Birth control is a great thing for so many reasons. It helps prevent unwanted pregnancy, can reduce the risk of ovarian cysts, can alleviate (or in some cases, eliminate) periods —the list goes on and on. However, if you're thinking about going off the pill for whatever reason, you may not be prepared for one of the most common (and one of the shittiest) side effects of birth control: acne.
With all the hormonal changes going on in your body in the first few months of coming off the pill, it's common to see an outbreak of acne, especially if you are someone who was acne-prone before or while being on the pill. Luckily (and according to my doctor), your acne should start to improve in 3-6 months of being off the pill as your body and hormones stabilize.
But, hey! We don't all have 3-6 months to slather ourselves in makeup and/or hide in our bedrooms moping around because our skin has betrayed us. Since that few month period basically feels like a lifetime while you're waiting for your face to clear up, here are some tips and tricks you can incorporate into your lifestyle to help speed up the healing process:
1. Drink green juice
I've been swearing by Kimberly Snyder's Glowing Green Smoothie recipe to help my skin clear up after I ditched the pill. It's not an immediate skin clearer-upper, but I've definitely noticed an improvement over a few weeks. This smoothie is packed with good-for-you vitamins — in fact, according to Snyder's website, "A serving of the GGS contains over 3 cups of dark leafy green vegetables, which is more than many people get in a week!" Oh and in case you were worried, this stuff does actually taste amazing — the lemon & green apple act as natural sweeteners.
2. Avoid sugar
If you're a sweets-lover, this might be a bit of an adjustment for you, but it will all be worth it. My doctor informed me that consuming sugar in excess will increase your blood sugar levels (duh), which causes insulin levels to spike and can worsen your acne.
3. Cut Down Your Dairy
While there may not be any concrete scientific info to prove dairy causes (or worsens) acne, I personally saw a drastic improvement in my condition when I decided to cut dairy out of my diet. I've recently slowly re-introduced it, and have seen smaller breakouts after doing so. If you're a cheese lover like I am, this is kind of tragic, but I treat dairy like I treat anything else that's "bad" for me and have it in moderation.
4. Keep Calm & Wear Makeup
While going bare-faced may be the best thing for your skin while it's healing, it's totally understandable if you want to cover up those bad boys before you head out to work or a night on the town. Choose an oil-free concealer that won't break you out (always look for the words "hypoallergenic" and "non-comedogenic") and tap it onto those trouble spots. Laura Mercier's Secret Camouflage concealer has been a miracle-worker for me during these tough times!