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I've created a blog of my Accutane journey to help others make the best decision for themselves - This site won't allow links, but you can find it through wordpress - the site name is accutanejourney. [link removed]
I read loads of reviews the first time I thought about taking Accutane and freaked myself out. If I have started it then I wouldn't have gotten 100 times worse and been driven deeper into depression. My only regret is that I didn't take it sooner.
My side effects were normal. Dry nose, lips and sometimes eyes. I bought Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream on ebay for 13 euro usually 34 in store and it is amazing. It's basically, I think, a nicer smelling Vaseline. I found it worked a lot better to, but that's just me. Use it on your lips nose and skin. It's unreal made my Accutane journey a lot easier.
I know when I read all the side effects I thought no way, but if you buy any drug they all have side effects the length of your arm. Some people don't feel any side effects. I was very lucky. My back was sore the first few months but I started Pilates on youtube and it helped. Also mind your teeth!
First I wanted to say that all of the people who leave bad reviews on here who have never actually taken the drug and are not a qualified professional - do you realize that you could be impacting someones life in a major and negative way? I recommend to those considering going on Isotretinoin not to read those kinds of reviews.
I think its a shame that people still view not wanting to have acne as a egotistical and conceited thing, when in fact having acne can be as debilitating as having any other mental or physical diseases. For me, having acne slowly took pieces of me away. I lost my self confidence, my relationships with others were strained, I didn't want to do a lot of the things I used to love. I was deeply depressed and I took it out on the people I loved, further alienating myself from human contact and support. I stopped looking at people hoping that they wouldn't look at me in return. And still people would tell me that my acne wasn't that big of a deal and I shouldn't worry about it so much and my all time favorite "why don't you just cover it up with makeup?". All of those things were supposed to be helpful, I know, but in reality they actually hurt more than helped because they made me feel like I didn't have a right to feel bad about the state of my own skin.
Yes, women can cover up acne with makeup (if you're really good at if, which I never was) but makeup isn't supposed to be a shaming tool right? Its supposed to be fun, but for me it was a dreaded daily experience.
Sorry to rant, I just want to say to anyone reading this that ITS OKAY to feel bad about your skin and don't let anyone tell you that you aren't entitled to your own feelings!
I have been off of accutane for 10 weeks now and the past half year of my life has been a total turn around, I feel like I'm finally living, instead of just getting through the days.
My acne was bad but it was not as bad as I have seen on these boards - I had acne ALL over my face, but the brunt of it was on my cheeks and forehead. I got everything from cystic acne to tiny bumps under the skin that never seemed to go away. My acne started in my teen years but it didn't really get that bad until my mid-twenties (when everyone around me seemed to finally have perfect skin :( ) I tried everything under the sun for years, from prescription to holistic.
Finally, when I moved to a different city and got a new derm, I had had enough and she agreed that at 26 years old my skin needed a break before permanent damage was done. She put me on Absorica and since I'm only 5ft and only weigh 96 lbs my dosage was pretty low (never more than 40 mg a day). I was on it for 6 months and started to see my skin clearing by the 3rd month. I wasn't totally clear by month 6, but I attribute that to my "free and do nothing to my skin" attitude at that time (I think I had like 2 tiny pimples when I took my final pill).
I've been off of it for 10 weeks now and as I sit here typing I have 2 tiny whiteheads. Now a days when I get pimples they go away lightning fast, and I haven't had any major breakouts. My skin healed up fine while I was on Absorica, I know many people say your skin heals slower but when I finished my dose most of my acne marks had faded completely. I still get a bit of redness and I have some pores that will never go back to a small normal looking size but I get compliments on my skin all the time now. I especially love not having to wear foundation (I never liked the feeling of it on my skin).
