Oh Roaccutane! Depending on where you are in your acne journey, this term will probably hold a different weighting. For some Roaccutane is a taboo term of sensationalist stigma and scary side-effects. For others it is a life-changing drug that offers confidence, self-esteem and of course clearer skin. As for me Roaccutane is the tablet that I take daily to hopefully clear up my skin. All of that of course is theoretical. In reality everyone’s skincare journey is unique and mine in particular is long-winded.
Last year I made the decision to start a course of Roaccutane. At the end of six months my skin had cleared massively and I was thrilled. I even wrote about it for Missy.ie and included before and after pictures which is something I never thought I would do.
Unfortunately this year my skin made the executive decision to flare up again! And so it was back to the dermatologist and the pregnancy tests and the blood tests and the tablets and of course the dreaded and well-publicised side effects.
This time around I had some idea of what to expect so I rounded up the products that actually worked and started my second (and hopefully final) Roaccutane skincare routine!
Anyone who has spent any time at all on Roaccutane will have Vaseline on their go-to list. One of the first side-effects that most people experience is the dry and chapped lips. I have a tube or tub of Vaseline in every room in the house, every single coat pocket, each of my handbags… All I need now is a sponsorship deal!
The product description for this moisturiser is a match made in Roaccutane heaven. It is ‘specifically formulated for oily skin that has been weakened by harsh acne medication and drying skincare in adults and teenagers’. The moisturiser absorbs into the skin easily and efficiently. This can be both a pro or a con depending on how high the dose is or how the skin is responding to treatment at that point.
Another side-effect of Roaccutane (it’s a long list!) is increased sensitivity to the sun. We are already familiar with the importance of including SPF in our daily skincare routines but as someone on Roaccutane this is an even more vital step. This tinted moisturiser provides the double benefit of protecting my skin from breakouts and sun damage. The only downside of this product is that instead of the typical scent of sun-cream this tinted moisturiser smells a bit like Playdoh!
I sometimes joke about wishing I could buy products by the bucket! In this case it’s not far off. My tub of Silcock’s base is one of my favourite Roaccutane rescue remedies! The moisturiser is not overly greasy but still absorbs into the skin to hydrate my dry face. The formula is so soothing that it can also be used for eczema or psoriasis.
This is another trusty product available in large sizes and even better, it comes with a convenient pump – it really is the little things these days! Cetaphil call it a gentle skin cleanser for a reason making it ideal for my Roaccutane affected skin. It doesn’t work up much of a lather on the surface but it offers a brilliant cleanse without the expense of scrubbing my sensitive skin raw.
Our current circumstances mean that I am wearing significantly less make-up than usual at the moment. On the occasions that I do make an effort, this Garnier Micellar water is my firm favourite. I used it last time I was on Roaccutane and the soothing, gentle formula meant I went straight back to it this time.
The dry skin side-effect of Roaccutane is not just reserved for your face unfortunately. Thankfully my religious applications of Diprobase Emollient Lotion have helped to combat any severe skin drying. The formula is not quite as non-greasy as the bottle would suggest but it is a significantly lighter texture than many alternatives so it has quickly become part of my daily routine. This was one of the few products that I felt showed results immediately.
This is similar to the Elta tinted moisturiser that I love. I am a fan of this option for the same reasons and it is definitely a great selection for sensitive skin. I tend to repurchase this one less frequently because I find the price and the size of the moisturiser just do not reconcile with the sheer volume of product that my Roaccutane ridden skin requires.
The gentle properties of the Elta range are to thank for this second entry to my skincare routine. This foaming cleanser is not a cheap one so I don’t use it as frequently but it is a fantastic option for soothing and caring for my sensitive skin.
Not only is the emergence of dry and sensitive skin one of my earliest side-effects of Roaccutane but it is also one that lasts the longest. To combat this Aquaphor is the ideal bedside table product to soothe and heal flare-ups of chapped and painful skin.
For further information and expert advice on Roaccutane, always consult to a dermatologist or check out the HSE website.
Do you have any Roaccutane rescue remedies?