Back on Roaccutane – My Journey to Clear Skin in Videos

I have suffered with bad skin on and off since as long as I can remember. I have tried so many different things – some which I think have worked, only to find that it was a very short term solution. I have been on Roaccutane in the past, but a very low dose, so I decided to see if it was an option again. I documented my journey through daily vlogs, which I found incredible useful to watch when I was on Roaccutane the first time round. I hope these may help someone too.

Going to the hospital to see if I could go back onto Roaccutane and seeing what my course would be if so:

Month One’s (on 30mg per day)  progress:

Month Two’s (on 40mg per day) progress:

Month Three’s (on 60mg per day) progress:

Month Four’s (on 60mg a day) progress:

I am now 6 months post-treatment and loving my skin! It has got oily again, which is annoying – I loved the ‘normal-ness’ of my skin while I was on Roaccutane. BUT… NO SPOTS!

Product Recommendation for Roaccutane Users

I’ve been on Roaccutane for five months now, so I thought it was about time I shared in what products have been my saviours! So far I haven’t experienced any drastic side effects – and these are the products that have helped keep me in check.

I have gone into detail in the video, but for a quick rundown of products mentioned…

The first side effect I had was dry, cracking lips. Dr Lipp is my favourite, moisturising, thick, rich lip balm which I sleep in every night, or use if a crack appears in my lips. Other favourites are Carmex Lime, Carmex Pomegranate, and the Carmex in a pot so I can apply it with a lip brush to avoid rubbing off any foundation.

The face is an important one – I have been using Hibi Scrub cleanser which my doctor gave me, but also enjoy using Toleriane Dermo-Cleanser for when I need something a little more soothing or don’t want to rinse my face at the risk of damaging my hair!

I have found using my Clarisonic with my Hibi Scrub has made a good difference – a nice bit of gentle exfoliation helps to stop any flakes – I really notice the difference when I’m not using it. Amaze Mitt does a similar job, at a fraction of the price – a micro fibre cloth which gently exfoliates your skin as you wash.

La Roche Posay Effaclar H  has been my go-to moisturiser for the day-time. It doesn’t smell of anything and leaves my skin perfectly moisturised – not too oily, yet leaves it feeling soft. When I need a little extra, or my skin needs soothing, the REN Hydra Calm Day Cream definitely does that. It smells very lavendar-ey and I find closing my eyes and breathing it all in helps me to unwind as I massage my face. That said, the smell is a little too powerful for me for every-day use, but it’s definitely calming on the skin. For times when I need an extra-shot of moisture, the Perricone MD Chia Serum is perfect. It has an almond smell and warms the face as you put it on. It really delivers on the moisture front. You can add it to your moisturiser, or apply it to the face as and when you need it. I tend to do it on make-up-free days when I’m knocking about the house.

Every night I use the Origins Drink Up Mask overnight. I absolutely adore this product – it’s amazing and I want everyone to buy it! If I ever stay at anyones house I have to let them use it so they can be converted – my boyfriends had to have it on a few times too, I just love it! My skin is soft and smooth when I wake, and I don’t have any greasy residue on my face. When I need something a little lighter, La Roche Posay Hydramask fits the bill. It’s meant to be a 10-minute mask too, but I sleep in it. I also find it good if I want to wear a very matt foundation, such as Double Wear – if I want the staying power but not the flatness to the skin, I apply a bit of this first and it helps to keep my skin illuminated. Along the same lines, rather than trying to make my skin look matt now, I’m all about the radiance. Illamasqua Hydra Veil primer has been perfect for me at doing just that.

The skin around my eyes was a concern of mine as I didn’t want it getting all dry and age me beyond my years. The H2o Eye Oasis is an oil-free gel that is nice and cooling and soothing to apply morning and night to the under-eye area. My skin has stayed as soft as the rest of my face so I’m pleased with the results that has delivered. Luckily my eyes didn’t feel dry often, although when I was tired or had a very early morning I used Blink Intensive Tears eye drops. Another nice relaxer for stressed eyes is the Liz Earle Eyebright – chilling out with Eyebright-soaked cotton pads on the peepers is bliss!

As for my body, I have been using Sanex Dermo Repair in the shower; it’s designed specifically for dry skin, and that, finished with E45 Nourish and Restore body lotion has worked a treat. It’s gel-like formula sinks into the skin and really leaves my skin feeling soft. In fact, it’s probably the best I’ve ever looked after my skin on my body, and it feels great! Another product I’ve recently got is the Neom Body Oil which is lovely to use on damp skin, the moisture just locks itself right in, and the smell is gorgeous too.

