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Can The Contraceptive Pill Cure My Adult Acne? We Asked An Expert

If you've ever wanted to peer inside the bathroom cabinets of the cream of the skincare crop you're in luck: Irish Tatler asked skincare woman of the moment to lift the lid on blemishes and what you can do about hormonal breakouts.

According to recent research, adult acne is on the rise.

In fact, a 2015 study concluded that women are five times more likely than men to be affected by the skin issue in later life, and this is no surprise when you consider our complex hormonal health.

While the menstrual cycle and pregnancy is one thing, it’s the contraceptive pill that often causes women the most trouble, with spots appearing high on the list of side-effects.

We spoke to Dublin-based skincare specialist Ciara Darcy about what we can do to tackle pesky blemishes during that time of the month.

"Hormonal acne is mainly found around the chin and jawline area," Ciara begins. 

"A rise in androgen levels leads to an overproduction of sebum. Excess sebum blocks the hair follicle which leads to a spot. Bacteria spreads easily so one spot can lead to several very quickly."

She goes on to say how initially the pill may seem to be working... until it doesn't.

"The contraceptive pill suppresses sebum production so initially you might think great - less oil, fewer spots. Over time your skin produces further sebum to compensate. When you stop taking the pill, your skin is producing more sebum that ever before.

"Taking contraception for acne isn't a good idea, in my opinion, because it will only mask the symptoms without fixing the problem. Fixing it is so much easier than you may think. A skin consultation with a skin specialist is the first step.

"I recommend a course of Alumier peels and a customised home care plan. Peels and the right products go hand in hand to see progress. Within two months there is always a massive difference, how long it takes to clear depends on each individual. Just something to think about it you've considered taking the pill for your skin..."

Products and treatments are so advanced now that we have a lot of control over our skin health. To book a skin consultation with me please email [email protected].

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