Submit your skincare questions to Dr. Agnes, CEO of Herborium and natural medicine expert
For women, the decision to take oral contraceptives is a personal one, with many reasons factoring into their decision. Many women use hormonal birth control (aka “the pill”) for the skin-saving benefits and for those with acne-prone skin, waking up to a face free of breakouts is reason enough to choose the pill as a way to manage their acne.
Acne is the result of a hormonal imbalance, which is why many people notice increased symptoms at certain times, such as puberty, or for women, right around their monthly period. The function of certain hormones can directly affect the sebaceous glands, which produce sebum, an oily substance that travels through the pores to help skin function in a healthy manner. When these hormones are out of balance, they can cause the sebaceous glands to produce too much sebum, which may clog pores. Combined with dead skin cells, dirt and debris, these oil-clogged pores create bacteria, which leads to a minor infection, or as we know them, pimples. In order to keep acne from forming, the relationship between hormones and the sebaceous glands must be a harmonious one. Many people use birth control to treat acne for this exact reason.
Birth control increases globulin, a protein found in the blood that bonds sex hormones, such as testosterone, an androgen. Because testosterone directly affects the sebaceous glands, which produces sebum, an oily substance that can clog pores in excessive amounts, we want to keep testosterone levels as balanced as possible in order to keep the sebaceous glands from going haywire. Taking birth control that contains estrogen or progesterone will lower the amount of androgens produced by the body, which results in less impact being made on the sebaceous glands, and ultimately, acne. Even with this said, there are some current hazards of treating acne with birth control that everyone should know about.
Using OC as a remedy for acne problem is quite popular and it pays to look into this with the proverbial grain of salt. Did you know that using birth control for acne is an off-label use? Meaning, it’s not a clinically confirmed and FDA approved use for these drugs. There are class action suits against some that have well documented side effects. Diane-35 which is NOT approved in the USA and is banned in many other countries, is a good example of this situation.
As ‘the pill” improves acne for a number of women – for many it may also cause serious and possibly delayed site effects. When using oral contraceptive for their intended purpose of birth control, please be aware of the health concerns associated with the drug. If you’re using it for acne, that’s an entirely different story and you should consider if the effects are actually worth the risk. Oral contraceptives ONLY work for acne as you use the product and there are much healthier and equally effective alternatives for clear skin. Read and make an informed decision.
Getting back to how oral contraceptives (OC's) work, they stabilize hormone levels, and reduce the impact of fluctuations of hormone levels on the sebaceous glands, thereby improving acne. When many women begin taking OC’s they witness an acne flare up due to the influx of hormones being delivered to the body, and the same happens when these hormones are taken away. When you stop taking OC's, hormone levels become disrupted, which can then contribute to an acne breakout. Without the high estrogen levels to manage the androgen produced by the body, the sebaceous glands can cause oil-production levels to go into overdrive, which can lead to breakouts. Because birth control impacts the body hormonally, changes in the amount or frequency of that medication can end up affecting the body, and often times the recurrence of acne symptoms is one of the first complaints women have when going off this type of contraceptive.
It is important to remember that as with any form of birth control, it’s not intended to treat acne. The lessening of acne symptoms for some is merely “a side-effect” of the contraceptive medicine, so it is always very important to become aware of any and all risks associated with medication before beginning treatment. AcnEase®, however, was created with the treatment of the acne condition first and foremost, and works from within to do just that! In addition to minimizing the negative impact of fluctuating hormone levels on sebum production, the ingredients in AcnEase® have natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects. This combination of effects is responsible for the ability of AcnEase® to prevent new pimples from forming, while treating existing acne.
The best way to prevent acne from forming is to manage the relationship between the hormones and sebaceous glands without actually affecting the hormones, which is exactly what AcnEase® does! All-natural and 100% safe for use by people of all ages, AcnEase® is the only treatment solution that prevents new acne from forming, while treating existing breakouts simultaneously, and has ZERO side-effects, unlike antibiotics or hormonal birth control.
If you are currently taking oral contraceptives are considering going off, you can minimize the impact by adding AcnEase® to your skincare regimen several weeks prior to stopping. As your body starts to adjust to the absence of the hormones, AcnEase® will help to reduce any "acne fall out" from cessation of the birth control by working as a buffer between these hormones and the sebaceous glands, and will not negatively impact the protection afforded by the birth control during this period. In addition to minimizing the negative impact of fluctuating hormone levels on sebum production, the ingredients in AcnEase® have natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects. This combination of effects is responsible for the ability of AcnEase® to prevent new pimples from forming, while treating existing acne.
Of course, AcnEase® is not intended to be an alternative to contraceptive birth control, but if you are taking oral contraception or an IUD simply to alleviate your acne symptoms, you can make it easier on your body, and achieve long-term results with AcnEase®.
We want to hear from you! Have you turned to oral contraceptives to treat your acne? Have you noticed an acne flare-up upon going off of hormonal birth control? Tell us in the comments below!