Everything you need to know about the link between pills and acne

Tout savoir sur le lien entre pilule et acné

Skin imperfections linked to acne can be of hormonal origin. Stress, tobacco, pollution and an unbalanced diet also contribute to their appearance. Contrary to popular belief, acne does not only affect adolescents and can appear at all stages of life, particularly in women.

This is why they may consider taking a contraceptive pill in case of persistent acne. Taking the pill in case of acne sometimes helps to remedy hormonal acne, this acne in adult women linked to hormonal variations in the menstrual cycle. But we still need to know which one is effective in this specific case?

How does the pill work?

The contraceptive pill is a hormonal method designed for women to prevent unwanted pregnancies. The pill can also help with premenstrual symptoms, period pain or heavy menstrual bleeding.

There are two types of birth control pills:

  • Combined or estrogen-progestogen pills with two hormones
  • Progestin-only pills containing only one hormone

The pills contain a synthetic version of the female sex hormones: estrogen and progesterone. These cause the uterine lining to gradually thicken in preparation for a possible pregnancy.

If the egg is not fertilized, the body no longer produces progesterone, estrogen levels decrease, the uterine lining degenerates and is eliminated. Menstrual bleeding called periods then occurs.

Hormones therefore modify ovulation and the menstrual cycle, but also the body in general. Women generally experience a more swollen stomach and chest.

acne pill

Why use the acne pill?

Reduction in sebum production

The estrogen-progestin pill is the only one that can fight acne . In fact, this type of pill slows down the stimulation of the sebaceous glands which produce the sebum responsible for acne-prone skin. In other words, the estrogen-progestin pill acts at the source of the problem to make the skin less oily and reduce blemishes and spots. Conversely, the progestin pill stimulates the production of sebum and therefore can worsen or even cause acne.

Also read our article on acne breakouts .

Generally, acne breakouts stop in adulthood when hormones stabilize, with the exception of women whose hormone levels can fluctuate throughout life, particularly during their menstrual cycles. Each month, the menstrual cycle causes hormonal upheavals responsible for the more or less increased activity of the sebaceous glands.

Adult women can therefore suffer from acne episodes for a large part of their life. The contraceptive pill then helps to normalize these hormonal fluctuations.

The anti-androgenic effects of the acne pill

The pill is a contraceptive, but it has secondary benefits in terms of regularity of cycles, reduction of period pain and improvement of the skin.

Androgens from the testosterone family of hormones cause the skin to produce more sebum, causing acne. The combined pill then plays a role on all the key elements of androgens, when it is sufficiently dosed in estrogen and contains an anti-androgenic progestin.

Its main actions are:

  • Blocking androgen production in the ovary
  • Reducing the amount of active androgens through carrier proteins
  • Modulation of androgen action on the skin receptor

Certain pills are then indicated for the treatment of acne , beyond their contraceptive effect. Estrogen-progestin contraceptive pills act on an endocrine gland called the pituitary gland and help reduce the production of androgens by the ovaries, thus reducing the appearance of acne.

These birth control pills are often prescribed in the treatment of acne because they contain non-androgenic progestins such as desogestrel, gestodene or norgestimate.

In certain cases, the doctor or gynecologist prescribes a hormonal combination based on cyproterone acetate and ethinyl estradiol such as Diane 35 and its generics, because cyproterone acetate is an anti-androgenic progestogen which tends to improve the condition of the skin, most often after several months.

Discover our article on excess sebum in black skin .

Examples of anti-acne pills

Low androgen pills

Estrogens have a beneficial role in acne because, on the one hand, they act directly by reducing the production of sebum by the sebaceous follicle and, on the other hand, indirectly by increasing the production of proteins which capture androgens, thus lowering the level of available testosterone.

The estrogen-progestin pill is the first anti-androgen used, because its action blocks the secretion of androgens by the ovary and a little by the adrenal gland. The estrogens present in methods that include both estrogen and progestin, such as the contraceptive pill, have the effect of suppressing the production of androgens by the ovaries, but also of increasing the amount of sex hormone binding globulin ( SHBG), which retains androgens present in the blood so as not to penetrate skin cells

Among the effective combined pills against acne, you can find:

  • Antigone®
  • Cerazette®
  • Desopop® Gé
  • Optimizette® Gé

Using the Triafemi pill against acne

This oral contraceptive contains a third generation estrogen and progestin. It is used in women with mild to moderate acne. The use of Triafemi does not exempt you from specific acne treatment if this is necessary.

Pills containing drospirenone

This latest generation progestin is renowned for having a formula close to natural progesterone. Indeed, progesterone is another hormone that can be responsible for a hormonal acne breakout . When the latter is in too low a quantity compared to estrogen, acne can then appear and blackheads and pimples appear. Drospirenone-based pills then fill this lack of progesterone to limit the risk of acne.

Discover our article: everything you need to know about blackheads and enlarged pores .

Drospirenone-based pills also have anti-androgenic activity which significantly reduces the lesions caused by acne. Among them, you can find:

  • Slinda®
  • Bélanette®
  • Convuline®
  • Drospirenone®
  • Rimendia®
  • Jasminelle®
  • Yaz®

Discover our anti-blemish routine to fight acne.

Mandatory medical consultation for prescription of the pill

It is important to discuss with your doctor or gynecologist the safest and most suitable method in your case. Before starting birth control, pill or otherwise, ask your doctor questions and discuss your concerns about potential side effects. You will then be able to decide together which contraceptive pill is best for you. If you have unwanted side effects with a method of contraception, it is important to discuss them with the healthcare professional who is treating you to possibly change your treatment.

A medical examination is necessary before starting oral contraception. It also allows the doctor to research the history and risk factors of thromboembolic accidents in order to choose suitable contraception. Regular medical supervision is recommended during contraceptive treatment.

Some annoying side effects are possible when you take the pill, especially at the start of contraception, such as small bleeding outside periods, nausea or swelling of the breasts. An absence of periods is even noticed from time to time. More serious side effects linked to estrogen-progestin contraception are sometimes visible, mainly vascular problems. They are rare and occur mainly in women who have risk factors for these diseases.

This is why it is important to consult a doctor or gynecologist before choosing a birth control pill.

The Nubiance anti-imperfection duo to fight acne

Beyond heredity and hormonal fluctuations, lifestyle has a real impact on the appearance of acne on your skin. Cosmetic products are also elements that can promote acne, in particular products that are too oily which are not suitable for acne-prone skin and increase the obstruction of pores. Acne-prone skin is also more sensitive and requires a specific skincare routine.

This is where Nubiance comes in by offering you a treatment duo specially designed for black and mixed-race skin prone to acne. This kit helps achieve smooth, clear skin in just a few weeks, reducing acne-related imperfections. Here is how it is composed:

  • Cleanactyl® Soap-Free Facial Cleansing Gel, specially formulated for oily skin prone to acne and/or blemishes, offers deep cleansing of the skin on your face, eliminating excess sebum responsible for skin imperfections. By preparing your skin for the next phases of treatment, Cleanactyl® is an essential foundation in the fight against acne.
  • The intense anti-blemish treatment ACT-5® acts in depth, reducing the appearance of pimples and blackheads in a targeted manner. Its unique formulation preserves the natural balance of your skin, hydrating it while preventing it from drying out.

This anti-imperfection duo helps black skin glow after a few weeks. To benefit from the beneficial effects of our products, be sure to use them morning and evening in your beauty routine.

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