I’m doing a bunch of research on topics that relate to women and acne, such as premenstrual acne, pregnancy and acne, birth control, makeup, spironolactone, and cyproterone acetate. It’s fascinating stuff. The human body is an incredible thing, and so complex.


Leave a Reply

  • Colin aka Slim

    Good work, Dr. Dan!

  • linh

    i’ve had mild-moderate acne since the age of 18 – i’m now 28. using birth control pills definitely reduced the acne. however, once i stopped using them, i began to really break out after 1-2 months. it was worse than it had ever been. it was so bad that i was thinking about going back on the pill just for that particular benefit but luckily i found your regimen. it helped tremendously. it works so well for me that i tell everyone about it. thanks, dan!

  • Leem

    I’ve had acne my whole adult life, since age 18 and up to today. BCPs really helped alot but when I went off of them, the acne came back with a vegenance. I’ve been on 3 cycles of accutane and guess what? The acne came back and now it looks almost as bad as before. I haven’t tried the regimen yet. Still using up the tazorac cream that my last doctor prescribed since I paid so much for it. But I do apply it the way you apply the BP in the regimen and I think it helps. Thanks for the research you do Dan!

  • White Fox

    Please discuss more about body acne which I know a lot of people struggle with.

  • Realme2008

    I’ve struggled with acne since I was about 12 or 13. I’m now almost 20-years-old, and I would still struggle with it if it weren’t for the regimen. I think it maybe even would have grown into severe acne. I know so many women who have problems with it. It seems to be worse for women then men a lot of the time for some reason. I don’t know a lot of research does need to be done about it. Another good video Dan. Oh, yeah discussing body acne and bacne would be a good video.

  • Joanne

    I’m a woman, and I’ve had acne since I was thirteen. Birth control pills neither helped nor hindered my condition, which I’ll describe as a mild to moderate case of severe acne. Not a huge number of lesions, but I would get cysts πŸ™ Over the years, I found other ways to help the acne: eating low glycemic foods, taking a multivitamin, no makeup or lotion, using a simple soap on the face (weird, huh?). The biggest thing that helped before the regimen was starting treatment for a thyroid problem. I am now taking thyroid hormone every day. That has helped TREMENDOUSLY. The improvement from the thyroid therapy was what prompted me to look online to see if I could somehow get the rest of the way to clear. It’s working! Thanks, Dan πŸ™‚

  • Laura

    I had some spots when I was a teen which didn’t worry me too much because I was a teen and thought that it was part of growing up until I got to 21 and had loads on my chin and forehead. This is when I first went to the doctors who gave me antibiotics/topical gel and showed me a book of people with much worse acne than me which to be honest didn’t really make me feel any less miserable!! My acne gradually spread to my cheeks and got worse but was still only classed as mild to moderate. By 26 I was getting some cysts under the skin which were really painful so tried antibiotics again, then when I was 27 I was told there was nothing more that could be tried except for the Contraceptive Pill, after talking to a friend who had taken it and reading the trouble some people had taking the particular one I was prescribed I decided not to take it. But I was still desperate for a cure and used to scrub my face so hard trying to get it “clean”. Then I found this website which I am so grateful for I am 28 now and have been doing the regimen for almost a year I don’t know where I would be without it. Thank you so much Dan for sharing your regimen you really have changed my life and so many other peoples.

  • Emily

    I am 20 years old and have cystic acne on my cheeks as well as plenty of black heads in the Tzone. I am currently taking Yaz Birth Control, and have not noticed any change in my acne, I have been on this for almost 6 months. I am also taking Spironolactone (sometimes referred to as aldactone), which is only prescribed to women because its is supposed to reduce the testosterone which in turn should help reduce cystic acne. It has been almost 4 months on 100 mg of spironolactone with little improvement. The only improvement i have found has been a slight decrease in the severity of my cysts. I am just now starting the 2nd week of the acne.org regimen and hopefully things will work out for the better. thanks so much!

  • Juliana

    When I was 15 I started taking birth control because I was told that the regulation of my hormones would probably help treat and decrease the amount of acne I had, which was really only mild/moderate. It did help with my acne tremendously, and kept it down mostly except around my menstrual cycles. However, nearly a year ago I stopped taking birth control completely because I realized that it really probably wasn’t worth it to be changing my hormonal functions and that maybe my acne would be gone for good because I was nearly past teenage years (I am now 19). Then, within about 2-3 months of not being on the pill my acne came back worse than ever and now it’s past mild and moderate and into the severe (but I started the regime about 3 weeks ago, which is definitely showing effective results). So I would say that given my experience and what I’ve read about others, that birth control only makes matters worse unless you plan to stay on it forever, but who would? Thank you Dan for this regime! And even more for creating the grounds for a supportive community and the search for more knowledge about such an underestimated affliction! I was practically hopeless before I found this website…

  • Emma

    I’ve had acne for over 10 years now since i was about 13, and have been given pretty much every treatment under the sun for it (except accutane) with varying degrees of success, but its never cleared completely. I was put on a form of BCP when i was 18 ( UK name dianette, which contains cyproterone acetate which is anti-androgen) to treat my acne which seemed to help control it but didn’t clear it. The link for women between hormones and acne is demonstrated by the incidence of acne amongst sufferers of PCOS (poly-cystic ovarian syndrome) that i was diagnosed with a year ago, that affects hormone levels. Dianette itself or another BCP (UK name Yasmin) is the standard treatment for PCOS as well.
    I had to stop taking Dianette 2 months ago as it was causing me to have severe headaches and occasional migraines, and if you suffer from these side-effects you are at increased risk of stroke if you keep taking the medication. Since coming off it although my headaches have gone my acne has got about 5 times worse, which prompted me to look on-line for a solution ( i’ve ordered the products already, i’ll let you know how i do!). Terrible acne breakouts do appear to be quite a common effect of coming off BCP so I don’t think I would advise anyone to use them as a way of treating acne – i certainly wish i never had!

