as you can see in the photo above. In the first few weeks I experienced some redness which eventually subsided once my skin has adjusted. Another side effect that you might experience is an initial darkening of the dark spots. This also eventually went away for me.
I started to freak out that my fine lines seemed to be looking deeper, so make sure you’re hydrating vigilantly. This means more hydrating mists and serums along with moisturizing regularly. You may need to re-apply your skincare again during the day, but this will keep the dryness away.
Musely Before and After
I am on week 4 of using this so it will be another few weeks until I post final results but I am starting to notice an overall brightening of my skin tone and the darker skin tone that’s concentrated around my nose bridge seems to be clearing up a bit to be more even toned.
Musely Before and After Photos
These images are completely untouched and I took them in the same spot in my home. The improvements aren’t as drastic as I was hoping but I’ll take incremental improvements any day over nothing.
I’m noticing more even toned skin, overall brightness improved and some spots look somewhat faded while others don’t show much change.
I’ve always been curious about in-office chemical peels but have never been brave enough to go try one myself. The Spot Peel seemed to be a less intimidating option so I went ahead and bought it. I figure since it’s the final month of winter (February) it’s now or never. I used up the whole bottle in one use and left it overnight to reach the 12 hour requirement.
It’s a creamy thick mask and I hardly felt any tingling surprisingly. I wasn’t able to sleep totally still so some of the product did transfer onto my pillow. It should only be used once every several months so maybe next time I’ll apply it during the day.
After I rinsed it off I noticed a bit of redness as expected and also some areas looked noticeably brighter. According to the Musely website there is peeling and redness for the first few days, but today is Day 1 and I haven’t noticed any peeling. I secretly wanted some major peeling to occur but let’s see what happens in the next few days. Results should be assessed at the 30 day mark.
Day 15 Update: While I haven’t noticed any real peeling like you see with in-office chemical peel patients, it does seem like a bit of skin is coming off but only on a very faint level.
Musely Discount Code – OBL saves 15%
I also have a personal affiliate code OBL that saves 15% on first time orders with “Refill Every 2 months” or “Refill Every 3 months” selected at checkout.
Andrea is a clean beauty expert from Los Angeles, California with 10 years of experience in clean beauty, natural skincare and organic living. She writes for Organic Beauty Lover using her expertise to guide readers in choosing the best clean beauty products. Andrea graduated from the University of Southern California in 2012 and has worked at multiple skincare companies, big and small. Connect with her @organicbeautylover.