Hello, lovelies! Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season, I know I’m very bummed it’s over. Can I just keep my Christmas tree up? Would you judge?
But it’s a new year and for many it means making some self changes and resolutions. For me last year, it was to obtain clear skin.

Acne does not get the credit it deserves when it comes to how negatively it affects your life. I have always, ALWAYS had skin problems. I first got acne when I was about 9 years old and I have been on every medication, pill, topical cream, gel, you name it, ever since. Finally, my dermatologist recommended Accutane as a last resort. At this point, I had had acne for over ten years and I was ready to just get rid of it already. I had a few reservations about the side effects and the controversy surrounding the medicine (which I will get into later) but ultimately, my desire for clear skin surpassed my fears.
To Take Accutane, two different forms of birth control are required. This is because if a woman were to become pregnant while on Accutane, it may cause birth defects for the infant. This was my scariest concern: if I were to become pregnant later, off of the medicine, would my child have birth defects? My dermatologist assured me that once it is out of my system, it no longer has that effect. My two forms of birth control were the pill and male condoms. Others may include IUDs, female condoms, etc. 
To begin the process, I needed to have blood work done to obtain baseline levels. Accutane can affect different things like cholesterol (which I personally had to watch closely throughout my experience). I also needed to take a pregnancy test and start/continue my birth control. I say continue because we needed to have on record that I took a pregnancy test and was on the pill for one month before I actually started Accutane. 
One month later, I returned to the dermatologist. I had blood work done and had to take another pregnancy test. You will start to see a pattern here. Once all was cleared, I began a low dose of Accutane. 
If you begin Accutane, do not be scared by the packaging. It had “FEMALE PATIENTS DO NOT GET PREGNANT” and symbols like this all over it:
Very intimidating, but do not be scared, it is only meant for your safety. 
The first thing I noticed was dryness, which is the most common side effect and was warned by my dermatologist. My lips were chapped and dry but what stood out to me was my nostrils were very dry. However, a positive side effect was that my hair did not become as greasy as quickly. I thoroughly enjoyed not having to wash my hair everyday. Not even every other day. This is probably gross to admit but I could have probably went a good week without having to wash my hair. << Favorite part of Accutane, besides the clearing skin part, of course. 
After a month on Accutane, I returned to the dermatologist for my monthly check up. Again, I needed blood work and to take a pregnancy test. My dermatologist increased my dosage slightly and recommended a simple nasal spray to moisturize my nose.  
I began to notice my skin clearing after about two months and it became near-perfectly clear after about five months. This may seem like a long duration, but after ten years, I was grateful to see clear skin. 
I finished my dosage after nine months but had to continue my birth control and do blood work one last time a month after I was officially off of the medication. Fast forward to three months later, I had a check up last month. My skin is still clear and my blood work looks like Accutane did not affect other health aspects. 
I could not be happier with the results from Accutane. If you suffer from acne and have tried everything, I highly, highly recommend you ask your dermatologist about Accutane. (I am fully aware I sound like an infomercial right now). I had been on everything from Proactiv to prescription topicals and pills, and nothing provided results like Accutane. The dryness side effect was nothing compared to the years of low self esteem from my skin. 
Here are some before and after photos if you still do not believe me. I have nothing but good words about Accutane but if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to leave a comment below!
Before: (Absolutely none of these photos were edited in any way)
Like, is this stuff real?!?!
Hope you guys have a lovely week and Happy PLL Day!!