Lea Alexandra shares her acne journey with us after going off the birth control pill in November of 2016:
My acne started when I went off the birth control pill in November of 2016. When my skin started breaking out really bad around the spring of 2017, I was already in a really really bad place mentally and emotionally (and I had been for a year at that point) and to get acne on top of that to me seemed like the end of the world.
I remember not leaving my house, or sometimes not even my room, out of shame over my skin. I would cake on layers and layers of foundation JUST to go to the pool or the gym or to go downstairs to eat breakfast at my parents house. I remember pretending like I wasn’t home when the mailman rang the doorbell wanting to deliver a package, because I didn’t want to be seen.
The reason why I stopped taking birth control was because I had realized one day that it was a huge contributor to my depression and anxiety; it was not the only reason because I had a lot of stuff going on, but it certainly amplified it.
When I went off it, my mental health slowly started getting better and my skin slowly started getting worse. It was like all of the inner turmoil I had going on; all of the sadness and worry and obsession was now manifesting itself on my face.
While I had learned many coping mechanisms to deal with my heartbreak, anxiety, depression and overall mental health, I couldn’t seem to apply the same principles to the stress and worry and obsession I felt over my skin.
Many people often don’t understand what a huge impact acne can have on your mental health, confidence, and self-esteem. It’s something I think not enough people talk about; that it’s not just about appearance or it being uncomfortable or sometimes even painful, it can actually take a significant toll on your mental health.
Acne has this stigma around it; people tell you to “just wash your face“ or “drink more water“ or “cut out dairy“ and while most people probably are actually trying to be helpful, all I (and I'm sure others as well) wanted to do is scream in their face, “JUST SHUT UP!"