You may be familiar with of some of the unwanted symptoms associated with coming off the pill such as irregular periods, hair loss, fatigue, low mood and digestive problems. However, one of the most common symptoms I see with clients when stopping the pill is ACNE.
But why does this happen?
The pill suppresses your body’s natural hormones, including testosterone. When you stop taking the pill, your body reacts by producing high levels of androgen hormones such as testosterone, also know as the androgen rebound. This can increase sebum production which can cause your skin to become more oily and more acne-prone.
Long-term use of the pill can also deplete zinc levels which is essential for skin health as it can help to protect against bacterial infection and reduce sebum production in the sin.
The pill can disrupt digestive health by reducing the amount of good bacteria within the gut which can make you more susceptible to inflammation and infections which can exacerbate acne.
Post-pill acne typically peaks around 6 months after stopping the pill but coming off the pill doesn’t have to be a nightmare for skin. Luckily there are natural strategies you can take to prevent acne and support skin health, though I always recommend women spend at least 2-3 months preparing their bodies before coming off the pill.
Here are just some of my tips for reducing acne after coming off the pill:
Avoid Refined Sugar & Dairy. This one is a biggie as both sugar and dairy can be huge triggers for acne by creating an inflammatory environment and reducing good gut bacteria.
Eat an anti-inflammatory diet. Omega 3 fatty acids in particular help to increase energy levels, reduce inflammation and support friendly bacteria in the gut. Great sources include oily fish such as salmon and mackerel.
Increase brassica vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and rocket. These vegetables belong to the brassica family and contain a special compound called DIM which helps your body to detoxify and get rid of the synthetic hormones from the pill.
🦠Increasing probiotic foods such as kefir and sauerkraut can help to support good gut health and promote microbiome diversity, which is often compromised whilst on the pill.
Invest in your gut health. Get a comprehensive stool analysis test done to rule out any infections or gut dysbiosis - all of which have all been shown to contribute to acne.
Support stress. Whilst stress may not be the root cause of your acne, it can definitely make it worse! Whether it’s a walk in nature, an early night, yoga, meditation (I like the headspace app), aromatherapy or an epsom salt bath, find a stress management technique that works for you and do it daily!
🧴Reduce endocrine disruptors. Xenoestrogens are hormone disruptors found in things we use every day, including cosmetics, personal care products, non-organic produce, plastic water bottles and plastic storage containers and can wreak havoc on our hormones. Ditch toxic cleaning supplies and personal care products and swap to natural alternatives (check out @thinkdirty app for recommendations).
If you’re considering coming off the pill but are worried about unwanted symptoms and aren’t sure how to come off safely, please get in touch! I’ve helped many women break up with the pill with minimal side effects and have helped them to get rid of their unwanted symptoms for good. Book your free discovery call here.