How to Prevent Acne When You Quit Birth Control Pills

prevent breakout with birth control
By: Samantha Rizzo


Everyone with acne who’s on birth control probably wonders from time to time: how do I prevent a breakout when I stop the birth control pill?

Birth control is commonly prescribed for acne to strongly (and abnormally) suppress male sex hormones and sebum production.

When we quit taking birth control pills our body attempts to re-balance these hormones.  This means an increase an oil production and skin inflammation which could lead to a nasty acne breakout.

Hormones are tricky, however there are steps you can reduce the severity of post birth control pill acne, and in some cases, you can even avoid it altogether.

Create A Skincare Routine To Stop Post Pill Acne

Once you are pretty sure you'll be stopping birth control pills, make a skin care plan and get started immediately. This way, you're preventing and treating any potential post pill breakouts that may happen.  Some products you may want to add into your routine may include salicylic acid,  benzoyl peroxide , or glycolic acid. Other beneficial ingredients to help with inflammation are MSM, aloe, and green tea. 

Recommended Products: Fighter Gel, Pumpkin Enzyme Masque 

Reduce Sugar Consumption

Don't let it get to the point where you're stressing yourself out, but try to prepare by reducing your sugar intake especially from processed sources. Just reduce the amount of processed sugars and high-glycemic foods that you eat, and try replacing with whole fruit options if you do want a sweet treat. 

These foods can cause a spike in insulin which can increase inflammation and make acne worse. During this transition period, avoid these high sugar foods to help reduce the post birth control pill breakout. It would also be valuable to follow an anti-inflammatory diet. 

Eliminate Or Reduce Dairy Intake 

Is there ever a time where I don't recommend ditching dairy? No, because dairy is easily the most acne-aggravating, hormone-disrupting food that one can consome.  Dairy may not trigger everyone's acne, however it is one of the most common. 

Dairy affects several hormones in your body which can make birth control acne worse, and most cow's milk dairy contain a protein called A1 casein that cause digestive issues and inflammation, so it's best to ditch it altogether and choose a plant-based alternative.

Support Your Body's Hormones and Stress Response 

The biggest factor is probably the disruption of hormones that could cause acne when you stop the pill.  Counteract it with ways to help keep hormones in check and reduce the effects of stress on the body. Adaptogens are all the rage for reducing the negative effects of stress, keeping our adrenal system in check to help our hormones stay balanced . Maca, Schisandra Berries Vitex are great  choices, said to help with everything from acne to cramping.

Adding an adaptogen during the transition phase may help to lessen acne breakout severity. However, adaptogens are not meant to be taken long-term.

Prepare Ahead Of Time and Be Patient 

It can throw our hormones for a bit of a loop going on and off birth control pills. Sometimes our bodies just need time to sort things out.

While time alone may not get rid of your acne post birth control pill, 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 self care, and appreciate the skin you're in whether you're experiencing a breakout or not.

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