Musely Reviews

Our team tested Musely’s online dermatology service to help you determine whether or not it can suit your hair and skincare needs.

Last updated: May 21st, 2024
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Musely Review Lineup

Photo by Innerbody Research

If you’re suffering from a hair or skin condition, it might sometimes feel demoralizing, defeating, or isolating. However, it may be surprising to learn that over 80 million Americans are affected by hair loss, 50 million by acne, and 16 million by rosacea. And all of these concerns can greatly impact your self-esteem. For example, 97% of young adults reported in a 2023 survey that they believe they’d be more confident if it weren’t for their skin condition.

Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to get an appointment with a dermatologist. — there may not be any with availability in your area, an in-person visit might conflict with your schedule, or you might not have insurance coverage. Whatever your conflicting circumstances may be, an online provider specializing in dermatology may be the solution. One such service is Musely, a lifestyle website turned telehealth platform that offers virtual consultations and dermatology prescriptions delivered to your front door.

But do Musely’s prescription treatments actually work? And are they a good value for the price? In our review, we’ll cover all of this and more to help you determine if Musely is right for you.

Our Findings

Editor's Rating4.00


  • Some treatments (like those for rosacea) aren’t offered by most competitors
  • Multiple product formulations mean more flexibility in how you treat your skin concerns
  • Several prescription strengths are much higher than what you’d find from competitors
  • Your first 60 days of treatment come with unlimited dermatologist consultations
  • Musely reward points can be used for money off future purchases
  • 60-day guarantee on certain prescription products
  • Subscriptions take 30% off each recurring purchase


  • Guarantee is very strict and doesn’t apply to all Musely prescriptions
  • Hair loss treatment vehicles are more limited than those from competitors (e.g., no foam)
  • Certain ingredients, like hydroquinone, have some safety concerns
  • Shipping can take longer than expected due to prescription compounding
  • Initial purchase tacks on an additional $20 fee for your doctor visit

Overall, Musely can be an excellent one-stop solution for finding a nice selection of potentially effective prescriptions for your dermatology needs, especially if you’re in search of a unique or stronger-than-normal treatment. This effectiveness introduces a bit of a safety risk when it comes to certain ingredients like hydroquinone. Compared to close competitors, Musely’s subscription can save you money in the long run, though its subsequently higher upfront cost isn’t always ideal for everyone’s situation. Musely’s products are generally only available directly from the company website; only the Cleanser and Day Cream bundle is available via Amazon, but shopping for it there will not save you any money in this case.

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Why you should trust us

Over the past two decades, Innerbody Research has helped tens of millions of readers make more informed decisions involving staying healthy and living healthier lifestyles.

For our review of Musely, we pored over 80 scientific journals and studies and drew from hundreds of hours of experience evaluating hair and skincare products to critique the company’s dermatology prescription offerings. To get a better understanding of the customer experience, our team also interacted with Musely’s platform — exploring the website, interacting with customer service, taking the intake questionnaire, and ultimately purchasing prescriptions to collect hands-on information.

Additionally, like all health-related content on this website, this review was thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy.

How we evaluated Musely

When evaluating a service like Musely, we often take a few key criteria into consideration. The effectiveness of its treatments comes first — without being effective, there really isn’t a point in using them. Safety is a close second; with so many ingredients across Musely’s various formulas, it’s important to make sure none of them can harm you. The cost of Musely came next; if a product is too expensive, you can’t keep up with the necessary regimen. And last but not least is convenience, a criterion that can vary from person to person but is still a vital part of the customer experience.


Rating: 8.3 / 10

Overall, Musely uses generally effective ingredients for its prescription products. But, while many of these ingredients are in doses or strengths equivalent to or higher than those found in successful studies, some do fall short of what researchers used. For example, Musely’s hydroquinone strength in The Spot Cream ranges from 6-12%, which is quite a bit higher than the 2-5% seen in most studies, but the 6% eflornithine strength in The Facial Hair Cream is less than half of the 13.9% used in research and the FDA-approved hair removal treatment, Vaniqa.

These occasional lower doses may be due to the fact that Musely often combines multiple potentially effective ingredients into its formulas. But if this is the case, we’d ultimately prefer a product with fewer ingredients, all at strengths equivalent to those in successful research studies. Fortunately, the underdosing issue isn’t very common in Musely’s products; many of the “hero ingredients” are adequately dosed.

When pitted against competitors, Musely also tends to offer comparable ingredients in higher doses. Here’s a quick look at how Musely compares to Apostrophe in some skincare treatment ingredient strengths:

TretinoinUp to 0.1%Up to 0.1%
Azelaic acidUp to 20%15% only
HydroquinoneUp to 12%6% only

Unfortunately, you won’t find clindamycin, a common and effective antibiotic treatment for acne, or similar antibiotics from Musely. If you’re interested in trying clindamycin or other antibiotics to control breakouts, then competitors Hims, Hers, or Apostrophe may be a better choice. We hope Musely will consider adding similar offerings to its wide lineup of treatments someday to serve an even wider population.


Rating: 7.7 / 10

Starting with the prescriptions, Musely’s offerings should be generally safe if used as directed by your assigned dermatologist. It’s important to be honest on your intake questionnaire (your “doctor visit”) so that you don’t receive a prescription that could put your health at risk.

Certain ingredients, including (but not limited to) hydroquinone, tranexamic acid, and estriol, can have some serious risks, but following your treatment directions and maintaining open communication with your doctor is key. We cover more of the potential risks and dangers of the ingredients in Musely’s treatments in the “Is Musely Safe?” section further below.

When it comes to the company itself, Musely has the makings of a pretty safe service. It’s LegitScript certified and HIPAA-compliant, and all of its dermatologists are board-certified with publicly available credentials. And the pharmacies Musely uses are 503A compounding pharmacies, which comply with FDA regulations.

In comparison, the privacy policy on the Hims website states, “Hims & Hers is not a ‘covered entity’ under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, Public Law 104-191, and its related regulations and amendments from time to time (collectively, ‘HIPAA’).” Basically, it goes on to explain that sometimes your information is covered under HIPAA but not always. While your protected health information (PHI) is covered, “...HIPAA may not apply to your transactions or communications with Hims & Hers, the Medical Groups, the Providers, the Labs, or the Pharmacies.”


