I tried online derm Apostrophe and here’s what happened

I’ve had significant melasma for several years now. The dark brown patches form what I call “my continents” across my forehead and temples.

It’s never bothered me too much, yet, I also resent having to color correct, use foundation and concealer to fully even out my skin. I feel like I’d rather spend that time doing other things in my makeup routine.

I learned about Apostrophe from the beauty podcast, Gloss Angeles. One of the hosts, Kirby, also struggles with melasma and I was encouraged to try it because of this.

Before you read my full Apostrophe review, you should know that this wasn’t at all my first rodeo in banishing my skin’s discoloration.

melasma on my face
My melasma, before starting Apostrophe treatment

What I’ve tried to lighten melasma

  • Over the counter vitamin C products from Murad, Sunday Riley
  • Professional products like ZO BrightAlive
  • Over the counter glycolic and tranexamic acids
  • Over the counter peels like The Ordinary
  • ZO 3 Step chemical peel. Watch the video HERE
  • Microdermabrasion

Nothing above ever lightened the melasma to a noticeable degree so I finally realized that it was time. I had to step it up to medical grade level. I had a feeling prescription Hydroquinone would be the way to go, or at least worth trying.

Find out if that’s what did the trick in this honest, totally unsponsored Apostrophe review.

Apostrophe Interface

While Apostrophe does not have a mobile app, their site is quite mobile-friendly. It’s attractive and intuitive interface took no time at all to navigate. You take and upload photos of your skin to your profile and I found this easy to do.

A board-certified dermatologist, licensed in your state, will then review your photos and reach out to you via your site profile, prescribing your treatment plan. Let me tell you; this is where Apostrophe blew me away.

I showered, got dressed, took and uploaded my photos to my Apostrophe portal. Then, I did my usual lazy post-shower routine of laying on my bed, scrolling aimlessly on my phone until I’m ready to be producitive again.

Well lo and behold, the second I laid down, I already had a message and treatment plan from a one Dr. Bradley Beckman. It was almost creepy how fast it was!

doctor message

My friend and I were both trying out Apostrophe at the same time and found out that we were assigned the same derm.

So naturally, we looked him up on Facebook and found that not only is Dr. Bradley Beckman a real person, but loves yoga and seems like an all around cool dude. Dr. B; we stan!

apostrophe prescription

Apostrophe Pricing

With the promo code I used from Gloss Angeles, the exam was free and I saved $20.

The prices below seem comparable to what I would pay without insurance at the pharmacy.

I’m not sure how the cost would compare had I visited a derm then filled the prescription at a pharmacy using GoodRX. My blogger pal Pointed North has confirmed that GoodRX produced considerable savings on prescription skincare.

shipping and cost

Apostrophe Shipping

I was prescribed my treatment plan on November 24th, it shipped the next day and I received it December 2nd, so less than a week from the time of prescription.

I’ve had to pause some of the auto shipments as I seem to be going through some of the product slower than I thought. I was just being cautious with the Tretinoin as I know more is not more with that.

apostrophe products

Apostrophe Products

Dr. Beckman prescribed exactly what I was hoping he would!

  • Tretinoin 0.05%
  • Hydroquinone 6%

Side Effects

As expected, I initially experienced some dryness from the Tretinoin, but no peeling or even significant redness. It helped that I started out every 3 nights, then every other, working up to every night. I also found that and were my saving graces for night creams.

The Hydroquinone didn’t seem to cause any sensitivity for me. I just made sure I was religious with everyday, not wanting to reverse the lightening progress I’d made!

Apostrophe Results

Having used Apostrophe for 6 months, I can report that my results have been positive.

I’ve seen my melasma lighten by about 25%. It’s as though someone turned down the contrast on my melasma, but didn’t entirely photoshop it away.

The Tretinoin has kept my skin virtually breakout free. I’ve been more impressed with that aspect of Tretinoin than it’s anti-aging effects. However, I think it will take more long term use and a stronger percentage for fine lines to become less visible.

apostrophe results before after

From the progress photos I took throughout, I noticed the most improvement in the winter months, when outdoor exposure was lowest. I always wear sunscreen, but definitely saw less sun time in January vs. June.

What’s Next?

I will be focusing in on my melasma by trying some laser and microneedling treatments next so moving beyond just topical treatments.

Who is Apostrophe right for?

If you have cosmetic complaints with your skin, and either do not have access to a derm or aesthetician, or simply don’t prefer an in-office visit, give Apostrophe a shot.

Until very recently, I didn’t have health insurance. This doesn’t matter with Apostrophe because they don’t accept it anyways.


  1. Robert MacDonagh

    01/11/2023 at 12:09 AM

    Thank you for the info. I asked my doctor for Tretinion for anti-aging and he refused reciting all the “possible side effects” while obviously ignoring the fact that it is WIDELY prescribed by dermatologists.

    I just found out about Apostrophe, however, Good RX discounts the product to $18.00 at Rite Aid so it seemed a no brainer to find a dermatologist and go that route as opposed to paying whatever rip off price Apostrophe was going to charge for the same stuff.

    So if your saying it’s only $55.00 for the Tretinion ($75-$20 RX/consult discount) that basically equates to the product costing $20 and the Dermatologist consult only costing $55.00…that is like a $200 savings based on a Dermatologist visit pricing near me.

    Guess the NO BRAINER is using Apostrophe, saving myself a $200 Dermatologist bill and not having to wait three 4-6 weeks for an appointment.

    Thank you for sharing Ivy and your skin is looking great.

    1. Ivy Boyd

      02/05/2023 at 9:59 PM

      Tretinoin has been used for decades and is one of the most effective treatments for breakouts, fine lines, texture, etc! You just have to be strict about SPF usage. I’m sure a prescription from a derm is cheaper, but not as convenient! Thanks for reading and commenting!

    2. dezi

      12/11/2023 at 4:42 PM

      Did you have any problems finding your state it would seem North Carolina isn’t on the state list

  2. Renate Fender

    01/27/2023 at 6:17 AM

    Also try Musely.com it may help better its compound formula higher percent HQ is great for dark spots and melasma. Try that option see what you think and it’s $88 with Script and derm fee.

    1. Ivy Boyd

      02/05/2023 at 9:57 PM

      I have a friend who has been really happy with Musely! It’s definitely a great option!

    2. Robin

      10/23/2023 at 11:59 AM

      Musley products are HQ free, sooo

  3. Jerry

    05/23/2023 at 10:24 PM

    Super expensive medication served in bottles that produce random amounts per dosage. I was messaged repeatedly that it was time for my next doctor visit. I ignored because I didn’t want to continue to use Apostrophe but it filled my prescription out of nowhere, three months later. I complained and was told that there are no refunds on shipped medication because of the FDA. True, sure, but how about represcribing despite the doc visit and autofilling without my okay? Go somewhere else, like to a dermatologist, for three times the amount of less.

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