How to keep acne skin hydrated on Accutane


I’ve had acne for over a decade (thanks to hormones and PCOS), and over the years I’ve learned to (mostly) control my rashes and fat with the right products. Everything changed six months ago when I started taking isotretinoin, a strong oral acne medication commonly known as Accutane, and suddenly I had to figure out how to deal with very dry skin. , which I had never had before. My lips suffered the most and I felt severe dryness around my eyes, nose, face and body – which resulted in a lot of peeling. To combat this, I had to take the incorporation of superhydrating products into my skincare routine seriously, as well as really keeping things simple, making sure each product was gentle, fragrance-free, and at best. , without strong active ingredients.

Oral medication, isotretinoin is an internal retinoid (it’s retinoic acid, to be exact), which means it’s a vitamin A derivative. I took Accutane about nine years ago, but at the end of 2019, together with my doctor, we decided that a second round might be beneficial as I grew tired of the new spots and the endless cycle of pigmentation that I had. they left behind. It took me about a year to agree to do a second round, due to the very severe contraindications, ranging from dry skin and dry eyes to sore joints and even depression. I knew that with the right care and the right ingredients and products, I could handle the general drought. Either way, it was not easy to go from normal / oily skin to dry skin.

Dr Anjali Mahto, a London-based consulting dermatologist, has herself been on oral isotretinoin and explained why it causes dryness. “Isotretinoin reduces the size and activity of the sebaceous or oil glands in the skin, resulting in dryness. Dry lips and skin are extremely common side effects of the drug, and most people on treatment will suffer from it. . proper skin and lip care. ”

“As a general rule of thumb, look for products targeted at sensitive, dry, or brittle skin,” Dr. Mahto said of the types of cleansers, creams and lotions to use during treatment. “Go for scent-free cleansers and moisturizers, stripped-down skin care, and watch out for layering as the skin is sensitive and easily irritated.”

As mentioned earlier, it is very important to focus on hydration and non-active ingredients. “Keep skin care simple and basic, avoiding ‘active’ ingredients,” said Dr. Mahto. “Skin is fragile with isotretinoin, and many of these products can cause dryness, irritation, flaking, or flaking. Avoid retinoid (vitamin A) creams, AHAs (glycolic and lactic acid), as well as BHAs such as salicylic acid And speak directly to your prescribing consulting dermatologist if you are unsure of the options, ”she added.

My skin is not at all sensitive, but due to the treatment I am now very careful with the ingredients I use so as not to irritate it. It took some trial and error to find products that keep my skin hydrated and happy, but once I did, it was much easier to deal with the dryness and flakiness while I was on the medication. Read on to find out about all the products I incorporated into my routine while taking Accutane, as well as some recommendations from Dr. Mahto.


About Sally Dominguez

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