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My Journey - 29/f In Australia - Wrinkles I Can Handle, No More Pimples Please

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So, I have been madly reading everything I can find on other peoples experience with Isotretinoin and thought I should share my own for anyone interested.

I am currently on day 8 of my first ever course and am taking 20mg a day in combination with E-Mycin 400 twice a day. I have no idea how long I am going to be on it for, my Derm hasn't said. In fact, he doesn't say much really.

For anyone interested, my skin care routine is unchanged as yet and consists of:


  •     Botani Purify Facial Cleanser
  •     Diluted Organic Apple Cider Vinegar as a toner
  •     Estee Lauder Advanced Time Zone eye cream
  •     Tea tree oil to spot treat
  •     Trilogy Rosehip Oil Antioxidant+
  •     Estee Lauder Advanced Time Zone moisturiser (normal/combo)


Followed with Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation and Estee Lauder Perfecting Loose Powder.

At night I:

  • Remove makeup with cold pressed Olive Oil - seriously, nothing has ever gotten make-up off so quickly and effectively. I am a HUGE fan of using Olive Oil on your face
  • Tone again with ACV
  • Tea tree oil
  • Rosehip oil - all over face plus as eye cream
  • Botani Rescue Acne Cream

I am not currently using a moisturiser at night, only because I haven't previously with my oily skin - the Rosehip Oil was enough. If I do need to start using one I have Estee Lauder Hydrationist to try.

I am just using a Sorb cream with Vit E for my body - any recommendations for body wash and moisturisers will be greatly appreciated!! If anyone has any experience being on Isotretinoin and using any of the above I would love to hear from you. My Derm told me nothing about skin care while on the drug so I am flying blind!

Also, drinking, getting hair dyed, all of those other things people have said you shouldn't do, my Derm has not mentioned? I am pretty sure I am staying on the 20mg once a day - I have a check up on the 15th Dec and will find out about continuing the E-Mycin then. Can I drink? Can I dye my hair? Eek

So, as I said, day 8 ..... I have started to notice the dryness. Its not too bad yet, just some flaky skin around my nose and mouth that came away in the shower. My lips feel ...... weird. Not dry, but I am using Paw Paw on them often, just weird. Every time I look in the mirror I expect to see them peeling off my face! I am hoping against hope that the E-Mycin is going to keep the initial breakout everyone talks about in check. It has done a great job of getting rid of inflammation prior to me getting on the Iso, and most of my horrible, under the skin lurking like a bad dream zits were nearly gone by the time I even started! Does anyone else have experience with E-Mycin and Iso? I have read a lot of American posts and they seem to get prescribed steroids?

No other side effects as yet - maybe headaches, but not going to dump that on the medicine just yet as I have been feeling run down and slightly stressed of late

I play a lot of sport so I am interested to see if I get any joint soreness - hope not!

Wishing everyone else on this journey to good skin all the best!!

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Best side affect - my makeup stays exactly where I put it!!!

Worst side affect - flaky scalp, gross. A scalp treatment seems to be working on keeping that at bay for now.

Does anyone have any makeup recommendations? My Estee Lauder Double Wear is too matte now (yay for finally uttering that sentence!)

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Hey NoMorePlease13 :)

Good to hear that you are doing well on accutane!

About drinking alcohol; I've been drinking moderately during both my courses (on my second course now), like a few drinks a couple of times a week, but no more than that. First of all, you get drunk really really fast and absolutely horrible hangovers! I speak from experience!

Secondly, if your liver tests are bad, your term might take you off the drug - accutane + alcohol can just be too much for the liver and kidneys, and can lead to permanent liver damage.

Make up wise, I don't really have any good advice.. Think the most important thing is to moisturize well before applying make up. Right now my skin is actually not too dry, so Im just using a mineral powder foundation from Youngblood or a bb-cream from Dior. During my last course though my skin was REALLY dry and flaky and then I found that using a primer before applying foundation was actually more important than the make up itself. Think I used Sephora's standard primer back then.. Also, I exfoliate very gently, just with a towel or washcloth on damp skin, whenever I was my face. Think that really helps make up go on nicer.

Hope you find some of this useful :)

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Thanks for that GreatDane!

I asked the Derm at my last appt and he said 1-2 drinks max and then onto the soft stuff :( that's hard during the party season of summer, and my 30th is coming up! In saying that, I have been drunk twice so far, and while I didn't get drunk any faster than normal, I definitely felt it the next day. I guess a few months without alcohol might be good for me .... sigh.

My update - I have gone up to 40mg a day, and still on the E-Mycin. The first few days on the increased dosed were lovely but it settled down after day 4 or 5. My skin reacted again but has calmed back down and is continuing to improve. Is it just me or are some days waaaaaayyyyyy worse than others? I think its probably in my head - like I have convinced myself that since I am on the Accutane that it should happen overnight, or yesterday please.

My worst side affect so far has been my hair. I think I could go 2 weeks without washing it, but its sooooo dry. I have been using avacado and olive oil DIY hair masks and they help for a few days; even if it is only with making it shiny! I haven't noticed any hair loss, but I have a lot of hair so losing some would be nice.

I haven't really had any other nasty side effects; I am still playing sport and keeping active, no headaches or joint/muscle pain, I don't want to kill myself and the world hasn't ended.

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Day 79 update - clearing, yay!

I have changed skin care to washing with Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser (washing twice in the pm to remove makeup), and then Cethaphil Moisturiser. I still use the ACV for toner occasionally, and also started using Bepanthen on really dry spots, but they are getting fewer and fewer - almost none at the moment.

At my last Derm appt he halved my antibiotics and I was worried that inflammation would come back but it hasn't, in fact it has gone away even more! My cholesterol levels changed, but he wasn't too worried. Liver function is good, which makes me happy given that it is summer and I have been drinking a little bit.

My hair is ridiculously dry - I never had a problem with oily scalp so this is super annoying as my hair doesn't look as healthy as it used to, and I love my hair! I can literally go for over 2 weeks without washing it and you would never guess. Don't judge, but I can play basketball, netball, train and sweat like crazy and my hair STILL looks clean. I say looks - it can't be clean with that much sweat in it .... gross!

I have noticed that I can't wear some of my clothes anymore as they irritate my skin I can end up with eczema .... WTF? I have literally never had eczema before in my life. It clears up with moisturiser and Bepanthen though .... until I wear it again.

All in all, so far so good! Wishing I started this sooner but I am happy I have done it.

Edited by NoMorePlease13
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