My Accutane Story

*Updated: August 2017*

Middle school is a rough time for most of us. If you weren't awkward, unfortunate looking or super weird in middle school, you're probably lying. Something all too common in middle school was acne. Wasn't that fun??? Well, I was lucky enough to have acne way past middle school. From 7th grade-on, I tried probably every cream, pill and face wash known to man in a dire attempt to rid my face of any blemishes. I had no luck.

I was so self-conscious about my skin I actually couldn't find any photos of my skin without makeup to show y'all. I wore makeup anytime I stepped foot outside my humble abode, it was an absolute necessity. I tried every concealer, praying it would magically cover up my imperfect skin. 

Finally senior year I'd had enough. I didn't want to rely on makeup anymore, and I wanted to look my best for college. My dermatologist had been suggesting trying accutane, but I had resisted, until March of my senior year. If any of you are planning on starting accutane or have never heard of it, there are lots of things you need to consider.

My Accutane Story

For those of you who don't know what accutane is, it's a very strong pill meant to completely clear your skin, but it comes with risks. The most important are the birth defects. If you're a guy, you obviously don't need to worry about this. Women, however, need to show extreme caution. Accutane requires that you have two forms of birth control to ensure you don't birth a child with 11 fingers or a cone head. Because you probably wouldn't be too happy, and they would probably get sued. Because of this, you're required to be on two forms of birth control (one of them can be abstinence if you're not sexually active!). This can seem a bit drastic, but with one simple Google search about the effects of accutane on babies, you'll have no problem making sure you're safe. In fact, birth control helped my skin and got rid of my horrible cramps I'd been getting!

Accutane also affects your body at a drastic level. It screws with your liver, making it necessary to lower your alcohol intake. It also raises your cholesterol, which if you're like me and already have high cholesterol (thanks Dad), you might have to start taking fish oil pills. Another effect is dry skin. They told me this ahead of time but I didn't believe it would be too bad. I was wrong. My skin, especially my face, needed lots of moisturizing (Cerave, you're a lifesaver). Even worse, my lips were always chapped. Not only were they chapped but they crack and peel and hurt. But lathering lots of Aquaphor before bedtime did the trick so when I woke up they felt better. I also applied throughout the day (ok so 24/7 basically) to ease the pain. 

Personally, what irks me the most about accutane is the process to get it. This involves fasting, then getting your blood drawn, then going to your dermatologist, then taking an online quiz, then getting your prescription filled, then paying for your very expensive medicine, then picking it up. All of this for some clear skin, phew. *wipes brow*

But accutane isn't all bad. It's made a drastic change in my skin. I never wear makeup to class, whereas in high school this would be absolutely crazy; I never had good enough skin to be able to do that. It also made my summer a lot easier, not having to worry about covering up my blemishes when all I wanted to do was go to the pool. Sidenote: I wouldn't suggest doing your accutane treatment over the summer (treatments are usually between 6-9 months depending on your skin) because it makes you very sensitive to the sun, aka no tanning. So if you're looking to get your bronze on, save this pill for the winter.

Although accutane is a pain in the ass, it honestly is worth it in the long run. I'm so much more confident, especially without makeup on. I rarely have pimples, which is wonderful. If you've tried everything in the book, or if you simply want your acne gone, talk to your dermatologist. It could be your saving grace!

If you do go the accutane route, you'll need a few things (some of which I mentioned above). The biggest suggestions- straight from my dermatoligist is CeraVe cleanser and lotion. This stuff is easy on your skin but still gets the job done. Your skin will be dry and will be practically begging for lotion. The CeraVe lotion perfectly hydrates and is great for your skin! Obviously with dry skin, you'll need to hydrate from the inside out. This means lots and lots of water! Get a cute water bottle, like this Swell bottle, so you'll be more inclined to drink water all day long! One of the biggest saving graces during my accutane experience was Aquaphor for my lips. I knew they'd get chapped, but I didn't realize how chapped they'd get. My lips were always in pain so having Aquaphor on hand was a must-have! Last but not least is sunscreen. Now realistically, you should be wearing face sunscreen every day. The sun ages our skin beyond belief and causes wrinkles easily! However, on accutane, this is magnified! You need to be wearing sunscreen every day or you will get nasty sunburns which will lead to nasty aged skin! Once again, my suggestion (and my dermatologist's!) is CeraVe! This sunscreen won't cause any breakouts and keeps your skin hydrated while it protects it! Put this sunscreen on before you do your makeup every morning to protect yourself.

Have an accutane story, or a acne story? Let it be heard! I'm all ears! Have questions about accutane? Comment below or email me
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  1. Neutrogena sunscreen also a good product, which is having an SPF value 50. Before stepping out in the sun I use this sunscreen.

    1. I usually buy Nutrogena online from

  2. Thanks for this post, helpful because i’m extremely dry. I’m taking accutane. And I am on my week 3. I know i have to go long process but hope it will be worth it.