  • Pamela

    I have had acne for almost 20 years. It started when I was 12 years old and I am now 31. I have tried everything topical and almost every antibiotic. I have been on a topical regimen consisting of tazorac/differin (I switch back and forth) and BP, which I use at night. I took spironolactone for approx. 6 years. It did help control the acne especially around my period. However, I had to discontinue the use of it because it caused me to have acid reflux. I have been off the spiro for approx. 2 years. My acne is worse now than it was before I went on the spiro. I am have been trying to control it topically but I can’t seem to clear it and it is very difficult to control my breakouts around my period. I will be starting accutane next month, so hopefully that will at least help me control the acne a little better. I would not recommend taking spiro or birth control pills to treat acne because when you come off the drug, the acne will be worse than ever.

  • Rainbow

    I’ve had acne since I was 10 or 11, but my derm has always told me it’s more genetic than hormonal, since my 3 brothers also had it and we got it from our dad. It’s gotten better as I’ve gotten older though. I saw a new derm a couple years ago and she wanted me to go on BC, but I’m paranoid about becoming infertile or something, ya know?

  • Emma

    Hi Dan

    I’ve had acne since I hit my teen years (I’m now 32) and I too have tried everything from antibiotics to the pill to try and get my acne under control- I wouldn’t say I have severe acne- I get black heads which don’t bother me to much but every month or so I would also get a nodule or a cyst which as you know are huge, painful and don’t go away for a long time. Nothing worked for for at all, I notice zero difference with everything! Even wearing or not wearing make up didn’t make any difference! What I would say though is that I have VERY oily skin which obviously blocks my pores up. Using BP combined with your AHA 10% has finally got it under control! I would say though I need to used both products which seems to stop the spots becoming cysts- they are much smaller and clear up much quicker. I also found that I can get away with using BP at night and AHA in the morning. Thanks Dan for all the research you are doing!

  • Vicki

    Reading everyone’s comments really reminds me how different we all are, and it seems that we each just have to find our own combination.

    I didn’t really have bad acne as a teenager (more like odd spots). As I got older I started getting more acne, in conjunction with my cycle, so likely hormonal. I seem to be opposite of some of the other women here, in that when I am on birth control my acne gets worse, which the doctor seemed to think this confirmed that mine was hormonal acne. I noticed also that someone else mentioned that their thyroid therapy helped. This is interesting to me, as since I increased my prescription is when my acne turned from regular to cystic, which is when I turned to acne.org

    I had always manged to put up with having some acne, but the cystic acne has left scarring, which was what got me really worried. I am 32 now, and feel like I am too old for acne, however I have noticed that many of the professional women I meet of my age (e.g. my dentist etc) have the same problem. I wasn’t too surprised by the statistic about the number of women over 25 with acne, because that is pretty much what happened to me, no acne until then.

    Part of it might be that as we get older we tend to start using other topical solutions, ie ‘age/wrinkle’ treatments. This then becomes our dilemma as most wrinkle treatments seem to cause acne breakouts and most acne treatments seem to increase (or at least not help) the aging process.

    For now, I have decided to concentrate on the acne, as I say because of the scarring. I have used the acne.org products for about 6 months now and they are working great on my acne. At some point I am hoping it will wane enough to continue the use of the ‘anti-aging’ products as I do feel like my skin has aged since switching.

    I’ve noticed that some manufactures have honed into this with their anti-aging/acne product ranges. But they are salicylic based, which doesn’t help me, I need the BP. I am hoping that other products come on the market, I would really like to see this. As someone with acne scars and wrinkles starting to emerge, I have noticed that the wrinkles do like to take the path of least resistance and become more pronounced by ‘merging’ with existing acne scars πŸ™

    I don’t know what the incidences of men with acne as they get older, but I am grateful that someone is taking more time to look at the relationship between women and acne.

  • Lexy

    Hi Dan! After looking at your site I am going to start the regimen, I am religious about my skin and have always had flawless skin. 2 years ago I started birth control, and I went off of it 2 months ago. My skin has broken out soo badly and there have been no other changes than that. I couldn’t believe it, but going off birth control actually gave me ACNE!!

  • k

    I was on birth control from age 18 to 22, but had to discontinue use because I suffer from migraines with aura, which is dangerous with birth control. My skin was great on birth control and bad off of it; low dose birth control helped slightly but caused headaches so was not a long-term solution. Oral antibiotics helped for a while, but I think my body got used to them and they stopped really working. What’s helped me now for over a year is spironolactone, an antiandrogen. I take 75 mg/day (though 50mg was also pretty good). I think this probably varies; I’m a tall and heavyset lady. I am a student and not covered by health insurance for Accutane, otherwise I would do that. So spironolactone has been a good stopgap measure. As Dan says, though, who knows what effects it may have long-term. I sometimes worry about fertility, but that’s completely just ignorance–I have no idea if there is any correlation. My doctor is very open with me and discusses all my options; we agreed that this is a good one for me. Hope this helps.

