a models roaccutane journey

A model with an acne problem. Follow me on my roaccurate journey…

Month: January, 2013

Do you use Vaseline?

I have had SO many Instagram and blog followers message me questions and suggestions about Vaseline. Some ask what I think of it, other suggest I use it.
I am fairly certain Vaseline is known all over the world and the product is used from a young age and ingrained in to us that we must use it on our lips, our body, our hair. I am baffled that with the Internet research at the tap of a button in this day and age that people are still using petroleum based products? Why? Some say they are addicted to it, much like a smoker is to cigarettes. If you feel this way, you are definitely not alone. I have seen endless people slather Vaseline over their lips over and over again all day long. I remember girls at school having different coloured pots of the stuff in their pencil cases, bags and coat pockets and feel lost without it. The reason you develop this dependency is because Vaseline does not moisturise you, it leaves you wanting, craving and needing more. The petroleum jelly creates a seal over your lips stopping them from breathing and working in their natural way. For us Roaccutane/Accutane users this is the worst possible product to help us survive the inevitable dryness side effect and definitely will NOT cure it.

Vaseline (petroleum jelly) is made with PETROL! Can you imagine going to the petrol station (gas station) and after filling up your car, pouring it into the in the palm of your hand and putting it on your lips? What? No way! Personally this repulses me.
All this being said I am not 110% clean, organic, natural, perfect living but if I know a beauty product is bad for me I certainly won’t be buying it and putting it on my precious skin, especially now that I am paying a fortune with Roaccutane/Accutane to fix the problem! Petrol is not only found in Vaseline:
Petroleum is found in, shampoos; conditioners, lipbalms and even toothpastes! Did you realise that Lucas’ Paw Paw ointment had petroleum is its ingredients too? I remember I used to ship it over from Australia when I was younger…not anymore!
Our skin is the largest organ in our body. It breathes and absorbs the air and products we place upon it. Would you drink or eat petrol? By placing it on your skin you are likely to absorb a fair bit. For this reason Vaseline has in fact been linked to causing acne!
“Modern research at the Herb Research Foundation found that the skin absorbs up to 60% of the chemicals in products that it comes into contact with directly into the bloodstream”.(http://www.organicmakeup.ca/ca/PetroleumCosmetics.asp)

“According to Kit Anderson, mineral oil (a petroleum product found in many beauty products) smothers the skin (the body’s largest organ), making it impossible for it to breathe. In fact, because of the way mineral oil works, Anderson claims that mineral oil is a poor choice for beauty products for these reasons:
It disrupts the way the body naturally detoxifies. It slows the rate at which cells are renewed, thereby damaging collagen, connective tissue, and elastin – all of which contribute to the way skin looks and feels. It results in skin that ages prematurely. She also mentions that many beauty products are made with the purpose of moisturizing the skin, but petroleum products made as moisturizers ironically work against the skin by dehydrating it”. (http://www.naturalnews.com/031621_beauty_products_petroleum.html).

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Trip to the dermatologist número trè

I have just come back from picking up my last two months worth of Roaccutane. I rung an hour before arriving asking if I could just picked up the tablets rather than pay £150 for an appointment and without hesitation they said yes after having ok-ed it with my dermatologist. I managed to ask my dermatologist a few questions having seen him in the corridor.
I asked if I needed a blood test after my last tablet, he said no. I asked if I needed another appointment once I has finished, he said no. Considering Roaccutane is a pretty scary drug, I am rather surprised that I feel rather alone and responsible. Is this because I am an older patient at 27? Therefore I am a responsible adult?
I also wanted to know how long until I am able to sunbathe again (I am very much ready to book a holiday to get away from this British winter!!) and he said six weeks.
My dermatologist also said if I get anymore spots a month or two after I have stopped my medicine that I must come straight back in for another appointment.
One other thing…he said the redness that some of the spots have left behind (almost like a scar) will slowly disappear with time once I have finished my course of Roaccutane.
How has everyone else contact been with their dermatologist, doctor? Am I the only one with not much support?

