this update is a couple weeks behind, but for half of this month I was on half of my regular dosage to help cut down on the weird side effects I started seeing in month 4. buuuut lucky y’all – it’s looking like these accutane journey posts may extend past 6 months! this process has been all over the place between me forgetting to take it some days, having to travel nearly 200 miles for refills, my followup appointments being inconsistently spaced lol so it’s looking like I might end up on an extra month of Accutane, which I personally don’t think will hurt. Hopefully I’m not someone who will end up having to do a second round of it all (if anything because I’m tired of being pricked by needles every month). but let’s go ahead and get started with this month’s update!
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.
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p r o g r e s s r e p o r t
at most this month I have only had a few pimples. it’s amazing how much more I can tolerate “breakouts” these days because of how minor they feel compared how they used to be. as far as the texture of my skin, it’s improved significantly and I feel like that is largely in part to my new skincare routine (which I’ll take about later!) but my skin has cleared up so much that I have felt completely comfortable going to work + out in general wearing only a tinted moisturizer. I honestly went 2 weeks without makeup and it was the most freeing feeling. this is the point where I’m finally feeling overwhelmed with gratitude and relief that this process, while challenging at times, has been working. I never realized how much acne was controlling me… as weird as it sounds. but my acne and my looks were constantly at the forefront of my mind and I was living in a state of self-consciousness, despite how much I didn’t want to be. I wanted to not care about my acne, but it always reared its ugly head and made it hard to ignore. my forehead is still a bit of a trouble spot, but it’s tolerable.
s i d e e f f e c t s
- dry lips, always. like, the corners of my lips were starting to crack and bleed. fun, right? but my dermatologist prescribed me a lip cream that’s worked like magic, so we’re good.
- sensitivity to sunlight. it’s not as bad as it was a couple months ago (even taking a 15 minute walk during the winter would burn me wherever I wasn’t covered by a jacket) but I still choose to not take my chances. normally I don’t burn – thank you Italian skin – and if I did, it wouldn’t take long for it to fade into a tan. so if you already struggle with being sensitive to the sun, beware.
- dry nose. okay, I know this one is hella weird (and going to be a little gross), but with allergies comes a runny nose, but because everything is so dried up while on the medication, that the mucus is drying up and causing major nasal blockages lol this month I’ve been waking up because I can hardly breathe. as a result from constantly blowing my nose, I’ve started to see some minor nose bleeds, but nothing major (but nose bleeds are a common side effect).
p r o d u c t s
re9 advanced prepwork skincare line. I can’t lie about game changing this has been. like everything arbonne, the products are botanically based which I think has a ton to do with improving the texture of my skin, but also helping minimize breakouts. I’ve been using this line for about 3-4 weeks now and around week 2 I seriously got to wondering about what my skin would be like had I implemented plant-based skincare sooner (cystic acne really does kind of go untouched by cleansers, I feel like, but I was always so focused on chemical filled, medicinal skincare, so I wonder what taking a more natural approach would have done for me). the cleansing polish leaves my skin smooth, and the exfoliation is so gentle that it doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin. the hydrating dew cream moisturizes so well – I was nervous it wouldn’t be enough, but I haven’t struggled with dryness + flakiness at all! the gel eye masks might not have much to do with the accutane, but either way, they help you fake 8 hours of sleep and will help boost that no-makeup look confidence.
soft focus veil. this is part of the prepwork line too but it deserves its own paragraph. I can’t rave about it enough. breathable spf 30 sunscreen, tinted moisturizer. at this point of the accutane, my skin has cleared up so much that it’s rare for me to wear foundation much anymore unless I’m going out or need to dress up, which is a huge blessing and milestone for me. plussss it’s a sunscreen, which I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to make sure you’re stocking up on sunscreen! wear it at work, around the house, or down at the pool (which I loveee a good complexion correcting sunscreen!)
vital proteins collagen peptides. this will help decrease the severity of joint pain!!! for a while there I was experiencing some, but I truly believe this is what has been keeping the worst of it at bay.
avene mineral light hydrating sunscreen lotion spf 50. still very high up on the list of things you need. best spf coverage, best ingredients, and worked like a charm for me when I spent an entire day down at the pool.
perfecting liquid foundation, spf 15 + setting pretty translucent loose powder, spf 15. makeup with added spf is always a good thing, especially on accutane. plus I haven’t found either products to be drying, and they have good coverage which is great for if you’re still looking to cover some trouble spots! if the foundation still feels drying for you, you can always add some nourishing facial oil to give it a hydrating boost!
shea butter moisturizing lip balm + intelligence lip treatment. seriously, the dry lips are what get me every time. here are some of the more moisturizing options I’ve found (without the obnoxious lip gloss stickiness that treatments like aquaphor have).