  • Jess

    Hi Dan,

    I’m 27, never had acne in my teens, and from the age of 22 started experiencing acne all over my face -comedomes, blackheads and moderate red papules. I was prescribed your typical antibiotics which didn’t work, and then went on Yasmin which after 3months cleared the whole lot. When i went off BCP, my acne returned and I had to go back onto antibiotics in combination with Differin, which worked but really upset my tummy. I have recently gone back onto Yasmin (BCP) to hopefully clear up my acne, as I am sure it’s somehow directly linked with hormones. The Regimen was my ideal, however I had a very bad reaction (peeling and scaling of the skin), with the BP, so unfortunately BCP looks like it is my option. Hope that is of some help, Jess.

  • Kate

    I’m fast approaching 40 and I have the worst skin now that I’ve ever had!! My parents and brother all had very bad acne (cystic for my brother and mom–bro was on accutane) but I never got anything more than an occasional monthly zit. I chalk that up to birth control–I was on the pill from 15 to 33, when I had my tubes tied. Five years later, and I’m now getting these ENORMOUS (quarter inch or so) cyst-type pimples that are deep under the skin and painful as all get out!! And they take forever to go away! Last week I finaly got rid of this huge third eye that was growing right between my brows….unfortunately, it’s now got a very angry younger sibling that’s trying to pop out under my left eye, at the top of my cheek.

    My skin is flakey, which I’ve heard is actually a symptom of oily skin, so I’m not sure if I have a specific “problem” area….I guess I get the really big ones on my chin, cheeks and forhead mostly. I try to use non-comedogenic makeup, I wash my face once a day (in the shower) and moisturize religiously…to no avail. I’ll be heading off to the drugstore tomorrow to grab some supplies and try the Regimen…I’ll let you know how it goes.

    Some articles about aging female skin and acne would be lovely….although it pains me greatly to describe my skin as “aging”!!

  • Adriane

    I was taking orto-tri-cyclen (spell?) from the age of 16 to 25. My doctor started me on it because I was experiencing moderate acne on my back and face. It worked wonderfully! I would still get an occasional breakout, especially around my period. But it completely cleared up my back acne.
    BUT….. when I decided to stop taking it my face broke out terribly like never before!!! It was like my acne was getting revenge on my face and back for having been repressed for so many years. It was a beast and it had a evil mind of it’s own. I was getting large cysts and pustules and blackheads along my jawline, my upper neck and my chin. I was also getting blackheads on my cheeks and forehead. It was the most terrible time in my life with acne. Nothing seemed to stop it (I did not know about the Regimen then). I knew that my hormones were totally out of whack from being on birth control for so long and suddenly stopping it.
    It took my skin about 2 painful years to finally balance out. I still experience acne (mild to moderate) but not nearly as bad as I used to. Thankfully I no longer get cysts, which are painful and ugly. In the pat I have had to get a couple of them lanced by my doctor.
    I am going to start the Regimen today. I have had some bad experiences with benzoil peroxide in the past so I am a little aprehensive. But I bought the jojoba oil so I think that will help a lot with the irriatation and dryness. I am hopeful that the Regimen will work for me.

  • Maria

    Hey Dan, I am in total agreement with you on the hormonal therapies. That is the one thing I have never agreed to do in any derms office, well along with antibiotics for the skin, pills just aren’t my thing and anything that is going to mess with my hormones or internal registries, just doesn’t sit well with me. The regimen is a good way to start on getting rid of acne, though mine is still around a bit, those stubborn spots on my skin that re-occur over and over again. The minute I think these pimples are gone, they come back in the same EXACT spots, sometimes months later, the same EXACT spot will just pop up all over again, and under the skin, not even just topical pimple, like a deep dark, scary pimple. The BP does help a little but they’re still there, they are still haunting me, but for the most part my skin has been responding well. But why does this occur, why the same EXACT spots, is there some sort of open pathway that these oils are getting caught in over and over again? Can something be done to help with these kinds of pimples???


  • Teresa

    Birth controls totally worked for me. I’ve stopped using them because I’m trying to cut back on pharmaceuticals and go more natural. I really miss the clear skin though! I would really suggest them for any woman that notices monthly or twice a month breakouts. In my experience ovulation can also cause acne episodes.

  • molly

    I was on Yaz for 2 1/2 years…which was 2 1/2 years of beautiful skin. I always had a few pimples here or there but nothing whatsoever out of the ordinary. I stopped taking the bcp 7 months ago, as I had gotten married and wanted the option of getting pregnant. The first 2-3 months were essentially fine, although I noticed my skin began to get MUCH oiler. Then suddenly, I began to have this giant cyst by my nose that would continually show up again the second it healed. After getting that injected by the derm with hydrocortisone (which kept it away for a mere two months), I began to get more huge cycsts on my chin and along my jawline. I am still dealing with this now, along with an incredibly oily, red face and constant breakouts. The birth control pills really work wonders. Although of course I don’t have all the information, I think being “natural” just for the sake of it is worth absolutely nothing if the trade-off is feeling constantly terrible about yourself.