I would strongly recommend the following products during treatment:
Vaseline (for inside of your nose, otherwise you will get nosebleeds)
Carmex chapstick (the only brand that actually relived my dryness)
A very gentle cleanser (I used the Paulas Choice skin balancing one)
Sunscreen (I'm serious about sunscreen care, I think if you care about your skin you need to wear sun screen every day but you especially need it while on accutane otherwise you will burn and damage your skin --I love Kiss My Face hydrating sunscreen, I still use it)
I also used a textured cloth about every 3rd day to wash my face with - I found that my skin peeled and shed so much while I was on actuate I had to get it off somehow otherwise my whole face would look very flaky)
**Lotion - I used Paulas Choice skin recovery lotion but very sparingly because I hate putting tons of stuff on my face before going to sleep
Probiotics, I took them and still take them now because I find they help my digestion and I think they played a big role in keeping my stomach in good shape while on accutane. I really like the Target brand chewable ones.
Heating pad: my back, especially my spine hurt so much during the last two months of accutane, but a heating pad really helped to soothe it.
As for side effects, all of my side effects went away in about a month (after stopping), the only one that remains is that the oil glands in my eyes dried up and are still causing me to have dry eyes. Per advice from my eye doctors, I do warm compresses on my eyes to release the dried up oils in my eyes and its mostly fine, but I definitely can't wear my contacts for 12 hours a day, everyday anymore (not that I really used to). I have had to cut back to wearing my contacts 3 days a weeks if I want to be comfortable. If you find yourself getting eye styes during treatment or having dry eyes, I would highly recommend doing warm compresses and taking fish oil (or any kind of omega-3).
For the most part I still use all of the same products now that I was using while on absorica, but I have added an AHA (Paulas Choice again) to my routine as a spot treatment or all over when I feel like my skin has a lot of build up on it. I really don't HAVE to do anything other than wash my face and use a little lotion to have nice looking skin though.
Sorry to post such a long review, I have been thinking about it in my head for a long time. I hope it helps someone out there to read and know you are not alone in your struggles!
If I had to go on Accutane/isotretinoin/Absorica again I WOULD!
This is the only product that can help me
The creams,gels didn't work for me,my acne was so bad and my face was really greasy and my hair too,now my face it's normal but i have to use sunscreen and moustrizer but it's nothing compared to the past
I had bad acne, but when I was put on accutane the "oh it will get worse then better" routine... was HORRIBLE.
I still have scars on my cheeks and temples that I know were from the implosion of the accutane. My doctor took me off it after a few months.
I was begging to be put on it, because the commercials made it seem like the holy grail.
But It was horrible, huge mistake. Glad they took me off it.
Personal background: I had mild/moderate hormonal acne that was causing me a great deal of angst. I had tried benzoyl peroxide, differin, salicylic acid, azelaic acid, manuka honey, spironolactone, BC pill, microdermabrasion etc. while all of these treatments worked to some extent, nothing was perfect.
Isotretinoin course: I am 40kg so I started on 10mg per day. After 3 weeks I had an initial breakout – the worst of which lasted a month. The initial breakout is 100% worth it, it wasn’t much worse than a regular breakout, only there were a few cysts. By the 5th month my skin was clear. I gradually increased my dosage over the course of a year until I was taking 40mg per day. I reached the recommended total cumulative dose of 120mg per kg, took a break from the medication for 2 months and then began an ultra low-dose maintenance course (approx. 10-20mg per week) for another year.
Side effects: dry eyes, temporary joint pain (not recommended for serious athletes), dry skin, chelitis
Result: 2 years later, my skin is like porcelain. I am regularly complimented on my skin by strangers who would never have guessed I had acne. The hyperpigmentation is gone. The texture of my skin is vastly improved (smooth, less oily, no redness, firmer, brighter). I still get the occasional tiny pimple once a month – I just apply a dab of Savlon antiseptic cream.
Recommended products: Bourjois healthy mix foundation, Sukin moisturiser, hydrocortisone, Sudocreme or zinc oxide (for scars and hyperpigmentation), zinc supplements, fish oil, light AHA face wash, Savlon. Consume isotretinoin with a fatty meal.
Please message me with any questions, more than happy to help. I will never forget the psychological damage that my acne caused me.
