my accutane journey: month 4

month 4 is done! my dermatologist mentioned that this is where I would start to see a lot of breakthrough with my acne and dude he was right. I went a whole week without seeing a pimple! I have gotten a few this month, but they were fairly spaced out, and likely related to my diet (which has not been the best lately – oops). I have started to see some of the more undesirable side effects start to kick in, which is a bummer because it is starting affect what I can do throughout the day, but they’re not so severe that it’s completely inhibiting me. so if you’re curious to see how month 4 went, just keep reading!

related:  acne history   |   decision to start accutane   |   month 1   |   month 2   |  month 3

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THIS POST IS NOT A PROMOTION FOR ACCUTANE. ACCUTANE IS A SERIOUS DRUG WITH SERIOUS SIDE EFFECTS AND IS NOT FOR EVERYONE. I AM ONLY LOGGING MY EXPERIENCE (AFTER YEARS OF OTHER, SAFER TREATMENTS) FOR THOSE THAT ARE TRYING TO DO RESEARCH TO MAKE THEIR OWN PERSONAL DECISIONS REGARDING ACCUTANE. TALK TO YOUR DERMATOLOGIST.

This post includes affiliate links, meaning, at no cost to you, I will earn commission if you click through and make a purchase.

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p r o g r e s s   r e p o r t

the breakouts you see in this month’s pictures is honestly the worst it’s been this whole month, and the one on my forehead is likely due to the sunscreen I had to wear yesterday to keep from burning at the pool. also, the right side of my face tends to be where I see the most of my breakouts – not sure why that is, maybe from sleeping? who knows. but the overall texture of my skin feels and looks 10x better! the scarring has really seemed to have gone down and my skin just seems smoother. I’m hopeful that month 5 will have more clarity as far as breakouts go!

 

 

s i d e   e f f e c t s

  • sensitivity to sunlight. y’all. this one upsets me. I love getting to lay out and feel the sun on my skin, but I can’t even go on a 15 minute walk at work without getting a burn wherever my skin isn’t covered (and this is extreme because I hardly ever burn, even without sunscreen). I’m sure this has been the case, but I just haven’t noticed it since it’s just now starting to really warm up outside.
  • some dryness. but it’s actually gotten better! mostly it’s right in the corner of my mouth, but other than that, I’m not experiencing much dryness. I have also experienced some itchiness, especially on my neck and scalp.
  • joint pain. it took it a while to finally kick in, but I’m finally experiencing it. it’s definitely exaggerated from exercise, but there are times my knees and ankles hurt just walking up the stairs. and my hips + back hurt more so than normal after sitting for a long time.
  • nausea. this has unfortunately become huge. most nights before bed I’ll start to get an upset stomach, and I find myself having to take lots of breaks while working out to make sure I don’t end up puking in the gym. I haven’t been running for a while solely to avoid upsetting my stomach.
  • sensitive eyes. my eyes get easily irritated these days, too. I don’t know what it is – it’s mostly at night before I wash my makeup off or in the mornings. they don’t really feel dry, just sensitive.
  • fatigue. it’s incredibly tough to get through afternoons and evenings anymore without feeling drained and drowsy. this month I noticed that my white blood cell count was down, so it might have something to do with that.
  • high cholesterol. this is a new development, I went in for a biometric screening in mid-april and my total cholesterol was slightly over 200 mg/dL, my LDL’s were high, but so were my HDL’s (which helps counter LDL’s). I got this done while my eating habits were still decent + I was working out at least 3 times a week (prior to this my total cholesterol fluctuated in the 180-190s range).

 

p r o d u c t s

  • vital proteins collagen peptides. y’all, I firmly believe that using collagen daily is why I’m just now feeling any joint pain, and why it’s not as severe as it probably could be. I simply put 1-2 scoops in my coffee or morning smoothie – it’s flavorless + odorless so you don’t even notice it’s there!
  • arbonne perfecting liquid foundation w/ spf 15. non-drying, great coverage, and has additional spf to help keep that sunlight sensitive skin protected!
  • arbonne re9 advanced extra moisture restorative cream spf 20 sunscreen. yes, extra moisture! I love arbonne’s RE9 anti-aging line, but right now, not all the creams are intense enough to combat accutane dryness. so, by adding this to your skincare routine, not only will you get extra moisture, but more spf coverage to help keep you from burning!
  • arbonne re9 advanced prepwork soft focus veil broad spectrum spf 30 sunscreen. all the sunscreen coverage! especially with summer coming right around the corner, I am loading you guys up on various sun protection options! this is part of arbonne’s new product launch which is an anti-aging skincare line targeted towards millennials to prevent aging in the first place! on a regular, daily basis, the soft focus veil gives you a smooth “filtered” finish, but can be applied liberally to be used as a complexion correcting sunscreen.
  • avene mineral light hydrating sunscreen lotion spf 50. HIGHLY. RECOMMEND. titanium dioxide (4%) and zinc oxide (6%) provide broad spectrum uva/ubv spf 50+ protection. I spent 4+ hours at the pool for cinco de mayo and I walked away with a slight sunburn on my chest – this works wonders!!!
  • cerave hydrating facial cleanser, fragrance free. it has a hydrating, milky texture and has been a lifesaver when it comes to prepping my skin for the day. not the best at cleaning off makeup, so I highly recommend either using a different cleanser or a makeup remover prior to use if you’re trying to cleanse makeup off.
  • cerave moisturizing cream, fragrance free. a miracle worker is what it is. it lasts forever, is non-greasy, and helps my dry skin + eczema breakouts like nobody’s business. you need this!
  • seacret direct mineral-rich refining toner. this toner is great for cleaning out any makeup + dirt that gets left behind after cleansing! it’s hydrating and smells like honey. I absolutely love it, and it’s paraben free!
  • cortibalm. trying to find something that helps my lips has been a pain in my butt. I found this stuff at the pharmacy at work and it doesn’t taste the best, but it works the best out of what I’ve tried so far. my dermatologist stocks and sells one called EpiCeram that I like, but I only got a sample and haven’t been able to make it in for an in-person appointment since March.

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