  • Heather

    Hi Dan!
    My acne started at age 13 (the same age I started my period). It continued throughout my teenage years and into college. I had started seeing a dermatologist at age 16, who treated me with many antibiotics, topicals, and Retin-A. By the age of 21, my acne had pretty much become resistant to just about every topical treatment and antibiotic. (My acne was never severe, per say, but very persistent, moderate acne and I would get cysts/nodules along with pustules and other inflammed zits.) By age 21, I was more embarrassed than ever and completely fed up with acne. It was at this time that my doctor talked to me about Accutane. I then went on Ortho-tri-cyclin to prepare for the Accutane. The BC pill ended up doing such a wonderful job getting and keeping my skin clear, as well as controlling oil, that I never ended up going on the Accutane. (I continued to use topical things to keep smaller breakouts at bay, but my skin was virtually clear all the time.) Two years ago, after being on BC for 5 years, I attempted to stop the BC. (They say it takes 3 months for BC to get in or out of your system.) By the third month off, I was breaking out. I was mortified and immediately went back on the BC my next cycle. (At some point, I can’t remember when/why, I was switched from Ortho-Tri-Cyclin to Ortho-Tri-Cyclin Lo and it did just a good a job.) It’s now 3 years later (I’m now 29) and I stopped the BC 7 months ago (Jan. ’09). I just don’t feel right about continuing to put hormones in my body. Initially, my skin was breaking out a little more than usual and my doctor put me on another antibiotic along with topicals. But now at the 7th month off, my skin looks the worst it’s looked in a very long time. I am getting the cyst/nodule ones again and I’m breaking out on my cheeks, jaw line, and upper neck which is weird because I never had breakouts in those areas before. I’m now considering the Accutane (although I have to go back on the BC for that). I really just wish I had done the Accutane all those years ago. I feel like it would have been a “cure.” I’m also going to try your Regimen. I’m ordering the stuff today. I’ll let you know how it goes.
    Thanks for what you are doing!

  • Heather

    After watching your video, I had to comment on women and acne. I am 31 years old and have had mild, moderate and often times severe acne since the age of 8 (Yes, I said 8 NOT 18). If there is a product that is supposed to” treat” or “cure” acne, then I’ve tried it. I have even done accutane, which helped tremendously while I was on that medication but my acne came back worse than before as soon as I completed the treatment. I was put on birth control at the age of 16 to help with my severe periods and acne. It has definitely been the one consistent form of acne medication I have tried throughout the years. It has; however, never completely rid me of acne. At the age of 25, I decided to try to come off of birth control and that proved to be a terrible idea. After a few weeks of being off the pill, my acne came back worse than ever. I had large cyst all over my face and neck. It was so bad, that I started having panic attacks when I left my house. After 3 months, I decided it wasn’t worth it to be off of birth control, so I went back on it. Two years later, I found your Regimen and it has been the best acne treatment I have used to date. I have been using it for 4 years now. Over the last few months, my skin has started having more frequent break-outs with some cyst, but I know that it would be a lot worse without the Regimen. I recently had my hormone levels tested and will be working with a doctor soon to talk about alternative hormone therapies. The interesting thing I found with my hormone test was that my testosterone levels were not high, which is what many doctors believe is the cause of acne in women. With the experience I have had over the course of my life, I honestly believe that there is a real link between hormones and acne. Thank you for the work you are doing.

  • plexus

    i’m 29, and have had very stubborn mild and sometimes moderate acne since i was about 15. I started having a minor flare-up at the beginning of this year, in january, and went to the derm., and they prescribed me spironolactone. I took it for 4 months, total. within a couple of days of starting, I was starting to break out, and within two weeks I was badly broken out – worse than I had ever been before. They told me to continue on it, and I did, and was broken out badly, for the whole time. I would get a little acne on my chin and around my mouth during my periods before the spiro, and a little on my forehead. within a couple weeks, my entire lower face was covered. I looked like I was wearing a beard made out of acne. I had never had cystic acne before, and it developed quickly, and I had a couple cysts on my face at all times. I also broke out all over my back – including my lower back, where I had never broken out before. I stopped after taking some hormone tests which told me my hormone levels were normal, and within a week it was settling down. Now, two months after stopping, I am left with a lot of red marks and some scarring, and some damaged pores which still generate pimples, but for the most part this terrible ordeal is over.

    My take-away from this is that only with a diagnosis of PCOS, or ALL of the indicators of severe hormonal acne, should someone try hormone therapy. For anything else, I think people should try all their other options – including diet changes, vitamins, etc – before trying hormones. It makes sense for it to be available as a last resort for people who genuinely have serious hormonal imbalances, but for anyone else it can be a disaster.

  • jenn_114

    My acne was moderate/severe just last year, until I got on the generic for Yaz, called Ocella, and it’s helped tremendously. After just a month my skin cleared up to more of a ‘light’ level of acne. I used to have 20-30 pimples every day, and now I have only 5-10 consistently, and they’re smaller and heal much faster. It gets worse as my period gets closer (like 10-15 pimples), which is also the week that users take the placebo pills.

    I’m now using the regimen (for about 1 month now) and it’s helped even more. I still have 5-7 pimples at a time though, but I’m learning how to use the regimen more accurately to reduce that.

    I would love for you to do a study on cosmetics and acne. Perhaps there already is something on this site and I’m missing it?

  • Cathy

    Thanks for looking into what has caused me endless problems the last few years. I’m pretty sure your regimen would have worked out for me with the type of mild but persistant acne I was experiencing in my younger years. I am now 26, and after being prescribed antibiotics and BC pill, my acne cleared up. Everytime I try quitting the BC pill, my acne comes back again. But the type of acne I get is extremely disfiguring cystic acne along the chin area….a form of acne I have never had before. When I go back on the pill, it clears up again. It has been very effective in keeping me clear but I hate to take it everyday. I hate being so reliant on something so unnatural. And when I become pregnant one day, I don’t want to have to deal with cystic acne. I’m off bc pill thank heavens and now unfortunately, I am on roac and antibiotics to buy me time so I can get the bc pill out of my system and restore the balance in my body.
    I just don’t understand why dermatologists and gp’s so carelessly, and irresponsibly prescribe unnatural hormones to acne sufferers, when thy know that it can have such negative effects down the line for some women. This is such a common reaction. You just have to look at acne websites and see how recurring this is. And I can definitely believe the statistic you mentioned.

