I decided to do this update a little differently by combining the last couple of months into one post. month 6 was actually a very bad month in terms of progress, so it was frustrating (and little embarrassing) and I felt like it didn’t warrant an “update” post since it regressed rather than progressed. I’m not sure whether it was my diet or stress or both, but at one point I had about 3 pimples on my forehead, 2 on my cheek, and 1 on my chin at a time – I’m talking like, the worst breakout I’ve had since first starting the medication. but oddly enough, month 7 was the complete opposite and I have had zero breakouts. keep reading to see the before + afters and to see some exciting news!
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
the before + after pictures you’ll see are from month 7 since I found it unnecessary to document month 6. but, for the sake of showing you, here’s a picture (ft. the boyfriend)
this was as things started to fade, but as you can see some of the problem spots were still pretty red. not the best quality picture because of lighting, but my selection was pretty limited since I wasn’t taking many pictures of myself when I was breaking out.
but here are the real progress pictures! side note: taking pictures of the sides of my face is very challenging because I feel like I always look so sad in all of them? sos.
s i d e e f f e c t s
- dry lips. this is honestly the worst side effect. my lips will legitimately crack and bleed if I’m not keeping them hydrated enough. it’s brutal.
- dry skin. the skin around the corner of my mouth had been drying up again, but I’ve noticed it tends to do that when I’m not moisturizing my face both morning and night – so take it from me that if you want your face to not be dry and flaky, be sure you’re moisturizing at least twice a day.
- sensitivity to sunlight. 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. you need good sunscreen!!! I forgot to use sunscreen on my back one day down at the pool and I’m pretty sure that was the worst sunburn I’ve ever had.
- dry nose. okay, I know this one is hella weird (and going to be a little gross), but with springtime 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 aren’t an abnormal 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).
as for the exciting news!!!! at yesterday’s appointment, I was officially given the “all clear” to start wrapping up with accutane. I knew the end was in sight, but to get hear my dermatologist say “you don’t need a refill and you don’t need to come back for a follow up” is just… wow. I’m excited that my acne struggles have come to an end but it’s also sad that after 9 years with my dermatologist – I started seeing him my sophomore year of high school – I’m simply done (unless an issue arises later, but we’re both hoping it doesn’t).
but he did tell me to swing by the office any time to sit down for a cup of coffee lol. overall, I’m just in awe of how comfortable I’ve gotten to be in my own skin. it’s nice to have my skin be one less thing I have to worry about, especially when I have other, more pressing issues that deserve more of my attention and stress. enough as it is I was happy that I didn’t feel the need to pack makeup with me for this trip home to Dallas! talk about relieving stress!
my next update won’t be for a couple months, I will do months 8 and 9 together where I can talk about my experience with coming off the medication. my plan is to follow up after I’ve been off the medication for a few months and let you know how it’s holding up once it’s been “officially” been flushed out of my system come november. but keep your fingers crossed that the weening-off process is smooth and doesn’t cause a flare up!
ps – yes, I am wearing pants in that picture, my shirt is just huge lol