How to survive...

I have been writing a lot about cosmetics the past few times. But now it's time to share my knowledge with you. In this blog I'll write about a treatment used for severe acne.
This is my how to survive Isotretinoin (Roaccutane) blog.

If you are not a user or will never use Isotretinoin, Isotretinoin is a vitamin A acid, which is used for the treatment of severe acne. Isotretinoin is mostly used for a short period (2 - 6 months).
This product is in most countries the last resource in the treatment of acne. It is very effective, but the last option because of it's side effects profile. An always occurring side effect of Isotretinoin is severe dryness of everything, like dry eyes, dry skin, dry mouth, dry lips etc.
Drying of the skin can cause itching, which is extremely annoying. Your lips can become so dry it may start bleeding, this really hurts. Your facial skin thins as wel, which might hurt.
Another important side effect is reduction of the liver function, so it's important to monitor the liver function on a monthly basis. If you are planning to start using this product first ask your doctor about the side effects. Make sure he advices you to test the liver function. Some people get liver cirrhosis from Isotretinoin some don't. So it's neccesary to monitor the livers function.

How does the compound work?
Roaccutane blocks the sebaceous glands. This causes reduction in sebum production, and results in less acne. Blocking of the sebaceous glands also causes decrease in size of the glands this effect may be irreversible, which is good because acne is characterized by sebum-overproduction. Also because there is less sebum in the skin, the bacteria proliferation is reduced.

Since Roaccutane causes so much dryness of the skin, there are a couple of products I would advice.
Some say Vaseline is a good product. I am not a big fan of Vaseline, it's so fat and sticky.
Altough oily creams are good to help hydrating the skin.

I would recommend products like cicaplast for your face. Both the Baume 5 (newer formulation) and the normal cicaplast are good.I would actually highly reccomend products from La Roche Posay. They are specialized in cosmetics for skin that's being treated (therapeutic) or is highly sensitive.

Burt's Bees lip balm. Which is really fatty and really good to prevent further drying of the lips. You can also use a lip balm with SPF in it. Those are actually even better.

Sunblock is highly necessary, especially during summer. It's even forbidden to expose yourself to UV without protection because you can get severe depigmentation from the sun. During summer I would recommend SPF 50.. During spring and fall SPF 15 or 30 is enough.

Cooling cream for when the itching becomes severe. This is a cooling hand cream from L'Occitane. It's useful for the itching parts of the body.

Soft facial washes for normal or dry skin, not for acne prone skin. Or facial cleansing wipes.

Ineffective as a solo cosmetic are dry oils, like argan and vitamin E oils. It's an option to combine them with another deep hydrating or oily cream.

You can still wear make up if you want. It won't interfere with the treatment.

Other tips:
  • Don't wash your face too often. This will really induce the dryness.
  • Because the compound thins the skin, don't scrub. This may cause irritation of the skin.
  • Use eye drops/creams containing only salt as an active compound. Salt will help hydrating the eyes.
  • Eat healthy, with special attention to healthy fats from fish, avocado, nuts and seeds.
  • I think avoiding the sauna is helpful (not sure, but theoretically it would be).
  • Don't shower more than once a day. And even then, keep it short.
  • Use body cream everyday or maybe even twice a day. Choose the one for extremely dry skin. 
That was my first "How to survive blog"
Thank you for reading!


  1. this is really interesting - there's a lot of controversy over roaccutane due its effects on mental health in the UK xx

    1. Yeah suicidal thoughts is recorded in the long list of side effects. I read articles about the compound and the results from different researches are really contradictory. Some mentioned improvement in depression, other mentioned creation of depression. In the pharmacy I worked we have never heard depression as a side effect. So maybe genetics are playing a big role. I don't know.. Main thing when using this compound is to monitor yourself carefully. xx