Rating: 8.9 / 10

When searching for something to help treat your hair and skin concerns, the cost of a product can impact your likelihood of sticking with the treatment and ultimately seeing results. At first glance, Musely seems very expensive, especially if you only consider its one-time purchase pricing. However, a majority (if not all) of Musely’s prescriptions are intended to be used long-term, meaning that the less-expensive subscriptions are the most likely course of action for many people.

It’s also noteworthy that Musely’s subscriptions (which take 30% off) are billed for multiple months at a time — usually two, but sometimes three or six — instead of every month. This generally means that Musely's upfront cost is greater than that of its competitors, but you’ll pay less over time. And Musely’s prescriptions often contain more potentially beneficial ingredients or higher concentrations than the competition, meaning they may provide more “value” for the price depending on your situation.

Here’s a quick subscription cost comparison of Musely's prescription anti-aging cream and prescription hair loss serum with those of its close competitors. (Apostrophe doesn’t carry hair loss products but does have treatments for fine lines.)

Rx anti-agingRx hair loss serum
MuselyAnti-Aging Repair is $67 for two months ($33.50 per month)The Hair Topical is $92 for three months ($30.67 per month)
HimsRx Anti-Aging is $58 to $90 for two months ($29 to $45 per month)Rx Hair Loss Serum starts at $45 per month
HersRx Anti-Aging is $58 to $90 for two months ($29 to $45 per month)Rx Hair Blends Solution starts at $39 per month
Ro (Roman)Custom Rx Skincare is $58 for two months ($29 per month)Hair Solution Rx is $40 per month for women and $50 per month for men (billed quarterly)
ApostropheAnti-Aging Treatment is $75 for three months ($25 per month)N/A

While Musely doesn’t currently accept insurance as payment, you can use HSA/FSA to cover your treatment via reimbursement. When (and if) your prescription order is approved, the company can provide you with the necessary documentation, including a detailed invoice and a copy of your prescription. In comparison, here’s how some of Musely’s competitors handle HSA/FSA:

  • Neither Hims nor Hers accepts HSA/FSA or will offer documents for reimbursement (the Terms and Conditions you need to agree to even include a section stating that you will not submit a claim for reimbursement).
  • Ro (Roman) can’t accept HSA/FSA cards as payment, but it will provide a detailed receipt and prescription copy for reimbursement claims.
  • Apostrophe accepts some HSA/FSA cards as payment, and you can access invoices from your account.

Additionally, it’s worthwhile to mention that Musely charges an additional one-time $20 fee for your initial doctor’s visit. (Some other companies, like Hims and Hers, have free consultations.)


Rating: 7.9 / 10

By offering a virtual doctor visit with prescriptions delivered to your door (and easy-to-adjust subscriptions), Musely is a pretty convenient service at its core — but it’s even more so for those with multiple dermatology-related concerns. In comparison to Musely’s sizable catalog, the competitors we mention throughout this guide (Him, Hers, Ro, and Apostrophe) only offer a small selection of dermatology prescriptions for a few specific needs. Besides being fairly diverse, the prescription products from Musely are also easy to use, with clear instructions, treatment guides, and tips available in the company’s app.

However, our testers felt two inconveniences were worth mentioning. The first is that if you order multiple products, they aren’t shipped together; each prescription is sent separately at different times. From the order being placed to all our items arriving, it was about 12 days in total. The first item shipped the day after the order was placed, the second shipped six days after, and the third and final item shipped after seven days. This wasn’t something that only happened to us; some customer reviews complain about this aspect, as well — so when you get prescriptions from Musely, it’s best to prepare for a similar experience.

The second inconvenience involves the 60-Day Result Guarantee. For one thing, this guarantee doesn’t apply to all products, only a select few (meaning the ineligible ones are final sales). And, if your product does qualify, you’re only eligible for a refund if you diligently complete Musely’s eNurse check-ins in the app without missing a single day. While this may not sound too bad, it’s important to note that you can not go back and fill in the days you miss — once the day has passed, so has your chance to check in. Because of this, we highly recommend completing these eNurse surveys early in the day.

What is Musely?

Musely is a telehealth service focused on treatments for various dermatology concerns, including skin health and hair loss. Founded in 2013, the company was initially a lifestyle content website, but it pivoted to offer dermatology prescriptions in 2019. Musely employs board-certified dermatologists and partners with 503A compounding pharmacies (those that meet certain FDA requirements) to fill its prescriptions.

The company offers treatments for conditions ranging from aging and hair loss to melasma, rosacea, hirsutism, and more. Musely also ensures that most of its prescriptions are vegan, cruelty-free, and gluten-free; the only exception is The Hair Pill, which contains gelatin. Competitor Apostrophe’s topical prescription treatments are similarly vegan and cruelty-free.

When it comes to paying for your prescriptions, Musely doesn’t currently accept insurance, but you can use HSA/FSA to pay for your treatment via reimbursement. When (and if) your prescription order is approved, the company can provide you with the necessary documentation, including a detailed invoice and a copy of your prescription. None of Musely’s close competitors accept insurance, either, but Ro and Apostrophe accept HSA/FSA (the former through reimbursement and the latter by accepting certain cards as payment).

Musely company standing

On the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website, Musely has a 2.77 out of 5 stars and a C rating; the profile is not accredited. Most of the 44 customer reviews and 113 complaints are about the time it takes to receive your prescription in the mail (with some customers feeling the delay was actually the package getting lost). This is likely due to Musely prescriptions being compounded and not pre-packaged, but the company doesn’t explain this to consumers at any point throughout the intake or checkout processes. Our testers also experienced confusion with this, and they received their orders split into individual shipments instead of all together in one.

On Trustpilot, Musely’s verified profile has an average rating of 3.6 stars. Out of the company’s 254 reviews, 61% are 5-star and 23% are 1-star. Many of the 1-star reviews are customers upset about the, as one reviewer puts it, “stringent rules” of the money-back guarantee. These strict conditions were also one of the main reasons we deducted points from Musely’s overall convenience rating.

Who is Musely for?

