The big guns

When 40 greeted An­drea Franklin with her first-ever cys­tic break­outs, she learned a thing or two about isotretinoin (the drug also known as Roac­cu­tane).

Glamour (South Africa) - - Beauty -

Here’s what they don’t tell you right off the bat about isotretinoin: no drink­ing. The medicine stresses your liver. And al­co­hol stresses your liver. See where I’m go­ing with this?

Three, four, maybe five months to glow­ing skin also meant three, four, maybe five months star­ing at my tequila col­lec­tion with long­ing and nos­tal­gia. (Maybe cut­ting back wouldn’t be the worst thing.)

I’m a full-on grown-up, and af­ter a life­time of pretty damn good skin, I was deal­ing with near-con­stant cys­tic break­outs. For two-plus years, I tried it all and fi­nally asked my der­ma­tol­o­gist for the hard stuff.

Here are the other things you don’t know about isotretinoin.

First: you will have to take a test ev­ery month. A blood test – to as­sess that liver sit­u­a­tion – and a ‘test test’. You want blem­ish-free skin, you’ve got to mul­ti­ple-choice your way there. The ‘test test’ is to prove that you know the haz­ards of get­ting preg­nant while on the drug. The haz­ards can best be summed up as a cross be­tween sci­ence fic­tion and straightup hor­ror. If you ever don’t know the an­swer to a ques­tion, pick the one that you would see in a straight-tovideo Tobe Hooper movie. You have to use two kinds of birth con­trol, but feel free to add a third: ab­sti­nence.

Sec­ondly: mois­turise, mois­turise, mois­turise. Use cases of mois­turiser. isotretinoin shrinks your oil glands, and while you’re on it, your skin will be all kinds of dry.

Fi­nally: in three, four, five months, sit back and glow. I’m halfway there and al­ready freak­ing ra­di­ant. In another month I’ll be done, and I will be beam­ing like the god­dess Venus.

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