Skin Care Products while on Accutane: Skin Dryness
This is a text about my skincare and recommendations to those, who are on the drug Accutane, which is also known as isotretinoin. Many people have asked me for my skincare product recommendations. If you're not familiar with this medication, then you should know that it is used to treat acne. It also may be prescribed for some other things.
Major side effects of this medication involve your skin being incredibly dry. So, the products that I'm going to recommend to you are really excellent for the situation that you're going to be through with dryness of the skin.
With starting Accutane your skin's going to get really dry, because Accutane shrinks the sebaceous oil gland and reduces sebum production. Sebum is the oil that makes our skin feel greasy and contributes to acne. But it also lubricates the surface of our skin, and a lot of other mucous membrane services have sebaceous glands or a variant of sebaceous glands that keep those areas hydrated and functional. They are going to be affected by this medication, too. And you're going to experience that.
As your skin is going to make less oil, you really have to break up with some of your prior skincare practices, particularly, if they were aimed at doing things to your skin to alleviate the sensation of oily skin. That's no longer going to be an issue for you. You're taking a pill and that does out for you. So, you have to revamp your skincare to avoid drying out and irritating your skin, not only on your face but on your body as well. Really dial back on the use of soaps and cleansers on the body. There is not going to be that need to degrease your skin.
A lot of people with oily skin, who have acne on the chest and the back, are used to lathering those areas off. But there's not a need to do that anymore. It's going to dry them out too much. And you may have been using a harsher soap.
My recommendation for body cleansing is to really be strategic with your body washing, just direct a small amount of water to areas of the body that are visibly soiled. So, if you work outdoors, then this will be more relevant to you, or to areas of the body, where you have skin contact under your armpits, under the breasts, and the abdominal folds, and between the thighs. These are areas that are prone to bacterial colonization and need a little bit more attention, when it comes to hygiene. But, otherwise, there's no need to use soap on your legs, your torso, your arms. This can dry out your skin even more than the Accutane. And that can lead to a lot of dryness and irritation and cause rashes.
The stuff that I recommend for the body is, actually, a non soap. It's a bar form. I recommend the Cerave hydrating cleanser bar soap, or I recommend the Vanicream cleansing bar. Both of these are excellent choices for people, who need some body parts cleansing being on Accutane. They are very gentle and great for these particular areas.
The reason that I like the bar is that there is a bar soap, and people tend to use less soap, when they use a bar. They tend to be heavy-handed with pouring out body washes. And that can lead to overstepping the skin and is drying out your skin more. So, those are what I recommend for body washing.
Count the number of times a day you bathe. You should consider reducing if you're somebody, who showers in the morning and then again at night, you may want to reduce that to just once a day. Make sure you limit your showers to no more than 10 minutes and use lukewarm water, rather than hot or extremely cold water. Extremes of temperature can aggravate the skin barrier, and that's not something that you want, when you're going through a key chain to keep the showers really short.
When it comes to cleansing your face, then you should minimize the number of times that you wash your face a day, just once a day in the evening to remove pollutants dirt and makeup that have settled on your skin throughout the day. Stay away from cleansers for oily skin. They tend to have surfactants in them that are degreasing, and that's the last thing that you want in this stage.
I recommend a gentle non soap cleanser. One that I love is the Neutrogena hydroboost cleansing lotion for sensitive skin. This is free of added fragrance. It's very important, because, when your skin is going through Accutane, it's a lot more susceptible to developing allergies and irritation to you. Fragrance is a very common allergen and irritant. So, make sure you avoid that. This is really nice if you're going through Accutane, because it's got Palmer 188 in it. This is a compound that actually can cushion the skin cells, and it's very gentle. And we'll help to remove the dirt and makeup from throughout the day, but not overly throughout your skin barrier.
I love that another one that I strongly recommend. It is a Cerave hydrating cleanser. It’s a very gentle and non-soaked cleanser.
The third one that I love is more expensive. It’s an Avene cleanser lotion, which is extremely gentle cleansing lotion. The reason I like this is not only because it is a non-stop cleanser, but it has an ingredient in it that oxidize and has antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. And that can be helpful for soothing the skin and reducing redness and irritation. So, that is also a great one.