This is kinda long so here it goes: I started getting acne when I was 14. Anyways, I started taking this drug and it was the best/worse decision of my life. It was good because It cleared up my acne within a couple of weeks. The bad was I would get cramps almost every day. And I know it was because of the medicine because they never happened before. Oh but it gets worse. I started not noticing something strange. I would no longer wake up with a morning erection. This was odd since i used to have one ever morning. I soon stopped because of it. Fast forward a year and school had just started and I realized how much I couldn't stand my face. Keep in mind my acne is severe. So I started taking the medication again and sure enough my acne was going away. I ended up only taking it two weeks this time. My penis was almost non existent. I had no sex drive or no morning erections. I couldn't maintain an erection as long as before. I knew something was wrong. I did some research and I found something interesting. There have been reports of people who had taken the drug the full course or longer who now have erectile dysfunction. I felt I had dodged a bullet. If I had blown this side effect off then I might be the same way. All I ask is that you talk to your derm and mention this side effect. He/she will probably deny It but I have first hand experience. It's been a year and while I am back to normal maintaining an erection, I still have trouble getting morning wood. All I have to say is fake this drug at your own risk. In my case the risk outweighed the reward.
Well , I'm 5 months in my 40 mg dose and a month and a half ago so depressed and I was losing all hope for ever having tolerable skin never mind beautiful...
I had always had oily skin since my early teens. I had bad breakouts but in my 20's it got terrible. Big cystic acne. It was so bad and swelled so much ppl thought I had got into a fight. Full of self hate and anger at my ugly acne I started the terrible habit of picking, I would spend hours picking at it or poking a big cyst with a pin or anything pointy thing. I would try and justify my self mutilation 'If it would only drain then I could start healing'. Consequently I became a mess and started to scar. I had to do something as it was affecting my life, I didn't want to go outside or do anything I was so depressed. So I stared to try everything under the sun, high end products, low end, at home remidys, old wives cures...sight, to no avail. Finally depressed and defeted I finally went to a derm and got on isotretinoin.
For the first few months NOTHING changed, actually it did get worse.. I was so upset. But my derm told me to just keep plugging along. Finally about a month ago thing started healing and no new ones came. I have now finally fully healed not a single open sore or blaring red pimple. I always had to leave the house with a thick layer of foundation before leaving house, now I just use a tinted moisturizer *if I'm going out and want to hide pink scars*. A lot of times I don't wear make up. I have my fingers crossed that this is it. I am so thankful.
I had got a lot of flack for going on such a dangerous drug but I'm glad I did, also I'm a testament to sometimes it does take a good long time to start working. Try it and also give it time to work. I hope this helps. Best of lucky to anyone living with this terrible condition. I lived and feel your pain, and hope you find your treatment best for you!
Your friend in the struggle,
I am a 23 year old female who took accutane for 6 months when I was 21. I had suffered acne my whole life from age 9 to 23 (present). I have mixed feelings about accutane. While taking the medication I had very dry lips and skin but a thick moisturizer made that barely noticeable. I was also able to use a clarisonic during the course. When I was on it my skin was perfect. I also lost about 10 pounds. I was 5'2 about 95 lbs. My skin cleared up at about month 4. I was taking the low dose of about 30 mg i think and worked my way up to 90 mg. Everything was great until about 5 months after being off of it. My hair started falling out. My hair still falls out rapidly even though its been about 2 years. My acne is also back. It's not as bad but it's still here. I have to wear makeup to cover my acne everyday. I don't recommend accutane because I feel that there are other options that I could have resorted too. Luckily, I don't have a single textured scar from my acne. So basically accutane cleared my acne for about a year and half and made me lose about 2/3 of my thick hair.
I was prescribed 6 months at 40mg by my dermatologist. About 1 1/2 months into the treatment I developed severe side effects including erectile dysfunction, joint pain, decreased memory/concentration and pain in my TESTICLES!!! I decreased the dose to 20mg and the pain and majority of the side effects were greatly decreased or gone. About 2 months later, I went back on the prescribed dose and thankfully, the pain and side effects didn't return (aside from pain in my lower legs). I was put on it for an extra two months to make up for the time I had spent on the reduced dose. After 8 months my acne is not nearly as bad but this medication has left my face very red and dry and I still have new ones. This medication definitely works but can come with severe, life-altering side effects that may/may not be long term. I would not recommend it unless you have severe acne and nothing else has worked for you. Take this advice seriously and don't let anyone pressure you into anything.