Musely’s prescription dermatology prescriptions are suitable for a wide range of adult populations experiencing hair loss or various skin concerns. To boil it down to the basics, Musely treats the following for men and women:

  • Hair loss: thinning, widening part, bald spots, and receding hairline
  • Aging: menopausal skin (for assigned female at birth or AFAB individuals), loss of elasticity, fine lines, crow’s feet, uneven texture, dull skin, and large pores
  • Hyperpigmentation (face, body, genitals, or anus): general hyperpigmentation, melasma, sun or age spots, acne scarring, and freckles
  • Rosacea: redness, blushing, pustules, and visible blood vessels
  • Hirsutism: excess, unwanted hair around the chin and mouth

Ultimately, Musely’s treatments should be able to help a large population of adults with various dermatology concerns and conditions — especially considering that most of the prescriptions are available in multiple formulations.

For example, The Spot Cream, intended for treating facial hyperpigmentation, comes in five formulas. Each formula contains different ingredients at various concentrations to suit the needs of a wider population. The formulas M+, Erase, and Nurture contain hydroquinone, “the standard” ingredient for treating hyperpigmentation. However, hydroquinone comes with some potential risks, such as permanent skin discoloration (or “ochronosis”). For those who’d prefer to avoid this ingredient, Musely also offers two hydroquinone-free formulas, HQ Free and HQ Free+. (You can read more about all of this in our full review of Musely Spot Cream.)

Insider Tip: If you’re nursing or pregnant and dealing with hyperpigmentation from the related endocrinological changes, then the HQ Free version of The Spot Cream (without the “+”) contains ingredients that should be generally safe — but we always recommend speaking with your doctor first.

Besides those with facial hyperpigmentation, the following (non-exhaustive) list contains some adult populations that Musely’s prescriptions may be suitable for:

  • Individuals with hyperpigmentation elsewhere on their bodies, including private areas
  • AFAB women dealing with skin concerns due to the hormonal changes of menopause (particularly lower estrogen)
  • People concerned about signs of aging on the face, neck, chest, or body
  • Those with hirsutism (unwanted, excessive hair growth on the face, chest, and back) due to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), Cushing syndrome, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, adrenal tumors, or even certain medications
  • Individuals who are concerned about hair loss due to androgenetic alopecia (male or female pattern baldness)
  • Those with facial redness, blushing, pustules, or visible blood vessels from rosacea
  • People with keratosis pilaris (dry patches of skin with tiny bumps) on their arms, thighs, cheeks, or buttocks

Who should look elsewhere?

While Musely offers a wide range of dermatology prescriptions for adults of any sex or gender, they may not suit everyone’s needs. The following list contains some examples of those who may want to look elsewhere for treatment.

  • If you’re seeking out hair loss treatments for the first time, then Musely’s prescription formulas may be too strong. Instead of jumping into a topical with 8% minoxidil mixed with dutasteride, tretinoin, and several other ingredients, you might be better off starting with an over-the-counter product like the 2% minoxidil from Hers or the 5% from Hims.
  • Some people prefer using foams or sprays for their hair loss topicals; in those cases, Hims, Hers, or Roman would be better options.
  • If you have active acne breakouts and want to control them, you might be better off trying the acne treatments from Hims, Hers, or Apostrophe, especially if you’d prefer a prescription with an antibiotic like clindamycin.
  • Those with any estrogen-sensitive conditions (such as certain breast or ovarian cancers) should avoid The Aging Repair Cream, as it contains estrogen in the form of estriol. The original Anti-Aging Cream, on the other hand, is hormone-free.

Musely prescription and OTC products

Musely Review Anti Aging Cream

Photo by Innerbody Research

One of Musely's standout aspects is that most of its prescription products come in at least two distinct formulas. These variations typically include different ingredients and strengths, and they’re often meant to tackle a specific problem or achieve a certain goal. For example, The Neck Cream is an anti-aging and dark spot treatment with one formula designed for the neck and another for the chest (two of the most common places for dark spots from sun or UV exposure to occur).

Competing services, like Ro, Hims, and Hers, all have “customized” skincare options along with their respective hair loss treatments. However, that customization doesn’t come close to what Musely offers. The following table provides some quick details on Musely’s prescriptions, including their purpose and the number of available formulas.

For treating…Number of formulasAdditional notes
The Spot CreamHyperpigmentation5For the face
The Spot PillMelasma only1First order comes with second “A.M.” formula to kickstart treatment
The Spot PeelHyperpigmentation2Supplemental to The Spot Cream
The Neck CreamHyperpigmentation2For the neck and chest
The Body CreamHyperpigmentation and keratosis pilaris3 (including one specifically for keratosis pilaris)Intended for the hands, arms, legs, and feet
The Private CreamHyperpigmentation2For treating the genitals, anus, inner thighs, and underarms
The Anti-Aging CreamWrinkles, fine lines, dull skin, large pores, uneven texture3The only difference between each formula is the tretinoin strength
The Aging Repair CreamMenopausal skin concerns: loss of elasticity, wrinkles, fine lines, and other signs of aging1Contains estrogen (estriol)
The Eye SerumCrow’s feet and eye wrinkles1Contains a small amount of caffeine
The Hair PillHair loss, thinning, widening part, bald spots, and receding hairline5 for women; 4 for menThe formulas for men and women have similar names, but sometimes different ingredients or strengths
The Hair Topical SolutionHair loss, thinning, widening part, bald spots, and receding hairline1 for women; 1 for menThe formulas are both called “Keep,” but the ingredients differ between the two
The Facial Hair CreamUnwanted facial hair; hirsutism1Doesn’t remove the hair, rather it’s meant to slow growth
The Red RescueRosacea1For soothing irritation
The Red SetRosacea1 for The Rosacea Mask; 2 for The Rosacea Cream; 1 for The Rosacea PillThe Rosacea Mask contains sulfur; The Rosacea Pill is an optional add-on
The Rosacea CreamRosacea2Standalone product for those who can’t use the Rosacea Mask included in The Red Set due to sulfa sensitivities or allergies

Overall, Musely definitely has more prescription skincare products available than competitors, even services also focused on dermatology (like Apostrophe). We hope to maybe see more competitors branch out to offer treatments for other conditions, like rosacea, in the future.

Musely Review Cleanser Day Cream

Photo by Innerbody Research

Besides prescriptions, Musely also has a cleanser (The Cleanser) and a sunscreen (The Day Cream; SPF 50) that are available as add-ons when you make your initial purchase. If you don’t get them at checkout, you’ll still be able to purchase them at a later date if you choose.

