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Going off birth control and now I'm a mess!

Hi everyone,

This is a bit of a long story but I appreciate anyone who sticks with it!

I went off birth control pills in August, after being on them since I was 17 I believe, I am now 24. They did wonders for my face, except for one time about a year ago when I switched brands and my face broke out again. I saw a dermatologist who gave me differin and benzacline (sorry, my spelling is terrible). I do not like the benzacline only because it was costing me $50 and only had a three month shelf life, in which I would use well under half of the jar! Plus, it bleached my towels which was super frustrating. The differin I kept using until just recently because I am out and that prescription is also expensive- not to mention that I just moved to a different state, got new health insurance, and don't have a doctor or dermatologist to see here... yet. Which is part of the reason I decided to go off the pill (I just got married in July as well, so it is something I've been thinking about doing anyways). I was fine all through August and most of September until about two weeks ago my face started to break out and it is now super super super oily!

I used to have classic combination skin- it was oily & dry all at the same time (I dont mean oily in the t zone and dry in other places, it would be shiny and oily but flaking in the same areas... I dont know how that happens..??). Now it seems to just be oily (a touch dry around my eyes, but that *seems* to be it - this could be a different story come winter time, my skin always gets way dryer in the winter!)

So, right now, i am using the same Neutrogena foaming cleanser that I've always used for years (not medicated, the one in the blue bottle) and I have Neutrogena astringent / toner (again, oil free, alcohol free, and non-medicated). I picked up some Neutrogena on the spot acne cream, and I've also used the Neutrogena oil-free moisturizer for "sensitive skin" for years now as well... it was only today that I thought maybe I should stop using that? I can see the shine on my face increase as soon as I put it on...

I've also have been wearing make-up (because of the break-outs, likely causing more break outs at the same time...) but its the bare essentuals mineral based make up, I've tried the oil-free primer but it seems to make my face feel tight and flaky... and still oily and shiny.

I've just started law school (I've been out of school for a few years prior) and I am sure that the stress is playing a huge part in this... I've just noticed my back is breaking out as well :-(

I know that acne and oil production will tend to be worse around menstrual cycles, but since I've gone off the pills everything has been so sporadic it is so hard to tell if that is playing a part!

SO I guess I am looking for some insight / help

I am really looking to treat this over the counter (lack of a doctor at the moment and all...)

I need something that is going to seriously reduce the oiliness (that's my #1) and then to treat my face (which could likely get better with less oil... right??). I'd love to go back to not wearing makeup every day- but I can't walk around law school with obvious pimples on my face :-( Its been soooo long since I've really had to deal with break outs!

Also, i dont think that that acne at the moment is THAT bad, its all small red pimples with one or two white heads, on my forehead (mostly T zone... again, super oily but dry at the same time?) and on my chin the most.

I'm worried about my face getting dryer in the winter :-( in the past my face always gets really dry and flaky in the winter (again, still shiny though... ugh)

Does anyone have any suggestions, at all??


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Thanks for posting your story!! It sounds sooo appealing...to have lazer treatments and just make this all go away, but as my acne isn't "that" bad (really, if you didn't look close, it would look like just a whole bunch of red marks all over my chin! which still sucks... I feel like I'm back in high school :-( ) and given that I'm a full time student... I just dont have that kind of money :(

argh, will all the technology and intelligence in the world, how come nobody can come up with a cure????

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My story also! Was on BCP for ~11 years, met my husband, got off BCP and my face is a disaster. Going on almost 2 years! I'm so depressed and I've spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars using OC acne products, high-end acne products, etc....

@Ruffian829 - I carry oil blotting sheets in my purse and use it a couple times a day and I buy an oil free/oil absorbing moisturizer...

@Jaka - would love to hear more about the treatment!

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