Image: Unsplash
Image: Unsplash

My skincare story – from accutane to acids

Skincare for me has always been an important part of my everyday life. From a young age, I was taught the dos and don’ts as to how to keep your skin healthy and glowing. Due to this, the thought of acne didn’t affect me until the age of 17.

I remember going to school sometimes with little to no makeup on at all, and my skin used to be so soft and smooth. I don’t know why or how or even when this all started to change, but it did, and I started to get down about it.

I went through tons of normal antibiotic treatments to try and cure it, as not only was it visible on my face but also my back. I was becoming a very self-conscious person which I never really used to be. It was around about a year this was all going on until I was prescribed a tougher drug called Accutane (or Roaccutane).

The products I was using on my face were just as important

Accutane is an antibiotic used for severe cases of acne, and scarring, which comes with lots of serious side effects. These side effects ranged from dry lips and skin to severe depression or serious aches and pains in the body. I remember sitting in the doctor’s room when he told me all about the damaging effects this drug could have and I felt so overwhelmed; so much so that it nearly did put me off from having the treatment.

In retrospect, I’m so glad it didn’t. I went back home and did some research. I learned that many young girls who are in the public limelight, for example, YouTubers Emma Chamberlain and Summer Mckeen, all went through the same process, and their skin looks absolutely flawless now. I also learnt that some girls I knew personally went through the same process when they were my age, which made me feel less alone.

So not only was the actual medication a massive factor in helping my skin but also the products I was using on my face were just as important. Before all this, I had been trying out all different kinds of facial products from Kiehls, and Glossier (which I love as brands), however, their products were just not working for me. So once I went on the medication I knew that my skin routine had to become a priority.

I didn’t want to start bombarding my face with new products

So with the drug itself, it dries your skin of all the extra oils that your body is producing to dry the spots up, so therefore I needed a face wash and moisturiser which was nice and rich in moisture. On doing some research the best brands that were coming up were Cetaphil, Cerave and La Roche Posay due to the fact they didn’t have any fragrance in them, which damages the skin even more. The Cerave face wash and the Cetaphil rich night cream really helped my skin feel moisturised and for once in a very long time, smooth.

They had the best reviews from previous Accutane users, so I knew I could trust these brands. So my experience with Accutane, luckily, was nothing but positive. The only side effects I suffered from were dry skin and lips, which is a common side effect for most users. I can honestly say that without Accutane, I’m not sure how bad my skin would have been now. Although it still wasn’t where I wanted my skin to be, as there was still some slight scarring, I realised that this was natural and normal, and I still have the slight scars now nearly two years on.

However, coming off Accutane I was stuck on what facial products I should now be using as my skin had once again changed. It wasn’t super dry, and I didn’t have any actual bumps on my face. Also, I didn’t want to start bombarding my face with new products and oils that I wasn’t familiar with how would react. Therefore I just stuck to the regime that I used on the medication, I felt safe with this and still use it for nearly two years on.

It is a necessity for everyone to be taking care of their face

Everyone has a different experience with skincare and acne. Some people have had perfect skin and never got a spot in their life, some people have never washed their face before, and some people have never had to worry about what a face cleanser was. However, after experiencing really aggressive acne, and medication, I now realise that it is a necessity for everyone to be taking care of their face and that it isn’t too late to start.

I know as well how expensive skincare can be, and how it can be a challenge to afford the ‘in’ products circulating social media. However, companies like Cerave and Cetaphil are priced perfectly and are considered cheap in the skincare world. Everyone should be investing in skincare and taking care of themselves, as a person’s face is the first thing that everyone notices, so we might as well take care of it the best we can while we can.


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