Skin update – Taking birth control pills for acne

It’s already been over three months, that I started to take birth control pills again for my acne. I thought it would be a good time to show you the results.

Looking at these photos and my skin, it just goes to show how slow it is to treat acne. No treatment is quick – especially when the acne is as bad as it was with me. It takes a long time for the skin to heal properly and it takes a lot of patience. However, the pills have been working for me, as I had anticipated, since I’ve already gone through this once as a teenager.

The pills I take are called Cypretyl and they are the strongest one (I think). They are especially made for acne.

hormonal acne birth control pills
Hormonal acne. This was my skin in November – it was even worse than in this photo, but this is the best photo I could find. Then this is my skin now, in February.

So how does my skin look and feel now?

Well, most of the acne is gone. I say most, because there are still some stubborn ones. Not so much on my face anymore – and the ones on my neck are also kind of fading – but the part that is healing the slowest is my back. But it is healing too. And no, I don’t have any pictures of my back acne, I haven’t documented it here. I trust that showing you my bare face is bad enough. Haha.

Obviously for these photos I got a new zit on my face, but believe me when I say that it’s rare nowadays. Even though my face might not look like it in the photos, it’s so smooth. Honestly, I still shiver when I think about my acne at it’s worst: it was super painful and applying makeup or lotions or removing makeup or touching my face in any other way hurt.

acne scars
My skin now, after taking birth control pills for three months. Active acne is gone (besides a few zits) and all that’s left is scarring, which is fading pretty quickly.

My acne scarring is fading pretty quickly too. I was a bit scared about that part. At first the scars were so red and I could feel that my skin was uneven on those areas. But day by day they have faded and it’s getting easier and easier to hide them with makeup. And as I said, my skin feels smooth. So I’m pretty optimistic that I will have a good-looking skin by Summer. This year I need to be even more careful with sunscreen though  – my skin has gone through a lot and is sensitive to sun damage right now.

The pills don’t only take away acne. They also adjust the skin type a bit. My skin is not as oily as it has been before, it’s more of a dry combination skin now, especially since the weather has been super cold here. Treating my new skin is fun – it can take more lotion and it doesn’t break out as easily as it did before.birth control pills for acne

Altogether I can say that I am super happy with my skin. Making the decision to start taking birth control pills again was hard and I had some regrets in the beginning, but right now I feel like it was the right decision. I had forgotten how it feels to have my skin back. Even though I worked on my confidence during acne, I still feel more confident now that it’s not that visible and startling anymore. And one of the things I am super happy about, is that I also have found my love of makeup again. Having acne I just didn’t even feel like wearing anything on my face and nothing seemed to look good on me. And taking makeup photos for blog posts was torture – when I tried to take photos of my makeup the only thing taking all the attention in the photos was my red, bumpy acne. Well, no more.

I am so relieved, happy and feeling a lot more like myself.

This journey has also affected my skin care routine, and treating those acne scars is super important – so I will update you about that soon.

Any other acne victories? Or are you still searching for the cure? 
However it is – I hope your skin gets better too and I send you a lot of hugs, because I know how hard it can be to battle acne.

I am not perfect

.. But I’m just as good.




Photos Inka Lähteenaro


I wrote about giving up on birth control pills earlier. Now I’m back on the subject and what I’ve noticed after not taking excess hormones. I mentioned the pms then and I’m afraid that’s still an issue. I’m quite shocked of how long it can take for me to get normal again. I’m also shocked to see how sad or depressed I can feel all of a sudden now. Well at least I know it will pass and I’m just fighting the hormones to take off.

I have noticed two big  differences after stopping and they’re quite horrible both. My hair gets greasy and so does my face. Even if I wash my hair in the morning, it’s already somewhat greasy in the day. Still my scalp feels dry and itchy. Like what?! I don’t know what to do, really. I’ve tried coconut oil and not using as much dry shampoo.

My face has gone worse and worse very quickly. Actually you could talk about acne when it comes to my cheeks. You never realize how good your skin was until you get acne. I used to have smooth cheeks and now they’re covered in spots. My decollete and neck and back also gets acne. I promised to be prepared for this when I quit the birth control pills but I wasn’t. How could I prepare for this? I feel like I’m back at high school with my acne and low self esteem. Then again I can deal with this better than I could at the age of fourteen. Still it’s sad to look in the mirror and see your face and not recognise it as your own. I can’t hide from it. Makeup doesn’t apply as smoothly as before, makeup powders don’t cover enough and powders don’t last on me. I’m terrified of taking “today’s makeup” photos.

Writing this down and accepting that I’m not perfect isn’t easy. But maybe this is the first step. I’m gonna with this and get rid of it. But now I’m not gonna take the fast train – pills – but I will try organic cosmetics first instead.

I feel inspired by Em Ford who has made this beautiful short film about acne and how it affects you. I love those last sentences: “You are beautiful. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. Not even yourself.”

My Pale Skin on Youtube & blog.

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