23 May 2011

Skin story

I've been sick with an terrible ear infection since last week and have been staying in the house a lot. Its given me a chance to catch up with emails and blogging though. I've had some questions about my skin recently and compliments. If you would have told me two years ago that people would be complimenting my skin I would have laughed at you. Then I probably would have cried and avoided the mirror for days. I wrote about my experiences with Accutane here before, but haven't really written about what happens afterwards.
When I finished taking the treatment last April my skin was perfect but I was constantly worried that my acne would come back. I even had nightmares about it. Eventually I did get a tiny spot, but it healed much faster than before and to tell you I was relieved would be an understatement. Despite my skin being cleared up from Accutane I make sure to take good care of it. I developed a skin regimen that works well for me, and keeps my face clear. Occasionally I break out a bit, and I have permanent dark circles under my eyes (if you have a suggestion I'm open to try it!) but I try not to stress about it too much. I use mostly gentle skin products without harsh chemicals after I found that it was giving me skin irritation and making me break out.
1. Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser for normal to oily skin (morning and night). The moisturizing formula was a lifesaver while I was using Accutane but clogged my pores afterwards.
2. Mario Badescu Drying Lotion (night). The greatest spot treatment ever, its a little pricey but they have sales and specials all the time to get it for a steal.
3. CVS Alcohol-Free Toner (morning and night). I used to use the Neutrogena one, but this is the same thing for a few bucks less. Always use cotton pads because they leave less or no fibers behind.
4. Clinique Youth Surge 15 (for day). Accutane dries your skin out and can make it age much more quickly that it might naturally. This is very light and soft and not at all your mother's anti-aging cream.
5. Clinique Total Turnaround Cream (for night) aids in cell turnover keeps my skin moisturized and smooth.Sometimes my skin starts to look tired or greasy, I work in New York City after all and the air is kind of gross.
1. Milk of Magnesia (TOPICAL!) Do not drink this unless you want to poop your pants. My grandma read in a newspaper that dabbing this on your face and letting it dry for about 5 minutes takes away redness and oiliness. I used it on spots while I was taking Accutane and now its the perfect remedy for shiny skin in the summer.
2. Clinique Deep Cleansing Emergency Mask which I use when my pores look a little gross. Its drying, but using it after the shower and not letting it dry out too much keeps it from being irritating. Any kind of clay mask is nice to use once or twice a week.
3. Neutrogena Deep Clean Gentle Scrub is an exfoliator I use once or twice a week in the shower, but never the same night as a mask. This one is OK, but I will probably get something new after this runs out without beads or scratchy things because they gross me out.When I was younger I found that certain hair products would cause me to have breakouts from my hair touching my face, so its important to use things in the shower that are as gentle as something you'd use on your face. It never occurred to me before that I use natural or organic shower products, I was mostly drawn to them because they smell fantastic.
1. Trader Joes Tea Tree Tree Tingle Shampoo smells like heaven and keeps my hair soft and clean.
2. Aveeno Naturals Nourish and Volumize Conditioner. Before I took Accutane my hair was thick and dry and super curly, afterwards it was finer, straighter and sort of limp and greasy. This makes it look shiny, thick and healthy without weighing it down.
3. Dr. Bronners Magic Soap in Rose. In the winter I use bar soap because its more moisturizing and liquid for summer because it dissolves dirt and sweat (seeing all the NY grime getting rinsed off is incredibly satisfying). I also switch up the scent every time I buy it because they are all wonderful, but Rose is my favorite.I never really wore much makeup before Accutane, but I think wearing it has more to do with being a "grown-up" than anything else. Non-comedogenic products are essential, and always always ALWAYS wash it off at night. I don't care how drunk you are! No whining about zits if you aren't going to wash up.
1. Lavera Naturkosmetik Lips, I don't know where my grandma found this but I'm going to cry when it runs out. Its chapstick that doesn't feel like its sliding into the rest of my face.
2. Lash Blast Fusion, I don't wear much makeup on the weekends but I always wear this.
3. Clinique Even Better SPF 15 can be worn heavy to coverup spots, or lightly to even everything out.
4. MAC in Tenderling has been my everyday blush since high school. Its worth the price because it lasts me an entire year!
5. Nivea A Kiss of Flavor, a perfect everyday reddish pink, also doesn't feel like its spreading all over my face when I wear it.
6. Sephora liquid liner, goes on easy without smudging and comes right off with Cetaphil.
7. MAC eyeshadow in Orb for days I'm too lazy for eyeliner.

