How can birth control impact the skin?

How can birth control impact the skin?

Mar 27, 2023Plabon Bhuiya

Ah, the ever-elusive quest for flawless skin. For many of us, it seems like an eternal balancing act between hormones, lifestyle, and, yes, even birth control. That tiny pill or shot might just hold the key to clearer, smoother skin—or so we're told. But how exactly does birth control impact our skin, and is it a friend or foe in our beauty regimen?

Let's delve into the skin-deep mysteries of birth control and uncover its effects on our precious complexion.


You pop that hormonal birth control pill and all of a sudden your skin improves? Well, it depends. For some women acne is disappearing because the amount of androgen hormones in the body is gradually reducing. 

Androgens are a type of hormone that causes the sebaceous glands in the skin to produce more oil, which leads to acne. Some hormonal birth control, such as combination birth control pills, may contain oestrogen and progestin, which reduces acne.


    Ever heard of melasma? Melasma is a condition that causes dark patches on the skin, usually on the face, and also known as the mask of pregnancy when present during pregnancy.

    Hormonal birth control increases the risk of developing melasma, particularly those who are prone to the condition.

    Dryness or oiliness

      Ah, the skin's eternal dilemma—oiliness versus dryness. Hormonal birth can affect the skin's natural oils, which leads to either dry or oily skin depending on the individual's response to the prescription. 

      Some women may experience drier skin, while others may experience an increase of oil production.


        Sensitive skin? Get ready for the rollercoaster ride. Some women may experience increased skin sensitivity while taking hormonal birth control. 

        This may cause the skin to become more easily irritated, especially during the first few months of starting the medication.


          For some, the journey with birth control comes with an unwelcome side effect—hyperpigmentation, which is the darkening of skin areas.

          This is more common in women with darker skin tones who take birth control pills or use hormonal intrauterine devices (IUDs).

          Birth Control and Your Skin

          Birth control has both positive and negative impacts on your skin depending on the type of birth control and individual's body it is being used.

          Some birth control methods, such as combination hormonal birth control pills, contain oestrogen and progestin hormones that improve the appearance of the skin by reducing the production of oil and decreasing the severity of acne. This is because these hormones lower the levels of androgens (male hormones) in the body, which are known to contribute to acne.

          However, other types of birth control, such as the progestin-only pill or the Depo-Provera shot, can have the opposite effect on the skin. These methods may increase the production of oil, leading to more acne and breakouts.

          Navigating Birth Control and Skincare

          Remember, beauty buffs, your skin's journey with birth control is as unique as you are as every individual's body chemistry is different and the effects of birth control on your skin will vary from person to person. 

          If you're experiencing any negative effects on your skin as a result of birth control (or not), talk to your trusted healthcare provider for guidance and wisdom about any concerns you have about how birth control may impact your skin and find out the best option for you. 

          Additionally, maintain a consistent skincare routine and use sunscreen to minimise any negative effects and keep your skin healthy.

          How has birth control impacted your skin? Let's decode the beauty mysteries together.

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