i have tried antibiotics as well, would also rather not be on them, they aren't necessary to be honest and its not a long term treatment for acne.
i know what you mean about being self conscious without make up, i still get a bit conscious when i go to have treatment done and everything but i just try to shrug it off but i do understand the anxiety that you feel. I have been on birth control pills 4 times, never really long term but i can give you a low down -
diane 35 - when i was 16, cleared up acne, horrendous side effects so had to stop but i have two cousins on it who are fine. I think it clears acne nicely. but for some reason it has more pronounced side effects than other pills and i was later told you couldn't take it longer than 6 months, because of depression and mood problems can occur.
belara - went on the first time when i was 19, didn't have acne was quite mild, more like clogged pores, but it made my skin nice and glowy. no side effects, nothing negative. not sure why i went off it, but i just did.
second time of belara i was taking another medication(metformin) that was actually making my acne 1000000% worse, the combination was no good. i stopped the belara when i should have stopped the metformin.
third time on belara, i started 4 months ago, it was my last draw to try and see if i would clear up on the pill before giving into accutane(which i obviously didn't want to take) but at this time i was developing cystic acne under my chin and spots on my cheeks which left red marks and all, and it was causing social and emotional problems for me, so i started belara and gave up metformin.
my skin went about 50% worse in month 1, which is expected because its a change of hormones then my body just started changing. my hair never got oily, i can go a week and its not oily. skin gradually got better, less cystic pimples, more mild pimples. to be honest, its only now in month 4 i started to see clearance, my doc told me its 90% better. im not sure but i thought its nice to hear. waiting for 100% clearance still but the body needs time.
ive attached a link to a study of the pill i take, if u go down to monograph and detail aid i think it compares belara to yasmin for acne.
hope this helps.