My Accutane Journey: Preamble

I hate No Makeup Selfies. They drive me crazy, because all the people I’ve seen share them are still beautiful without makeup. Sometimes I can totally tell that the person who took the selfie is still wearing makeup (albeit minimal) and I just want to hit her in her stupid, lying, bitch face.

This is my no makeup selfie.

I’m really glad that you’re still beautiful without makeup. Rock on.

I am not.

A lot of my friends only wear makeup for special occasions. They’re really lucky to be so naturally beautiful. Sometimes they joke with me about how “glam” I am for wearing makeup on the regular. How classy I’m keeping it.

And while I appreciate that and laugh with them about it, the reason I wear makeup everywhere I go is because I CAN’T STAND MY COMPLEXION.

For years, I have felt UGLY. I didn’t even feel very beautiful at my own wedding because I was stressed that week and my entire face broke out.

I know that probably sounds stupid, and is the result of our warped society that worships celebrities and photoshops even the most beautiful people. The standards we are held to, especially as women, are complete bullshit. I get that. However, my acne and the scars it leaves behind still bother me.

I’ve had acne ever since I was about 12. It probably started after I got my first period and is likely hormonal due to the areas it normally affects (mostly my cheeks).

I’ve struggled with it for more than 20 years now and have felt incredibly self conscious due to it (I began wearing full makeup at 13, much to my mother’s dismay). It affects my social life and makes me feel ashamed to even look people in the eye if I’m not in full makeup.

I’ve tried EVERYTHING. Proactiv, antibiotics, topical treatments, cleansers, vitamins, diets, facials (which only made it worse), umpteen brands of makeup, obsessively cleaning my makeup brushes, changing my pillowcases and towels each day, growing out of it (haaaaa that doesn’t happen), etc. etc. etc.

I am goddamn tired of it.

My face is tired of it. My face legit looks and feels tired.

For the past year, I’ve been seeing a local dermatologist and have made several last ditch efforts to try to resolve my acne without resorting to extreme measures.

Again, nothing has worked.

I am DONE.

Yesterday I saw my dermatologist again and finally made the decision to try Accutane. I was initially resistant to resort to this. Accutane is a serious drug with potentially serious side effects. However, several people I know have taken it and said it was a miracle for them and that the side effects were not that bad. The best part? After 6 months or so, it cured their acne completely and helped rid them of the (once permanent) scars they had from acne.

The “hard” part (I don’t dare bitch, because this is a cosmetic issue and there are people out there with serious, life-threatening conditions): Because it reduces oil production and shrinks oil glands, I will have to apply lotion all over my body everyday and probably carry it with me everywhere. My lips will get super chapped. My nose might be so dry that it bleeds. I will need eye drops to keep my eyes from becoming too dry. I might not be able to drive at night because it could affect my vision. I can’t get my eyebrows waxed due to the risk of permanent scarring (I will be Frida Kahlo-ing it UP). I shouldn’t drink (got that covered!) And I can’t get pregnant (That’s easy for me, actually). I was basically given a 30-page booklet telling me that I can’t get pregnant due to the risk of deformities and that I must use at least two forms of birth control.

I’ll have to see my dermatologist every month and sign forms saying I understand the risks of the drug and that I WILL NOT GET PREGNANT. I will piss in a cup to prove that I’m not pregnant. I will have blood work to monitor my liver function. Only then will I be given my prescription each month, and it has to occur within a specific 7 day window.

Did I mention that I can’t get pregnant? I can’t get pregnant. (They are super serious about this).

My mental health team will also have to be contacted due to the risk of depression and suicide (my dermatologist said the studies on that are kind of bullshit, but they have to tell you about this risk anyway).

Oh and I can’t get pregnant.

So here goes. Next month, I’ll be taking the plunge in the hopes of ridding myself of acne forever and saving a shit ton on skin care over my lifetime. Wish me luck.

To anyone who has taken Accutane: Please message me and let me know how it affected you. I’d like to get as much input as possible before I start my treatment. Thanks.


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