  • jess mc

    Thank you for doing research on women and acne Dan! I am 29 and I have had acne since I was around 13. So you can imagine in all that time I have tried lots of things. Birth control is the only thing that has worked the best for me. I still have minor blemishes but no cysts or scary acne breakouts. Even if all scientists eventually agree on a cure for acne I will have a hard time going off of birth control out of fear of the acne returning. I think the figure for how many adult women have acne sounds believable. Just think of how many women cover their acne with makeup so that most people never notice they have it. My skin has been looking clearer than ever with all of the helpful information on acne.org. I don’t use BP but I have learned alot about acne. I am using natural and gentle skin bar soap, moisturizing regularly, and using jojoba oil. I have been breaking out recently though this last couple of months and I realized that I had changed my multivitamin. The new one has iodine in it where as my old vitamin did not. It seems pretty suspcious and the timing is spot on so I am going to switch back to my old vitamin of course. I’m looking forward to learning more about iodine and other dietary causes of acne like dairy.

  • jess mc

    Forgot to mention that I only use mineral makeup.

  • Kristen M

    First and foremost, thank you Dan, for putting together this website……over the past year, I have visited the site to get feedback on various products and regimans……this particular post fits my issues the most! I am 36 years old, have had acne since I was 12, but not the way it is now! I have been off the pill for over 8 years, and in this past year my chin and jawline have exploded! I have always fought with the occasional cyst/boil and black heads, but my chin and jawline are red (white heads) like it is more an infection. I also now am getting non-inflammed hard bumps on my cheeks, chin and jawline.

    I definitely think it is hormone related and I feel I’m too old to go on the pill again. I have cut out dairy, grains, and alcohol and have seen only minor inflammation reduction. I also was just recently on doxycycline and it seemed to help, but a week later everything came back with a vengence. There are so many posts here that I feel my story is the same, but what do I do?????? I definitely want to try your regiman, but will it even work on hormonal acne??? I do respond well to BP, but it is usually short-lived. I also respond well to sulphur, but my skin absolutely hates anything wih salcycilic acid!

    I also wash with a mild cleanser, and lotion and wear mineal makeup with no avonbenzene in it. I take a multi-vitamin, fish oil, zinc, amonst a few others………

    I would love to hear feedback from anyone who fits my profile experiencing the same issues too. Thanks again, Dan, for all your help.

  • hailey

    Hi Dan,
    I was on birth control pills for years – like from when I was 17 until I was 29. They really worked for me and were the only thing I found that really worked for me, leading me to believe that my acne is/was caused by a hormonal imbalance. I’m just trying your regimen for the first time since FINALLY going off of birth control, because 3 months after being off of birth control pills I got the worst break out on my back EVER. Why did I go off of birth control pills if they were working well for me, some women might ask?
    Listen up ladies, this is important! According to my naturopath and health experts, women who’ve been on the pill for more than 10 years and women who have been on the birth control pill for a while since before they were 20 can TRIPLE their chances of getting breast cancer. Since breast cancer already runs in my family I suddenly realized that I was taking a real risk and that my life was more important than my skin.
    Luckily thanks to this website I am now trying the topical way of clearing my skin since I don’t want to put myself at risk for breast cancer any longer.
    In conclusion, does the birth control pill work to clear up acne? It certainly did for me! Is it 100% safe or good for you? No. Talk it over with your doctor.
    Best of luck!

  • Holly

    I recently got off birthcontrol about 2 months ago, when i was on birthcontrol it did help control my acne. In fact my skin was very clear! My skin did start braking out but I started the regimen around the same time and now my skin is under conrol.I got off birthcontrol b/c it made me feel very sick ,tired, and very very moody…..cant live like that anymore!So your regimen has made my life so much better b/c now I have clear skin and dont have to be on birthcontrol! I just wanted to let everybody stay away from the CLARASONIC skin cleaning brush…….It wrecked my skin…….its not for people with skin like ours!

  • KiKi

    I don’t really know if I like BC pills, for treating/helping with acne that is. I have mild acne, not bad at all to most people. If I wear makeup you can hardly tell. But it bothers ME. I am NOT one of those people that can just have sleepovers, go camping with my bf or whatnot & be seen without makeup. I have tried EVERYTHING. Even accutane, which I now believe my doctors should have never put me on. I am currently on the Regimen & LOVE IT. About BC…. most doctors say & even commercials say it helps clear up skin. It never worked for me!..?? I don’t know why, especially since my skin was not that bad. It should have worked. I thought the same about accutane. I went off BC about 3-4 months ago. I’m using the Regimen. My skin is brilliant. I know lots of times when you start or stop BC it can make your skin flare up. I think being on it actually messed with my skin, and it does for some people. Some people bc pills help skin, some it doesn’t. So I’m happy now & did not have a flare when I stopped using it. Thanks Dan for everything!!!

  • KiKi

    Oh ps… along with the regimen I also take vitamins/supplements everyday & I think that has helped tremendously!! (I never used to b4) I take 50mg zinc, sometimes a magneseum supplement w/ 15 mg chelated zinc in it on FULL STOMACH of course or it will make you queazy & throw up… also vitamin A & D combined pill, vitamin E & selenium, lots of chewable vitamin C, and soon fish oil like dan suggests..

