Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Skincare Routine for Accutane

Since being on Accutane, my skin has been intensely dry and my lips are peeling. Makeup appeared very patchy. But have trying all kinds of product, I have found my holy grail products!

I cannot go out without makeup because I have too many scars and deep redness on my face. I would feel like people are focusing on my acne, rather than who I am behind all that. 

My first holy grail product is oatmeal. Oatmeal has replaced all my cleansers and trust me I have tried so many products over the past year. However, these products are no longer fit for my skin being on Accutane. They are all too harsh, even the cream cleansers. Even my favorite Biore cleanser has become too drying for my skin. The idea of using oatmeal as my cleanser came from Bubzbeauty. [http://youtu.be/7e5_RVBwNjE] She shared her story of her skin being extremely allergic and sensitive. Skin under acne treatment, especially something like Accutane, should also be treated gently. Oatmeal makes your skin feel hydrated and a perfect spa treatment for your skin and even your drying peeling lips!

Before I take my shower, I put a handful of oatmeal in a plastic container and fill it up with warm to not very hot water, almost just a palmful of water only.  In the shower, I like to take off my makeup with the DHC Deep Cleansing Oil. Before Accutane, I loved loved lovedddd the Clinque Rinse-off Foaming Cleanser because of how gentle and effective it is to take off my makeup. But it has been a bit dry as well. The oil cleanser does not do as good of a job removing foundation, but it is fabulous to remove eye makeup! Sometimes, I like to switch up my routine by using the deep clean cream cleanser. I do not love it, but I guess it will do for now.

 AHHH!!! Sorry for the scary picture, but I take the oatmeal that has been sitting in the container and I massage it into my skin. I like to take this time as my spa time, doing an oatmeal mask. I massage my chin and nose area longer because those areas have been excessively dry and peeling. I also focus on my lips because they do peel. I let the oatmeal soak in for about one to two minutes and gently rinse off the oatmeal. Don't need to rinse thoroughly. Sometimes, I like to leave the oatmeal water on my face because it just feels so hydrating.

I pat my face dry with a paper towel and apply my Clinique Even Better Dark Spot Corrector. I like to massage over areas where I would like to lighten the scars, mostly on my old acne marks, chin, and my nose area. Then I apply my Ren ClearCalm 3 Replenishing Night Serum. For skin under acne treatment, moisturizers are not enough. You would need a hydrating serum and Ren is an excellent brand for acne-prone skin.

My second holy grail product is Vaseline. It was the only product that kept my skin from being dried out and peeling. I have tried moisturizers, argan oil, coconut oil, and many many more. Do not be alarm! My skin did not break out from using the oils, but rather it was not hydrating enough for my skin because of Accutane! Vaseline has been my life savor. I love putting it on my nose, chin, and lips and waking up the next morning feeling hydrated, rather than frustrated!!!

The white jar with the blue and red letterings all worn off is a jar of Egyptian Magic Cream. It use to be too oily and greasy for me, but now it helps make my makeup even more flawless. I like to apply Egyptian Magic Cream after apply my Clinique corrector, Ren Hydra-Calm Global Protection Day Cream, and sunscreen. I find that Egyptian Magic Cream blends better with makeup than Vaseline. Egyptian Magic Cream have so many uses - hair treatment, treatment for scars, cuticle treatment, and many more! A trick to draw out the full benefits of Egyptian Magic Cream is to warm up the cream between your fingers or in your palm before massaging it into the skin. The warmth helps the cream from being too oily or greasy on the skin. 

DO NOT use face moisturizers with salicylic acid or beta hydroxyl or harsh chemicals. Try to pick moisturizers that are more gentle and ideal for dry skin, rather than acne prone. The Accutane is fighting the acne for you already! Your skin needs moisture!! SO DRINK UP!!

Hope this helps those of you struggling from Accutane! 


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Newest Updates on my Accutane Progress + DO's and DONT's of Accutane

Sorry for the late posts, but I had finals and went on a small road trip to Cape Cod. I had a lot of lobster and lobster rolls. There goes the diet :( I have to admit that I have not been the greatest at keeping with my diet rules, drinking enough water, or even moisturizing my lips. 

On my way to Cape Cod, I have forgotten my birth control and Accutane medication with me. I was panicking and did not know what to do. Luckily, the doctor was still in the office. She assured me that missing two to three doses of Accutane was okay. However, I am not to make up for the doses of Accutane when I return back home. During my trip, my skin did not feel as dry nor did my lips feel as chapped. 

