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!

Things in my Bathroom

My bathroom is very much a zesty and moisturising place at the moment. Five things on the bathroom rota at the moment that I’m loving are these….

Origins Drink Up Mask


Now I am on Roaccutane, my skin is even more dehydrated than ever – Origins Drink Up Mask is the perfect remedy. It’s designed to be worn for 10 minutes then tissued off, but I have been wearing it as an overnight mask a couple of times a week. It feels instantly soothing to apply and the skin on my face is soft, plump and moisturised in the morning. It’s perfect for skin that needs a moisture boost – whether that be as a mask 10 minutes before you apply your make up for an evening out, or overnight. There is another, richer version of this, but because of my strange skin I thought this would be the safest option – and luckily it hasn’t caused me any breakouts. I’m so pleased that I will continue to use this product for ever. Amazing.

Trevor Sorbie Beautiful Curls – Shampoo & Conditioner


My hair is naturally wavy yet I’m for ever buying products to help to straighten it. I thought it was about time I embraced the movement – if I leave my hair to dry naturally, it does wave – but with a frizz – not wearable by any means. These products have definitely helped to tame the frizz and give me more of a defined curl. They have a fresh, clean, floral smell to them and lather up just the right amount. Since I started using Beautiful Curls my hair seems to hold a style more too – whether that is straight or tonged.

Organic Surge Fresh Ocean Light Body Lotion


This kind of weather means bare limbs may be on the cards soon – so preparation is key! No one wants to see crusty knees or elbows – and my Roaccutaney skin means body lotion is a must. This light body lotion is exactly that – it’s really lightweight yet moisturising and sinks into the skin straight away. It’s ideal for after a morning shower as by the time I’ve got to my clothes, it’s absorbed. My skin isn’t left feeling sticky or clammy so I know I’m not going to get London Grime stuck to me. Rich, heavy body creams definitely have a place in my routine, but they’re best left for bed time. The Fresh Ocean smell is very citrusey, with a hint of peppermint – every little helps in giving me my morning wake up.

ESPA Zesty Lemon, Ylang Ylang & Crushed Tonka Beans Hand Wash & Hand Lotion


Earlier this year, spa brand ESPA expanded their range to include some more every-day, affordable yet luxurious products, including hand wash and lotion. Again, my Roaccutaney skin means hand lotion after washing is preferable – and I feel oh so swish having both at my sink, especially when it looks and feels as luxurious as this. They are fragranced with 100% natural fragrance made from pure essential oils – the smell is delicious and is loved by me, the kids and even my boyfriend – we can be a pretty hard bunch to please as a foursome but these hit the spot.

Apivita Lip Care with Chamomile, Organic Beeswax & Olive Oil


I’m sure you’re sick of me telling you… but I’m on Roaccutane now! Lip balm is now my best friend – having one at arms reach at all times. The lip balms from Apivita are paraben free, mineral oil free, and silicone free and contain lots of lovely lip-loving ingredients. As a predominantly beeswax based balm, it isn’t greasy and doesn’t leave the lips glossy. I’ve found it’s slotted nicely into my morning routine before make up – lipstick goes over the top with ease, and doesn’t bleed which can be the case with other, more liquidy balms.

Neom Real Luxury Organic Body Scrub

I’d heard that Neom’s Real Luxury Organic Body Scrub was one of their hero products, and got rave reviews – so I was very much looking forward to trying it out for myself.

It comes in a huge 332g pot, which is certain to last a while!

A combination of lavender, jasmine and brazilian rosewood make up the ‘Real Luxury’ scent – of which there is a whole range of Neom products.

The scrub is very fragrant, so if you like the smell of Real Luxury, you’ll love this. When you use it, the whole bathroom seems to fill with the smell, almost as if you’re in your own mini spa! It also leaves a fragrance on your skin that I find to be fairly strong. It’s really uplifting.

For me, it’s really been fantastic over the past couple of weeks – you know when you have one of those absolutely hectic days where you just want to get home, have a shower and get into bed…? The smell really hits you as you scrub yourself – it really fills the senses and gave me that ‘ahhh’ moment, which was very much needed at the time!

As for how well the scrub works – it’s fantastic. The grains are big chunky sugar pieces, which are really effective without being too harsh. Skin is really a lot smoother, partly due to the scrub sloughing off any dead skin cells, but also as the oils are left on the skin once you’re dry.

The scrub is made of 97% certified organic ingredients including oils such as safflower and jojoba, and
added vitamin E for extra skin softening. It really does feel like Luxury to use, and at only £32, I think it’s a fantastic product and would be great as a mothers day gift.

Real Luxury Organic Body Scrub is available from the Neom website.

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Serum Infusion

I don’t quite know how it’s happened, but I turn 30 this year (gulp)… sadly, almost 30 years on this earth has left me noticing fine lines & bags under my eyes, and it’s getting worse. Everyone I know that has tried the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair range has raved about it, so I thought I’d give the Eye Serum Infusion a go at tackling my problem.