For those of you in the UK, I recommend the Waitrose pure face wash natural care. This is a very gentle cleanser. For those of you in the UK this is a really good choice. For those of you throughout Europe this, maybe, isn't available, I’m not sure if it is outside of the UK, but I recommend the Balea ultrasensitive wash gel. It’s a cleanser that is a wonderful. It’s one to use if you were going through isotretinoin.
Speaking about washing your face, then this is a time to seriously consider breaking up with makeup. It can help, because makeup provides some camouflage for the dryness, redness, peeling and whatnot. And in the acne it can be very drying and irritating, and your skin's going to be very sensitive during this time period. So, if you do use makeup, stick to mineral based make-ups, they tend to be less irritating, than non mineral make-ups. I've always recommended the brand Bermablend. They make fantastic foundations, which are acne friendly.
A really important part of going through Accutane is greasing up. Remember, the medication has taken this away from you, which is a good thing for your acne, but your skin barrier, actually, still needs that oil. So, you're going to have to replenish it with a greasy moisturizing cream. In your past you may have chosen moisturizers that were oil-free or lotions that were lightweight, and you thought more comfortable on your previously greasy skin. These are no longer going to be useful to you. You want to choose a cream. Vanicream brand can't go wrong. It’s free about fragrance. If you live in Canada, the company is called Cleanser, but it's the same thing. Then, for those of you outside of the US and Europe, throughout Europe, QV cream is another one that I strongly recommend.
These are all phenomenal for people, who are going through Accutane, not only for your face but for your body. I call them the heroes in blue. They're the skin barrier heroes. They're amazing and really good for going through Accutane.
Now, my tip for putting these on after you step out of the shower, which, remember, you're going to keep short, you're not going to be there too long, you're not going to be over soaping, and you're not going to be using super scalding and hot water. As soon as you step out, while your skin is still damp, go ahead and grease up them. That way the occlusive ingredients in these moisturizers will help to lock in that hydration and really help in addressing the dryness of your skin. These are wonderful to use from head to toe, in your face, your body.
Many people, actually, have told me that they use the Cerave moisturizing cream as a leave-in conditioner for hair. So, that's wonderful. This can go on your scalp as well, which you're going to find is also going to get a lot drier.
Speaking of your scalp, you also won't find that you don't have to shampoo your hair as frequently, when you’re on Accutane, because it dries up the oil, and so you don't have your hair as oily. Dandruff at one point is something you might find that is going to improve a little bit, as a result of SIBO stasis or reduction in that oil production. But it can't get into. So, therapy moisturizing cream can be used to the scalp in the evening time as well.
Put those are great head-to-toe moisturizers again on as soon as you step out of the shower, while your skin is still damp, and take advantage of that, a little bit of water on your skin and lock it in. I'll help in addressing the skin barrier issue with the Accutane. So, you may want to gravitate towards something that is more of a balm consistency. By bond consistency I mean even greasy than these moisturizing creams, more of an ointment. This can be used on the face to really dry areas or on the body as well, like if you have a lot of acne on your chest and back that's really getting dried out peeling and just uncomfortable.
One that I love is the Theraplex barrier balm. This is petrol autumn based, and that's really the best, one of the best ingredients. Petrol autumn really seals in transit the dermal water loss and addresses that skin barrier issue.
So, third one is Vaseline 100% petroleum jelly. You have to be careful with Vaseline, because they make a ton of products. And some of their products have added fragrance or added flavor that can aggravate your skin.
Another great petroleum autumn based ointment that I love is this Arabi healing ointment. You can't put this all over your face if you got really dry aggregated patches, you may just want to put it in certain spot areas. I love this, because you know it's petroleum base, a great occlusive for sealing and trans epidermal water loss, but it also has ceramides in it. Apply them exogenously, as a moisturizer or ointment like this can help your skin barrier start to make more of its own ceramides. So, it's really a good thing to consider. Te Arabi moisturizing cream that I mentioned earlier has that as well.
Aquaphor is wonderful. It does have lanolin in it and that's an ingredient that some people can be allergic to, so I tend to not choose that. I find personally that it just irritates my skin, so I don't use that one. But it is a frequent recommendation and not a bad choice for what I'm talking about for addressing those really dry patches.
For those of you outside of the US, in terms of an ointment, I'm going to recommend to you a Cetraben ointment or a QV ointment.