My face is clearing up, no new acne appeared. I was getting better, even the redness is slowly disappearing. However, I did the worst things I possibly could have done while I was on Accutane.

There is a list of "DONT'S" for those on Accutane:

  1. Tanning
  2. Waxing
  3. Get a facial
  4. Get a chemical peel
  5. Get a microdermabrasion
These actions will lead to permanent scarring on the skin because the skin is undergoing such an abrasive medication. The skin is fairly thin and any of these acts will cause the skin to scar. Unlike popping a pimple, these scars can become permanent. I have tried to not pop pimples or extract blackheads with a needle, in order to avoiding any scarring. Please be very very careful!

I also have a list of DONTs that would help avoid any breakouts during Accutane. These suggestions are from my personal experiences of acne and while on Accutane.

Things To DOs/DONTs:
  1. DO NOT Eat Beef
    • Beef sold in the market today have all been genetically modified to be fat and beef itself contains a lot of hormones. When these hormones enter our body, there is an imbalance of the hormones in our body and the cow's hormones. This is often what causes acne along the chin and jaw line, which is associated with hormonal imbalance or often called hormonal acne.
  2. DO NOT Eat trigger foods like pizza, chips, bbq, all that bad food
    • You already know, they are bad bad foods. Deep fried foods trigger acne!!! I do not know why, but if I eat chips the very next day I will have three new pimples. Not a good sight!
  3. Eat less white foods like rice, white bread, potatoes, pasta --> switch to only whole grain
    • White foods are also a major cause of hormonal acne because white foods are packed of sugar and considered "bad carbs"
  4. Avoid soy sauce and high sodium foods
    • In my culture, soy sauce can darken scars and in turn make them last longer. High sodium foods also cause our hormone levels to go off balance and make you very thirsty. Your body needs the water to cleanse out toxics and keep your skin hydrated. When your skin is dry, your body secretes more oil and that oil could cause acne. That's why moisturizing is important and so is drinking water.
  5. Avoid processed foods (anything that comes out of a factory, refined grains like white bread, etc)
    • My new rule of thumb is anything with a commercial is bad for you. Think about it.  Commercials are to sell their product, but they are just packed of sugar and sodium. Try cooking your own foods and pack ahead of time. You will see a clearer complexion and feel more alive once you break out of the cycle of processed foods.
  6. Avoid sugary foods (coffee, breakfast cereal, froyo, spaghetti sauce)
    • Sugary foods can also increase hormones and hormones, in turn, trigger acne. At each sugar spike in the blood, our hormones are trying to balance the sugar levels. Each time our hormones are out of whack, we break out. Acne could be consider an indication of what goes on in our body

Excuse the long list, but hope this helps with the "Accutane acne" or for those more fortunate acne. 

My skin looks so much better. I will be sharing my new skincare routine since I have been on Accutane, which has helped a lot to combat dryness and breakouts. This picture was taken two hours after I showered and the redness is not as visible. Back then, the redness would last for hours and hours. It was just horrible to look at. Thank you Accutane!


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Accutane Day 9

Hey guys! I forgot to take a picture for Day 8, so I am going to just jump to Day 9. So I have started to put on vaseline on my lips when I sleep and after I eat my breakfast. 

There is no more pimples on my chin, but acne has migrated upward. Two pimples have appeared on the bridge of my nose and between my eyebrows. Those do not hurt as much as the ones on my chin, but I just want to stop breaking out.

I apologize for the lighting, but you can see the dryness on my nose and chin. My shirt is full of dry skin crumbles from my nose. My lips are peeling as we speak and I have already put on vaseline on them. I have also moisturized my face with Egyptian Magic Cream, which makes my skin very soft and less dry. It actually helps with my acne scars and could even be a great hair treatment and lip balm, but sometimes I feel it is very oily on my face. 

I have been doing a lot of research for a new moisturizer ideal for dry and acne prone skin. The trickiness of finding a new moisturizer for my new skin type is that I might break out if the moisturizer is too greasy but I need that thick moisturizer for my dry dry skin due to the Accutane medication. I will be trying different products to see which one works best with me. 


Friday, July 5, 2013

Accutane Day 7

A week has passed and I definitely feel the effects of Accutane. My lips are very dry to the point where I feel like they are cracking. I have never felt this dry before, not even in the winter time. My nose and chin are very flakey and dry, skin peeling. The pimple on my nose is calming down, probably from the clay mask I placed on for the last two days. But it is still bright cherry red and dry that makeup doesn't even cover it. I hate those pimples that I cannot put makeup over. 