  • Anonymous

    This is really strange that your video about women and acne was up today. I have been doing some research on not exactly hormones and acne but rather hormones and pregnancy because I am trying to get pregnant and finding it a bit difficult. As I researched I learned that homonal imbalances could be to blame for this trouble getting pregnant. As I continued to research the symtoms of a hormonal imbalances i found that being over exhausted, strange cycles, acne, trouble getting pregnant and high pms are just some. Most of the symptoms describe me. Now I’m not going to go out on a limb and say that I have a hormonal imbalance but from the symtoms I think it could be very likely.
    Going on birth control may help to correct the imbalance but obviously I dont want to do that becuase I am trying for a baby. But I gt to thinking. If have a hormonal balance and I corrected it I may have an easier time getting pregnant and maybe help with my acne at the same time. If in reality hormonal imbalances are the cause for some female acne. Thats when i began researching herbs that help regulate homones in females. I kept coming across the same herb. Vitex agnus castus aka chaste tree or chasteberry. From what I found it claimed that this herb works wonders as a healthy way to regulate hormones, promoting fertility and reducing some of the symtoms that go along with a hormonal imbalance. pms and the dreaded acne!!
    So, I picked some up at the natural shop I haveright down the street πŸ™‚ ANd began taking them. I may not see any results for three months but we will see. I will let you know if I do get pregnant or my acne does reduce in the meantime becuase then well I guess it works on regulating hormones. How lovely would it be to kill two birds with 1 stone acne and pregnancy haha.
    This is just a thought though, I could be totally wrong.
    Btw your regimen did work for me for awhile. But when i switched to the org products I got this nasty rash so unfortunatley I had to stop. I do believe your regimen does work though and have recommended it to many. But it looks like for me personally, its back to the drawing board.

    • Anonymous

      Hi anonymous, I’m doing some research into hormones/acne/trying to conceive for myself. Did vitex work for you, if you don’t mind my asking?
      Thanks, Sarah

  • Eyeslikemine

    SHOOT^ that above post about hormonal imbalances was from me. forgot to put my name. eeck!

  • Mima

    i wanted to add, that hormones in women i feel is a big factor as well. I noticed this (not to be to personal) when I quit having sex as much, which is an increase in hormone levels. Just to add to the observations, and not to be rude or graphic in anyway

  • rachel

    Hello I found your step-by-step video on using the regimen to be quite helpful. I have actually started to use it morning and at night and it’s so gentle that it really doesn’t sting! and that makes me feel better about using it because since i was a younger teenager i have suffered with acne that has caused my face to have redness in the face and every product that i tried to get rid of it just made that acne worse in irritating it. At times I had thought that my skin was too sensitive and i worried over using another product that it might make it worse. I like this clear skin system because for the first time I haven’t experienced any problems in using it. I’m glad that it doesn’t sting or burn my skin at all!!

  • rachel

    Actually your video on women who have acne what you have said is quite true. There have been times where i have been stressed out about things but i had never done drugs or taken birth control but i can definitely see that as why some women have severe or really bad cases of acne.

  • kim

    Hi Dan, I was on birthcontrol for 25 years and stopped recently because it’s become clear that I’m starting menopause. I started having breakouts around my mouth and jawline and behind my ears about 9 months ago and went to the doctor….after considering a few other medical issues, she determined that yep, my acne is menopausal. The pill, on the other hand, has been fine for me all my life, until recently. I’ve had side effects that made it necessary to stop taking it… and suddenly I’ve got acne that I struggle with on a daily basis. If I could go back on the pill so eliminate the acne, I’d do it in a heart beat. As it stands, benzoyl peroxide seems to work for a while, and then stops working. So I have developed a voo-doo trade off routine of topical antibiotic, benzoyl peroxide mask, or salicylic acid. When one seems to loose effectiveness, I switch. I am NOT happy with this solution at all. I may try your product…. but the problem with benzoyl peroxide products is that the bleach my towels, my sheets, and my clothes. The product may be cheap, but the fall-out in damage to fabric really sucks.

  • Alex Reardon

    Great article. Based on the research we have conducted, birth control pills, like everything else affect everytone differently. Some people are just more likely to adopt acne than others.
    Products are not made to cure acne, just to treat it, it’s just a matter of finding which product works for you. We focus mainly on teenage acne on our website blog, and have yet to find 1 perfect treatment for everyone.
    Drinking lots of water helps me, but that’s not to say it will work for someone else

    *link edited out*

  • Mamma_Mia

    I know for a fact WITHOUT A DOUBT that my acne is hormonal. Im 33 and have 4 children. When i am breastfeeding, my skin is CLEAR CLEAR CLEAR and BEAUTIFUL. And during pregnancy, ive had either clear skin or very mild to minimal outbreaks. When i am not pregnant or breasfeeding, it is Moderate to Severe. I have scarring that look like pits/small craters in my skin all around my mouth and chin. Proactive cleared me up when i was around 18 but then eventually stopped working for me several years later. That is the benzoyl peroxide im assuming, but i hear its not so good to use for too long…Ive had acne since i was a teen and have also tried NUMEROUS things as well to take care of it.

  • anonymous

    i took the BCP for about 12 years. i had only mild acne in my teens & early 20’s. over the last two years, i started having LOTS of undesirable symptoms that seemed to be hormone related and my acne increased in severity. i would not attribute this to any changes in stress or diet and i’ve never used drugs. i stopped taking the pill about 6 months ago and noticed a dramatic change in my physical and emotional well-being…a positive change. some issues cleared up immediately, others have taken time. i went on the acne.org regimen as soon as i stopped the pill. my acne cleared up within 3-4 weeks. not sure how much was due to the regimen vs. not eating synthetic hormones every day. now i recommend to everyone i know – go off the pill & try acne.org. i wish i’d done it a long time ago!

