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Spiro vs Spearmint: My Experience

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Hey all! Just wanted to share my experience on this board in hopes that it may help others with their acne. I’m 26 years old and have been struggling with acne since my senior year of highschool. Throughout my teens my skin was pretty great for the most part, I was on Benzaclyn and Differin to help with a few small pimples here and there, but i never really had skin problems until i went to college. This is when my oily skin, pimples, and chin hair started to get bad. I had no idea that it was a hormonal issue until recently. So for ~5 or so years, give or take, i was definitely struggling. I thought the excess hair on my chin and SUPER oily skin was just something i would have to deal with. I was tweezing the hairs on my chin constantly and slathering my face with full coverage foundation daily.  After talking to my derm and finally getting my hormone levels tested, however, I realized my hormones were totally out of whack. My derm suggested Spironolactone, which i took for around 6 months.


Unfortunately, Spiro did nothing for my skin in terms of acne. It did, however, give me terrible nightly Charlie horses and muscle cramps; low iron levels that I believe led to blue sclera in my eyes; and light hair shedding that I believe would have gotten worse had I continued on this STEROID. And yes, your derm might not tell you this (as mine didn’t) but Spiro is a steroid. I have read other horror stories of people being on Spiro for much longer than me with much worse problems, and i consider myself lucky that I didn’t experience the side effects that many others have. Luckily the hair shedding didn’t effect me too badly and has since diminished since i quit spiro, and i had abnormally thick/full hair to begin with (thanks to my dad’s side of the family) - but I can’t imagine experiencing that shedding with thin hair. All in all, after researching it more combined with my own experience, I truly think that Spiro is a drug that should be avoided completely. 


I randomly came across Spearmint capsules online after researching natural ways to get rid of excess facial hair in women and began reading about its acne helping properties as well, as it reduces excess androgens in the body and I believe that has always been the root of my acne/hair problems. I bought Swansons spearmint capsules on a whim. 


I noticed a difference in TWO days. I have never had such a good reaction to anything that I’ve tried for my acne - and I’ve tried mostly everything except Accutane (avoiding that like the plague). If you suspect that excess testosterone or androgens are causing your acne or hirutism then i HIGHLY recommend trying spearmint capsules!!! Along with a new K-Beauty skincare routine, my skin hasn’t looked this good since i was 15. I’m in love! I do want to say however that i am not currently on BCP or any other medication, which is perhaps why Spearmint works so well for me.


Not saying this will work for everyone, but I wanted to share my experience that it has worked so, so well for me. I really believe that healing your skin from the inside is the answer... and not with sketchy drugs like Spiro or Accutane, but with a healthy diet and natural supplements such as Spearmint and Omega-3s. Good skincare can help as well, try to avoid products with artificial dyes or alcohol, and i personally would avoid Retin-A as well. Work on healing your skin naturally... it’s the best thing I’ve done for myself and my body! 

Edited by ChristinaMarie13
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I'm so glad to hear you've found something that works so well for you! I suspected I had hormone issues as well, but my blood tests came out normal for that. Is spearmint only effective for ladies who have hormones out of whack or is it useful for acne in general? It's totally okay if you don't know, just curious! I definitely think diet and care for your body are a better option than prescription meds, especially Accutane.

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50 minutes ago, LavenderHummingbird said:

I'm so glad to hear you've found something that works so well for you! I suspected I had hormone issues as well, but my blood tests came out normal for that. Is spearmint only effective for ladies who have hormones out of whack or is it useful for acne in general? It's totally okay if you don't know, just curious! I definitely think diet and care for your body are a better option than prescription meds, especially Accutane.

