How I've Been Dealing Since Going Off The Pill Wrecked My Skin

For every migraine I don't get anymore, I get at least two zits.

A couple of months ago, I visited a new physician for the first time. He asked me a bunch of questions, including how often I exercised. I took this as a perfect excuse to reference Clueless and answered, “sporadically.” I was met with a blank expression. This was a man who had possibly never watched Clueless. That, along with a couple of other personal reasons, made me decide to eventually stop seeing him.

Terrible taste in movies aside, he did do me a solid when he recommended that I stop taking the birth control pill. I had been suffering from hormonal migraines for about two years, and every doctor and specialist I spoke to about it recommended I stay on the pill or change the pill I was on. By the time I saw this doctor, I was, with the approval of three different doctors, skipping two consecutive periods to every one that I had in order to control the migraines.

He informed me that not only was the pill possibly the cause of these migraines, but my family history of strokes made me a high risk. He even did a Google search right in front of me that said “estrogen migraine stroke” and opened a study in a medical journal that showed the relationship between the three. So, off the pill I went.

I was relieved, but really annoyed, to find that I haven’t had a hormonal migraine since. Thanks, every doctor I ever saw. Spending month after month in a dark room with a cold cloth over my eyes for no reason really cements my faith in you.

ANYWAY. So going off the pill was amazing for my head but not-so-amazing for my skin. I’m being modest. My skin is the worst it has ever been in my entire life, teenage years included. I stopped taking the pill about three months ago and it still hasn’t calmed down.

Just the other day I tweeted Alle to ask her what to do about this dire situation.

She was oh-so-wise in suggesting that I see an actual doctor to sort my shizz out. In the meantime, though, I have learnt a ton of helpful tips to make my skin less the-worst.

I am a compulsive skin picker. At the first sign of a blemish, my hands are all over my face, scratching and fiddling away. I was always told that this was a bad thing, but now I have actual proof: the dark spots that line my chin and forehead.

I also have proof that when I don’t pick, the blemishes don’t last as long. I’m still working on breaking the habit, so don’t judge me and I won’t judge you. Best friends forever.

The value of an amazing skincare regimen has never been alien to me, but with my skin acting up, my drugstore-brand skincare line wasn’t cutting it. I switched to Kiehl’s and never looked back.

I love Kiehl’s for their marketing, branding and amazing products that actually work. I currently use their Ultra Facial Oil-Free Cleanser and the Blue Astringent Herbal Lotion, which balance out my new oily T-zone while leaving the rest of my face un-stripped and their Ultra Facial Moisturizer, which is really hydrating, without being too thick.

I’ve also been using face masks all.the.time, and my favourite has to be the Ahava Purifying Mud Mask, which gives my skin a little oomph.

I also have the secrets to concealing awful skin.

When I started getting nasty blemishes, I frantically bought every concealer known to me and none of them seemed to make any difference--until I found Benefit Boi-ing concealer. I’m a convert. It really works, even on the grossest, reddest blemishes. It is also quite lightweight, which is surprising given the coverage factor.

Unfortunately, when it comes to the rest of my face, lightweight foundation or BB cream doesn’t cut it for me anymore. I have to use MAC Studio Fix Fluid to look reasonably presentable. The coverage is amazing and you can build and build and build until you are satisfied. Just pile it on.

Make sure, however, that you take it allllll off when the day is done, which brings me to my next point: Remove your makeup. Seriously. Like you haven’t heard this a million times. I take my makeup off every night, and even reserve Sundays or Mondays as my makeup-free days to give my skin a break.

The most important thing I have learned is that bloggers and doctors and dietitians and fitness freaks aren’t lying: nutrition is key. When I eat right and drink lots of green juice, my skin is thankful for it. Vegetables aren’t just for Instagram-ing.

And, yes, I’m going to say it even though we all know it and we have all heard it a thousand times: drinking water makes it a lot easier. I’m not a scientist, but the more water I drink, the better my skin looks.

I have hope in tomorrow; that one day I will wake up and I won’t have a new throbbing lump to call a friend. Also, I know the future, and you’re all going to tell me to go to the doctor in the comments. Getting there.