How to care for your skin on Accutane (Part 2)

How to care for your skin on Accutane (Part 2)

Derived from Vitamin A, Accutane is a potent little pill often prescribed by physicians to treat all sorts of acne and breakouts. If you’ve been on it before, you know that Accutane is a serious drug with equally serious side effects. If this is your first time and you’re reading this, you’re already ahead of some of the worst and most obvious side effects. Accutane is known for being incredibly drying - oftentimes depleting the skin of all sorts of moisture, causing a rash, chapped dry lips, dry nose (both inside and out) and a whole lot of itching. Now that you’ve braced yourself for the worst, it’s time to prepare for the best in order to make your Accutane experience as positive as possible. You are or will be under the care of your own dermatologist throughout this process, so if you have any questions or concerns make sure to reach out to them asap. For the most part, the care advice given by doctors and dermatologists is minimal, and while it’s absolutely of the utmost importance that you pay attention to what is working for you, here is what I recommend to anyone starting, already on, or thinking of using Accutane: 

First and foremost, throw away all of your over the counter acne products, you will no longer need any of them and you shouldn’t even think of using them while on Accutane. Check all of your skincare products and make sure that they don’t contain any acids. Go to your local drugstore or open up Amazon on your browser and add these things to your cart - 

Your Shopping List: 

- Large tub of Aquaphor

- Egyptian Magic All Purpose Cream

- Aquaphor Lip Repair

- Aveeno Calm + Restore Oat Facial Cleanser

- Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Wash

- Aveeno Calm + Restore Oat Moisturizer or OLSC Pep-Revive Daily Moisturizer

- Aveeno Skin Relief Moisture Repair or Eucerin Advanced Repair Body Cream

If you haven’t started your Accutane treatment yet, start using the products above a few days prior to starting your treatment to ensure that your skin will be extra moisturized and resilient to the upcoming onslaught of dryness. If you’re already on the treatment, don’t stress - start on your new highly moisturizing routine ASAP! I know the purge your skin is experiencing is pretty aggressive, but try your best to resist the urge to treat your topical acne with anything. Right now, the milder the product, the better because using your regular products will most likely cause rashes, itchiness and sometimes even eczema. 

So, here’s your Accutane care guide: 

- As soon as you get out of the shower, apply face and body lotion from head to toe. Before bed, you should literally slather as much moisturizer as possible on your body, face and even work it into your scalp if you feel that it’s getting dry. Mix equal amounts of Aquaphor and Egyptian Magic and apply a generous amount on all areas of your face and body, concentrating on areas where you are experiencing the most itching or dryness. If the itching becomes too much to bear, ask your dermatologist for prescription cortisone. Reapply Aquaphor or the mixture of Aquaphor and Egyptian magic on the corner of your mouth and around your nose every couple of hours. I know it sounds weird, but make sure to apply this mixture to the inside of your nose with a Q Tip as well.

- Sunblock is more important now than ever. Stay away from the sun as much as possible, use SPF 55 or higher, and wear SPF protective clothing if you are vacationing, hiking or gardening. Your skin sensitivity to the sun will be heightened so make sure that you are protected. As your skin is also undergoing an immense purge, your risk for scarring is higher than ever. Protect yourself from the sun to prevent dark spots and acne scars that are hard to deal with later.


Your post-Accutane care guide:

Your post-care guide comes with a warning - while it was very nice to hydrate your skin with heavy moisturizers and oils while on the treatment, you must stop as soon as treatment is over. While accutane is 90% effective in curing acne,  it doesn’t mean that it has permanently changed your skin type. If you are naturally prone to breakouts, you can still break out especially from using too many products that are not supportive of your skin type. While you can start using the anti-aging ingredients that previously you couldn’t use, it doesn’t mean that you should continue to slaughter your skin with Egyptian magic and Aquaphor, or heavy moisturizers and serums.

Here is an almost foolproof post accutane protocol:

- OLSC Purifying Cleansing Gel / or you can continue to use Aveeno for few weeks post (AM/PM)

- OLSC Rebalancing Toner (AM/PM)

- Weightless Moisturizer (AM)

- Lightweight Sunblock, I like Canmake Mermaid Skin Gel (AM)

- OLSC Nighttime Skin Quencher or OLSC Lactic Acid Hydrating Serum (PM)

- OLSC Eye Cream (AM/PM)


- Add a few drops of Heal The Need to your moisturizer if you’re feeling dry

- Once per week, treat yourself to a Red Carpet Facial in a box

- After 60 days on the regimen above, add ISclinical Pro Heal Serum after toner, before moisturizer 

- 60 days after that, ask your dermatologist for 0.05 tretinoin to add to your evening routine. This will help plump your skin, improve fine lines and get rid of any acne scars or discoloration you might’ve gotten from your Accutane. Start using it once per week until you work up to 3-4 times per week. After cleansing, apply your eye cream and then follow with tretinoin, wait 5 minutes before applying a night cream like Nighttime Skin Quencher. 