The Musely Marketplace

While it’s a bit hidden away (you need to click “Marketplace” on the footer at the very bottom of the website), Musely also sells various products from other brands. Similar to Musely’s own products, most (if not all) of the items in the marketplace seem to be vegan or eco-friendly.

Some of the products are things you might expect from a dermatology-focused service, such as makeup, but others, like candles and water bottles, feel a bit out of place. The categories are as follows:

  • Makeup
  • Skincare
  • Bath & body
  • Hair
  • Fragrance
  • Men
  • Baby
  • Home

There isn’t too much to go over here, except for something interesting we found in the skincare category — there’s a Musely prescription pill that isn’t found anywhere else on the website, “The Estrogen Boost.” Clicking on this product takes you to a 404 page with a picture of a kitten on it. This may be an upcoming prescription, or one the company decided against at some point. From our research, it’s never been released before, so we’ll keep an eye out for any potential reveals and update this review accordingly.

Is Musely safe?

Before delving into the safety of Musely’s prescriptions, let’s first take a quick look at the company itself.

  • Musely’s dermatologists are all board-certified, and their credentials are publicly available for you to view.
  • The company is LegitScript certified as a telemedicine provider. LegitScript is recognized by large brands like Google and Microsoft, and certification requires compliance with all applicable state and federal laws.
  • Musely and its online platform are HIPAA-compliant.
  • All of Musely’s partner pharmacies are 503A compounding pharmacies (those that comply with Section 503A of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act) that adhere to USP 797 guidelines, “Pharmaceutical Compounding – Sterile Preparations.”

Now, let’s pivot to the prescriptions. When used as directed by your assigned dermatologist, Musely’s prescriptions should generally be safe for most healthy adults. However, certain ingredients in some of the various formulas may involve some risks; the chart below offers some more information.


Perhaps the most controversial ingredient available in some of Musely’s formulas, hydroquinone may cause mild side effects (like redness and irritation) or severe ones (such as permanent skin discoloration, thyroid disorders, aplastic anemia, and a potentially higher risk of certain cancers). The potential severe side effects are very rare, and they’re more common in those who use hydroquinone over extended periods (multiple years).

In 2006, the FDA banned hydroquinone from being sold in over-the-counter (OTC) products. However, some dermatology experts argue that the FDA’s ban is too harsh and that the decision was hastily based on results from oral hydroquinone use in mice and rats.

Azelaic acid

Azelaic acid is usually well tolerated in topical strengths ranging from 5% to 20% (Musely’s formulas contain it in concentrations up to 20%), with mild, transient skin irritation as the most common side effect.

Tranexamic acid

Generally, tranexamic acid is well tolerated, but the safety of long-term use is unknown. In rare cases, oral tranexamic acid may lead to adverse effects like gastrointestinal issues, itching, tinnitus, headaches, hair shedding, transient amnesia, tremors, heart palpitations, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), or heavier-than-normal menstrual periods.

However, it’s important to remember that these side effects are fairly rare. Out of 561 patients in one study investigating oral tranexamic acid for melasma, only 7% reported concerns, with most being transient. (And Musely’s oral tranexamic acid doses are lower than what’s often used in studies, which may make it safer.)


This retinoid’s side effects most often include mild skin redness, irritation, or dryness. These should subside as your skin adjusts to the treatment. Tretinoin, like other retinoids, makes your skin more sensitive to sun exposure, so it’s important to apply sunscreen daily (and reapply every two hours) while using a treatment containing tretinoin.

Those who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant should not use tretinoin, as there is a high risk it can lead to birth defects.


Diclofenac is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that — even with topical use — may interact with certain medications, such as those for blood clotting and blood pressure, as well as steroids and other NSAIDs like aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil).


While very rare, tacrolimus may increase the risk of skin cancer or lymphoma. There’s currently not enough information to determine whether or not this is a true danger, but it’s still worth mentioning. Musely’s strength of tacrolimus is about half or less of what’s used in successful studies, which doesn’t bode well for efficacy, but it does make the treatments containing it (The Eye Cream and the keratosis pilaris formula for The Body Cream) potentially safer to use.


Side effects for oxymetazoline are mild and fairly rare, with 1-3% of users reporting application site redness, itching, or dermatitis. Otherwise, this ingredient appears to be generally safe.


As with many other drugs, it’s recommended to keep topical ivermectin away from your eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. Side effects are generally mild and may include a burning feeling on the application site or dry skin. If you experience a rash or trouble breathing, or your initially mild side effects worsen, it’s best to discontinue use and contact your doctor.


As a form of estrogen, estriol (and other estrogens) should be avoided by those with estrogen-sensitive conditions or cancers. Using estrogen can also increase your risk of endometrial cancer, breast cancer, heart attacks, strokes, blood clots, and dementia.

Sodium sulfacetamide

Sodium sulfacetamide is a sulfonamide antibiotic or a “sulfa drug.” Some people may have allergic or unusual reactions to sulfa drugs and should avoid using them.


Topical minoxidil in concentrations of 2-5% is FDA-approved for androgenetic alopecia in men and women. This does mean that Musely’s 8% is higher than the FDA-approved strength, so it may increase your risk of adverse effects. It’s normal to experience some itching, redness, or burning when you first start to use topical minoxidil, but if it’s severe, doesn’t stop, or you develop symptoms of an allergic reaction, then it’s best to stop treatment and contact your doctor.

Overall, low-dose oral minoxidil (LDOM), as used by Musely, Ro, Hims, and Hers, should be a safe treatment option for most healthy adults. However, it may lead to hypertrichosis (excessive hair growth on the body), lightheadedness, fluid retention, tachycardia, headaches, and weight gain. And technically, minoxidil is an antihypertensive drug, so it can interact with medications used to treat high blood pressure.


In a study of 712 male subjects being treated with 0.5mg oral dutasteride for androgenetic alopecia, 15.4% (110) reported adverse effects, with only 0.6% (four subjects) reporting severe ones. The most frequent side effects were a decreased libido (1.3%), indigestion (1.1%), erectile dysfunction (1%), and fatigue (0.7%). Overall, researchers felt oral dutasteride is a safe treatment option for hair loss in men. However, the Mayo Clinic notes that this medication may increase the risk of developing high-grade prostate cancer.

