Lea Alexandra shares her acne journey with us after going off the birth control pill:
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!"
The Power Of Self-Acceptance
We don’t need another “cure“ for acne, we don’t need another company or person telling us what we should and shouldn’t do and how we could work to clear up our skin.
What we need is more acceptance, more people raising their hand and saying “I deal with this too," more representation, more love. What we need is for people to realize that they are not the only ones, they are not dirty, and they don’t need to hide or feel ashamed.
Once I started to accept my skin for what it was, once I implemented more self love and mindfulness and kindness towards myself, my skin started healing. It was like it was breathing this sigh of relief and thanking me for finally not attacking it anymore.
My skin today is not perfect. I still deal with hormonal breakouts or random pimples that like to say hi, but the difference between now and my full blown acne days is not even the fact that my skin is better, it’s the fact that my mind is better. I healed my mind and so my skin healed too.
To read more about acne and how nutrients play a vital role in combatting it, check out our other post here.