Accutane is a serious drug with many serious side effects. Some of them however, can be managed well with a little TLC. Here are my top ten tips of things that have really helped me to stay on the right side of my side effects so far during my treatment.
1. Drink plenty of water
As Accutane dries your body from the inside out, it’s important to stay hydrated at all times. I drink around 3 litres of water a day at the moment and I’m sure it helps. I lived it up a bit by adding Robinsons Sugar Free juice. It’s sometimes hard to drink so much plain water, so this makes it a bit easier. I also put lemons or fruit in my water to infuse it for a tastier drink.
2. Moisturise religiously
When taking Accutane, you’ll need to moisturise your face and body religiously. At the moment, I use E45 Intensive Recovery body lotion on my body followed by Dr Organic’s Vitamin E Pure Oil Complex. I use a bunch of moisturisers on my face which I’ll go into on my next point below. Don’t forget to moisturise your ears and the inside of your nostrils too – sounds gross but trust me, you’ll need to do this. Another area you may need to add moisture back into is your eyes. Hypromellose eye drops are great for dry or irritated eyes. I also moisturise my hands with Neutrogena’s Unscented Hand Cream, and if I’m feeling particularly dried out, I’ll use Vitamin E Oil on top (the same goes for my feet) and wear spa gloves through the night to lock the moisture in.
3. Stick to a strict skincare routine
My facial skincare routine at the moment is as follows;
- Double cleanse skin gently with Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
- Apply Dr Organic Manuka Honey Face Mask (once or twice weekly)
- Tone with Nuxe Gentle Toning Lotion
- Apply Mizon Skin Turnaround Pore Tightening Lotion
- Apply Skin Chemists 24 Hour Aqua Repair Facial Serum
- Apply Filorga Optim-Eyes Eye Contour Cream
- Moisturise with E45 Intensive Recovery Body Lotion
- Add Mizon Intensive Skin Barrier Cream
- Protect skin with La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL 50+ Tinted Fluid
- Add Blistex Lip Relief
It sounds excessive, but my skin has never felt better since trying out elements of a 10 Step Korean Skincare routine, and it keeps my skin moisturised and nourished throughout the day. I do the exact same routine on an evening but without the SPF.
4. Don’t obsess over Google results
It’s not hard to find tons of information about horrifying Accutane side effects online both on blogs, forums and of course, YouTube. Be aware of Accutane before you take it, do your research, know the risks then simply let your treatment run its course. Reading horror accounts can really scaremonger, and the key thing to remember is that everybody is different so everybody will react differently too.
5. Maintain a healthy diet
Accutane can cause havoc with your body on the inside, so make sure to keep your body in check by eating healthily to ensure your body is nourished and well looked after throughout the treatment. Avoid eating lots of sugary and fatty foods and remember, everything in moderation.
6. Stay off the alcohol
Sure, a couple of glasses of wine won’t hurt, but drinking on Accutane is a really bad idea. Your kidneys are already under so much stress whilst you’re taking the drug, so much so that monthly blood tests are essential to check their function. Adding alcohol to the mix is a recipe for disaster.
7. Don’t forget the SPF – even on a cloudy day
Make sure you wear SPF every single day. I wear factor 50 daily even when it’s cloudy. Accutane makes your skin highly sensitive to the UV rays, so even on an overcast day, your skin can be come burned and damaged. Wear a sun hat and cover up or sit in the shade as much as you can. Be sensible about things and look after your skin as best you can. I wear La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Tinted Fluid in SPF 50+.
8. Avoid picking at your skin
I know, I know. It’s so tempting to want to squeeze that spot or poke at the hundreth lump that’s appeared on your Acctuane journey so far, but avoid picking like the plague! Your skin is so delicate and sensitive during Accutane treatment that you run the risk of scarring. And after all, the whole reason you’re taking it is to have skin you’re happy with, so don’t hinder the process along the way.
9. Don’t go anywhere without your lip balm
I mean this in the most literal sense. Your lips will feel dried out and sore, so making sure that you keep them well moisturised will help to stop the pain, cracking and dryness. At the time of writing this, my lips feel dry but I haven’t suffered any cracking at all and you’d never know my lips were dry by looking at them. I have pots of lip balm all over the house, in my bags and in my car just in case. My favourite was always Carmex, but after around week 3, I needed something stronger so I’ve been absolutely loving Blistex Relief Cream which is medicated so tingles on the lips and feels really soothing., I usually use it on its own, but on an evening, I layer it up with Dr Paw Paw’s Original Balm and use it almost like a lip mask.
I hope that you’ve found this post helpful. I know I used to find posts like these massively helpful when I first started taking Accutane and my body was adjusting to the side effects. All of the products listed have worked for me better than others that I’ve tried out over my first month and a half of treatment – and I tried a lot! So if you’re taking Accutane too, I hope the products mentioned also work out for you. Good luck on your Accutane journey!
© This post is copyright of Rachael Divers 2017.