Hello everyone! Today I wanna dedicate a long article to tell you everything about my experience of going off birth control pill. And of course share with you all best tips. Indeed, on February 18th, 2018, I stopped the pill. Not for the first time, but for the second time, 5 years later. The 1st attempt went pretty bad so it was with a lot of fear that I decided to stop again. I dared. And months have passed. And I’m still the same person, with some few minor changes. So I decided to tell you about it openly and to share with you all my advice so that those of you who like me want to go off birth control pill, and want to do their maximum to avoid the inconvenience that it generates, can I hope to find 2/3 things to take with them. My life off the birth control pill : how is it going ?
My life off the birth control pill : how is it going ?
Why I was afraid to go off the pill
Because I was afraid of the famous duo “stopping the pill and acne”. And also because my first attempt 5 years earlier did not go well. Especially in terms of acne. Going off the pill and suffer an acne come back, or come at all, unfortunately often goes together, and I did not escape that rule last time. Me who had never had pimples I found myself totally changed after a few weeks and it really disturbed me. I held 3 months, then I became too sad and I ended up taking my pill back, at a time when my skin was getting worse and where my whole face was filled with big red spots. Not pretty pretty.[What you also need to know that is a very important detail for the rest of this article (and at the time I did not know because I simply put every side effect on behalf of stopping the pill), is that at this time I was extremely stressed. Then, I ate very little fat because I was in a strict diet (I was mostly fighting all the saturated fatty acids in cheese, ice creams, cakes, cream, butter, etc. that I had just removed from my diet, and I thought I did good … well). But no, and we’ll talk about it again a bit later, but not eating fat is not a good idea for your skin!]
Why I still decided to stop my pill
Well, because I’m 29 years old soon, and because I’ve been taking my pill for over 13 years. And that after a while, that’s enough. In a few months / years, I might want to have a baby and I still wish that my body can regain its rights, and find its own natural cycles for a long time before this happens.
And then, I do not want to give more synthetic hormones to my body. 13 years is enough.
No need to tell you that I did a lot of research online before going off bc pill to avoid any inconvenience, especially in terms of acne since it was what had annoyed me the most the last time. And my research has paid off. I’ll share my advice to avoid acne after stopping your hormonal contraception a little lower. But before that, let’s talk a bit about body changes, after you go off the birth control pill.
Why I waited 4 months to make my first assessment (more after 5, 7 months at the end of this post) and especially … how do I feel?
4 months, because it’s only now I can say to myself “OK, now, if I have not yet had this side effect X or Y, it’s normally that it should not come”. The last time, acne appeared very quickly, after 2/3 weeks. But, the reality is that your body takes up to 3 months to totally eliminate the hormones from the pill. So if nothing happens in the first 3 months, it’s a good sign, that’s for sure. But let’s say that we can consider ourselves”safe” after 4 months, when the body has fully recovered its rights.
So, how is my skin doing ?
I’m not going to lie to you, my skin is oily. I have more blackheads, more irregularities, and a few red pimples that seem to appear around ovulation in my case. By the way, I had a big acne breakout about 2 weeks ago which made me think “that’s it, it has started”. But no. It has calmed down and I feel relieved – you can not imagine how much I touch wood – that acne will not appear this time. PHEW.
And what about the rest ?
Yes, because after all, it’s not all about the pimples. Stopping the pill can cause many other discomforts such as pain (cramps, headaches), spottings, mood changes, nausea, weight loss or gain, etc.
Here is what I realized in my case :
- it takes a little time for cycles to become regular again. I did not escape the rule. But it’s normal, it takes up to 1 year so do not panic. To follow the regularity of my cycles I use the free application Clue, which is just great and that I really recommend!
- I have a lot of nausea, cramps, and headaches … phew, not funny. But it’s like that. Especially around ovulation, I do not really feel great. Almost sick. So I hope this comes from the need of hormones to be balanced again and that it will pass.
- I didn’t see any big changes in my mood. I’m not more upset than before, nor sadder or anything. That’s a good point ! Just maybe a little tired when I have everything I mentioned on the above point, even exhausted. But not sad for all that! #keepsmiling
How to avoid an acne breakout when going off the pill ?
Well, I applied a lot of advice that I found during my research, and here is the result. I can only advise you to do the same!
All my tips to avoid a post-pill acne breakout :
- Start taking Zinc supplements ASAP when stopping the pill and during the first 3 months (at least). Zinc is an essential component needed in thousands of chemical reactions of our skin. It can only help you fight imperfections. I started Zinc (12mg a day) 1 week before going off the pill and I still take some everyday. I do not know when I’m going to stop it but I think I’ll continue to take one every two days, then one day out of three, and so on. Until weaning. Thereafter, I will do zinc treatments once or twice a year because it is really a trace element which is essential for our body, and for our skin.
