As anyone who has ever had a pimple knows, acne freaking sucks. And considering I am personally battling a dumb hormonal zit on my chin at this very moment, I not only wish for clear skin for myself, but for all other humans in the world. Which is why I am both incredibly happy and insanely jealous of one woman on Reddit whose before-and-after acne photos are pretty shocking.
This week, a woman by the username /Lisalisa96 posted a side-by-side photo of herself to Reddit, writing, “My skin before and my skin a year after Accutane.” On the left is a photo of her broken-out and irritated skin, and on the right is a photo of her skin looking like, well, pure butter. Like, the smoothest, clearest skin I’ve possibly ever seen in my life. Though both pictures are, of course, beautiful, /Lisalisa96 seems visibly happier with her post-Accutane skin.
“After struggling with acne and confidence issues for as long as I can remember, my dermatologist put me on a 40mg Accutane course for 7 months,” writes /Lisalisa96, who adds that despite all of the scary Accutane stories she had read, she didn’t have any major issues. “I definitely experienced some intense skin/lip dryness, some headaches and fatigue, but that was pretty much about it! I realize that everyone is different and medication this harsh will affect everyone differently, yet, I strongly believe more positive Accutane experiences need to be heard,” she continues.
And, honestly, she’s right. Even though Accutane—a.k.a. isotretinoin, a form of vitamin A that shuts down your oil glands forever— has gotten a bad rap over the years, “the vast majority of patients who go on Accutane have no major, scary side effects,” says Mona Gohara, M.D., dermatologist at Yale University. “The horror stories you hear are actually quite rare.”
Of course, every human is different, and even if you go on Accutane, there’s no guarantee that your skin will look as insanely smooth as /Lisalisa96’s, whose photos show her skin one year after finishing Accutane. I mean, haters will say her after photo is Photoshop (zoom in; it’s not), but /Lisalisa96 asserts it’s just her tinted sunscreen. “I am wearing a light coverage 50+ sunscreen and some mascara [in the second picture],” she writes. The sunscreen she swears by is FrezyDerm’s Sun Screen Velvet Face SPF 50+, a matte, tinted formula that apparently gives her the skin of a cloud. (I’ve reached out to /Lisalisa96, and will update if I hear back.)
Still, if you’re dealing with acne and you suddenly feel inspired to add something new to your skincare routine, please, please go talk to your dermatologist—they’re one-million percent more helpful than anything you’ll find on the internet, and can also give you prescription options if your over-the-counter products aren’t cutting it anymore.