It comes in a 15ml tube with a pump applicator – one squirt gives you enough product for both eyes – it really is a tiny amount but a little goes a long way – one bottle will definitely last me a while.

The first thing I notice about the Advanced Night Repair Eye Serum is how hydrating it is. I like to do a little experiment with myself when I apply it in the mornings – I push my cheek upwards to look at my wrinkles, then apply the serum and do the same again – the difference is amazing. It contains Hyaluronic acid which locks in moisture and I definitely see the results of that most prominently. 
It also contains technology to reduce the signs of damage due to pollution, as well as Exclusive Chronolux Technology which helps your skins natural renewal process to improve the look of the skin around the eye. Anti-oxidants which neutralise the free radicals found in the environment before they can cause future damage are also included – so a product which both repairs and protects.
The serum itself is applied morning and night, alone or under eye cream. I’ve been using it for 3 weeks without an eye cream but already noticing results – as well as my eye area feeling much more hydrated, my puffy bags have reduced, and the fine lines and darker areas are less noticeable.

It is very comfortable to wear – it’s lightweight, seems to sink in to the skin immediately and leaves the skin under my eyes feeling soft. I don’t like using heavy products around my eye as I am aware of how delicate and thin the skin is – this serum seems to have the perfect consistency for me, which is almost water-like.

I will continue to use it and can’t wait for it to keep improving my eye area – 20 year old skin, here I come!

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum Infusion costs £45 for 15ml from Selfridges.

Organic Surge Blissful Daily Moisturiser

If you are a new reader of my blog, you will not have heard me bleeting on about my bad skin, and how strict I am with my face routine, particularly at the moment, as I am under the care of a dermatologist, and also undergoing Dermaroller treatment. The Dermaroller therapist gives me a tube of moisturiser to use at each appointment, which I have been using as per the instructions, however, it hasn’t ever lasted me until the following appointment.

I had Organic Surge’s Blissful Daily Moisturiser in my stash – I am cautious about what I put on my face as it breaks out extremely easily, is both oily and dehydrated – and some products don’t seem to help with that. The Blissful Daily Moisturiser was one I’d decided I’d like to try – it sounded ‘safe’ – it’s for normal skin, but also suitable for sensitive skin, it’s been clinically and dermalogically tested and made with natural and organic “skin loving ingredients” such as organic rosemary and lemon essential oils. It seemed as though it were gentle and moisturising – just what I needed.

It was put aside once I started my Dermaroller sessions, but was the first thing I thought of using when the moisturiser from them had run out (Chiroxy cream, for the record).

It is very soothing to the skin, has a delicate citrusey fragrance, and sinks nicely into the skin within a minute. It’s has a lightweight texture and not too rich for my face. I have had a bit of a flaky nose, and it hasn’t quite cured that, so I’d say if you have dry skin, try the Super-Intensive Daily Moisturiser from the same range. It doesn’t leave the skin overly shiny which is a big bonus for me as an oily skinned person. It’s not greasy and make up goes on well over the top of it too. A little of it goes a long way. The photo below shows the amount of moisturiser that I would use on my entire face.

After a couple of months of using the Blissful Daily Moisturiser, I am still really pleased with it. My skin has reacted well, and I find it rehydrates, soothes and smoothes my skin.

What I seriously can’t believe it that 50ml of this is only £8.49 (although it’s currently £5.52 in the organic surge sale until 20th January). I would definitely expect to pay more for a product of this quality.

There are loads of great savings to be had on their site sale, but the biggie I think is fantastic value, is this Mega Bundle… it’s only £23.97 for all these products, including delivery!

Again, this is only available until 20th January, so stock up now!
This is the first product from Organic Surge I have tried, and I am thoroughly impressed. I look forward to trying more from their range, as the Blissful Daily Moisturiser is a great product and fab value.

Dermarolling – Session One

Yesterday I went for my first Dermaroller session. I didn’t know much about it – and didn’t want to know much about it. All I knew was that it helps to reduce scarring and pigmentation, and is a treatment a lot of ex acne sufferers use. The procedure is done by having lots of little needles rolled all over your face, forcing collagen to the surface, and therefore repairing the skin. Once I heard about the needles I didn’t want to know any more – I didn’t want to freak myself out – I’d seen before and after photos and that was enough for me to know I wanted to do it.

So off I went to Destination Skin, in High Barnet, nervously excited. Once I’d filled in the necessary forms, I was lead to the treatment room, where the procedure was explained a little more clearly, and Natalie set to work on my face. She explained that a course of 3 to 5 sessions within a year were the norm, and once you’d done 5 you wouldn’t really see any further results – although you can keep topped up with 1 a year. She was very nice and friendly and told me if I felt uncomfortable at any point to let me know and she’d take a break.

She started by cleansing my face, then applied what felt like a gritty gel to my skin, which was to prep my face. She then squeezed any little spots I had, and emptied a whole tube of anaesthetic cream to my face and left me for half an hour while it started to numb me in preparation for the needles. My face felt a little tingly while this was taking effect, but nothing uncomfortable.

The moment had arrived. She returned.