The only other side effect I have had is flaky scalp, which I have found a massive issue! The best thing I’ve found to help is the Moroccanoil Dry Scalp Treatment. Unfortunately it doensn’t have ‘that’ Morrocanoil smell we have all come to know and love – but it does do it’s job and is instantly soothing on the scalp.

I know I have spoken about a lot of products, but like I said in the video – this is 5 months worth of experimentation – take bits of it that suit you! All you really need to start with is lip balm, cleanser and moisturisers – then see how the medication effects you. Good luck!

Tria Skin Perfecting Blue Light

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will know that I suffer from bad skin. I have been taking daily antibiotics for the best part of the year, with a slight improvement, but nothing too significant. I found that once my skin reached a certain level from the antibiotics, it stayed as a constant, and I needed something to give it that extra push. That’s where the Tria came in.

The Tria Skin Perfecting Blue Light is a sleek, handheld device which emits a gentle non-UV light to eliminate spots and acne from deep within the skin which has been hailed as the “most effective deep cleansing system”.

I’d never heard of blue light therapy before being introduced to the Tria, but with a bit of research I discovered dermatologists have used blue light in their clinics since 2002, but is very pricey. The Tria is 10 times more powerful than any other at home skin treatment, delivering a professional strength power previously only used by skin professionals.

It works by the blue light striking the acne bacteria cells living in the pores, killing them without affecting the surrounding tissue. This results in less clogged pores and spots.

The Tria is powered by a cartridge which gives you enough blue light for 2 months of use. You pop it into the base of the device, and away you go. Once the top of the Tria makes contact with your skin the blue light is automatially emitted. It also makes a noise a little like a fan, but it’s not too loud.

Treatment time is 6 minutes a day – 3 in the morning, and 3 at night. You use the Tria on clean skin, working on your most congested areas. The digital display counts down your 3 minutes, with a beep at 1 and half minutes to let you know you’re half way through. I use the first half of the treatment on my worst areas – if I have a big spot for instance, and then the remaining half on my other bad (but not quite as bad) areas. The device automatically switches off when the 3 minutes is up. The digital display also tells you how many treatments you have left within your cartridge, how much battery life is left, and when you need to replace your cartridge.

I find that the device tells me I need to replace the cartridge once in a while, when I don’t need to – this is normally if I’ve traveled and taken it in a washbag – the cartridge has popped itself out, so if you have a Tria and you find you’re being asked to change your cartridge, pop it back in just to check that you really do!

The battery tends to last me for around 4 days. It is charged by plugging the device into the wall – it takes up very little space and charges up quickly. It’s not an eyesore so it really doesn’t bother me it being out while it does charge.

I started using the Tria about 6 weeks ago, on cleansed skin, morning and night. After a week of using the device, my skin seemed to be worse. I worried that the Tria wasn’t working for me, but I continued to use it, thinking of the 94% of users that say the frequency of breakouts was less after two weeks. I’m glad I kept at it, because once I got through my ‘purge’, my skin began to be a lot better.

I was still getting spots, those big, sore, hormonal chin boiley spots, which would normally take for ever (I’m talking 3 weeks a spot!) to die down. Although it hurt to hold the Tria onto them, as they are just so sensitive, they responded well to the treatment and within a few days they began to shrink. I love the Tria for this fact alone! It seems to dry spots without drying the rest of my skin.

I have continued to use the Tria and have been very pleased with the results. My skin feels smoother without feeling dry or tight and my breakout frequency is a massive amount less. My skin isn’t perfect – I do still get spots, but it’s the best it’s it’s been in a long long time. At least 10 years! I wouldn’t normally dream of leaving the house without foundation on, but on holiday recently I went foundation free, which is a big thing for me!

It is an expensive product, at £229, which includes one cartridge, but if you spend a lot of money on lotions and potions to try to help your spots, you’d do well to give this a go. It comes with a 30 day money back guarantee so if you find it doesn’t work for you, you can return it for a full refund. Don’t expect instant results – stick with it and make sure you use it regularly, perhaps taking photos of your skin before treatment so you have something to refer back to to see how you’re getting on.

Tria Skin Perfecting Blue Light is available at Harrods, Amazon and triabeauty.co.uk

How I Got Clearer Skin

I have suffered with bad skin for most of my life. My GP put me on Dianette contraceptive pill at the age of 14, to help my skin, and a big bottle of the stuff surgeons use to ‘scrub up’ before an op, to use as face wash. I couldn’t cope with the orange liquid, but the pill was easy enough to take, and within a couple of years I had clear skin.