Side effects for women appear similar (constipation, nausea, headache, libido reduction, dry skin, etc.), but more high-quality safety research is required for dutasteride use in this group. If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, this medication should be avoided entirely — not even touched — as it can lead to birth defects in male fetuses.


Due to its anti-androgen properties (it stops male hormones from working properly), spironolactone is only found in a few formulas of Musely’s hair loss treatments for women. This drug can affect blood pressure, and it may not work properly if you have certain medical conditions, such as Addison’s disease, anuria, hyperkalemia, gout, kidney disease, or liver disease. Common side effects include dizziness, nausea, muscle cramping, fatigue, and swelling of the breast or breast soreness.

The above chart only offers some of the potential risks of using certain ingredients and is not entirely comprehensive. Because of this (and many other reasons), we recommend speaking with your doctor before starting a new prescription product. This goes for the prescription skincare items from Hims, Hers, Roman, and Apostrophe, too; their products contain some similar ingredients. For example, you can also get a hydroquinone treatment from Apostrophe.

If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, the only Musely products that may potentially be safe for use are The Rosacea Cream in the Blush formula and The Spot Cream in the HQ Free (without the “+”) formula, both of which can be requested during your intake questionnaire. Again, it’s important to speak with your doctor first — especially when it concerns the safety of your baby.

Additionally, whether you’ve had a negative reaction to skincare products before or not, The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) suggests performing a spot test when adding something new to your regimen, even if the ingredients appear perfectly safe. You can find instructions on how to do so in the following section.

How to perform a spot test

When adding a new product to your daily routine, it’s important to make sure it won’t cause a reaction. The steps to conduct a spot test are as follows:

  1. Choose a quarter-sized spot on the underside of your arm where you want to apply the test product.
  2. Apply the product to that area in the same amount as you would if using the product normally.
  3. Repeat this process for 7-10 days; if you don’t have a reaction (like itchy, swollen skin), then you should be fine to use the product.

Keep in mind that certain ingredients, like retinol, often cause redness, peeling, or itchy skin at first, but this is a normal and temporary reaction — especially if you have sensitive skin.

If you do develop a reaction to a product, wash it off gently and refrain from using it again. For mild redness or irritation, a cool compress should provide some relief. However, if your reaction is severe or doesn’t seem to be going away, then seeing a doctor in person may be necessary. But, if you can’t make it to a doctor in person right away, then taking advantage of Musely’s 60 days of free consultations could be an alternative.

Do Musely’s prescriptions work?

Musely Review Hair Solution

Photo by Innerbody Research

Each Musely prescription formula has one or two standout ingredients, some of which aren’t typically found from competitors — like topical oxymetazoline for rosacea. But the ingredients Musely uses are only as remarkable as their ability to help you. Thankfully, Musely’s prescriptions do have the potential to work for most people when used as directed. However, everyone’s skin is different, and treatments that work for one person may not work for another. (This applies to treatments from any provider, though, not just Musely.)

When investigating if a treatment sounds ideal for you, it can be helpful to learn a bit about the research behind a product. Musely’s formulas often employ different hero ingredients — the main driver behind potential benefits — in varying concentrations or strengths. Since there are so many different formulary combinations available from Musely, the chart below provides a quick rundown of the research behind some of these star ingredients.


This ingredient is found in formulas of The Spot Cream (in strengths of 6% and 12%), The Body Cream (12%), The Private Cream (12%), The Neck Cream (8%), and The Spot Peel (12%).

Considered “the standard” for treating concerns like melasma, freckles, sun spots, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from acne, hydroquinone has successfully reduced the appearance of hyperpigmentation in concentrations much lower (2-5%) than what Musely uses. This means that Musely’s hydroquinone doses should be effective but might be too strong for some patients.

Azelaic acid

Azelaic acid is included in formulas of The Spot Cream (at 10% and 20%), The Spot Peel (20%), and The Rosacea Cream (17%).

In two separate studies investigating the efficacy of 15% azelaic acid for rosacea, researchers found the treatment significantly improved inflammatory lesions and redness. And, for hyperpigmentation, a 15-20% concentration of azelaic acid has shown to be a well-tolerated treatment that may actually work better than hydroquinone, though more research is necessary.

Tranexamic acid

Available in The Spot Pill (a 225mg pill) and formulas of The Spot Cream (6%) and The Private Cream (6%), tranexamic acid appears to be particularly effective in treating hyperpigmentation due to sun exposure and melasma. In concentrations of 2-3%, topical tranexamic acid, by itself or combined with other ingredients (like vitamin C or kojic acid), performed well in studies investigating its efficacy in treating hyperpigmentation caused by sun damage or UV exposure. A 2022 systematic review notes that improvement occurred in as little as two weeks, resulting in “a noticeable change” in the appearance of hyperpigmentation and skin texture, among other things.

Oral tranexamic acid has mainly been studied and prescribed for melasma, though it has shown promise in treating other forms of hyperpigmentation. While 225mg is occasionally the dose used in successful studies, most use a little over double (500mg) or higher (650-1,500mg), with some researchers finding the “optimal dose” to be 750mg per day. Musely starts The Spot Pill treatment with a second daily pill, bringing the initial dose up to 450mg — much closer to the doses used in most studies.


This retinoid can be found in the formulas of seven different Musely treatments: The Anti-Aging Cream (0.025%, 0.05%, and 0.1%), The Body Cream (0.01% and 0.015%), The Neck Cream (0.025% and 0.01%), The Spot Peel (0.01%), The Eye Serum (0.001%), and The Hair Topical Solution for men and women (both at 0.01%). To sum it up, Musely employs tretinoin in the treatment of hyperpigmentation, aging, and hair loss.

For hyperpigmentation, a 2022 review on the effectiveness of topical retinoids as treatment notes success for solo tretinoin usage at 0.05-0.1%, particularly for Black and Hispanic study participants. In the treatment of photoaging, a separate 2022 systematic review explains that topical tretinoin in strengths ranging from 0.025% to 5% improved various signs of aging, including the appearance of wrinkles. And, finally, for hair loss, a 2019 study notes that tretinoin may increase minoxidil response, making the treatment work in those who were previously “nonresponders.”