Whew! That was longer than I thought it would be. If you have any questions about Accutane feel free to email me!


  1. Great post! I always like to hear about what products actually work for people. I use the sephora liquid liner too. That stuff is amazing because it stays on all day without smudging, yet it's super easy to take off at night. I'd be so sad if they discontinued it!

    - Jamie Rose

  2. bobbi brown is the best make up you should try it!


  3. Just found your blog, great advice and I can definitely relate to everything you were talking about the after effects of taking that. I was so stressed it was going to come back, but it hasn't really. A blemish here in there. I love all your skin care product choices. I use Cetaphil too.

    Following you now
    I have a fashion blog here in San Francisco

  4. I love anything with tea tree oil. There's a brand I found in Australia called Thursday Plantation and everything they sell has amazing tea tree oil in it and makes you feel like a million bucks. Great post! :)

  5. ear infections are the worst, I hope your over it now xo

  6. You had acne? I never would have known, you have the world's most enviable skin now. I'll have to save this as I'm endlessly pissed off about being 27 and still having patchy skin on a regular basis. That looks like a lot of products though... I have no idea how I would fit that in my suitcase. To you have a top three you would recommend?

  7. I am bookmarking this post so I can take all of your advice. ha I have sensitive skin and I still haven't found a good face wash that doesn't make my face all raw & splotchy. your skin is soooo absolutely perfect now, it's hard to believe you had acne problems.

    i feel so bad that you have an earache. ): i have the worst ears and i get earaches quite frequently. i got an infection last summer and it was one of the most painful things i've ever experienced so i hope you're not going through that! feel better love! xoxoxox

  8. This is such a great post, definitely a go to guide for skincare needs!
    I absolutely love Cetaphil too, I tend to be prone to dry skin and find this light and moisturizing and a blessing of a product
    Thanks for all the great advice

  9. I live by Cetaphil - it's been my go to cleanser for years now and I love it!

    xoxo ~ Courtney

  10. Useful -- and brave -- post. I admire your courage.

    When I was young, I had beautiful skin until college. Then, the incredible stress of trying to do well academically turned me into a zit-machine. Things got worse and worse and now I have a face full of deep scars. I'm not self-conscious about them but wish there'd been something like Accutane back then. (There was only antibiotics which my dermatologist put me on; they did nothing for the acne.)

  11. I cannot believe you ever used accutane. Seriously your skin is so pretty. I LOVE Mario Badescu, you should try his cleanser and scrub too. Their awesome!
    Wearing It On My Sleeves

  12. This post is great and it makes me think twice about skin care. Sometimes I think I don't take care of my skin as much as I should. When I was young I had a lot of acne and I used a lot of skin care products but now that I'm older my skin no longer have that problem and I just stopped caring about it as I used too xD Lazyness power!

    Anyway, I love that Nivea lipstick! It is perfect indeed :)

  13. Well I have no idea what accutane is, but regardless, I cant believe youre using something that I assume isnt your average 'off the shelf' product.. your skin seems so lovely!
    I actually love beauty posts so much, its nice to know what people use and recommend!
    In terms of an exfoliant,, I would deffinitely recommend stopping with the face washes with the beads in them. I find them ineffective and a waste of money. Last time I bought my facewash (the body shop tea tree oil one) I got a free facial scrub brush thing. It looks sort of like a nail brush but is round and smaller, plus the bristles are softer and IT WORKED WONDERS. After about a week of using it lightly everyday I got so many compliments on how 'healthy' and 'radiant' my skin looked. It claims to increase the circulation (and it does) and the dull tone my skin always has was gone . I'd recommend that you try it out :)

    Im so jealous of your clinique products. In Australia they are so expensive.. Im pretty sure I payed $40 (our currency is about even) for an eyeshadow duo. Much the same with Mac though.. it is so ridiculous. I use a revlon colourstay foundation which I love.. its the only one that I can find pale enough for my skin! Mind you.. even Revlon is expensive.. $35 for foundation.
    Americans are so lucky! x


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