Sunday, October 27, 2013

Exfoliating While on Accutane

Hey guys, I have been busy with midterms lately but I had a little bit of time to talk about exfoliating. One of the biggest DONTs when on Accutane is exfoliating your skin. Because Accutane tends to thin out the skin, exfoliating will not only thin it out even more but make you more prone to scarring if you use scrubs. Those beads and scrubs may just leave you with permanent scarring.

So what do you do? Your skin is flakey and dry and no moisturizers would ever work! Well, you need to exfoliate, but you can't. I have found several tricks that could exfoliate your skin gently! 

A very gentle exfoliate is Cure Natural Aqua Gel. Cure is made in Japan and has been the best selling exfoliator in Japan.  A bottle is sold every 20 seconds! Amazing right? What makes Cure so popular are the ingredients, 90% water! Who knew that water could exfoliate your skin? Unlike scrubs which do as they sound, Cure gently removes dead skin cells without drying or thinning your skin. And it's preservative free, coloring free, mineral oil free, and artificial fragence free!

You could purchase Cure Natural Aqua Gel through Amazon, Yesstyle, Immoko, and other asian beauty websites. But my personal favorite is getting free samples from the direct site themselves! I never want to push a product. Rather, I want you guys to try it for yourself and do it free!! Plus, you can read more on how cure works. The links are listed below:

Cure Natural Aqua Gel
Request samples: 

How to Use Cure:
I like to use Cure on one of those days that I do not wear any makeup, just moisturizer and lip balm kind of day.
  1. Clean your face and dry well. This is important because Cure does not work on wet skin, the added water would make the removal of dead skin cells hard to remove.
  2. Pump a small amount of Cure and put onto desired area such as nose, cheeks, forehead, and so on. Work in small areas in order to remove the most dead skin and dirt from your face.
  3. Gently massage in circular motions for 30 to 60 seconds. This is the fun part! You can actually feel and see the dead skin cells collecting on your fingertips as you massage your face.
  4. Rinse with lukewarm water and remember to moisturizer after you exfoliate!

Another natural exfoliate could be sitting on your counter right now. Can you guess what it is? Oatmeal!!  Simply, place a handful of oatmeal in the palm of your hand. Add warm water in order to make the oats softer and to draw out the nutrients-loaded water! 

I like to do this when I am in the shower and this has become an essential part of my cleansing routine. Not only will oatmeal exfoliate your face, oatmeal is a great alternative cleanser that will really hydrate and moisturize your face without all the added chemicals! Perhaps one of the best cleansers for sensitive, over-worked, acne-prone, all types of skin!


Disclamier: This post is not sponsored. All products were purchased by me. All opinions are my own and completely honest. Thank you for reading!

Friday, October 11, 2013

WARNING! Toothpaste for Pimples!!

I want to take some time to discuss home remedies on treating acne.  When you google "ways of getting rid of acne overnight" or "home remedies for acne," there are over 30+ ways that people have tried and worked for them. Let's discuss the most popular ways and how and if they even work.

A common way of reducing inflammation and the size of pimples is ice. Ice could shrink the size of the pore and constrict blood flow to the area. Ice does not decrease the size of the pimple, but rather reduce redness, temporarily. Your skin actually tries to warm itself back up and that redness comes back as quickly as it can disappear because blood rushes to that spot once you stop applying ice on it.

Another way of reducing the size of the pimple is toothpaste. People have said how toothpaste has dramatic changed the size of the pimple. Yes, I believed it as well. It did reduce the size of the pimple drastically and I was super excited that I continuously used toothpaste on my spots. HOWEVER, TOOTHPASTE IS NOT MEANT FOR YOUR FACE! IT'S FOR YOUR TEETH! Yes, toothpaste has silica, a drying agent in it that could "dry" up the pimple but toothpaste can burn your skin. Below is an image of the aftermath of my toothpaste disaster. 

My chin was 10 times redder and more painful than the picture above when I washed off the toothpaste. My skin was so thin that oil and bacteria easily spread and pimples just kept appearing and appearing. It was uncontrollable. Before I was able to get approved for Accutane, I struggled so much to keep the pimples under control. I turned to expensive acne systems, but the only treatment that worked for me was facial. To pop all those pimples at one time was so agonizing. But I had to release the pressure of the pimples. I went to get a facial biweekly to remove the bacteria from my face and prevent pimples from forming.

This blog post is to warn people about toothpaste for treating pimples. If you use toothpaste, do not use gel and minty toothpaste. Try to find a natural toothpaste. Also, do not leave on for more than 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of the toothpaste. In addition, localize the toothpaste. Put a small dab on right on top of the pimple. Do not spread the toothpaste. If you feel that there is an unusual burning sensation, immediately wash off the toothpaste and put on an ointment for burns. 