This ingredient is only found in one formula of The Body Cream, specifically the one intended for the treatment of keratosis pilaris (0.85%). Interestingly, diclofenac isn’t a typical treatment for keratosis pilaris, but it can be part of a conditional treatment for a related condition called actinic keratosis when mixed with hyaluronic acid. Diclofenac might be able to help keratosis pilaris due to both conditions being forms of hyperkeratosis (overproduction of keratin), but no research exists to support or refute this possibility.


Typically used to prevent rejection of an organ transplant, tacrolimus is found in The Eye Cream (0.025%) and the keratosis pilaris formula of The Body Cream (0.05%).

A small 2022 study on 0.1% tacrolimus ointment for the treatment of keratosis pilaris found it to be an effective option. In particular, it reduced the appearance of redness and follicular prominence (the characteristic lesions or bumps of keratosis pilaris). Unfortunately, The Body Cream formula only contains half of what this and other successful studies used. For aging, the only research that may suggest benefits focuses on adults with atopic dermatitis. In a 2004 study, researchers found 0.1% tacrolimus increased collagen synthesis. Again, however, this is a higher dose than what Musely uses.


This ingredient is most commonly found in nasal decongestant sprays (under the brand name Afrin, for instance) — but, in Musely’s case, it’s only included in The Red Rescue (0.88%) for the treatment of persistent facial redness.

A 2021 review of topical 1% oxymetazoline notes that it’s “well-tolerated, safe, and effective” for treating persistent facial redness from rosacea. Researchers continue by stating it “is an important component of combination treatment regimens.” The strength studied is pretty close to Musely’s, but it’s still higher than what’s in The Red Rescue.


Instead of being used orally for roundworm infections, Musely includes this drug as a topical ingredient in one formula of The Rosacea Cream (1%).

In a 2015 review of once-daily 1% ivermectin cream for rosacea, researchers determined that it was effective in decreasing inflammatory lesions better than topical metronidazole (another effective treatment for rosacea lesions that’s also included in this formula).


Not to be confused with estrone or estradiol, estriol is the weakest of the three estrogen types and the most abundant during pregnancy. Musely uses estriol in The Aging Repair Cream (0.3%) to treat menopausal skin concerns, like loss of elasticity.

Most research on topical estrogen for menopausal skin focuses on estradiol instead of estriol, but the few studies that do exist have shown promising results. According to a 2019 review, one study using 1mg estriol cream found that elasticity (in 50% of patients) and skin thickness (in 29% of patients) improved. And a separate study pitting 0.3% estriol against 0.01% estradiol resulted in a reduction in facial skin aging for both groups, but estriol’s effects were “slightly superior” in onset and duration.


This drug is used to treat unwanted facial hair in women, and it’s appropriately found in The Facial Hair Cream (6%).

While eflornithine can be effective in reducing unwanted facial hair due to hirsutism, hypertrichosis, PCOS, or simply the normal aging process, most research uses a strength of 13.9%. In fact, the first FDA-approved eflornithine treatment for unwanted facial hair in women, Vaniqa, has a strength of 13.9%. The only research we could find with a lower dose was a small 2007 study that showed 11.5% eflornithine decreased facial hair density, length, and growth rate. Unfortunately, Musely’s 6% eflornithine is less than half of what’s used in successful studies and analogous prescriptions.


Minoxidil, found in The Hair Topical Solution (8%) and The Hair Pill (1-2mg) for both men and women, is commonly used to treat androgenetic alopecia (male- or female-patterned hair loss).

As a topical, minoxidil (5% foam, 5% solution, and 2% solution) is FDA-approved for treating androgenetic alopecia. Because of this, most available research has been conducted on 2% and 5% minoxidil, but a 2022 review examined the few studies comparing concentrations up to 15%. Generally, results were better with higher concentrations, but that increase in efficacy often came with more side effects, like contact dermatitis and hypertrichosis (excessive hair growth elsewhere on the body). And low dose oral minoxidil in daily doses of 0.25-1.25mg for women and 2.5-5mg for men has shown stabilization and improvement of hair loss in studies.


Another ingredient found in The Hair Topical Solution (0.3%) and The Hair Pill (0.4mg) for both men and women, dutasteride appears to be an effective therapy for androgenetic alopecia. While there isn’t too much research on topical dutasteride, oral forms of the treatment (in doses ranging from 0.15-0.5mg) have shown promising results in studies on both men and women.

Generally, most of these ingredients are used in doses and strengths similar to or higher than what we see in the research, but it is a bit disappointing that a few of them (like eflornithine) aren’t. This could be due to Musely’s formulas often containing more than one potentially helpful ingredient. For example, the low dose of tacrolimus in The Eye Cream is paired with other potentially effective inclusions, such as tretinoin and vitamin C, among others.

Compared to competitors, Musely also tends to offer higher strengths of these ingredients. Hers’ Anti-Aging Rx Cream, for instance, contains up to 0.09% tretinoin, while Musely’s can go up to 0.1%.

Musely pricing, refunds, and guarantee

While Musely may seem expensive at first glance, especially the one-time purchases, the subscription cost per month is often around the same or lower than much of its competition. So, if you have the means to pay more upfront, then you should be able to save money in the long run by subscribing.

The chart below offers current pricing information for all of Musely’s prescriptions, including the single purchase, subscription, and monthly costs. A majority of Musely’s prescriptions are 2-month supplies, but some are 3- or even 6-months’ worth.