- DO NOT EAT LOW-FAT! Here is a big big mistake I made 5 years ago. The skin is made up of cells (yes, logic) and the cells are made of cholesterol, which is super important for our body to work well. And cholesterol, we produce of course but also, we eat. Where do we find it? In the fat. And so, eating low fat is not at all a good idea for your acne. So of course I do not tell you to eat cheese and ice cream like a crazy person everyday ! But do not deprive yourself of a little bit of butter, oil, cream, or anything, parsimoniously, every day. Your skin will thank you!
- Eat well. Do you know the 30/70 rule? On your plate, you need 30% protein, and 70% starch and vegetables. Eat vegetables / fresh fruit with each meal, they are excellent for your transit, and for your skin. Grated carrots, tomatoes, salad, green vegetables, soups, smoothies, go for it! And this with each meal.
- Use adapted products. When you stop the pill, at least that was the case for me, your skin can become a little fatter (even a lot!). So, you have to change your beauty routine. In the morning, use a mild cleansing solution, then a non-comedogenic moisturizer. In the evening, cleanse your skin gently again and use a night cream. Don’t hesitate to apply a targeted product against imperfections in small quantities on your pimples. But don’t overdose it ! It will dry out your skin and make it produce more sebum, so more pimples!
- And SLEEP WELL! Sleeping well is also essential for a beautiful skin.
- Calm down! Stress stimulates the production of sebum and therefore favors pimples. So relax. And above all, try not to focus too much on your skin. It’s what I did 10 days ago when I tell you that I had an acne breakout. We all know how that ended!
Some beauty products that I advise you 1000% to fight the combo “going off the pill and acne”
- A Konjac sponge to clean your face in the morning and in the evening. Nothing like it for a 100% natural face cleansing day after day. It will rinse your skin from excess oil, impurities and will make it clearer. You can use it simply with water, or with a little bit of facial cleanser, organic preferably. I personally use the one from the Lavera anti-imperfections range which is just perfect.
- Tea tree oil is excellent in small quantities, applied with a cotton bud once or twice a day on clean skin (morning and / or evening) on the big red pimples, in order to help them dry and heal quicker. OR for essential oils, I also recommend the absolute purity pen from Sampar. A similar alternative to try !
- To moisturize my skin in the morning and for the whole day, I also use the Lavera anti-imperfections range.
- For the evening moisture, and also to perfect my face cleansing after the Konjac sponge (especially the eyes), I use an oil that I think is a small miracle: jojoba oil. It is perfect for moisturizing the skin while purifying and regulating its sebum production. Its composition, very close to human sebum, will “trick” the skin into thinking that it has a sufficient amount of sebum which will slow down its production. But big difference: sebum clogs pores, jojoba oil doesn’t. On the contrary, it cleanses the pores deeply and purifies the skin. A gold liquid in my opinion, to be used every day. Also, I add a drop of lavender essential oil in it which is a good anti-inflammatory and healing oil. Plus, as I said above I also use as a make-up remover for the eyes because no mascara resists it (without essential oil for the eyes, of course!)!
- To alleviate acne pigment marks left by the pimples, I use alternately: aloe vera gel in addition to jojoba oil for evening moisturizing twice a week, and Manuka honey masks with a few drops of lemon that I let for 10 minutes, also twice a week.
- Once a week, I also make a white clay mask, to absorb the excess of sebum and impurities from the pores
- And finally, also once a week, I also do a “lemon peeling”. The principle ? Put a few drops of lemon (preferably organic) on a cotton pad and apply on washed face (just after the Konjac sponge). This helps cleansing the pores, refining the skin grain by removing dead cells and clarifying the complexion. Let it pose for 30 seconds on the first time, then 40, then 50, up to 1mn max according to your tolerance. It stings a little but it’s normal! Then rinse, and apply evening hydration (jojoba oil + a drop of lavender HE).
After 5 months: the situation has not changed much except that I have the impression that my skin is getting more oily skin and filled with blackheads. I’m going to make a confession: I’m more anxious than sad. The state of my current skin is OK. But I’m afraid that EVERY blackhead, every little shit under the skin becomes a big pimple. It’s stupid huh? We will see the evolution. But if it stays like that, I accept! I keep my fingers crossed. Do it for me too HIHI!
After 7 months: I spent the summer better than I thought. I had an “OK” skin, far from perfect but no disaster let’s say. Got some big red pimples during the ovulation periods especially, before the menses also sometimes, but nothing catastrophic all along the cycles. Always a grainy skin, but that, I accept now. I understood that I shouldn’t hope for a smooth skin as I had before. At least for now. On the other hand, now in September (post summer) I am in the middle of a BIG ACNE BREAKOUT on my right cheek. My worst since the beginning : I got big red pimples that are inflammated and leave red marks. Without makeup my right cheek doesn’t really look great right now. I am very sad to see myself like this. Why this acne breakout? Because of a post sun effect, because of a bad cycle simply or because it’s the beginning of the disaster? I do not know, to be honest. But I pray that the 3rd option isn’t the right one … let’s see in a few weeks !
* Good luck for stopping your pill, if it is planned on your side too! Feel free to share your experiences / ask me your questions. I would like this article to become a place of exchange that I will update regularly with new products / tips *
Take care xx