I love aquaphor!! This amazing balm from Eucerin was something I heard about whilst binge-watching beauty videos on YouTube ages ago (I was probably procrastinating getting out of bed or something) and had been meaning to buy some since.
The moment to invest finally came when I was sailing in France (in a French heatwave) two weeks ago and learnt a valuable lesson about sensitive roaccutane skin. I fell asleep in the sun with my face resting on the deck – I was all suncreamed up and my face was in the shade but my skin still felt unusually painful by the end of the day. I woke up the next morning with blisters all down the one side of my face that had been resting on the hot deck of the boat!
It was really painful and the cluster of blisters soon turned to cracked, extremely sore and dry skin (the worst I’ve ever experienced – I still don’t really understand what happened). On return to land I rushed to a French pharmacy (literally amazing places) and bought some magic aquaphor – I had been trying to survive on a combination of aloe vera and Aveeno body cream (which I don’t really recommend for your face) which I was reapplying every five minutes (it felt like that anyway), but wasn’t really soothing the pain.
The aquaphor saved me!! It is honestly the most effective moisturiser for cracked and painful skin I’ve found, so if you ever have any dramas like mine where you skin gets to a whole new level of dehydrated, then don’t hesitate to get some aquaphor.
At the moment I’m putting it on my nose before bed every night or on any other dry patches on my body and it works like a dream. I wouldn’t recommend using it on your face if you’ve got any spots however – it isn’t non-comodogenic as far as I can tell (after French A Level I think I can just about understand the packaging) but it is meant to be good for other areas of skin aside from your face (I’ve been putting it on my hands and lips too).
I was at Boardmaster’s Festival (so much fun – I highly recommend it!!) in Cornwall last weekend and I was a bit worried about how my skin would cope – my usual festival skincare routine from previous years consisted mainly of sleeping my makeup and getting through an awful lot of baby wipes, and still, after all that being covered in glitter, but this year I was bit more careful. It helped I was a lot more sober than usual this year (no drinking on roaccutane!!), so I was in a perfectly capable state and could take my make up off at whatever hour and put lots of moisturiser etc etc on.
There were taps around the campsite so if I had been a bit less lazy I could have gone and exfoliated my face – it was having its usual dry panic after all the sun in France, where I had just been on a sailing holiday (almost impossible to avoid the sunshine…) with my family, and also because I hadn’t been drinking enough water, and so make up wasn’t going on to it very well (despite the industrial amounts of moisturiser I slept in and put on in the morning, it was still crazy dry).
So here is what I learnt about doing a festival on roaccutane:
Baby wipes don’t cut it – if you don’t want to look like you’re shedding your skin like a snake, that is. Otherwise they’re perfectly good at replacing your twice-a-day face wash!
Go to the water taps (however cold they may be!!) and scrub your face at some point so you can put foundation on without it gathering in all your dry skin and making it look worse than it actually is.
You can have lots of fun sober!!
Don’t forget to drink plenty of water – my drinking had slipped just before I went and I noticed a massive difference as my skin became a lot more dry. There’s usually water taps around at festivals so there’s no excuse.
If you can, take your make up off (try the Garnier or Nivea make up remover or the Simple pads which are ideal for festivals, although not so good at getting waterproof make up off) before you go to sleep, whatever time of night it is!!
The festival body clock may be a bit messed up but you’ll benefit from keeping up your routine – your skin is more sensitive on roaccutane and there’s a risk you’ll become allergic to products, particularly if you wear them for long periods of time. I myself have been lucky and so far (touch wood) I’ve not developed any allergies but a friend of mine did, so be careful. It also gives you a chance to put lots of moisturiser on and give your skin some breathing time.
As much of a festival staple as it is, I avoided glitter – I’ve always found in previous years that taking it off felt like I was grating my skin on my face, so I didn’t bother with it as the idea of grating my already dry and roaccutany skin didn’t seem particularly enticing. That being said, it could have been the exfoliation I badly needed…
Here’s a video from Boardmaster’s last year – it wasn’t quite so sunny and warm this year (the British summer has been a bit disappointing 😦 ) but it was still so so much fun, I really recommend going!!