Monday, October 7, 2013

Update! Week 2 Accutane

Hi everyone :) Fall is quickly approaching and it's sad to say that it is already October. But I have Thanksgiving and Christmas to look forward to! A psychologist once said that women who are happy have things that they anticipate. When we anticipate things that make us happy and excite us, we are put into that happy mood and have something to look forward to. What are you looking forward to this month?

Week Two is here and I am starting to feel the change in my lips and nose. I totally jynxed it! I am starting to get those nose bleeds and/or dry bloody nose in the morning. With the season change, my allergies are starting to act up. During spring, I hardly felt the symptoms of allergy. But this fall, my eyes are itchy and patchy. My nose is super super itchy and stuffy. I would blow my nose and specks of blood would be present. 

In turns of side effects of Accutane, my nose is extremely flakey and dry just like it was the first time I took Acctuane. My lips are extremely chapped and peeling more than usual. I have had one pimple on my chin but that was a reaction to the vaseline on my lips. Interestingly, vaseline does not break my out on my nose but breaks me out on my chin. I have had inflammation on the keloids on my body. Other than the dry skin and lips, I do not see any change from Accutane. 


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Lightening Acne Scars, Redness, and Dark Spots

Over the course of two months, my acne scars and redness around my chin and nose area have dramatically lighten. I could walk out of my home and not worry about people staring at my "sunburn" like face. What's the secret? 

There are several ways of lightening up scars and redness. One of the best methods is wearing sunscreen every single day. Not only does wearing sunscreen prevent wrinkles, it protects you from sun damage. For those on Accutane, your skin becomes very sensitive to sunlight. If you were to say get a tan or get a sunburn, you could be permenantly scarred because your skin is already thin from Accutane and the UV rays have penetrated through that thin film of skin and damaged your skin cells. By then, there is no way to lighten scars, no even surgery. 

I have been using sunscreen every single day (minus a day or two when I am late for class :X) and I have seen a dramatic change to the redness on my skin. A tragedy happened one and half years ago when I was still doing home remedies for acne I burned my skin with toothpaste, which by the way does diminish the acne but you risk burning your skin which have caused me a big red scar around my chin. I applied ointment for a week, which broke me out. But I am left with a deep red coloring on my chin all the way around to my lip. Unfortunately, I did not take a picture but you could see how red my chin area is after that toothpaste disaster. But you could see here how my skin has changed.  

I have several options for sun protection for the face, ranging from different needs and prices. My favorite is the Shiseido Sun Protection Lotion+ SPF 50+. I know the whole big controversy about how much SPF you really need, but hey I am on Accutane! I need as much SPF as I can. Shiseido have over 130 years of research and skincare knowledge. I think they know what they are doing! And it does not break me out. LOVEE!

My other option would be Neutrogena Oil-Free Facial Moisturizer SPF 35. It is a moisturizer with SPF, which saves you double the time so you do not need to put on a moisturizer and wait for that to soak into your skin and then put on sunscreen. Killing two birds with one stone I call it! Plus, CVS offers 100% beauty product returns, which is huge because I am a acne-prone skincare hoarder. I will try anything to get that zit of my face. And knowing that if the product is not for me, I could return it and get my money back. 

At night, I like to do a little something call "healing." After torturing my face with moisturizer, sunscreen, makeup, and cleanser, I like to use something gentle. Clinique's Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector is my choice of lightening scars and redness. Clinique is known for its products to be allergy tested, 100% fragrance free, and 100% paraben free. Big pluses for your skin! If you are looking for immediate results, this is not for you. I find that other lightening spot treatments are packed with harsh chemicals that are merely just stripping your skin layer by layer, which can make you dry, flakey, and even more prone to sun damage if you do not apply sunscreen religiously. Although many reviews say that they buy three bottles and see no change, this is one of the most gentle and most effective skin corrector I have used. And it is perfect for Accutane users because your skin is already dry and vulnerable. Why put more chemicals to make your skin more damaged? 

I would take a pea size amount and massage it gently into areas of redness. I like to let the serum soak in before I put on my night moisturizer. A little warning tho - results will not be immediate. It may take up to a couple of months, but the key here is gentle. Plus, this is hydrating, which can keep you moisturize. And it does not break me out or irritate my skin. I am on my second bottle and I just love this. 

Another tip! I know this is an expensive product. I almost died when I bought it. So I have been going to different Sephora's monthly and asking for samples. If you are not sure if this is for you, feel free to go to Sephora and get samples! Samples of scar treatments from Murad (very very effective and immediate), sunscreen (most important!!), and even foundation! I have been using Make Up For Ever HD Foundation at no cost at all. All you have to do is be brave!