Accutane / Roaccutane and a rash

I have been on Roaccutane for almost 4 months. Within this time I have only had two/three rashes and they have been on the back of my hand (or is this the top of my hand…? Hmmm…trying to remember my old anatomy and physiology classes ;p ).
I have heard of a lot of people on Roaccutane that get dry eczema patches in many different places on their bodies but mine seem to have been on my hand. I have been thinking that maybe this is because the layer of skin in this area is rather thin and more susceptible to dryness??
Anyway…last time this happened I rubbed a bit of Balm Balm and the rash went away within about an hour. Unfortunately this time I was totally preoccupied and didn’t really think what I was doing and rubbed it raw and made some of it bleed a little bit 😦

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Face masks whilst using Roaccutane

Has anyone used a face mask whilst using Roaccutane/Accutane for treatment of their acne?
I used to do a face mask every couple of months but haven’t dared use anything too drastic on my face. Considering face masks are meant to draw out impurities and I’m sure can dry your skin why shouldn’t we use it?
I am tempted to give one a try to see if it helps at all.
Has anyone else done this?

Where are you experiencing dryness?

All the skin surrounding my lips is incredibly dry…not my lips…but all around and a bit either side of my nose.
This skin is soooo incredibly raw and sensitive that I am in such pain 😦
I know our lips are meant to get severely dry, but my skin surrounding them?! Wahhh…so tender 😥
I think the skin is worse than it has been because I have been running outside a lot lately and with the freezing cold temperatures I think it has not helped my case 😦
Where is everyone else experiencing dryness?

One glass of champagne…

So…last night I had a small glass of champagne. I know the topic of alcohol riles some people and I agree with their thoughts. “Why not control yourself and not drink six months”, some may say?! I had fully intended not to drink anything during the course (not including valentines day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve) but last night I simply could not say no. This is not because of lack of will power…I’ve given up chocolate for three months in the past! I was invited to an event and my agent insisted I went. I was given a glass of Champagne when I got there and felt it would be rude not to accept! It is not to do with peer pressure reeeeally although I guess it sort of is?! I simply didn’t want to go off on one about why I am not drinking. My agent knows I’m taking Roaccutane, as do my family and closest friends but I don’t wish to tell potential clients, other models etc.
I managed to stick to one glass by drinking incredibly slowly.
I am not bringing this up to be slated by anyone so please…do not tell me how silly I am :p The reason I’m bringing this up is to tell everyone that today I have a new pimple. It is only a little zit that luckily can not be described as a “cystic” spot horrrrrrrah 🙂 I am hoping this means it will disappear as quickly as it arrived.
I honestly believe this spot arrived because of this small amount of alcohol I drank.
When I was 18/19 and used to go out drinking with friends (pre-acne) I used to get a few “pimples” the next day which would slowly disappear over the next few days. This new spot is similar to that. Therefore I really don’t want to drink anymore, not only because of the drugs but because of potentially getting more zits.
Sorry about the rambling post. I’m just typing what I think…random trail of mind…blahhh :p

100 days on Roaccutane

Wow…I have now reached the milestone of 100 days on Roaccutane/Accutane. I can honestly say I did not realise I would be on it this long!
When I first researched the drug I did not even think about how long I would be taking it for. I had spend years trying different drugs, topical and oral, with no luck whatsoever. To me, Roaccutane was just another drug I was willing to try in my quest for clear skin.
My dermatologist did not discuss the time scale with me and in retrospect I am rather pleased he did not because the possibility of Roaccutane for six months of my life would have been incredibly daunting.
This Roaccutane journey is one I am incredibly pleased I am on. If it were not for the possibility of serious side effects that some patients go through, I would be shouting from the roof tops telling everyone to take the drug!
It feels like our little secret yet I want to let everyone know “you do not have to have acne, there may be a way out for you too”.
Acne was seriously debilitating me, my life, my lifestyle, my confidence etc etc etc. Before Roaccutane came into my life I was at a stage that I was hiding behind a centimeter thick of foundation and concealer which can only be described as stage make up! I would wear a scarf to cover my lower face whenever it looked chilly enough, I did not want to go out and socialise with friends, I would wear make up until seconds before my boyfriend and I went to sleep, I would even cry every time I took my make up off!
Acne is debilitating!