Roaccutane doesn’t just dry out the skin on your face, but it dries out your body too. Moisturising your body is a must on roaccutane!! I have always been quite eczema-prone, but I haven’t experienced it badly since I was a lot younger, but now I’ve seen patches of it creeping back when I get lazy moisturising (and drinking water!!).
I’m too lazy to moisturise day and night (I haven’t got the time or energy to be sticky at all hours of the day!!), but it’s not hard to keep your skin hydrated if you moisturise EVERY time you get out of the shower, baths, sea, swimming pools, jacuzzis etc etc.
I was recommended Aveeno Oil and Aveeno Cream by my dermatologist – the oil is for use in the bath water or to be applied directly on to your skin in the shower (it’s really good for shaving with too), and it’s nice because it isn’t too slippery or oily. The cream is the moisturiser for once you’re out of the shower – it absorbs quickly and will keep your skin hydrated for a couple of days at least, and it doesn’t smell, so there’s no perfumy chemicals for your skin to get allergic to, and that means it can be used by men and women!!
They aren’t crazy expensive and you can find all the Aveeno stuff in Superdrug and Boots – check that you’re getting the ‘cream’ as opposed to any of their other lotions or milks or sprays and what-not, as it’s definitely the most effective. They’re designed particularly with eczema or dry, sensitive-skin prone people in mind so they’re ideal for use when you’re on roaccutane.
Another plus is that Jennifer Aniston has been Aveeno’s celebrity ambassador for years, and even if they’re paying her loads to do it, I can see why she would like it, and who doesn’t want skin like Jennifer Aniston?
I always use a face wash to wash my face, night and morning – it removes make up, dirt, sweat etc from the day better than plain water, and it’s good at keeping imperfections and blemishes away.
On roaccutane I’ve been using another La Roche Posay Effaclar H product, and this time it’s their ‘hydrating cleansing cream’ (£9.50 on Feel Unique), which is great because its creamy texture doesn’t dry out my skin at all (and works well with the Efflaclar H moisturiser).
I also exfoliate every now and again – it keeps dry patches away and makes it easier to put make up on because your skin is a bit smoother, and it also makes you a bit more radiant!! No need to go crazy on the highlighter!!
My favourite exfoliator is the St. Ives ‘Nourish & Smooth‘ Oatmeal Scrub – I think it’s a new one and it’s much more gentle than their famous apricot scrub, so it’s perfect for sensitive roaccutane skin! Smells nice too and only a fiver in Boots.
I use it maybe two or three times a week minimum, often before I put make up on for a night out. It’s nice as a mask when you’re relaxing in the bath too 🙂
If your face gets dry and peely from not moisturising, it becomes really uncomfortable, and if you’re a self-conscious person like me, it’s also quite a hard thing to cover up, because make-up catches in the dry bits of skin and makes it look even more obviously dry!!
The discomfort is the worst part – if I go out in the cold with really dry skin I find my skin stings in the chilly air, and is really sensitive to touch.
To avoid this, I moisturise religiously at night (even after a night out I’ll be there, moisturising away at 4am) and in the morning after washing my face.
The best moisturiser for this is the La Roche Posay Effaclar H moisturiser, which the dermatologist who prescribes me the roaccutane recommended – it’s designed for spot prone skin so it’s non-comedogenic (not too oily or sticky) but it’s really soothing, and hypoallergenic.
La Roche Posay claim that after 4 weeks, 30 of their patients taking isotretinoin (roaccutane) saw a 64% reduction in their dry skin when they used this moisturiser 🙂
It’s comes in a bit of a small bottle but that does mean it’s easy to carry it around in pockets, handbags, kit bags etc, especially in cold weather when your skin dries out in what feels like 5 seconds. They sell it in Boots so it’s not hard to get hold of either (although it’s £15 there instead of £9.50 on feelunique.com…).
As soon as you start taking roaccutane, start drinking loads of water! It’s such a dehydrating drug, even on the smaller doses you’ll probably start with, so it’s a good habit to get into early on for when your doses increase.
The more water I drink, the more my skin is much less dry and flaky, which means for us girls make up goes on so much better too 😉
I think it’s recommended you drink about 2 litres a day to stay healthy, but on roaccutane I’ve been drinking at least double that each day, and even more if I get hot and sweaty from exercise or being somewhere warm or humid.