Aveeno Active Naturals Skin Relief Moisture Repair Cream
I'm about to let you in on a little secret: For the past six months I've been taking Accutane. Yep, that' crazy, baby-deforming, teenage-suicide-inducing anti-acne drug. I didn't have super-severe acne, but in my early 20s I started getting regular breakouts that never seemed to go away. I've been seeing a dermatologist regularly for mild acne since I was about 12, and I reached the point where I'd tried pretty much everything, and it was time to bring out the big guns. For the uninitiated, Accutane is a somewhat controversial drug that completely shuts down the oil production in your body. No oil means nothing to clog your pores, which means no acne. Because your body's oil production is completely shut down, most patients suffer from extreme dryness not only on their skin, but also their hair, eyes, nose, anywhere that's juicy (gross, but true). Some patients have constant bloody noses or have to stop wearing contact lenses, some even have the skin on their faces peel off in sheets (SHEETS!). There's also the scarier side effects of Accutane inducing urges to self-harm and for pregnant Accutane patients to birth mutated babies. (I'm planning a mega-post on my whole Accutane experience, from getting my bloodwork done every month to dealing with bloody gums and other super sexy side effects.)
I was actually an ideal Accutane patient. I read all kind of horror stories, but my side-effects were pretty minimal for almost the entire six month run. In fact, I loved the side effects. I've written before about how I'm a total greasemonster, and having all my greasieness shut down was a DREAM. I used to have to wash my hair every day, because if I didn't my hair would get so greasy I'd look like I shellacked my hair to my head. Now I go three or four days without needing to wash my hair. I think because I started off so oily, my face didn't get ultra-dry like most patients. Now my skin is what I imagine a normal person's is like. I haven't had to use blotting sheets in months!
I still deal with flakiness though. I've found that I need to religiously keep up with my moisturizing routine, lest the flakies take over my face completely. I was fine with plain ol' Cetaphil moisturizer until about month four of Accutane, then I needed something a little more heavy duty. On the recommendation of my derm's nurse, I grabbed a tub of Aveeno Active Naturals Skin Relief Moisture Repair Cream. Oooooh, it felt so good, it was like a cashmere blanket for my face.
This Aveeno moisturizer isn't specifically for the face (you'll find it in the body lotion aisle) but it's completely safe to use on your face without fear of breaking out. It comes in a big ass tub, and it's so thick you can flip it like a DQ Blizzard and the lotion won't fall out. While being thick and ulta-moisturizing, this lotion soaks in really well and doesn't leave any residue, unless you use it like me and slather a big scoop all over your face before bed. Then things are going to get a little goopy. But you'll be well moisturized! I give my skin a little time to soak up the moisturizer before I actually go to sleep, but I love the feeling of goopy moisturizer all over my face while I sleep - it makes me feel like my dry skin is actually being healed. I realize I'm probably not getting any more moisturizing benefits by applying my moisturizer with a heavy hand, but mentally, I feel like it makes a difference.
My mom was just staying with me over the holidays, and one day she asked me, "What IS that moisturizer you have on your shelf?! It's AMAZING!" I sent her home with a sample tube I got from the derm, and she's since upgraded to the big ass tub.
I wouldn't recommend this as a daytime moisturizer, as it's just so thick, but as a nighttime or kicking around the house treatment it's the tits. This Aveeno Tub of Miracles has saved my Accutane-ravaged skin, and I plan to keep using it well after the worst of my Accutane days have passed.