It’s now been just over a year since I wrote about my update skincare routine (after having finished Accutane 5 months prior). And it’s been almost 2 years since I finished taking Accutane all together. I can safely say my acne has not once been as bad as it was in April of 2017 (see image below).

My skin pictured at its very worst (post stopping birth control pill).

It has however, been much better than it currently is (see second image below). I’m usually very positive and optimistic but let me preface this post by saying that your skin will most likely never be AS nice as it was when you’re fresh off Accutane. Unfortunately, as endorphin-inducing, refreshing, confidence-boosting (I could go on with positive adjectives here) as it was to have nearly perfect skin while finishing this medication, it’s simply not reality and I think that’s important to note for anyone considering taking Accutane.

Having said so, I would still to this day take it again and I do not for one second regret having taken Accutane because it gave me the opportunity to be beyond thrilled with my skin (for once!) and to truly feel confident and happy with the skin I’m in. It’s also important to note that this medication and its side effects can stay in your system for quite some time (months and maybe even years) after finishing it because naturally, it takes time to fully clear out of your system and I think this also depends on the person. Additionally, given that Accutane is fairly new in the grand scheme of medicine and drug production, not enough research has been done on it to know the FULL side effects long term. All of this to say that in my personal experience with Accutane (and this is of course different for everyone and their individual case), it definitely improves acne tremendously but it does not cure it –particularly if you have an underlying health condition.

Even though I know that Accutane helped me a lot, acne is still something I’m struggling with today because of my PCOS (hormonal imbalance), which you can read about here. I can’t tell you how discouraging it is to feel like something you’ve tried so hard to achieve (in my case, clear skin) seems once again SO unattainable. This is my skin now.

Skin now (September 2019)

I fully realize that my skin could be a lot worse (and is nowhere near as bad as it once was) and that I’m very lucky to be generally healthy otherwise, so I am not writing this post as a pity party; I’m writing this post because I want to stress the importance of treating the underlying cause of acne or any other health/medical condition for that matter.

Often times, traditional Western medicine practitioners treat symptoms rather than diving deep below the surface to discover what is causing these symptoms to begin with. When your skin flares up with acne for example, your body is TRYING TO TELL YOU SOMETHING, something that is not balanced and something that is not right. And in my opinion, you owe it to yourself and your body to find out what that is, in the best interest of your health, happiness and prosperity. So listen to your body, truly listen.

In my case, my body was and still is telling me my hormones are imbalanced (as I mentioned above), and I have been diligently working on rectifying this. People whose bodies are speaking to them via symptoms often don’t want to take the time, effort, energy and money (a variable I realize can be out of your control) it requires to play detective. I am the first to admit it requires an immense amount of patience to figure out. It’s been since 2016 that I’ve started the journey to balance my hormones and I have yet to reap the full benefits of my efforts. I have recognized however as my patience (and confidence, really) has truly been tested, that as organic beings, our bodies take and need time to change and to shift. Our bodies are made to be so resilient and intelligent, that when something (whatever it may be) is off, it finds a way to compensate so that you can continue being you. But it is for these same admirable qualities our bodies have, that I (we) owe it to ourselves to really, and I mean really figure things out when we’re literally being asked to via non-verbal bodily cues.

I hope this post helps anyone pursuing a journey to optimal physical, mental or emotional health feel understood and most importantly encouraged to keep on going, because regardless of the nature or severity of the issue you’re facing, the same bodily principles I discussed above apply. And our bodies only ever want the very best for us, so should we not want the same for them?

xx Leah