Single purchase priceSubscription cost
The Spot Cream (2 months)$96 ($48 per month)$67 ($33.50 per month)
The Spot Pill (3 months)$117 ($39 per month)$82 ($27.33 per month)
The Spot Peel (6 months)$141 ($23.50 per month)$99 ($16.50 per month)
The Private Cream (2 months)$96 ($48 per month)$67 ($33.50 per month)
The Body Cream (2 months)$127 ($63.50 per month)$89 ($44.50 per month)
The Neck Cream (2 months)$91 ($45.50 per month)$64 ($32 per month)
The Anti-Aging Cream (2 months)$96 ($48 per month)$67 ($33.50 per month)
The Aging Repair Cream (2 months)$96 ($48 per month)$67 ($33.50 per month)
The Eye Serum (2 months)$109 ($54.50 per month)$76 ($38 per month)
The Hair Pill (3 months)$124 ($41.33 per month)$87 ($29 per month)
The Hair Topical Solution (3 months)$131 ($43.67 per month)$92 ($30.67 per month)
The Red Set (2 months)$170 ($85 per month)$119 ($59.50 per month)
The Rosacea Pill (2 months)$96 ($48 per month)$67 ($33.50 per month)
The Red Rescue (2 months)$96 ($48 per month)$67 ($33.50 per month)
The Facial Hair Cream (2 months)$110 ($55 per month)$77 ($38.50 per month)

As you can see, subscribing can save you a decent amount of money versus purchasing these prescriptions once. The subscriptions are also easy enough to cancel that we’d recommend subscribing even if you only want to try something one time. Some competitors, like Hims and Hers, only offer subscriptions for their prescription products, but they’re similarly easy to adjust or cancel if you want to try a product once. And Hims and Hers both offer options for extended billing cycles (i.e., yearly instead of monthly), which can often net you some additional savings.

Currently, Musely only offers two over-the-counter (OTC) products — The Day Cream and The Cleanser. Pricing for those items is as follows (The Cleanser isn’t available as a subscription):

One-time purchaseSubscription
The Day Cream$26$23.40
The Cleanser$14N/A

It’s worth mentioning that you can add both of these items to your initial prescription purchase as a bundle for $18, which is quite a bit less than the usual prices.

Musely doesn’t currently accept insurance (similar to its competition), but it does work with HSA/FSA to cover your prescription via reimbursement if your plan allows. Musely will provide you with a detailed invoice and copy of your prescription if you request it. In comparison, both Ro and Apostrophe will also provide you with the documentation needed for reimbursement claims, but the latter can also accept certain HSA/FSA cards as direct payment. Hims and Hers, on the other hand, do not accept HSA/FSA, will not provide you with the necessary documentation for reimbursement, and the terms you agree to has a section forbidding reimbursement claims.

Refunds and the 60-Day Result Guarantee

To start off, Musely explicitly states that its prescription treatments “are nonrefundable and nonreturnable.” This means that your only chance of getting a refund is complying with the strict requirements of the 60-Day Result Guarantee — if your treatment qualifies.

Musely doesn’t explain why this guarantee is limited to only a select few products, but the applicable prescriptions include:

  • The Anti-Aging Cream
  • The Aging Repair Cream
  • The Spot Cream
  • The Body Cream
  • The Facial Hair Cream
  • The Red Rescue
  • The Red Set

If your treatment is covered by the guarantee, then you’ll need to make sure you adhere to the strict rules put in place by Musely to maintain that protection. Downloading the Musely mobile app is required, and you’ll have to do 60 days' worth of eNurse check-ins on how your prescription is working for you. However, the schedule for these check-ins changes; they start off daily but then change to 20-, 40-, and 60-day check-ins. This can make things more difficult to remember and keep up with (especially if you have multiple ongoing treatments), but setting reminders and enabling app notifications may help.

In the unfortunate event that you miss one of these check-ins, you can’t go back and complete it the next day — you’ll be locked out of the missed check-in and likely locked out of actually taking advantage of the guarantee if your prescription doesn’t work as you hoped.

Insider Tip: In our testers’ experience, you’ll be locked out of completing the day’s check-in right at midnight. Because of this, we highly recommend completing your eNurse visits in the morning, just to be safe.

Interestingly, Musely doesn’t consider side effects to be a valid reason for seeking a refund under the guarantee. In the terms, the company lists out the cases in which it “does NOT guarantee results.” One of these cases is: “Normal side effects are experienced. Some people may experience side effects such as, but not limited to: redness, peeling, dryness, irritation, allergic reaction, itching, or breakouts.” So, apparently, not even an allergic reaction falls under Musely’s definition of “not satisfied with your results.”

In the end, while we can appreciate that Musely even offers a guarantee at all (unlike its competitors), we do wish it was more forgiving.

Our experience with Musely

Musely Review Spot Cream Texture

Photo by Innerbody Research

To learn more about the Musely customer experience, our testers purchased three different prescriptions:

  • The Spot Cream (HQ Free+)
  • The Anti-Aging Cream (Veteran)
  • The Hair Topical Solution (Keep)

We also opted for The Cleanser and The Day Cream add-on bundle with The Anti-Aging Cream to make it into a kit, but these additional OTC products can be used with any of the Musely prescriptions — and you’ll see them mentioned fairly often as you complete the eNurse check-ins. The Cleanser and The Day Cream are less expensive when you add them at checkout, but they’re sold individually, too.

Musely Review Anti Aging Kit

Photo by Innerbody Research

Our testers’ prescriptions didn’t ship all together like when they ordered Rx items from competitors, like Hims and Hers; instead, they were prepared and shipped several days apart. It wasn’t a horrendous wait by any means, but Musely doesn’t let you know about this beforehand. Some reviews we read during our research were from customers who thought their prescriptions were lost, but it was likely just the same staggered delivery we experienced. Because of this, it’s important to keep the potential wait in mind if you end up purchasing multiple medications.

Musely Review The Hair Solution Dropper

Photo by Innerbody Research

Once they had the products on hand, our testers found Musely’s treatments easy to use overall. One tester expressed a preference for foam hair loss treatment over Musely’s liquid solution, but that’s a matter of personal preference.

In terms of side effects, a couple of testers who tried The Anti-Aging Cream did experience the typical redness and itching that comes from using a retinoid, but this faded off after a few weeks of consistent use.

Getting started with Musely

Getting started with Musely is very straightforward. In the past, our testers have encountered some confusion when navigating competitor websites to find what they were looking for (Hers, in particular), but Musely’s website keeps things pretty simple. The homepage immediately lists six different categories that the company offers treatments for:

  • Dark Spots
  • Anti-Aging
  • Hair Loss
  • Body/Private
  • Rosacea
  • Enhancers

The name of the final category, “Enhancers,” isn’t the most descriptive, but it includes treatments for slowing facial hair growth, reducing facial redness, and improving loss of skin elasticity due to menopause.

