Does Birth Control Help Acne? | Best Birth Control Pills For Acne

As you might know already from reading our website, acne occurs when excess sebum (or oil) and dead skin cells build up inside your pores. A proven method of curing acne is by limiting the production of that sebum. Birth control pills have been shown to be effective at lowering the amount of oil produced by glands.

In slightly more scientific terms, the Pill gives your body extra estrogen, which suppresses androgens. This is the hormone that causes excess oil production and can lead to acne. Lowering the oil production is a proven and effective method of treating acne.

In this article we’ll be exploring whether the Pill is a good treatment for you and which type of pill is the best to give you skin that’s free of birth control for acne

Best Birth Control For Acne

There are many birth control brands out there, so let’s take a look at the best birth control pills for acne. These brands have been shown to reduce either the appearance of skin breakouts or helped women get rid of acne altogether.

The reason I want to look at the best birth control for acne is that we’ve seen a lot of different results when researching this topic, and this section will arm you with the knowledge necessary to have a fighting chance against pimples!  Bear in mind that androgenic pills could actually increase skin breakouts and should not be used for this reason.

These three types of oral contraceptive are all approved for the treatment of acne. Let’s take a closer look at each brand.

Yaz (Yasmin)

Yasmin (also known as Yaz) contains ethinyl estradiol and drospirenone for the treatment of acne.

Ortho Tri-Cyclen

This birth control pill contains both ethinyl estradiol and norgestimate that helps treat acne.


Estrostep contains ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone, which work to treat acne.

One thing to consider is that this is not a magical fix. In fact, your skin might get worse before it get’s better. Expect at least a few months to pass before you see visible results.

We recommend you see a doctor who will be able to determine whether it’s a good choice for you, and will be able to decide which Pill you should be taking.

What Happens When You Start Taking Birth Control Pills?

The Pill is a form of hormone manipulation and it has been shown to help treat adult acne. Like we discussed earlier, it does this by reducing androgens and also by regulating women’s hormones. While this depends on the woman, stable hormone levels tend to lead to much clearer skin. As an example, fluctuating hormones are what cause breakouts to occur around the time of your period.

What surprised many women, is that you’ll have to wait several month, maybe even upwards of 6 months before you start seeing some results.

What Happens To Your Skin When Coming Off The Pill?

Hormones play a large role in adult acne and the pill can actually keep these hormones in check. For that reason if you stop taking the pill, you can experience very bad breakouts. We’ve seen many cases where this happened when researching this article.

So if you’re considering going off the pill, you may want to consider what it will do to your skin. If this worries you, the best way to prevent bad breakouts is to start a new skin regime before it’s too late. Use one of our recommended acne products to counter the effects.

When coming off the pill, you need to reduce inflammation by cleansing your face with a special face wash, which will also help keep pores unplugged.

At the end of the day, there really isn’t a clear answer to the question of what will happen when you stop taking birth control medication. Your skin might break out very soon after you stop, or nothing might happen. It’s best to be prepared for the worse however and ensure you’re taking good care of your skin to prevent bad breakouts.

Side Effects Of This Treatment

The reason that birth control is not our favorite method of treating acne is two-fold. First, it doesn’t help everyone and when it does work, it doesn’t always give you completely clear skin. The second reason is the side-effects from taking birth control pills.

The obvious side effect, which makes it very impractical to use this treatment, is for women that want to get pregnant. Even if you don’t want to get pregnant right now, as we’ve seen above, getting off the Pill later on will bring the acne back for many women. So it’s not really the best long-term solution for many people.

The other side effects are a little more serious and have been well documented. These include:

  • weight gain
  • blood clots
  • heart attack
  • stroke
  • hypertension
  • diabetes

It’s also worth noting that these side effects increase with age. Make sure you talk about the risks with your doctor before taking any medication.

The other factor which makes us dislike this treatment are the costs. Depending on where you live, and your insurance, you’ll have to refill prescription, which involve a doctor visit on top of paying for the medication itself. So it’s a relatively expensive method.

Should You Start Taking Birth Control For Acne?

We can’t argue with the results many women are seeing. This treatment clearly works. However, it doesn’t work for everyone, and there are plenty of problems. The main issues are that it takes a long time to start working, and the medical side effects.

Bear in mind, if you are taking the pill, we recommend you combine it with another treatment such as a high-quality face cleanser for the best results. Many women combine the pill with another acne medication to increase the effectiveness of this remedy. From our research we’ve seen very good results from taking birth control, but it’s rare that acne will be cleared completely just by taking birth control. Even if it does, it will take some time. As long as you’re fully aware and have realistic expectations, you probably will see some kind of result.

If this is a treatment that interests you, we recommend you go see a doctor to discuss your particular circumstances and if you’re suitable, obtain a prescription for the pill.

Regardless of what you decide, for the best results, we highly recommend you combine this treatment with some of the products that have been tested and are recommended by us.

Click here to see the top acne products that are proven to work