Can You Tan On Accutane? What To Avoid While On Accutane

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If you are interested in or are taking Accutane, you know that this potent treatment comes with various side effects.

From skin irritation to skin sensitivity, Accutane takes a toll on your body for the duration of treatment. But the results are almost always worth it, as they should be long-lasting.

For many acne sufferers, it’s a miracle drug.

Along with these side effects, there are a handful of activities you should be avoiding.

You may be wondering what these activities are and why you should avoid them. Can you tan on Accutane? Are you allowed to drink? What about exercise?

We’ll answer all these questions and more, so just keep on reading.


What Is Accutane And How Does It Work?

Accutane is a prescription oral acne treatment that targets severe forms of acne, including the kind that’s resistant to topical treatments. 

Treatment duration can last anywhere from 3-6 months, depending on severity and skin type, but the results should be long-lasting.

Accutane works by reducing sebum production by shrinking oil glands. This reduces the amount of oil your skin produces and lowers reduces the likelihood of acne spots.

The result: clearer, acne-free skin.

But because it alters the hormone levels in your body, Accutane can cause your skin to become extremely dry or thin, leading to sensitivity.

And due to these changes, there are a handful of things you’ll need to avoid while on Accutane.

Talk to your doctor about all this stuff, but we’ve put together this quick primer on what to do while taking Accutane for you.

Can You Tan On Accutane?

So, can you tan on Accutane? The quick answer is no, you shouldn’t tan while on Accutane. 

You should avoid tanning, whether in the sun or in a tanning bed, for the duration of your treatment.

Tanning has its benefits, but sun damage (particularly from sunburns) can lead to wrinkles and cancer. You need to be careful with your sun exposure, keep sunscreen on when you’re tanning with a higher UV Index, and stay out of the sun when you’re using certain beauty products.

These might include Tretinoin, Retinol, and Accutane.

While on Accutane, your skin loses its protective layer and reduces the sebum your skin produces, causing it to become dry and thin.

Dry, thin skin is more susceptible to burning and damage from UV rays, so you should avoid unprotected direct sun exposure at all times during treatment.

The risk of burn and hyperpigmentation is extremely high, so you’ll want to lather up in SPF and wear clothing long enough to protect your skin.

You should avoid tanning, whether in the sun or in a tanning bed, for the duration of your treatment.

How Long After Taking Accutane Can You Tan?

Tanning, whether in a tanning bed or in the sun, is not recommended by virtually all dermatologists. UV rays are extremely damaging to the skin and can lead to pigmentary changes, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone.

But more than damaged skin, tanning can lead to dangerous conditions such as skin cancer.

But lets face it, nobody talks about the risks of sitting inside, watching Netflix on the couch while ordering junk off Ubereats. That’s totally fine, no harm here!

The reality is that everything in life has its risks, and we all need to pick our risks wisely.

The reality is that everything in life has its risks, and we all need to pick our risks wisely.

If you’re still interested in tanning of any kind, you’ll want to wait at least 3-6 months after your final treatment to get back to the sun. This allows enough time for your skin to recover from the medication and its changes to your body.

Your skin will be sensitive after treatment and will easily burn. It’s best to lather up in sunscreen, wear a big hat, and sit in the shade.

Accutane stays in your body for 30 days, meaning that your treatment technically ends a month after your final dose. You’ll want to mark the start of your 3-month countdown, 30 days after your last dose.

You’ll want to avoid tanning of any kind for at least 3 months once your treatment is complete. Your skin will be sensitive after treatment and will easily burn.

Can You Use A Fake Tan While On Accutane?

If you’re in need of some color, self-tanner is a safe alternative to natural tanning (whether you’re on Accutane or not).

Before using tanning drops, tanning water, sunless tanners, you’ll want to check on your skin. Accutane is well known for drying out the skin, causing flaking, dry patches, and peeling that could ruin your fake tan.

Make sure to exfoliate and moisturize your skin thoroughly before applying tanning lotion to avoid streakiness or uneven results.

Once your tan is set, remember to moisturize consistently and continue to apply sunscreen.

The Importance Of SPF While On Accutane

Because your skin is so sensitive and thin while on Accutane, it’s important to make sure you’re covered up and slathered in sunscreen.

Your skin is missing its protective barrier, so you need to do everything you can to prevent burning or irritation.

We can’t stress enough how important it is to invest in a high-quality sunscreen (and that goes for everyone, not just Accutane users). Whether you live in a hot climate or a cold one, SPF will become your best friend.

Sunscreen will help prevent burning and protect you from bigger dangers like skin cancer.

But always remember that SPF is only a buffer between your skin and UV rays, and it won’t completely protect you from its adverse effects.

Covering up your skin with long clothes, sunglasses, and hats will help go a long way in protecting your skin. Pair it with a quality SPF, and you’re at your safest.

What Esle Should You Avoid While On Accutane?

There are a few guidelines that should be followed while you’re on Accutane. Below you’ll find a handful of frequently asked questions and things to avoid during the length of your treatment.

Always discuss treatment details with your medical doctor!

Can You Exercise On Accutane?

Light to moderate exercise shouldn’t provoke any issues, but it’s best to avoid strenuous exercise while on Accutane.

Your skin thins while on Accutane, making you more susceptible to injury and skin damage.

Weight gain can be a side effect of Accutane due to your lower activity level. This is because you’re most likely still ingesting the same amount of calories as you were before treatment but have decreased your activity level.

Can You Drink Alcohol While On Accutane?

Unfortunately, drinking alcohol while on Accutane can cause side effects like heart palpitations, skin redness, and nausea.

Whether you’re drinking excessively on a night out or enjoying a glass of wine with dinner, it is recommended to avoid all alcohol consumption during treatment.

Remember that Accutane remains in your system for 30 days after your final dose, so it’s best to wait until the very end of your treatment before consuming alcohol.

Can You Give Blood While On Accutane?

Because no one can be certain to whom your blood will go, you shouldn’t give blood while on Accutane.

Accutane is not advised for pregnant or breastfeeding people, and if exposed to it, they may suffer from its adverse effects.

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).