Everyone with acne who’s on birth control probably wonders from time to time: how do I prevent a breakout when I get off the pill?
Many types of birth control commonly prescribed for acne strongly (and abnormally) suppress male sex hormones and sebum production. When we quit taking birth control our body attempts to re-balance these hormones. This can sometimes lead to a nasty breakout.
Hormones are tricky, and preventing a breakout means preventing the steps that lead to acne in the first place.You can reduce the severity of post birth control acne, and in some cases, you can even avoid it altogether.
1. Start A New Treatment Right Away
As soon as you start thinking about getting off birth control, make a skin plan and get started immediately. This way, you're preventing and treating any potential birth control breakouts before they happen.
Products like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are your best options, especially during the transition phase.
2. Reduce Sugar Consumption
Don't stop eating all sugar (fresh fruit galore!), just reduce the amount of processed sugars and high-glycemic foods that you eat.
These foods can cause a spike in insulin which can make acne worse. During this transition period, avoid these high sugar foods to help reduce the post birth control breakout. It would also be valuable to follow an acne-friendly diet.
3. Ditch The Dairy
Is there ever an acne list where I don't recommend ditching dairy? No, because dairy is easily the most acne-aggravating, hormone-disrupting food you could possibly consume. What’s it still doing in your diet?!
Dairy affects several hormones in your body which can make birth control acne worse, so it's best to ditch it altogether and choose a plant-based alternative.
4. Try An Adaptogen
Adaptogens are all the rage for balancing the body, including our hormones. Maca and Vitex are both cult beauty choices, said to help with everything from acne to cramping.
If you’re worried about a birth control breakout, adding an adaptogen during the transition phase may help to lessen breakout severity. However, adaptogens are not meant to be taken long-term.
5. Manage Your Stress
Stress is never easy to manage, but it's so important in the health of your post birth control skin.
Sometimes the stress about our skin does more damage to our skin than benefit, so do yourself a favor and don’t over-analyze your skin or your breakouts during this time.
See 3 Tips to Reduce Stress Acne for ideas to manage your stress during this time.
6. Give It Time
It can throw our hormones for a bit of a loop going on and off birth control.Sometimes our bodies just need time to sort things out.
While time alone may not get rid of your acne post birth control, being patient with your body as it adjusts can help ease the transition. Post birth control acne will usually peak around 6 months, so if your acne hasn't improved by then you may need a backup plan.
Recovering from post birth control acne can take some time, but you'll get there.
In the meantime, indulge in a little more TLC, and appreciate the skin you're in whether you're experiencing a breakout or not.
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