Okay, I'm back again with an Isotretinoin update / Skincare routine. I say 'again' because I tried this once in October and had an overwhelming response. I left the post up for 24 hours and in that time got more e-mails/comments than I could handle and about half of them were people telling my acne could be cleared by giving up coffee, milk, taking certain pills, etc. (Or trying to sell me on some MLM product.) So, here's a disclaimer - this post is strictly for those who are interested in my experience on accutane or who are looking for a skincare routine for dry skin. John and I both agreed years ago that Isotretinoin was a last resort -- so after a decade of trying thousands of dollars of products, treatments, meds, etc, we decided to give this a try (and after TONS of research I may add.) Anyway, I was SO touched by some of the e-mails I received about that post - so many of you are struggling with adult acne - or just extremely oily skin. I love I've been able to chat with some of you on these topics & share in this struggle.
Second disclaimer - I am not a doctor. (hahaha.) Many of you are aware that I am close with a lot of physicians so I should let it be known that I am being watched closely by numerous people educated on this topic. Luckily, the only side effects I've experienced so far are fatigue & dry skin. If I were to see something bad happening to me - I would stop the medication.
-Okay... phew. Now that that's over with I'll update you all on my skin.
I did a 5 month course & am finishing that course now. The first two months were... ehh, okay. The first month my skin was atrocious. The oil was zapped almost immediately but the pores in my face were purging so they felt like sandpaper. (ew.) The second month was nothing special... again, no oil production & I would get some acne here & there but nothing too awful. Now, the third month was SOO nice. I could see my skin changing... I wasn't getting any acne really. The texture of my skin changed dramatically in the third month... I used to have a rough texture to my skin & during month 3 it started getting SO smooth. I won't lie - there were times I thought I was going to cry because I'd never seen my skin be smooth like this. (Obviously happy tears, haha.) My entire life I've been SO good to my skin - I have never gone to sleep with makeup on, I have always invested in my skin care so I was thrilled to FINALLY see my skin change. Anyway... on to months 4/5... those weren't anything special. After month 3, my skin plateaued. I don't have oil, or acne (I may get a small blemish every 3 weeks but nothing crazy). Every time I see my mom she always says "WOAH! Your skin! Your pores are going away!" So that totally cheers me up. :) (And it could be my primer, lol!)
-Next, I'll share the downsides I've experienced..
Since this medication is strong- it can have some really bad side effects for some people... but not everyone. I won't say it's been an easy few months, but I will say I am SO happy with the results. And as far as I know, I should still see improvement for a couple of months after I'm done. Personally, the worst parts of Accutane are the dryness. My lips are cracking and peeling pretty much 24/7. The first 3 mos my nose hurt SO badly from the dryness, luckily no nose bleeds. And finally - it caused major fatigue. I mentioned on Snap the other night that I was getting a Sleep Study bc of the seizure this summer and because I've struggled with fatigue since undergrad. Well, since I am already prone to fatigue, Accutane just worsened it a bit. This actually brings me to........ coffee. So yea, people ask about me always drinking coffee & Starbucks,etc. I think they think it's a prop, lol!! But really, I have been drinking more coffee than usual since Accutane because it's kept me going the past few months. PS. My friends & fam usually gift me Starbucks cards for birthdays, holidays, etc. which is why that's my favorite place to go, free coffee. :)
I have friends who did Accutane who only had dry lips and that was their only side effect... so its completely different for EVERYONE.
The upside is that I wash my hair like every 7 days now..(insert party emoji here.) But yes, I still body shower haha.
-Finally, I'll share my HOLY GRAIL products for battling dry skin this winter while on Isotretinoin..
So, the past 5 mos. I have tried NUMEROUS moisturizers, eye creams, chapsticks, etc and I am pretty certain none can beat the ones that become my HG.
1.Each night & morning I wash my face with this Philosophy face wash. It is SO gentle & SOOOO nice if you have combo/dry skin.
2. Each morning and night I mix a dime sized amount of Cetaphil Moisturer (this exact bottle in photos) with a drop or 2 of this Jojoba oil. EVERYONE needs Jojoba oil in their bathroom. It will save your skin, hair, etc. from dryness. Its simply incredible. Research the product and you'll learn more. (Also, the Sunday Riley oils are kind of expensive but are SO good... I know Jojoba oil is much cheaper and can be used on the hair as well so I wanted to recommend it.)
3. This med dries out your eyes as well & stops production of oil so you have to really take care of your eyes. I use eye drops to keep them from getting dry. I use this eyelash serum to keep my eyelashes growing since I am not producing oil in those glands. And most importantly, I am moisturizing the skin around my eyes like CRAZY. I use THIS moisturizer AM & PM. I use THIS cream at night & THIS cream in the am. (The AM cream is best for brightening the under eye area!!) These are all products that I will continue using after all of this. (PS. These products are $$$ but these are the ones I have found to be worth the money in caring for the skin around your eyes.)
4. I have 4 of these Dr. Dans Cortibalm because they are my main go-to during the day. My lips have been swelling a lot bc of the peeling so this chapstick helps a little with swelling. And this Agave Mask is my nightly must-have --- it feels SOOOO good!! I like to wear it alone during the day if I am not wearing a lip color.
5. I have been using Vaseline inside of my nose while I sleep to help with the dryness inside. It makes a huge difference!
6. Spraying this Mac Fix+ on my skin after I apply makeup & throughout the day keeps my makeup from drying out or looking powdery. I have gone through so many bottles!
Wooahh, this is long! I hope this helps -- I know I've told many of you in e-mails that I'd send a photo of the products that saved my skin during Accutane so hopefully a full out blog post helps!