Thanks so much!! It’s been a miracle for me :) Hmm interesting question... if you have oily skin and believe that it’s contributing to your acne, then I’m thinking the capsules could possibly be useful, even my boyfriend has noticed that my skin hasn’t been nearly as oily since I began taking Spearmint capsules. I would look through the reviews here, as many other people have described how the same capsules have helped their acne/hirutism: https://www.amazon.com/Swanson-Spearmint-Digestive-Supplement-Spectrum/dp/B00392OUZW 

Also, the capsules are really cheap (the above link are the ones I’ve been taking, twice a day) so I don’t think it would hurt to try! I suppose my only concern would be if your hormone levels are pretty normal, then you’d want to monitor and make sure the Spearmint doesn’t mess with your current hormone levels too much. Maybe try one pill a day, instead of two?

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Hi Christina! 

Reading your story, it was like I could have written it myself. 

I am a 30 year old female who has been struggling with hormonal acne for the last decade, give or take. I had perfect skin throughout my teens, then in my early 20s everything started changing, for the worse. Any hormone tests I ever had done came back normal. however, the more research I did, the more I truly believed my acne was hormone related. In addition to acne, I also had a layer of think "peach fuzz" on my lower face, and mustache that I naired once every couple of weeks. For the longest time i thought this was normal. My acne patterns were also predominately on my lower cheeks, and jaw line. Deep, cystic, painful outbreaks that stuck around for weeks and left tremendous scarring. After some of my own online research I came across SPIRO and brought it up to my doctor, and told her I wanted to try it. She agreed, and for the last 2.5 years now I have been on an experimental journey with Spiro. At first, it was AMAZING!! My doc had me on 200mg a day and my skin was FLAWLESS and glowing after the first 4 months. I experienced a few mild side effects at first, like light headedness and weight loss.... however, along with my new face came EXTREME hair loss. I mean CLUMPS like I had never seen before. It was scary, and sad. I lost half if not more of my hairs volume. Thank god I had/have very thick and curly hair!! I would have been bald otherwise!! What was left became dried out and frail. It lost all of its natural curl and volume, and instead sat flat and limp on my head. My hairline also began receding. What a scary time. I told my doc, and she seemed utterly perplexed and was hard to convince that the hair loss was related to Spiro. It seems there is not a lot of official knowledge on this subject. Anyways, I didn't want to give Spiro up because for the first time in a decade I was seeing REAL results.  So together we decided to reduce my spiro intake to 25mg. a day. I did this slowly over a few months, incrementally reducing my daily dose until I reached 25mg a day. Sure enough, my hair loss slowed but did not stop, and guess what, my acne came back. As fierce as ever. So now I had no hair AND terrible skin. By then I hated Spiro!!! I was so frustrated and discouraged and disappointed and hopless at this point. I finally found something that worked for my skin but it was at the cost of my hair. I wasn't okay with that. So I took myself completely off it. Six months clear of Spiro and my acne was as bad as ever. My hair was still recovering, but definitely headed in the right direction. I always suspected my acne was hormonal, as they were deep cystic outbreaks that happened on my lower face and jaw line, sometimes symetrical on both sides of my face. Undoubtedly though, thanks to my spiro experiment, my acne was now confirmed hormonal, and I knew for a fact that androgens were the culprit, despite any "normal" hormonal tests. (i believe everyones body works differently, and one persons "normal" is not the same for every body.) So began my internet quest to find more all-natural remedies for reducing androgens in the body, and eventually came across spearmint. I have been taking two capsules a day, one morning and one at night, for three weeks now. I have yet to see much improvement (slight reduction in redness and inflammation but I also JUST got my period and my skin is always the "best" immediately following my period, so its hard to say if this is spearmint related), but I plan on sticking with it for 2-3 months before making any judgment calls. My greatest fear though, is that it will have the same effect on my hair as Spiro. I can not go through that again! I am hoping and praying that spearmint is the magic key and will help my skin without taking all my hair out with it. 

I would love to hear about any updates from you and your experience with spearmint. Did you encounter any of the other similar side effects that you had experienced with Spiro? It is so hard to find information like this on the internet. I am thankful I found this forum. It amazes me how little doctors know about this subject. It feels like a strange, secret underground culture coming together to find acne solutions for ourselves, despite what doctors tell us is best. 

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