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I am now on day 100 of taking Roaccutane.
I have taken
272 Roaccutane tablets to date.
One week on 20mg
One week on 40mg
The rest on 60mg

Here is my skin last January, in 2012. At this point I had no idea Roaccutane/Accutane existed. My doctor was no help whatsoever and was continuing to put me on “naff” medicine that did not help one bit. I was mid way my “three months of chocolate” to see if that helped…by the way it didn’t! I would cry daily. I felt as if no one understood what I was going through. I felt as if I was the only person on this planet experiencing acne…silly I know but I was upset and a tad selfish. My spots were cystic nodular, painful, inflamed and red but looking back I actually had far few than I had a week into Roaccutane once I had started experiencing my “initial breakout” stage.

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Here is a picture of me today, on day 100 of taking Roaccutane. I only have one cystic spot left (this spot came about last week. It is decreasing quicker than any past cystic spots did when I was not on Roaccutane). My skin is incredible smooth and once I have make up on it you can not see any lumps. My confidence has soared. Unfortunately I have a few minor “dented” scars appearing…however they seem to be getting flatter and flatter with each day, along with diminishing redness.

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I definitely do not want to be wearing make up for the rest of my life but it is happy making that, if I do wear make up, I can hide the fact I have acne and not feel as if people are staring at me.

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Thanks to acne I feel as if I have got my smile back again and as corny as it sounds, I’ve got my life back again!
I know I still have quite a way to go but I definitely feel as if I have got through the worst part x

Porcelain Skin

I have recently noticed every time I wash my face my face is incredibly shiny. Not shiny in an oily way but shiny in a taught dry sheen. The problem with it is that if I am too animated I feel as if I could crack my skin! As soon as I moisturise I am fine but for that short moment my forehead especially looks like a mirror!

20130112-230217.jpg Has anyone else been experiencing this?
My mum said my skin looks thin and delicate and can’t wait for me to be off Roaccutane!

Foundation for acne coverage

Foundation comparisons:

I have been using Maybelline Fit Me foundation (220) range lately and I love it. The foundation is very runny and lays thinly on the skin giving a good even coverage, meaning the bottle lasts for a really long time. With the liquid being thin, I find it does not cover my spots very well unless I use a lot and I sometimes need a concealer as well. This being said it still doesn’t look like you have a lot of make up on even when you layer up the foundation which is nice. I tend to use this foundation at the weekend when I don’t want to wear much make up. The main problem with this foundation is that it comes off easily. For example, when wearing a scarf it rubs off really easily…and when “air kissing” be sure not to get anywhere near the other persons clothes. You will be sure to leave a trail!

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The other foundation I use is Rimmel Wake Me Up (200 Soft Beige). This product smells gorgeous, reminiscent of holidays for some reason. It is much thicker than the Maybelline foundation so you can use far less of the product to get a good coverage. I tend to use this foundation when going to castings and auditions to give me confidence that my spots are well and truly covered.

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Both foundations are great for different uses. In fact today I used the Rimmel foundation as a base then contoured with the Maybelline foundation in a slightly darker colour to the Rimmel to make my skin tone look natural 🙂

Spots v Scars. What would you rather have?

I have gone from having dreadfully lumpy skin with cystic acne to now having dreadful dented skin with slight scaring which looks like little pin pricks.
To be honest, I’m not sure which is worse!
I think my scaring is more bearable than the spots…yet…the fact the word”scar” is there vaguely terrifies me! I always had a sense of hope with the spots because I knew spots could be cured but scaring however…who knows if they will stay or go?
Is anyone else experiencing this?