5 Natural Ways to Help Avoid Acne After Stopping Birth Control
Coming off birth control pills can be liberating but also stress and sometimes lead to unexpected changes in the body, including acne. This post-pill acne can be frustrating for many women who were hoping for clear skin after discontinuing hormonal contraception. However, there are natural approaches available to help prevent and treat post-pill acne. In this article, I will explore five natural ways to avoid acne after stopping birth control and restore your skin’s health.
Focus on Nutrition
A crucial aspect of preventing acne is maintaining a healthy, balanced diet. As an acne naturopath, I always recommend consuming a diet rich in whole foods, particularly fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins, provides essential nutrients that support skin health. We know birth control depletes the body of key nutrients needed to maintain clear and healthy skin. Running simple blood tests prior to coming off birth control can give you a great baseline of the foundation of your health and an understanding if any nutrients need to be supplements
Stabilise blood sugar levels
The pill increases insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a huge issue for acne. Insulin resistance increases inflammation as well as increases testosterone which has a direct role in increasing the thickness, stickiness and amount of sebum the skin creates. Eating adequate protein, lowering sugar intake, adding in exercise and looking at inositol or berberine can be fabulous for blood sugar levels.
Additionally, incorporating foods with a low glycemic index, such as whole grains and legumes, can help stabilise blood sugar levels, which may contribute to acne flare-ups.
Support Hormonal Balance
Hormonal fluctuations often play a significant role in post-pill acne. Supporting hormonal balance through natural methods can help prevent acne breakouts. As an acne naturopath, I often recommend herbs like vitex (chasteberry) and saw palmetto to my clients, as this may help regulate hormone levels and reduce the occurrence of hormonal acne. These herbs can be taken as supplements or consumed in the form of herbal teas. It is important to give the body time to adjust on its own and I don’t recommend taking any hormones modulating herbs within the first 12 weeks of coming off birth control.
Practice Good Skincare Habits
Maintaining a consistent skincare routine is crucial for preventing and treating acne. Opt for gentle, non-comedogenic cleansers to cleanse the skin without stripping away its natural oils. Avoid harsh scrubbing or over-cleansing, as this can lead to irritation and breakouts. Additionally, use oil-free, non-comedogenic moisturisers to keep the skin hydrated without clogging the pores. Regularly exfoliating the skin with gentle exfoliants can also help remove dead skin cells and prevent clogged pores.
Manage Stress Levels
Stress can trigger hormonal imbalances that contribute to acne breakouts. Incorporating stress management techniques into your daily routine can help minimise the impact of stress on your skin. Engaging in activities like yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises, or spending time in nature can help reduce stress levels. Additionally, ensuring you get adequate sleep and practising relaxation techniques can promote overall well-being and support skin health. Magnesium and B vitamins are typically depleted by the pill and are two of the best nutrients to help support a healthy stress response. An acne naturopath like myself will likely recommend herbs such as saffron, magnolia and lavender are safe and effective to reduce anxiety and improve mood.
Consulting with an Acne Naturopath
While these natural approaches can be beneficial for preventing and treating post-pill acne, it is important to consult with an acne naturopath for personalised guidance. I can assess your individual health history, hormonal imbalances, and specific skin concerns to develop a tailored treatment plan. I can recommend additional natural treatments, such as specific supplements, diet changes, lifestyle changes or herbal medicine, to support your skin’s healing process.