Good Luck,

Disclamier: This post is not sponsored. All products were purchased by me. All opinions are my own and completely honest. Thank you for reading!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Week 1 Accutane (Again)

Hi everyone! So I am super excited about starting Accutane again! But not for that dark spot on my nose :( So i have not figured out how and when that came about, but it was only a scar! Now it is a dried blood scar that I cannot cover with foundation or concealer. Have you ever had spots you just cannot conceal no matter what you do?

I have the worst self control ever! I just need to get that acne or spot off my face the next day. But this time, I was being a good girl and it paid off!! I understand the whole "don't pick your pimple," but sometimes when you get the monstrous size ones you just want it to flatten and disappear right away.  I did my regular skin routine, which I have added new products to. I will be doing an updated skin care routine hopefully soon!

I would say that I do not have many side effects yet. My lips are not chapped nor is my skin flakey or dry yet. Maybe because I am on a lower dosage. I hope that it will stay that way throughout my regime!


Monday, September 23, 2013

Starting Accutane Again

Sorry for the very very late blog update. I have been having trouble with school work and side work for my study abroad. So during my visit to the dermatologist, she hesitated to allow me to take Accutane again. She had asked me to take antibiotics that do nothing for me for several more years and my acne should be less severe. However, after careful discussion with other dermatologists at the office, she had agreed to monitor my progress while undergoing a lower dosage of Accutane. 

Excited to say, I am taking Accutane again. I believe that my acne has gotten much better. I have experienced less inflammation on other parts of my body. Even though I have to deal with the excessive dryness and horrible makeup, I think in the long run I would be happy with the results. I am just hoping that Accutane does not damage my liver. That just means going back to trying a different antibiotics or medication each month. 

So my acne has not been severely horrible as it was. BUT there was several small pimples around my lip and jawline. They are not yellow nor "ripe." I couldn't pop them, but I was afraid that it would spread. The area is rather rough and bumpy, probably from the benzoyl peroxide cream I used. 

The box looks pretty much the same, except it is a lower dosage of 20mg. The pill is a different color, but it is pretty much the same. I am still continuing my birth control, which I felt was actually keeping my acne along my jawline under control, definitely not the antibiotics. 

So the second time around, I think I am going to find ways to improve my liver health. Perhaps, alcohol is not a good idea to have during these next few months. And maybe a diet with more dark leafy greens. Any suggestions?


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Newest Update: Stopped Accutane Due to Potential Liver Damage

I have not updated the blog for a long time because I have stopped Accutane for about three weeks now. My dermatologist told me that my blood test did not go well. There was an increase level of something, indicating that I am reacting to Accutane. More specifically, Accutane is harming my liver.

During the first month of Accutane, I threw up once a week. At first, I thought it was probably from drinking alcohol. My dermatologist said that drinking alcohol while on Accutane is not an issue. However, I was not drunk nor tipsy. I was sober, throwing up. This occurred for two weeks, both times following drinking alcohol. The next week I felt sick suddenly over dinner with my girls, but I have not touched alcohol that day not even during dinner. I thought it was food poisoning, but considering what my dermatologist told me about my blood test, it could be my liver reaction to Accutane.

It has been three weeks since I have stopped Accutane. For the first two weeks, my body acne have flared up. I guess I should mentioned that I have hidradenitis suppurativa, which is keloids around the crotch area, and keloids on the back of my neck. I know it may sound very nasty, but it is far more uncomfortable to have a keloid. I could not walk or sleep or lie down. Keloids are so painful and unfortunately, there is no cure for it and if you were to do surgery for it, there is a high chance that the keloid will come back and it will be worst. But the Accutane has controlled the keloid from growing more painful, but since I have stopped I am in so much pain when I wake up. 

Interestingly, the acne on my face has not changed. The redness have somewhat calmed down and the dryness on my lips and nose have gotten better. However, I still feel that my lips could be chapped from time to time. My nose has been dry still, but that might be from the change of season here in New York. I have the worst allergies :(

I am currently on a different medication, which I have taken before. However, it does absolutely nothing for me. Tomorrow, I will be getting monthly blood test in order to make sure that my liver is functioning correctly. The next week I will be returning to my dermatologist to discuss what may be other options for me. One possibility may be to decrease the dosage of Accutane, which is the most optimal choice considering how much my acne has changed since being on Accutane.

My skincare routine has changed slightly. I have included more acne-targeted cleanser, rather than my oatmeal cleanser. I am currently using the Biore Steam Activated Cleanser [] This was a rave by Hollyannaeree. She is just so beautiful and her reviews are straight to the point and honest! Love Love Love!!! I am still using the same moisturizer and using my sunscreen everyday. I have also switched up my foundation and primer and it is wonderful for dry skin. I will be trying the new foundation routine when and if I start Accutane again.

Final thoughts of the day: I really hope to return soon to my dermatologist and get my keloids under control. I just wish to get acne over with and start doing peels to get rid of the redness and scars. Someday, I want to not wear makeup and not have people stare at me. And to not wake up in pain anymore.