If you’re not sure where to start, you can click the “Shop all treatments” button right below the aforementioned categories to view all the prescriptions Musely has to offer. These are initially organized from most to least popular, but you can also sort them by release date (“New”) and price.

Musely Review Survey Questions

Photo by Innerbody Research

Once you’ve decided which prescriptions you’d like and added them to your cart, you can proceed to checkout and complete an intake survey — this is your virtual doctor appointment. The questionnaire covers topics like your age, biological sex, ethnicity, medical history, pregnancy status, and the formulas you’d prefer to have for your treatments (if you have a preference). You’ll also be asked to attach photos of your treatment area from various angles. For instance, applying for The Anti-Aging Cream prescription required our testers to upload face pictures from the front and both sides.

After answering all of the questions, you’ll be asked to confirm that you understand and agree to the terms of Musely’s eNurse program and the 60-Day Results Guarantee. If your particular Musely prescription is covered by the guarantee, you’ll need to complete 60 days of consistent app check-ins to be eligible for a refund if your treatment doesn’t work for you.

Musely Review 60 Day Guarantee

Photo by Innerbody Research

Though this strict guarantee did cause us to shave some points off Musely’s convenience score, none of our mentioned competitors (Hims, Hers, Roman, and Apostrophe) offer any guarantees, returns, or refunds for prescription products. So, while it may be inconvenient, we can appreciate that Musely’s guarantee exists at all.

Finally, you’ll be redirected to checkout. Besides finalizing your purchase, you’ll be able to find your assigned dermatologist’s profile and a link to their credentials on this page.

If you are prescribed a treatment, you’ll receive an email letting you know. Then, as each item ships (they do so individually — your order won’t ship together all at once), you’ll receive emails with USPS tracking information. For our testers, purchase to arrival for three prescriptions took a couple of weeks in total.

Alternatives to Musely

If Musely’s products don’t quite seem like the ideal fit for you, then you may be interested in learning about some of its close competition. The good news is that Musely is far from the only telehealth platform with dermatology services. In the following sections, we break down the basics of a few competitors that either focus on dermatology or offer various dermatology services.

Ro (Roman)

Ro is a fairly broad telehealth service with a focus on erectile dysfunction (ED) and hair loss, but it also provides options for weight loss, fertility, daily health, and skincare. Out of all the Musely competitors mentioned in this review, Ro offers the fewest skincare options, with only one product available at this time, “Custom Rx Treatment.” There are, however, a nice amount of hair growth treatments for men and women available:

  • Oral minoxidil ($90 for three months): for men and women
  • Oral finasteride ($60 for three months): 1mg; for men
  • 3-in-1 Topical Spray ($150 for three months): contains finasteride, minoxidil, and tretinoin; for men
  • Hair Solution Rx ($120 for three months): contains minoxidil, tretinoin, and melatonin; for women
  • Topical 5% minoxidil solution ($48 for three months): for men and women; over-the-counter

You can learn more about how it stacks up to competition in our comprehensive guide to hair loss treatments.

Pivoting back to the Custom Rx Treatment ($58 for two months) for skin, Ro does list the potential ingredients you may have in your prescription, but it doesn’t clarify the strengths or amounts. The available ingredients include:

  • Tretinoin
  • Niacinamide
  • Azelaic acid
  • Tranexamic acid
  • Vitamin E
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Ceramides

This custom treatment is intended to help with a wide range of concerns, including dark spots, fine lines and wrinkles, acne, clogged pores, discoloration, redness, dryness, and more.

Hims and Hers

Like Ro, Hims and Hers are broader telehealth services that offer treatments for a wide range of concerns, from depression and anxiety to weight loss, sexual health, and more — including some prescriptions for hair loss and skincare.

Both Hims and Hers currently offer a couple of prescription skincare products: an anti-aging cream and an acne treatment. Similar to Musely, these creams can be customized according to your needs (though the customization is limited to strengths; there aren’t multiple formulas with different ingredients).

Whether you shop on Hims (for men) or Hers (for women), the prescriptions have the same few ingredients.

  • Acne Cream: tretinoin, clindamycin, azelaic acid, zinc pyrithione, niacinamide
  • Anti-Aging Cream: tretinoin, niacinamide, azelaic acid

These ingredients may be able to help with other concerns — like tretinoin for hyperpigmentation — but neither Hims nor Hers currently has prescription creams specifically designed for other conditions, like rosacea or melasma.

If there’s one thing Hims and Hers beat Musely in, it’s how many forms their hair loss treatments are available in. They include:

  • Spray
  • Serum
  • Foam
  • Pills
  • Chews

However, Musely wins for what’s included in its hair loss treatments. For example, Hers’ hair loss chewables contain the effective ingredient minoxidil, but the potential add-ons are limited to vitamins or biotin, both of which have little evidence supporting their potential for hair growth in most healthy people — individuals with deficiencies are most likely to see benefits from these inclusions. On the other hand, Musely’s Hair Pill contains minoxidil along with dutasteride or spironolactone (the latter is only in some of the women’s formulas), both of which have much more research suggesting efficacy.


Similar to Musely, Apostrophe focuses solely on dermatology treatments. However, while Apostrophe technically offers custom prescriptions for acne, rosacea, fine lines, and hyperpigmentation, it’s the acne treatment that’s in the spotlight. For instance, if you navigate to the website’s “Medications” page, the first thing you’ll see is bold lettering that reads, “Effective acne medications.”

Musely doesn’t really have an acne-focused treatment at this time, so Apostrophe could be an option for those struggling with this concern. Currently, Apostrophe offers topical and oral medications:

  • Custom topical, for body or face ($75 for 90 days or $25 per month): ingredients can include tretinoin (0.018-0.1%), metronidazole (1%), clindamycin (1%), azelaic acid (15%), tazarotene (0.05%), hydroquinone (6%), and spironolactone (5%).
  • Oral ($45-$90 for 90 days): antibiotics (doxycycline, minocycline, sulfamethoxazole trimethoprim) and hormonal treatments (spironolactone).

Unlike many Musely prescriptions, most of Apostrophe’s custom skincare ingredients don’t offer you the choice of a stronger or weaker concentration. The only one that appears to have a range of options is tretinoin. When it comes to certain risky ingredients, like hydroquinone, we’d prefer to see the option of using a lower strength.

Musely FAQ



Innerbody uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

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