I came off the pill to have my children and it has never gone back to how it was… I ended up with teenage skin. I tried the pill, but it didn’t have any effect on my skin. My doctor suggested I switched contraception as I had been using Dianette for so long, and seeing as it wasn’t helping my skin there was no advantage to using it. The new contraceptive had acne as a known side effect. Great!

Luckily I had just been contacted by a very lovely lady at Azani Medical Spa asking if I would like to try one of their products. We entered into an email conversation – the more I told her about my skin the more it became evident there was no point in me using this one product without the others as it would probably do nothing for me. She gave me a free email consultation (which is available to everyone via their site) and I sent some photos of my bare skin.

Dr Monica Gavin recommended a series of products to me and told me that I’d need to use them in conjunction with each other. I have to admit it did cross my mind that this was a scam, to get me to spend lots of money at their store! I couldn’t find much on Google about their products, but in the end I decided to take the chance, and I think it was one of the best decisions I could have made!

I have used the products for roughly 2 months, which is how long it took me to use up one bottle of each of the products. You’ll have to excuse the battered packaging; it’s been well used!

The products I was recommended and used, were:

Salicylic Face & Body Wash (180ml / $28.50) – I used a gentle face wipe (i.e. Simple) to remove my make up before using this. It works like any other cleanser – massage it over your face and rinse off with cool water. It contains 2% Salicylic Acid which calms skin irritations, improves the look of fine lines and is effective for clearing acne and dry skin conditions. It felt gentle on the skin and didn’t smell of much. I now use the Emma Hardie muslin cloth to remove this to help buff away my flaky skin (more on that later!)

AHA Clarifier (50ml / $30) – This contains 12% Glycolic Acid and botanicals to adbsorb excess oils, clear skin and improve the appearance of pores on oily skin. It recommends applying with a cotton pad but I felt I wasn’t getting enough of the product on my skin so I used my fingers. There’s a warning on the bottle that your skin might find this hard to tolerate, in which case to rinse it off for the first couple of weeks, but my skin was fine.

Oil Free Moisturizer (50ml / $45) – This is a fab moisturiser that leaves my skin feeling hydrated without it being oily. It feels very light and make up goes on well over it.

Pumpkin Clarifying Mask (50ml / $37.50) – This mask is meant to be used a few times a week (I alternated it with the other mask). It is supposed to help loosen blackheads and whiteheads, leave your skin super-clean and looking smoother and clearer. It smells slightly of cinnamon, and goes see through as it dries. You rinse it off after 5 to 20 minutes, and your skin really does feel smooth afterwards.

Antioxidant Soothing Mask (50ml / $37.50) – This mask reduces redness and inflammation, heals blemishes and absorbs excess oil. It contains clay, Alpha Lipoic Acid, 105 Sulphur, and Grapefruit extract. It has a slightly powdering smell but nothing unbearable. It dries white on the skin and after 20 minutes it feels rather tight, but my skin felt great once I rinsed it off. I always made sure I applied an extra pump of moisturiser after using this!

Dr Gavin had also recommended that I visit my GP to ask for some things only available on prescription – antibiotics and topical retinoids. By the time I got to see my doctor I’d been using these products for about 4 weeks – my skin had improved so much that I was refused the antibiotics. I had to plead to be given Retin-A gel, which I got given in the lowest dosage of 0.025%.

This is a very powerful product which must be used very carefully! You need literally a pea sized amount to cover your face, but be warned, it is very drying! Before I started using it I did a bit of online research and saw a lot of people saying that their skin got a lot worse before it got better, but telling everyone to stick with it because the end results will be worth it.

Luckily I didn’t suffer any of those results but my skin has gone very flaky around my nose and chin. In my next order from Azani I will buy their Micro-Buff Creme ($52.50) to help get rid of those patches. In the long run I’d rather have the flakes than the spots, so I’m bearing with it!

Using these products has improved my skin so much, that I recommend anyone with problem skin to get a free consultation from Azani Medical Spa. Although I have a bit of scarring still, I know that will fade in time. It’s so lovely to wake up and not have a new spot to have to deal with every day! I do still get the occasional spot, but it’s so much smaller and is gone so much quicker. I wish I had known about these products years ago!

I had had a few requests on YouTube for a skincare video, so have also recorded a video about these products. If you’d like to watch it, click play below!



 Azani Medical Spa can be found at http://www.azanimedicalspa.com/home.htm

Please let me know if you have any questions regarding this!