If at any point you start to experience rashes, irritation or general skin congestion, discontinue use. It usually takes 2-3 weeks for your skin to adjust to new products, just monitor how your skin is feeling.

As you embark on this journey for clear skin, know that you are doing the best you can! It is absolutely not easy, but I hope that I can make this process easier for you. Be sure to communicate with your dermatologist about your skin concerns and good luck!

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Want to be in the know? Sign up for our exclusive newsletter where we discuss the latest trends, pro-tips from the Acid Queen and so much more. Plus you'll receive 15% off your first order!

Subscribe Now
Shop this Post
Deep Detox Facial in a Box ™
$ 98.00
37 reviews
Weightless Moisturizer
$ 75.00
57 reviews
Purifying Cleansing Gel
$ 42.00
17 reviews
$ 28.00
7 reviews
The Best Retinol Regimen for Every Skin Type
If you’re considering incorporating retinol into your skincare routine, here’s everything you need to know.
Read more
Not Your Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid
While hyaluronic acid has certainly made its way as one of the top ingredients in today's skin care market, you might...
Read more
What Are Skincare Toners and Why Do I Need Them?
Toners, Astringents, essences … What are these liquid potions and how badly do we need them? Well, let’s get into it....
Read more
How to pick the right sunscreen for your skin type
Imagine an absolutely stunning living room filled with priceless furniture, one of a kind art, and vintage finds. Blo...
Read more
How to care for your skin on Accutane (Part 2)
First and foremost, throw away all of your over the counter acne products, you will no longer need any of them and yo...
Read more
Let’s talk about Accutane - Does it really work? (Part 1)
For the past 25 years I have had hundreds of clients with light, moderate to severe acne come in to receive treatment...
Read more
Should you change your skin care with the seasons?
While this can be a loaded question, I will try to give you some guidelines that can help your skin weather any storm...
Read more
The secret to saving the planet is to stop buying sh*t beauty products.
Sustainability is the new buzzword in beauty, skincare, fashion and pretty much all areas of our lives. Of course it’...
Read more
Why are my skincare products not improving my skin?
After about a month of your “cult-favorite” skincare routine, you’ve noticed little to no changes, and your pricey pr...
Read more
What are peptides and what do they do for the skin?
The buzz around peptides is strong and for good reason. Peptides are powerful short chains of amino acids that are ba...
Read more
A Letter to Mothers: International Women’s Day
This is a huge subject, but this year in particular I would love to shout out all women who have careers while being ...
Read more
Lactic Acid Can Do So Much For Your Skin - Here’s Your User Guide:
Have you been thinking of adding this brightening serum to your skincare routine? Lactic acid is an Alpha-Hydroxy Aci...
Read more
20 Years of Lactic Acid
What a fun ride this was! On 2/22/22 we relaunched Lactic Acid after 20 years in existence. This is third-generation ...
Read more
How to Hydrate Your Skin From Inside Out
It’s no secret that high quality exfoliants, serums and moisturizers are essential in keeping your skin nourished, mo...
Read more
What is “slugging” and how can you do it right?
“Slugging” is the latest skincare trend coating the internet, literally. The slimy name is quite fitting, as it entai...
Read more
Small Steps to Perfect Skin
Skin care is often one of those items where I hear our community say, “this year I must take better care of my skin....
Read more
Olga's top 4 last-minute tips for getting into the Holiday Spirit
My 4 tips for getting into the Holiday spirit. What are yours?
Read more
The Red Carpet Facial: Origins of an Icon
The year was 2005, and Oscar prep was as crazy as always. Nominees and presenters were flocking to Kinara Skincare C...
Read more
Summertime do's, don'ts, and the usual (with a twist)
Quarantine is (almost) over, your friend group is finally reunited, and I think I speak for everyone when I say I’m l...
Read more
Spotlight: Niacinamide
What goes around comes around—this is a GREAT thing in the case of niacinamide. I began incorporating this form of V...
Read more
The Art of The Eye Cream
CONFESSION…For years, I dismissed all the eye creams I encountered as nothing more than face moisturizers with slight...
Read more
The rise of women is not about the fall of men
Finally, true power comes when you feel powerful inside. When you know who you are, and when you know where you're go...