  • Linnea

    As a young woman, I’ve had acne from 14 or so till now(22). I don’t have extremely bad acne, but I definitely noticed that hormones played a big part in my acne. I would notice that a week before my period, my face would explode! Acne everywhere. Normally, I just have T-Zone blemishes every once in awhile. After starting a birth control regimen(not because of the acne) at 20 years old, I’ve definitely noticed a big reduction in the amount of blemishes I get around my period. I still get a few, but its greatly reduced. Now that I’m getting a bit older, I’ve shockingly started getting more acne, maybe from stress levels or other factors. So when you said that a lot of women over the age of 25 experience acne, I can believe it! I believe that hormones play a far greater role in a woman’s acne than a male’s acne. I think it also depends on what specific pills women are taking, as some cause different things in different women.

  • Ashley

    I started getting acne when I was about twelve and it was pretty bad for a long time. My mother put me on birth control and my skin got much much much better! I would get occasional breakouts before my period but they would go away quickly and it wasn’t anything terrible. Now I have just graduated high school (age 19) and right after my graduation my acne got pretty bad for the past month or so. At first I thought maybe just something that would go away quickly, but it really doesn’t seem that way now. I did miss a few pills at the beginning of this month and I’m really hoping that thats the only reason I’m breaking out and that once I get back on schedule it will clear but because I’m getting really depressed about it! But as far as I know the pill really helped me clear my acne before I’m just hoping that it’s not failing now.

  • Ann

    I’m sitting here, working from home right now because of the absolute WORST breakout I’ve ever had in my life. I’m almost 37!!! I had perfect skin until my 30’s. Then I went on birth control for about 5 years, then went off of it 1.5 years ago. What a nightmare it’s been, I’ve had horrible breakouts since, but nothing like I have right now. I think it’s the clindamycin gel that was prescribed that was the nail in the coffin. I’ve had my hormones tested and nothing is out of whack, no sign of PCOS, yet my face is all sorts of messed up. Here’s hoping that BP I just ordered will help, along with the probiotic, detox herbs, no sugar, no dairy, and of course no gluten because was recently diagnosed with Celiac Disease. My poor intestines have already been through the wringer, so no Accutane for me. I’m surprised the derm tried jumping to that so quickly – and she hasn’t seen my face like it is now…since the clindamycin that she prescribed that made it oh so much worse.

  • Abigail

    I must say that birth control, while effective for the most part, damaged my skin in the long run. I am 28, and was on OrthoLo for about 3 years before going off in a move to allow my body it’s own natural rhythm and cycle. I noticed almost immediately that my skin not only went back to its acne, but that it was a much more aggressive form of acne than my pre-pill face. It seems to have targeted my forehead in particular, and I am doing all I can to avoid going back on the pill to solve the problem. I don’t want to mess with my hormones for the rest of my life!

  • Susan

    I was on birth control pills from 16 to 20. During that time and before I had no acne, maybe a spot here and there but otherwise perfect skin. Then I went off bc. Within three months, I had mild acne that just kept getting worse. I treated it with differin and a topical retinol without much success. Other than that I used salicylic acid with moderate success. The worsening of my acne begins during midcycle to period so I’m guessing hormonal. It gradually worsened throughout the years, spreading to my back and chest, but then got better with consistent treatment until I was about 25 and went on Yaz for pelvic pain. It was a huge mistake! My skin that was probably 80% clear turned cyctic on my chin and back. I had never had cysts before. It cleared after 6 months, but of course I went of Yaz due to complications. Acne got really bad again. From thereon, I decided I am totally done with hormones. I’ve tried several different kinds and have concluded they screw up my natural hormones which apparently take months if not years to work themselves straight. I now use Dan’s regimen and that is the only thing that is working. I’m going to start the AHA treatment for the lingering cysts on my back to see if that works.

  • Helen

    What? I watched this video, having respect for you as the person who set up the site, thinking you might have some interesting information about women and hormones. Why are you stating that we don’t know how hormones and acne are related? It’s clearly known. You just have to look into it. It’s not helpful to be stating that it’s a dead end when it isn’t – that’s the sort of thing that had me living most of my youth with a face full of spots when I didn’t have to. You may be blasting your skin wtih this regimen and managing to keep it under control in your case – but I it may well take its toll when it comes to aging, and some of us are allergic to the chemicals concerned anyway.
    As for why it’s happening – there are various theories that make sense, you just have to find them.
    I really hate it when people in positions of some sort of authority make statements that “We don’t know” why something is or happens or the connection, when it’s only the case that they themselves haven’t found the answer – it’s so arrogant – just say “I don’t know” rather than give people who are trusting you to be informed the idea that your knowledge is the be all and end all when actually it’s stopping way short.

