How Does Birth Control Effect Your Skin? Find Out.
For numerous young women, taking birth control pills is a part of a daily routine. Beyond the obvious benefits of these tiny pills for some, they can also affect you both negatively and positively by sending your hormones off in a number of directions. While birth control has been purported to improve conditions such as acne or regulate irregular periods. For others though, birth control pills can actually increase breakouts and cause odd brown patches on the skin. We decided to put some information together that can be helpful if you're currently on the pill or are considering taking it.
How Does Birth Control Effect The Skin?
Birth control pills may lessen the number of breakouts.
The pill has been taken by a lot of women looking to address their acne problems or irregular periods so it may be worth considering if you believe your breakouts are hormonal and your other efforts to suppress it haven't helped. There are fluctuations in the androgen hormone levels right before and during a woman's period that can cause sebaceous glands to produce excess oil.
Since oil encourages bacteria along with dead cells in the pore lining, this can cause those breakouts we hate. The pill can help reduce breakouts because of it's effect on your natural hormone balance. Some people have found that by taking the pill or making a change in the method they currently use can reduce acne and hormonal breakouts. You've probably heard of some of the FDA-approved birth controls out there such as Alesse, Mircette, Ortho Tri Cyclen, and Yaz but it's best to consult with your doctor to help to you determine the best course of action for you.
Birth control pills can spur hair growth reduction.
Birth control can sometimes help with a condition called hirsutism which is the growth of thick, dark hair on a woman's face, breasts, and back area. This can occur when the ovaries are producing excess androgens. Birth control pills limit this hormone in some cases and can help reduce hair growth in these more 'unsightly' areas.
Birth control pills may increase brown patches and skin discoloration.
Some women who take birth control pills have reported the development of brown patches above their upper lip which can sometimes resemble a mustache. These dark patches can appear elsewhere in places like the lower cheeks and forehead. This pigmentation comes on very very gradually and often women don't even realize it's there until it's fully appeared. There are enormous amounts of women who take birth control who don't experience a change in pigmentation so we wouldn't let this deter you from looking into it. If you are someone who experiences this side effect, we recommend talking to your doctor about changing the dosage of experimenting with a different form of birth control as this can help make the pigmentation disappear over time. There are additional steps you can take to help fade it but as long as the pill that caused it is in your system, it's difficult to get it to go away completely. To help fade brown spots and patches due to taking birth control, treat the area with an exfoliator and natural skin lightener by following the following steps:
1. Exfoliate Often
One of the most successful combinations is using an exfoliating acid serum several times a week to dissolve and absorb pigmented cells. Then a physical exfoliator such as a facial scrub, brush, or sonic cleanser can lift off and remove the dead cells. You can also use products containing retinol, although we prefer to keep it as natural as possible and often shy away from this ingredient, it has been said to help stimulate cell turnover to get discoloration to appear lighter although we have a great line-up of natural ingredients that have been shown to do the same. Word of caution when using exfoliators though, be sure to follow the instructions for usage because you don't want to over-do it, this could potentially cause tight, dry, or irritated skin.
2. Try A Pigment Lightening Product
Incorporating a fading serum or cream into your daily schedule can help fade pigment and varying skin tone significantly. There are many available on the market for you to research and sample. Some over-the-counter and some available by prescription. We always recommend starting with a gentle, natural product that contains vitamin C as an active ingredient. This is a proven melanin suppressor and helps to put pigment cells asleep and lighten stubborn discoloration with regular use.
3. Get A Professional Chemical Peel or Try Bio Brasion
This is one of the more extreme approaches to tackling the side-effects of hormone-related issues and pigmentation problems. Peels and Bio Brasion are for those wanting to fade discoloration quickly and efficiently. The results are pretty impressive. Photofacials and other laser treatments can also be effective but be sure to consult with your dermatologist, doctor, facialist, or esthetician before trying one of these services.
Have you found some helpful remedy's to curb the side effects of birth control? Reach out to us! We love to hear from you!