19 Feb Post-Pill Acne – is that what I have to look forward to if I take the no-Pill plunge?
So you’re thinking about going cold turkey with the Pill but you’re fearful if you do, your face will turn into a disease on display thanks to acne.
And then you reckon you’ll only be able to say yes to date night if it involves dimly lit (or preferably pitch black) places.
Not to mention the fact that you’ll find yourself clambering down rabbit holes with your confidence-crushed at even the slightest sight of a spot.
But before you make for the acne-zapping aisle at your local pharmacy, let’s take a look at what’s going on.
Post-Pill Acne: What Gives?
Whilst on the Pill, certain types can suppress sebum (skin oil). That’s because the synthetic hormones curb androgen (or ‘male hormone’) production.
As Dr Lara Briden explains, when coming off the Pill a couple of things happen:
- Sebum levels skyrocket – a rebound effect in response to the withdrawal from the sebum-suppressing drug aka, the Pill.
- Androgen production increases. This then has a knock-on effect on various things, including an increased keratin production. Keratin is a fibrous protein which can cause skin pores to block, thereby contributing to the critters.
How long does this last?
We’re looking at around 6 months. Even though that sounds like an age, (heck, a porcupine could be birthed in that time) it’s worth it. Why?
a) You’re giving your lady landscape a chance to shine bright like the diamond she is. (Basically, your ovaries will start making oestrogen & progesterone again and, amongst many other things, these are really fab for your skin).
b) Read more about the Why here.
So, let’s look at:
Natural considerations for post-Pill acne
Slay the Sugar
I’m not meaning to get all dragon-bearing on you, but stopping sugar (in the form of highly processed foods, cakes, desserts, sweets, chocolates, honey, fruit juice & dried fruit) is a great starting point. Sugar sends blood glucose levels on a rollercoaster ride, which then has a knock-on effect on insulin & insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), which can then send testosterone & other male hormones on a rampage by stimulating an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase. Translation: sugar worsens acne. It’s best to take a big step back from it.
Ditch the Dairy
Not only has dairy been associated with acne but as Dr Marilyn Glenville explains, it also causes IGF-1 to spike. Also, largely linked to breeds of cow, Dr Lara Briden highlights how certain dairy contains a protein (A1 casein) which is highly inflammatory for some individuals, even if it’s raw, and thereby potentially worsens acne.
Get Zigga Zig Ahh with Zinc
Zinc is so great for post-pill acne. So great. It:
- Keeps pores open by reducing keratin production.
- Helps to reduce dihydrotestosterone (or DHT, the ‘stronger’ form of testosterone) by reducing 5-alpha-reductase activity (the enzyme responsible for that conversion).
- Helps to kill bacteria associated with acne.
And guess what? It’s also one of the nutrients that gets depleted by the Pill. Always get levels checked before supplementing.
Keep on Keeping on
It does take time. It does take commitment. And there’ll most definitely be moments of madness. But things will settle. This is all part of letting not only your lady landscape, but also yourself, flourish into fullness. Yes, unchartered territory can be pretty scary, so if you’re needing some guidance along the way? I’m here, and I’d be so happy to chat.