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hi all, not sure if anyone regularly checks this site/thread. i'm a female in her mid twenties all the way from australia and just thought I would pass on my tips for dealing with the more common side effects of accutane!

I've just started my fourth course so i'm definitely battle ready! I initially got acne at the age of 11 due to a reaction from anaesthetic and a dermatologist put me on accutane. WHAT WERE MY PARENTS THINKING? i was waaaaay too young to cope with the side effect so i took myself off it. it never went away but it seemed to plateau- meaning i would get an occasional breakout usually accompanied my mt vesuvius erupting somewhere on my face!

my second course of accutane began after i had a two year battle with bulemia and and anorexia nervosa. the problems of these diseases (other than the obvious) manifested themselves in my skin. finished the course acne went away! YAY!

moving along to my third course! this time it was totally induced from stress i had a bad relationship that eventuated into a bad breakup and again the result of the stress was bad bad BAD skin so bad that there were days i couldn't talk because the cystic acne i had around my jaw and mouth were excruciatingly painful!

Needless to say during this period I became really interested in learning about proper skin care, what makeup to use etc etc and I actually got my certificate in makeup artistry and worked at a few of the cosmetic counters in department stores and also boutique cosmetic houses exactly like sephora! Here are my tried and tested hero products:

For dry lips; forget carmex, chap stick etc it doesn't do enough and you're reapplying every 2 minutes. I recommend Dr Lipp's nipple cream for lips it's surgical grade lanolin and that shiz ain't going to move even if you have a drink there will still be a thick waxy residue left on your lips AND the bonus is it doesn't change the colour of your lips or look like you've been swimming in it and it's instant comfort!

cleanser-: i tried everything my dermatologist recommended and i felt cetaphil wasn't cutting it. i found either good old fashioned aqueous cream or a cleanser from a uk brand called ren to be absolutely fabulous it's rosa centifolia cleansing gel it contains aloe and calendula so very soothing and calming.

moisturiser- again aqueous cream or (i know the brand has folded) prescriptives comfort cream was really great esp in the evening. i also used a serum from ren called omega 3 overnight lipid renewal system. i found that this would hydrate and plump my skin overnight.

body moisturiser: for some reason the third time around the skin on the lower part of my shins became hideously dry and cracked- so if you like to fake tan DON'T it won't be a good look! to combat dry i skin i used a combination of kiehl's creme de corps body lotion and egyptian magic on areas of really really dry skin. it's one of those 'wonder products' that does everything!

makeup: now this is a touchy one mainly for the ladies! it's a self esteem naturally if you feel a little self conscious makeup is a little pick me up! i totally agree with my derms recommendation of avoiding anything with a red pigment- meaning blush really. for some reason there is an ingredient that inflames acne. trust me as a makeup artist i really really really did not want to give up my nars orgasm ha! also, avoid anything with a luminous pigment (it's usually an ingredient called) mica. yes it looks pretty but again it inflames acne! for a foundation i know it's old news but go for something that doesn't clog pores. i recommend hourglass liquid veil foundation and their mineral primer! don't cake it on. in areas where you have a bit more activity use concealer, i recommend ellis faas! you don't want to cake it on! always always clean your skin and remove all traces of makeup properly. i double cleanse in the evening. your skin needs to breathe so if you don't have to wear makeup don't!

hair- ahh this is the worst part for me, esp since i have already damaged my hair from changing colours every 5 mins! AVOID BLEACH AT ALL COSTS! your hair will just break and break and your split end will be horrendous! i'm a huge fan of the kerastase and bumble & bumble range. try not to overstyle your hair with ghds etc because it does more damage than good! make sure you always use a thermal protector and treat your hair to a nice hydrating masque whenever you can. i like to wrap my hair in gladwrap and keep it in overnight!

lastly don't exfoliate, i'm sure you derm has told you that accutane does that for you! your skin is already so super sensitive you don't want to scrub it away!

oh and lastly invest in a good OIL FREE sunscreen!

that's it! hope that helps! good luck everyone! :)

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