Accutane Adventure: Skin Care Tips From Someone Who’s Tried Everything

Okay, I know what you’re thinking: here’s another article from someone with perfect skin, telling me that they drink lots of water and eat organic foods to keep their skin clear. No worries, that’s not me! I’m someone who has struggled with acne for my whole life and learned a thing or two along that way. When I say I’ve tried everything, I mean everything: Epiduo, doxycycline, Rentin-A, just to name a few. By the time I got to my senior year of high school, I had lost all hope that my skin would clear, and, coincidentally, that’s when my skin became the worst it had ever been. All the sudden my entire face was covered in big, painful pimples. I started an eight month course of Accutane, which cleared my skin, for the most part. This whole journey forced me to pay more attention to my skin and how I take care of it; here’s some things I learned. 

 

  1. Wear sunscreen!!

I cannot emphasize this enough. If you’re on any kind of acne medication, it is most likely going to make you sun-sensitive and getting sunburnt means all the scars and marks on your face won’t fade as easily. Find a light sunscreen to put on after moisturizer every morning, and you’re golden!

  1. Go easy with the facemasks

I’m all about self care, but sometimes those drug store face masks can hurt more than they help. They’re full of chemicals that will react differently to your skin depending on what other medicine or products you’re using. If you do use facemasks, try to avoid peels or other masks where you could pull or irritate your skin. 

 

  1. Pay attention to the products you’re using

Look at the list of ingredients on your foundation or face wash, and do some research about the products you use. For instance, most sunscreens contain a chemical called Avobenzone that has negative health effects and causes many people, like myself, to break out. Sunscreens containing Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide are more natural and don’t cause the same skin reaction as chemical sunscreens. Just reading the labels on your product and doing a little research goes a long way.

 

  1. Don’t be afraid to experiment

Having bad acne can make you feel powerless, so take back some of that control! Experiment with adding, or removing things from your daily regimen that could be causing you to breakout. When I was trying to determine the cause of my acne, I tried everything: I chugged water like my depended on it; I stopped using my favorite hair product for fear that it was clogging my pores; and worst of all, I stopped eating dairy (I caved after a few weeks because ice cream is an essential food group). For the few months when I was dumbfounded as to what was happening with my skin, it gave me back a sense of control. 

 

  1. Most importantly, be patient with yourself

This was the hardest thing for me to remember, but honestly it’s the best advice I can offer. Just remember that there’s so much more that defines you, and be patient with your skin!