As you can tell, I pretty much abandoned this blog in 2011 after I started taking low-dose isotretinoin. There is a thread on the Accutane logs board chronicling my progress, but long story short, the isotretinoin made my oil disappear almost completely while I was on it. I took it from August 2011 to December 2012, and I relished my oil-free skin that entire time. I dropped the medication in December because I wasn't able to acquire any more, but it was a good run.
So now I'm back where I started. My nose is extremely oily, and I'm trying more experiments to reduce sebum production. I'm happy to say that isotretinoin does seem to have one lasting effect for me even though the oil came back: my acne blemishes are almost non-existent. For years until I started the medication, I dealt with stubborn pustules and sebaceous filaments on my nose. After being off the medication for over a month, I have had almost no recurrence of acne. Granted, this could be related to my relatively clean diet and the regular cardio exercise that I have started doing, but in reality I probably have the isotretinoin to thank for it.
I've also noticed that the bare, clean skin on my nose looks less shiny since I stopped the isotretinoin. One of the big surprises once I started isotretinoin was that my nose looked really shiny even when there was no oil on it. I think the medication may have been thinning out my skin somehow, because now my nose is much less reflective (until the oil takes over).
Now that my isotretinoin supply has run out and my oil has returned, I'm back to the drawing board. There is really nothing to do except experiment with different products to see if any of them reduce my oily skin. As far as supplements go, I am currently taking 1,500mg of evening primrose oil. For topicals, I am applying saw palmetto, EGCG extract (green tea), and evening primrose oil to the right side of my nose, and I'm putting Nizoral %1 on the right side of my nose for 5 minutes in the shower and washing it off. I'm hoping one of these will have some effect on the sebum. I have also been applying diluted peppermint to my entire nose.
For short-term treatments, I'm looking into Milk of Magnesia again. I had a hard time with it in the past because it's very drying and I was suffering from terrible dryness on my nose already, but now my skin has rebounded a lot and I think I can get away with applying it just on important social occasions. I just need to perfect my technique so that it doesn't leave a ghostly white cast on my nose. In fact, tomorrow I'm planning on picking up magnesium citrate, which is purported to have the same oil-absorbing effect as Milk of Magnesia without the white, chalky appearance. It sounds a little too good to be true, but I'm giving it a shot.
Going forward, my next big plan is to start juicing vegetables and fruit to greatly increase the amount of nutrition in my diet. I have eliminated lots of unhealthy things from my diet over the years, but I haven't been as good about adding healthy foods. I'm trying to change that now.
So that's where I am. I'll try to update fairly regularly in case anyone is interested in my experiments.