  • Desirae

    Hi Dan. I am a 21 year old woman who has suffered with acne since I was 11. Within the first year I started my period at 11 years old, my mom put me on birth control. I hated getting morning sickness. It really helped my skin- though I would have an occassional pimple on around my lip/mouth or forhead. I used proactiv occassionaly and wore liquid makeup. I thought in high school that I had bad acne! But I made a terrible mistake of going off of it when I was 18. My skin exploded. Literally. Painful cystic and nodular acne on the sides of my cheeks, temples, and jawline. It was so humiliating! My mom warned me not to go off of it, but within 7 months I could not recognize the person I saw in the mirror. Desperate, and realizing this needed serious attention, my doctor prescribed accutane, 10 mg 2 x day for 3 months. I also went back on a generic form of birth control because I couldn’t stand being nauseated again. The accutane helped, but sure enough the acne slowly came back. I continued on that generic form of birthcontrol, and back in October switched to a different brand because the generic didn’t seem to be working like in highschool. It’s taken me years to just manage my acne, and get it back to “clear” skin like in highschool. I’m afraid of going off of it again, when I eventually want to have a family. I am on my 2nd week of the Regimen, which has had mixed results, but I believe it is working. πŸ™‚ Thank you Dan, for looking into this subject. Birth control is sometimes the only thing that works with women since (I believe) a lot of acne is due to hormones.

  • Summer

    My mom is 42 years old now. She has been struggling with severe acne for a couple of years now. We have concluded that her problem is on the inside. She has been to an acupuncturist, tried proactive, murad, and tried just about every single topical treatment imaginable. She has even tried accutane when she was in college. Back then, that was all you could really do was undergo accuntane medication. She got off of it when she got married and wanted kids but never had severe case of acne until very recently. She has had an increasement of stress now and even got a little on the heavier side. Of course, she has always been super petite. After having kids, that obviously added some weight but never this much before. Around 2006, she looked about 20 years younger than she does now unfortunately. She has been to many doctors and done plenty of research on this and finally concluded that it is internal rather than an external problem. Her insides are all messed up like she has some sort of disease in her liver or whatever causing her to get acne worse than ever. If you have any ideas of how to help her, can you please inform me? Thanks in advance doctor.

  • Ruby

    Hi Dan,

    I have spent three weeks on The Regimen and my breakouts have minimised – I am keeping all my fingers and toes crossed this means it is working! I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was 19 and while the pill helped, it also gave me migraines which increases the chance of a stroke so my doctor refused to prescribe it to me anymore. I tried Roaccutane for nine months and it was ok – but no better results-wise than the pill I was on (DIane 35).
    I have now done one three-month cycle on Mino and have just completed a fourth of Doxy – Mino worked better than the Doxy, FYI.
    I have tried a billion other things and am really hoping The Regimen works for me! I just started seeing a guy and at 30 years old, I can’t see him in the daytime in case he sees my awful skin and loses interest. The reason I’m saying that is to point out how important what you are doing is, and particularly to thank you for at least putting another option out there to try.
    If it works, and I really really really hope it does, I will let you know! πŸ™‚

  • Lori

    I’m 47 and stopped the birth control pill in November. I’m pretty sure I am pre-menopausal and feel I’m going through puberty all over again! I’m breaking out terribly and searching for help. I came across your info., via the internet and am curious about “The Regimen”. What is it and how do I get it to try it out?

  • Beth

    I’m a 29 year old female and have been dealing with acne since I was 14. I finally tried the pill when I was 17 and it was the only thing that cleared up my skin. I’ve been on and off it since then, but just got really sick of the side effects (weight gain, higher blood pressure, moodiness, melasma) and messing with my hormoes so I decided to quit, especially after reading about higher risk of blood clots. Those things just aren’t worth it. My acne has really started to come back, but worse than that my hair fell out terribly for at least 6 months after quitting the pill. I hated washing my hair because it would just fall out in clumps. It’s finally back to normal now, and a lot of new hair growth though, thank goodness. Now that my acne is back, I’m tempted to go back on the pill because I know it will clear up quickly–BUT it’s just a quick fix that is not sustainable and not healthy (in my opinion). So…hopefully the regimen will help! My eyes get puffy and allergic to almost anything I put on my skin, but I’m gonna give it a try.

  • Anna


    I was put on the pill at 15 to regulate my cycle. I had clear skin before i started it and i had clear skin the 15 years i was on it. Since I decided to stop taking it because of the side effects I was experiencing from taking it, I have been in adult acne hell! I am excited to try start the reg. tonight in hopes that i can find some relief. In my personal experience the pill is not the healthiest way to clear up acne and why I have been looking for something else that works. I have tried so many products and spent so much money on things that haven’t worked. But i know there has to be a way to take care of this without these hormones.

  • Julia

    Can you possibly look into things like the liver and the lining of the guts. From a natural point of view, the body has all the mechanisms and organs to rid itself of disease, toxins, etc. But if there is a chemical imbalance in the body then problems arise.
    The reason why I mention the liver and intestines is because I took isotretoinin, which effectively acts on those two organs, and I felt I had a lot more energy, was able to digest food a lot better and felt a million times better. As a side effect it killed off all the acne. There are two videos on Youtube that kind of explains the nature of the problem quite well. They are called ‘Acne 101 and 102’. Please do have a look into this explanation and try to find some research on it.

  • Lauren

    A story of going off the pill —
    22, female, pale/sensitive skin, eat very well, exercise regularly

    I went through a bad separation while living in a new city far from home. I went off the pill shorty after the relationship ended. After a few more months I started to grow hair on my face, then got very very bad acne on my jawline (which is said to be hormonally triggered). I kept saying, it’s those damn hormones! I found this site today and did some reading. After using the face washing guide alone my acne looked better. I saw less overall redness and inflammation. Then I thought about it… I’m stressed out and tired, and I’m beating the hell out of my skin every time I wash, dry or apply makeup to it.

    I refuse the pill still because I don’t agree with adding these extra hormones to my system – one that may still be balancing from the lack of them.These products and directions seem so basic that they must work. And that’s what I’ve heard. I’m on track to buy them.

    Thank you for your research. Your skin looks great!

    – Lauren