During both courses of my Accutane treatments, they crossed through the harsh Cleveland winters. The main focus and drive of getting through Accutane is: how do I keep my hair/skin from being so damn dry?
My first round with Accutane, I had to spend a lot of time and money trying to figure out which products were going to provide the moisture I desperately needed. It would have been great to have information collected here; and I’ve checked the stats on my blog, and have seen that I’ve been getting a lot of traffic from people who have been looking for information about Accutane.
In this entry, I’ll cover the products that I’ve used that I think have helped me greatly.
1. Basic Skin Cleansing and Moisturizing
During my first round of treatment, I was using Clinique’s Comforting Cream Cleanser, but it’s a little pricey and doesn’t last terribly long ($18.50/5oz). This time around, I am using Cetaphil’s Gentle Cleanser ($11.49/16oz), which I think works great: it breaks up my makeup, cleans without stripping, and a single bottle will last you through a standard six-month treatment (really! I am the queen of using way too much product).
I used to moisturize with Clinique’s Moisture Surge, but again, it’s pricey ($46.50/2.5oz) and I was re-applying a lot. On the upside, Moisture Surge can be applied over makeup without having to worry about it smudging.
This course of treatment, I switched over to Cetaphil’s DailyAdvance Ultra Hydrating Lotion For Dry, Sensitive Skin ($10.79/8oz), which I think is actually body lotion, but all of Cetaphil’s products are non-comedogenic, so there is are no worries that this ultra-moisturizing cream will cause any pore-blockage. Using the moisturizer means that I only have to moisturize once a day, instead of re-applying several times a day to cover flakes of dry skin. No tightness, no flakes. It gets an A in my book.
The only awkward side effect? My nose sweats. Just my nose. I don’t know if this is standard for this moisturizer, or just me. It’s not uncontrollable, but I do have to wipe my nose before meetings.
2. Body Wash
Very simply, I use Classic Ivory soap. It’s inexpensive ($1.99/3 bars) and there are no detergents or fragrances in it. The only other thing that I would steer people towards is maybe vegetable glycerin soap, which also has no fragrance or detergents.
I’m fairly lucky because I have a water softener, so that really helps to keep my hair from getting fried. But, in my first course, I used Aveda’s hair products. I still recommend Aveda’s Dry Remedy Moisturizing line. They aren’t inexpensive, but I honestly believe that when your hair is falling out because of the Accutane treatment, you need products that are as natural as you can possibly get. Aveda does that.
The Ritual Kit has the shampoo, the conditioner, and the moisture mask all-included for $74.00, which is $10 off what it would cost to buy each of the products separately. Of course, though, you can buy them separately and not even get the hair mask and be just as well off.
And, as is true for all of Aveda’s products, a little goes a long way.
4. Body Lotion
I only really need lotion when I shave my legs, but my go-to product that delivers a lot of moisture and soaks in really well is Vaseline Intensive Care Total Moisture, Dry Skin Lotion. It’s very good for hands, too, and a huge bottle is relatively inexpensive ($7.00/24,5oz). I have a feeling that you’ll carry this from your Accutane treatment through to all of your body/hand moisturizing needs through the year.
5. Lip Treatment
If any of you are having the same experience that I’ve had, the first thing that dries out and the last thing to get moisture back is your lips. I would honestly say that I would take all of the other symptoms twofold if only I could have the lip dryness not happen.
During my first treatment, I used Carmex for chapped lips ($2.49/.5 oz,) but I know that it’s cheaper at Wal-Mart, Drug Mart and CVS). I really liked it’s staying power.
This time around, I’m using Blistex Lip Medex ($2.19/.38 oz). I think it has the same softening, moisturizing, and staying power, but I feel like it warms up better with your body heat and doesn’t feel quite as thick and sticky.
You’ll notice that I took a lot of time to find products that you can get in your local drugstore. And I think even in some cases, you can use HSA dollars to pay for these items. I’m pretty lucky in that my prescription coverage is very extensive and my prescription for the generic brand is only $10. However, my first course of treatment cost $100 month, and that didn’t count the co-pays or the blood tests. The point is that you don’t need really, really expensive products to provide the moisture you need to have a comfortable experience while on Accutane.
I really hope that this helps: please feel free to leave a comment letting me know how these recommendations worked for you.