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  • Ashley Carlstrom

Accutane: 2 Months Down!

Well, here we are- 2 months of my Accutane journey are gone! It's truly surreal to go from 4 years of running to the mirror every morning in fearful anticipation of seeing the state of my skin to now waking up with a calm, smooth complexion. I was talking with my beautiful roommates, Jordyn and Maren, just the other day and casually said "It feels so good to wake up and feel like a woman again." It wasn't until those words left my mouth, ran past my lips without thinking, that I realized the extent to which my femininity has been dimmed by the presence of my acne. I became so used to being unhappy in my skin, that I made unhappiness my reality. My skin is far from where I want it to be, but Accutane is working and it's working fast. I'm finally happy in the skin God gave me.

As of September 1, I am taking two 40 mg capsules every day. I take them both in the morning when I eat breakfast and take all of my other supplements. This time of day seems to be the most efficient for me. I wanted to list out the other supplements I am taking that support my body while I am on Accutane:

  • Liver Cleanse Detox & Repair Formula: This liver support supplement is less than $21 on Amazon! Accutane is incredibly harsh on the liver, as it must pass through the liver for proper absorption. One of the very first reasons why I remained so resistant to Accutane as a treatment for me was because of the intensity it can have on the body! As a healthy woman, I wrestled with jacking up my body for the mere purpose of having clear skin. However, researching liver support before Accutane alleviated a lot of my fears.

  • Nature's Way VITEX: This derivative of chasteberry plant is a great fertility and hormonal support supplement. This is one of my PCOS approved supplements and fosters regulation of hormones, specifically raising progesterone levels and lowering prolactin levels.

  • THERALOGIX Ovasitol: Where are my fellow insulin resistant PCOS gals at?! Ovasitol is a holy grail for my hormones. The supplement aims to balance out hormonal levels, in turn improving fertility and restoring metabolic health.

Here are some of my personal experiences from these first couple of months:

  • I have only had THREE active breakouts since starting Accutane. Wait what? This is literally unheard of for my skin; I'm used to three active breakouts every day!

  • My size of my pores minimize every second. Accutane works by ceasing sebum production in the oil glands...which is basically a fancy way of saying your pores actually just disappear.

  • Aquaphor and I are practically attached at the hip. It might be time to carve out a budget for my Aquaphor supply. I have a tube in my car, in my purse, in my backpack, in my nightstand, in my bathroom's a necessity. Thankfully, I have not experienced horribly chapped lips, but I also know staying on top of moisturizer can minimize the intensity.

  • Redness and...sweating? Whenever I seem to work out or just move my body in general, whether it be a hot girl walk or a barre class, my face becomes embarrassingly flushed and I begin sweating from every pore on my face. Redness and increased sweating are lesser known side effects for individuals on Accutane, but they sure didn't skip over me.

All in all, I've had a very smooth take off to this medication. I have four months left, but I remain confident that it will be worth every moment, even those that are yet to come in the following months.

I have a folder in my photos on my phone that is titled Accutane Diaries. I often scroll through this folder to remind myself where I have come from. For four years, I had to force myself to accept my skin for what it was; I eventually tricked myself into thinking that I would never truly know what I would look like with a healthy complexion. I kind of just came to terms that acne would follow me into the world when I become a teacher, when I get into a relationship, when I become a mother- it got so bad, I started to imagine my wedding day and secretly break down and cry about the possibility of having acne on a day I've waited for since I began that Pinterest board at 13 years old. I never thought I would know what it feels like to wake up and not stare at my hands while washing them out of fear for looking into the mirror wake up and not dread getting ready for the day, because getting ready meant putting on makeup and putting on makeup was a painful not feel bogged down by the texture of my skin.

Accutane has made all of these things that once seemed nearly impossible, my current reality. I wish I could say I should have started Accutane earlier in life, but the trials I went through, the hours spent crying and the countless hopeless journal entries led to starting @barefacedashley, discovery of my PCOS diagnosis and launching the Reclaimed podcast with my dear friend Sydnee. These three aspects of my life encompass who I truly am down to the core- a flawed, imperfect, struggling woman who desperately needs Jesus for joy, confidence, aptitude, and peace. I now get to be the same woman I've always been, but with a bit clearer of skin. Thank you, Lord, for the journey you have taken me down.

eternal blessings,



Photos 1 +2: September 17, 2022

Photos 3 + 4: July 20, 2022 (start date for Accutane)


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