As you can see, the pimples that were on my chin has disappeared but my lips have become very very dried. I was actually heading to a BBQ at my friend's home and I noticed that my lips were very very chapped. I could almost peeled off the skin on my lips. Not my best day! A cherry nose and dry dry lips. 


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Accutane Day 6

Happy July 4th everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful BBQ and enjoyed the fireworks! It is super humid in New York City. Although I was hoping for 90 degree weather, it is way to hot for an outdoor BBQ. So I BBQed at my boyfriend's home. 

The acne is still present on my chin and the one on my nose is very very painful. It is bright red and tender to the touch. I hate the ones that are red, where it is not yet ripe but glaring out. Unlike the yellow ones, I cannot make it go away. It is basically the waiting game to see if I blow up first or the pimple pop first. 

Today is also no makeup day. What I love the most about my boyfriend is that he does not mind if I wear makeup or not. He actually said that It looks as if I was healing already. The redness is fading slowly, but the pimples on my chin are no longer there. It makes me so happy that there is another place in the world besides my room that I can be where I do not need to wear makeup and not be judged for my acne. 

Sometimes, when I watch YouTube videos and see these girls with one blemish, I do not see why they pack pounds and pounds of foundation, concealer, and eye makeup. I am so jealous of their blemish-free skin. It is so hard to wake up every morning and see a new pimple again and again. And makeup just makes me feel so uncomfortable such that I am very aware that I have makeup on. I also worry if my makeup becomes cakey or my blemish peeps out of the foundation. And then it happens all over again the next day. I think that is the reason that I decided to take Accutane. It took me a month after I was approved and given the medication to actually take Accutane. At the end I felt that I would rather break out and be dry for six months than to break out inconsistently for a couple more years. 


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Accutane Day 5

Day 5 is reminding me very much of Day 1 of my crazy breakout. As you can see, more pimples formed on my chin. The weather is getting more and more humid. I do not want to go out, I do not want to go to school. Aside from the yellow pus-filled pimples on my chin, there is one developing on my nose, the same spot as that large pore couple years ago. It is very very red and cannot be covered with makeup. Not a good day for me.

I could not resist! I popped them, but I put on a clay mask to draw out all the bacteria, dirt, and makeup. Hopefully by tomorrow, I will not have any of these horrible pimples on my chin! It's July 4 and I want to hang out with my friends. I hate to put my life on hold because of acne. :(


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Accutane Day 4

It's Day 4 and nonetheless, it is painful!!!! Sorry for the second picture of the oozing pimple but I did not pop that on my own! One point for me for being good!  

I also love love love rice noodles with fish balls in peanut butter sauce. It is the cheapest but one of the best foods ever! I only ate half of it for breakfast because it was very filling and there rest for lunch. And this whole pint only cost me $2.50! The best part is the rice noodles with peanut butter sauce, sweet and savory! 

I had night class again and needless to say, I had to munch on something for class. Eating and drinking Starbucks (even though coffee does not keep me awake) somehow gets me through a torturous two and a half hour lecture at 8PM. I was super hungry :(

I feel my lips feeling drier than usual, but not necessary for lip balm yet. However, I have not found a on-the-spot treatment yet that will clear my pimples. So all I can do now is just let it heal on its own :( 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Accutane Day 3

Its Day 3 and I have to say I feel very uncomfortable. You can see several small pimples on my chin. I have a temptation to pop the pimple. I feel as if the pimple heels faster after I remove the pus and bacteria. However, there will be scars which last longer than it takes for the pimple to heel on its own. But the temptation..... :(

It is extremely humid in New York City and the acne situation does not help at all. Because of the weather, I decided to have congee, a porridge in Chinese cooking. I like it very watery, much like a soup. Since the congee has no seasoning or flavor, I love to pair it with spicy cabbage. I could it this everyday! And I ate it for breakfast and lunch :D

I had a night class and couldn't wait for dinner. So I bought a salad near my school. It is a spinach salad with tomatoes, green peppers, mushrooms, kidney beans, and chick peas in a balsamic vinaigrette. 

My chin is rather uncomfortable although it was not as bad as it was back in February. I just pray to God that I do not get as bad as that time. Please please God :(