it is so surreal that I am OFFICIALLY DONE WITH ACCUTANE!!!! overall, my journey has lasted about 12 months. I had my initial consult last november and started my preliminary lab tests. as far as the medication part, I ended up being on it a little longer than normal, just because we weren’t seeing the progress we were hoping to by month 6, but if it’s what kept me from having to go through the process all over again, then I’m not complaining. truthfully, I would have been done a lot sooner but I was so bad about missing a random day here or there that it delayed my end date. oops, but oh well.
this won’t be my last accutane post, though. my final lab work will be in december to make sure the medication is out of my system. once it’s gone, my plan is to let you know how it’s holding up and what my skincare routine looks like from here on out.
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.
if you’re someone who has struggled with chronic acne, the idea of not having breakouts feels like something that could only happen in an alternate universe where the skin gods don’t hate you. okay, so maybe that sounds a bit dramatic. but the concept still stands – it feels like something that could never happen.
so standing here now, looking back on where my acne struggles started to it practically being nonexistent now feels so unreal. I rarely breakout, and when I do I can usually link it to gluten or sugar overload, which is controllable. I’m hoping this remains the case once the medication isn’t still lingering in my system. that’s truthfully the one thing I’m scared about moving forward, is that my acne might make a comeback. I know it’s probably me just being a worry-wart, but I’m crossing my fingers that my skin continues to stay clear.
luckily, I haven’t had many this month. my lips are still painfully dry, and I had a little bit of flaky, dry skin around my mouth for about a week, but that’s really the worst of it. I haven’t had to do anymore lab work lately since I’m not receiving any more refills, but it’s likely my cholesterol is still a little high, but that’s the only “internal” side effect I’ve had.
I am incredibly thankful that I didn’t experience many awful side effects – the worst of it was in month 1 when my body was adjusting to the medication, and some in about month 4. most of these problems were fixed by switching up some of the products I was using and by altering my dosage for a couple weeks as recommended by my doctor.
You can visit my replicated Arbonne site at samanthamilburn.arbonne.com
I cannot emphasize how much products can make or break your experience with accutane. it was a lot of trial and error, but I eventually found out what worked for me!
vital proteins collagen peptides – I had very little experience with joint pain, but I truly believe this is what helped prevent/lessen it. collagen protein is great for skin, hair, nails, and joints and is something we rarely find in our regular protein sources. I highly recommend this particular brand because of how clean their products are. plus, save when you subscribe to your favorite products!
re9 prepwork cleansing polish – a lot of people have hard times with exfoliating/buffing cleansers since your skin does become more sensitive, but this has to be the gentlest yet effective exfoliating cleanser I’ve used. it’ll leave your skin super soft and hydrated.
re9 advanced intensive renewal serum – the most lightweight serum that has absolutely stepped up my skincare routine! it’s lightweight, has peptides, antioxidants, and essential botanicals designed to lock in moisture, which is what all accutane users know they need!
re9 hydrating dew cream – a little bit goes such a long way, even for accutane-level dry skin. incredibly hydrating without feeling greasy, slimy, or cakey like some other moisturizers can.
re9 prepwork soft focus veil – now that the weather is (finally) cooling off, there might not be too much of a need for full-body sunscreen, but be sure to keep your face protected! I personally love this product because it’s a 30 spf broad spectrum sunscreen (without the smell of sunscreen!) plus, it’s tinted so it’ll provide light coverage – which is all I really need these days. layers perfectly under primer/makeup.
shea butter moisturizing lip balm + intelligence lip treatment. 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).
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 product to be drying, and they have good coverage which is great for if you’re still looking to cover some trouble spots! you can always add some of this nourishing facial oil to give it a hydrating boost if you’re really struggling with the dry skin!
my friends, thank you for following along with me on this journey. I remember how nervous I felt going into it, not knowing what or how bad of side effects I would have, whether it would work for me, if it would be an awful experience… but I have loved getting to document this journey and share with y’all, especially for anyone who’s looking to begin this adventure themselves.
I do want to emphasize once more that this was a personal decision I made after 8-9 years of trying other antibiotics, topical creams + cleansers, and hormone suppressing solutions, all of which did not fix my chronic acne. I did not start this series of posts for financial gain by “advertising” the medication, I simply wanted to journal about this experience publicly for my own reference, but also to help others who might be researching or looking for skincare solutions. if you are contemplating this medication after trial + error with other medications/solutions, discuss it with your dermatologist. it is not a medication that is to be taken lightly and without trying other solutions first.
I love you all, and I will be back with (hopefully good) news here in a few months!