I won't take the pill, but I STILL WANT YOU TO LISTEN!

Oh hey... yup, still enjoying my Auntie time. I just love the scheduling posts business. :)

One of the things that always comes up when I see my family again, for better or for worse, is my acne situation. It's always coming from a place of love and concern, but it's always so awkward when you hear, "Oh, your skin looks great these days!"

Um, really? It's not. But, I appreciate the thought.

It's hard because I STILL HAVE NO SOLUTIONS.

When it comes up, I don't have anything new to say about it. Clearly, I haven't found the magic thing to make my skin beautiful again. Because if I did, the world would already know about it.

And without a doubt, it always comes back to why exactly I stopped taking birth control (ie: the pill) in the first place.

Oh jeez. Yes. I am Catholic, and I don't believe in taking the pill. For many reasons.

But, it's more than that. I care about my overall health. I care about my body. I took birth control for about 8 years. EIGHT YEARS! Every day, putting synthetic hormones in my body. And to be honest, it was the BEST my skin has ever been. I didn't have to worry about always putting makeup on when I walked out the house, or be self conscious that someone was staring at the inflamed blemishes and red blotchiness when they were speaking to me. I didn't have to worry about hugging someone and accidently rubbing my cheek against theirs and fear their disgust when they felt the oil on my skin.

Being 29 and dealing with this is not fun. At all.

But, I also want to be healthy. There is more and more research coming out about the long-term effects of the pill. Cancer. Infertility. Blood clots.  Why would I willingly continue to do that to my body? It doesn't make sense. Natural Family Planning (or the Fertility Awareness Method- same as NFP, but you are able to use condoms and the like) has been on the rise to help women know their body's better, to be aware of their cycles and the changes that the hormones can do to your body physically and mentally. It's a beautiful thing.  I read somewhere that it's a lifetime skill... not a quick fix. I love that.

It has been amazing to learn about my body in this way. I am not great at charting and such, but I am proud of what my body can do. I just wish I understood it more.


That's all I want. I haven't found any doctor who wants to help me figure out why I have hormonal acne issues (also, I haven't been as committed to looking for one as I should be!). Every.single.time I give them my history and say that the only thing that has ever helped is the pill, but it's no longer an option for me...


I mean, you would think I was telling them that I sell cocaine.

It's humorous, but also really irritating. Our culture is so wrapped up in this pretty little pill that can do no wrong. They have no idea what to do when it's not an option.  Clearly, my acne is hormonal as the pill did "help" me. Yet, my blood test came back normal (I have been off the pill for about a year and a half now). I would have expected my androgens to be higher, as that is common reason women deal with acne. And they weren't. And, yet, all you can say is that I am "sensitive" to my hormones... what does that mean exactly?

All I want is for a doctor to say, "hey, I know that you have tried x, y and z in the past, can we give it another shot? Let's see if it works! If not, we will go down another path."

YES! I will love you, who ever you are, if you are willing to work with me. I am not looking for perfect skin, I am just looking for less blemish-y skin!

Have you had issues like this? How did you find quality doctors? Trial and error? Let me know! Cause I am getting motivated to get back on the horse, here. :)

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  1. Hey Jen! First off, thanks for writing about this. I think it is so awesome you made the leap to come off BC and I didn't know that about you! I'm very blessed and thankful to not have had any big issues regarding this stuff, but have heard horror stories about Dr's not helping. Yeah! What's up with this being the magical pill that fixes everything? I wish for every woman's sake that Dr's were trained in how to really treat things. I'm sorry you had to go through that! You probably already know about NaPro, but that's what I would suggest - finding a Dr. who is trained in it - because they will not use the pill. The Pope Paul VI Institute (http://www.popepaulvi.com/) has helped tons of women with a variety of issues, and I found a NaPro Dr. finder thingie here (looks like there are some on FL!): http://www.fertilitycare.org/florida-medical-consultants/ Hope you're able to find someone and I'd love to hear how it goes!

    1. Sorry for the lack of response. Thank you for your kind words! I do know about NaPro, and maybe need to really dig deeper with it. :)

  2. Amen... Thanks for sharing this... I know a few people who were on the pill for the same reason, and whilst their skin was the best ever, the immorality of the action outweighed the positive effects.

    I don't have any advice for you on this - my skin is usually controlled by what I eat, and a diet (though rigid, but it works) - but I'm praying you can find a way to figure this out! God bless you, and thanks again!

    Country Girl's Daybook: Jesus, Photography, Fashion, & Food

    1. Thank you! The food thing is so interesting to me... because I can eat all the crap/dairy/wheat a girl can dream of one week, and my face isn't any worse, but other times it affects it. I cut out dairy for a while and there was absolute no improvement... maybe even worse. I have thought about doing the gluten free thing, but I am not too sure yet.

      Arg. But, thanks for commenting and helping realize that we are in this together in some way! :)

  3. Oh my gosh, Jen. I feel like I could have written this post, with a few minor revisions to the facts (of course I not as well as you did ;). I was on the pill from age 13 (crazy...) to 18. My acne has picked back up so badly, and of course that magic pill is the only option any doctors or dermatologists have. It's so frustrating, especially when your adult acne is WORSE than it was when you were a teenager... I wish this commented end with "and then I found THIS miracle cure!" but...alas I'm in the same boat you are right now.

    1. Thanks, Charity! It is so frustrating. I hope, though, that one day, the more of us that refuse to use the pill, the bigger the chance it will ignite a fervor with dermos and other docs to look at other options and the whole picture.