After testing that my face was feeling numb, she began by scraping off a section of the cream then began using the Dermaroller on it. I said “ahh, it’s alright, I was expecting it to be worse!” – that was before I realised she would have to be going over and over the same point. Imagine someone with a really rough brillo pad the size of a 50 pence piece on a stick scrubbing at your face. That. It wasn’t the most comfortable thing in the world – I wouldn’t do it just for the fun of the feeling, but it was bearable. No tears were shed.

The upper lip and temples were the worst parts, but a little squeeze of my own hand and curl of my toes and it was done. She worked as fast as she could and within 10 minutes the needles had made enough tiny little bleeding pinpricks to know she could stop. Ya-hah, I said bleeding pinpricks.

She then applied some Chrioxy oxygenating cream which she wiped off, to remove any blood, then applied another layer, and some Heliocare Factor 50spf Gel, both of which I have been given to use daily. I must must must do this, it’s an essential part of the treatment.

So I sat up, and had a look in the mirror, and WOAH! I was expecting to be red, but for some reason, not quite this red!

Sorry – had to blank out those bits for total vanity reasons!

You are allowed to wear mineral make up for the first 48 hours – and luckily they also stock that, so Natalie applied some to my face as I hate going out make up free, let alone looking like I have just been massively burnt!

Once that was on, I looked fairly normal, but rather puffy – like I’d been ill or asleep for a while… and my face felt very tingly and sunburnt. I was told that most of the redness will go down within about 4-5 hours, but with the mineral make up I couldn’t see how long it actually took.

I was told not to have a hot bath or shower last night, and just to be as gentle as I can for the next 48 hours. I may experience some breakouts and that is normal – but stick to mineral make up and don’t pick anything that may pop up.

Today, my face looks a tiny bit red and I don’t know if I’m imagining it, but my face looks better already. In terms of how it’s feeling, it’s totally back to normal. If anyone planning to get it done was concerned about the discomfort and after effects I’d tell them not to be – it’s a very short while of discomfort for what will (hopefully) show worthwhile results.

The only downside is that results usually take a minimum of 6 weeks to show, but I’m already looking forward to my next treatment in 4 weeks. I will show you some before and after pictures when I post about my next session, fingers crossed there’s an improvement!

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

Murad – Celebrate You! ‘Embrace Balance’ Skincare

Last month Murad released their Christmas Kits – bargainous sets of skincare with big savings. I was sent the Embrace Balance box to try out.

Regular readers of my blog will know that I am quite particular about what I try on my face as it’s very prone to spots, but after reading all the bumpf I was happy to give this a go. The back of the box filled me with hope with this statement ‘Clear pores and embrace beautiful, radiant skin. Three simple steps balance oily and dry zones while removing dull, dry cells for skin that is smooth and shine free.’ It sounded ideal for my skin – dry patches, oily patches and spotty patches (mmmmm).

The kit contains 50mls Pomegranate Cleanser, 60mls T Zone Pore Refining Gel (which is actually bigger than the full size 50mls worth £50!), 30mls Pomegranate Moisturiser SPF 15, and 2 Pomegranate Exfoliating Masks. I love the size of the bottles – they are perfect for putting in a wash-bag while traveling, or staying over at a friends house without having to scrimp on skincare during your stay. You’d think that they wouldn’t last very long being these sizes, but I have been using these products religiously for around 4 weeks and they are all still at least half full.

The cleanser comes in a pump-bottle which dispenses it as foam. One or two pumps is enough to cleanse your entire face. I have been applying it to my face using my Clarisonic Mia. It has a light fruity, refreshing fragrance. It feels very light, and doesn’t irritate my skin at all. At night I have been using a Simple facewipe to take off the bulk of my make up, then using the cleanser to remove all the rest of the grime and excess make up from my face. As I am using Retin-A I seem to need a bit of extra exfoliation for the dry patches, so I remove the cleanser using an Emma Hardie muslin and microfibre cloth.

The tip I have for the toner is not to use too much – a little goes a long way – half a pump is perfect for my face. It’s a thin, runny, liquid, and on contact with my face feels a bit tingly. Not in an uncomfortable way – but like it’s doing some work! It says that it ‘balances oily and dry zones while gently exfoliating to remove dull, dry skin cells’ which for me is key! The toner takes a few minutes to sink in as it’s quite wet. Once it’s dry I apply a thin layer of Retin-A to my face (obviously this is just an additional step as this is what my GP has prescribed to me!)

The moisturiser is gorrrrrgeous. It’s oil free yet very moisturising. It’s lightweight and is like an instant blanket of comfort over your face once you massage it in. It totally restores my face to a natural balance and doesn’t leave me looking shiny, or feeling greasy.

I wouldn’t say my skin is any better or worse since I have been using this range, but this in itself is a massive achievement. I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that my skin will never be perfect, so the fact that these products could maintain the condition of my skin is fabulous!

If you’re interested in this kit, it’s only £39.50 from www.murad.co.uk and is actually worth £78. If you’re looking to try a new regime, I would recommend Embrace Balance highly!