Read more
Dry skin vs. Dehydrated skin
It might sound like the same thing but these are very different skin conditions. They need to be treated differently ...
Read more
Magic of Nettles Did you start Olga’s 21 day detox plan? If so, hopefully your body and mind are feeling amazing rig...
Read more
Let's Talk About Parabens In Skincare
Parabens are chemicals that are used in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries to prevent bacteria from fungus gr...
Read more
In my last post, I shared my New Year detox plan…so what does this mean for your skin? A lot! If your body is struggl...
Read more
Every New Year, I dedicate time to improving my overall health and wellbeing. This year, more than ever, I’m ready to...
Read more
Looking back at 2020
Time was plentiful for the first time in decades. Allowing myself the time for stillness and reflection was somethi...
Read more
The Power of Peptides
More than a buzzy ingredient, peptides are a skincare POWERHOUSE! But what are they and why do they belong in your sk...
Read more
Olga's Tips For Being a Boss Babe
The phrase “girl boss” has been big for a few years, but it wasn’t really a thing in my native country. Growing up in...
Read more
My Love Affair with Lactic Acid
I love acids in skin care—so much that my clients nicknamed me “The Acid Queen.” The reason I’m passionate about them...
Read more
Everything You Need To Know About Men's Skincare (In Less Than 2 Minutes!)
During my 25 years of working hands-on with skin, I've noticed that men are more likely to use skincare products that...
Read more
Why You Should Forget Everything You Learned About Aging
From the minute we are born we start to age. Although aging looks different for everyone, we all go through it. As an...
Read more
Sunblock 101 | Do I need to wear sunblock?
So, here’s a fun fact for you: You might have heard (even from your dermatologist) that SPF 30 is all you need. Well...
Read more
Beauty Interrupted | A letter to BBC
Last week, I spent over 3 hours listening in on a virtual meeting with the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetol...
Read more
The difference between Cleansers and Wipes
Wash or wipe? It’s neither nor. Wipes can be used to remove eye makeup but they should never be used as a replacement...
Read more
Why you should love acids, not numbers...
I’m often asked questions like "How much acid is in your product?" or "How many oils are in that serum?" While I am h...
Read more
Why the sudden breakout? | Does stress cause acne?
You know that random breakout that shows up only when you’re stressed? Sudden changes in our lives can show up - s...
Read more
Winter Skin Care | How to take care of your skin during colder weather
Days are shorter, nights cooler — but is your skin care still the same? When you store your summer wardrobe away,...
Read more
Acids & Sensitive Skin (YES, these two things go together)
For most of us, when we hear the word acid, it conjures images of battery acid or a bright green, burning liqui...
Read more
Chlorine: The other C word
Chlorine is essentially a disinfectant (think Clorox), which isn’t a big deal if you have acneic skin…BUT if your s...
Read more
Skin remedies for sun, surf, and sand
Summer is THE season but sometimes we overindulge in the good stuff and our skin suffers. Here are some at-home rem...
Read more
It's Time for a Fall Skincare Boot Camp!
Summer is not your skin’s best friend. Time to reboot your skin with the Fall Skincare Boot Camp challenge! Here are...
Read more
Amp Up Your Skin Care Game and Mask Like A Pro
It’s amazing how quickly the right mask can bring balance to problematic skin; whether you’re looking to add moistu...
Read more
They Don’t Call It Beauty Sleep for Nothing
Not giving your skin the rest it needs to repair itself is a bad habit to get into, and one that will leave your com...
Read more
You Are What You Eat: Eating for Clear Skin
It’s no secret that eating well puts you on the path to looking great. Here are a few things to choose and avoid for...
Read more
A Beauty Expert's Nighttime Routine Revealed
It’s like asking a Michelin Chef what they make themselves for dinner. Here’s a look into how celebrity esthetician,...
Read more
Choosing the Right Sunscreen for Your Skin
Get to know your options and protect your skin — there’s no reason not to when the choices are this good. Read More
Read more
The Switch to Summer Skin Care
Keep that gorgeous skin of yours glowing — and damage free! — all summer long. Read More
Read more
Spring Cleaning Your Skin
Feel like your skin is looking a little less-than-wow? Does it make you cringe to think about the last time you clean...
Read more