  4. Thanks for sharing this, Jen! That is such a frustrating scenario, especially when it's played on repeat :-p
    I don't know what all you've tried, but two of my sisters use ProActive {thinking of the Jessica Simpson commercials now} and works for them. I also have friends whose skin is very sensitive, and I will try and find out what they use that works. Good luck!

    1. Thanks, Bek! I have tried ProActive in the past and it didn't help me. :( I heard that they changed the formula, so it might be worth another try. But, I have been doing the Oil Cleansing Method and have seen some results, so I am not sure I am ready to mess it up! :)

  5. Oh beautiful girl, I feel your pain!!!! My insurance quit covering my clindamycin lotion this year (although thanks to Obamacare, they would now cover birth control for me...fabulous--NOT!).

    I too was on Yaz, though for a shorter period of time (6 mo) before I found a NaPro doctor who helped me learn Creighton NFP and we did some stuff with that for a few years. I've had acne for over ten years and it gets to me like nothing else. These last few years it's definitely more hormonal, like the deeper kind (the kind that are harder to fix and that don't go away very easily or they scar!).

    Right now, I'm currently using coconut oil/baking soda scrub every other day, apple cider vinegar toner, and taking spironolactone (prescription water pill that also helps acne caused by PCOS-- not stellar results but decent) and just began evening primrose oil supplement a week or two ago after getting to my wits' end. Oh yeah, and zinc.

    Hope any of this helps, I'm always looking for ideas!

    Just know you're not alone!! And you really are gorgeous!!

    1. Laura, I too am on the spironolactone and it works great for me - would love some more info on the coconut oil/baking soad etc... you just wrote about. I also use Differin Gel and that seems to really help. The only negative of both is that you cannot use them while pregnant (which, I'm not - but it's something to know). The cause is so deep, very hormonal - that diet doesn't really help control it (some yes, just so you don't get the extra stuff around that time of the month). It's so difficult to deal with, but I hope the encouragement and some of these suggestions help! There is hope!

    2. I just posted the recipe on my blog! Hope you try it and like it! :)

    3. Thank you, Laura, for your kind words. :) I really appreciate it! I have tried spironalactone back in the day.. with limited results. But, that might be worth trying again, as well. Hmmm.

      Sometimes it's all so overwhelming... that's why it would be nice to have a doc that is willing to WORK WITH ME! haha.

      And thank you, Katie! You both are two beautiful ladies, as well!

  6. Hi, lovely! I wanted to echo the suggestion to look up NaPro/Pro-life doctors. One More Soul also has a listing. And you can try calling up your diocesan's NFP/Pro-life office for recommendations, in case the few listed by state aren't near you or might not take your insurance.

    I was once on Doxycycline (antibacterial I think--it's blue), and you're not supposed to get pregnant on it, either, but unlike Accutane that often all but forces the Pill in tandem, I only had to sign a form promising I wouldn't. Now, I do get more acne during that time of the month, but it's calmed down massively, in part I think, because I have been controlling the bacteria/oil situation. My facialist's recommendations have done wonders in tandem with topical solutions listed by the other ladies: keep your phone clean; change your pillow case often; use a different face towel every night; and since sugar can cause inflammation (not the pimple itself), keep that at a minimum. She also discovered I have really thick skin that was trapping the ickiness in the pores, so after a couple peels (not the horrific kind) and cleaning, the zits got smaller and less painful when they did appear. And I don't know how or why, but this thing called PCA A&C serum helped both the breakouts and the inevitable post-acne marks.

    Of course, these are just suggestions. First priority: find that doctor!

    God bless you, beautiful!

    1. Thanks, Britt! :) Yes, I know about NaPro, and I just need to bite the bullet and get to it.

      I have been wondering about facials and such. How long have you been getting them? I keep convincing myself to not do it b/c my acne is hormonal... so, I didn't think it would be worth it. Sometimes, all I want is to peel my face off. haha. As gross as that sounds. :) Hmm... I'll have to look into it more.

  7. I feel your pain. I have probably used every skin product in the book. Every time I went to the mall or Costco they have those little kiosks and I have spent WAY too much money on their fancy products that sorta work but I can't afford the $200 every month for the products (another story).

    I actually had no idea birth control was used to help acne until a few years ago. I also remember telling my mom that I knew girls that were on BC for acne and she thought that was crazy (her words not mine).

    She did take me to a dermatologist in high school and he'd give me some cremes and some pills (they weren't bc though) but the pills would give me an upset stomach so I stopped taking them. Then sometimes the cremes were too strong and the acne would go away but then my skin was sooooo dry!

    For my sisters wedding makeup we used a marykay consultant my moms friends with and they just came out with a whole line of acne moisturizers and cremes and soaps...that is my next step that I might try.

    It's hard and the struggle is real! You are in my prayers :)

    1. I know! It's frustrating when nothing works... and you feel like you have lost some sort of battle :) I hope you find something, too!

      Thanks for your kind works! Prayers for you!

  8. Jen, thank you for this post! Acne is so so so frustrating, and I can definitely relate to the awkward comments that family members can make..."Joan, have you tried "x, y, z?" "Yes, yes I have.."
    Also, props to you for standing up to your doctor! I think that is such a powerful thing that you did!
    I have had slightly decent luck with Proactiv lately - I used it in the past, but I guess they reformulated the product (now called Proactiv Plus lol), and I'm finding it to work a bit better.
    You are definitely gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous, girl, and thanks for your post!!!!!!!!!! :)

    1. Joan, you are so sweet! Thank you for your kind words. I am glad the new ProActive is working for you! I hope it continues. :) I don't know if I am ready to try it again. haha

      Prayers for you, beautiful lady!

  9. Guilty and I'm sorry! I love you!


Hey! You just read that. Don't you wanna leave me some love?!

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