Hello pimple on my chin, hello second, third, fourth, fifth pimple and now…. oh and a big hi to the lovely rosacea adorning my cheeks. This was my experience coming off the Oral Contraceptive Pill (OCP).
The above is what began appearing on my face when I decided to go off the OCP after my 30thBirthday. At first I thought, “what’s everyone talking about, my skin is fine post OCP.” After a few months however, my skin began to change, in fact, lots of things began to change. The hair on my head became oily, my skin especially my t-zone became the oiliest it had ever and I had lots of pimples and rosacea beginning to surface and just hang around.
Firstly, my hormones were already creating havoc and affecting my moods and this only added to the mental stress I was already feeling. But, with that said, this experience came at a time where in hindsight I needed to face facts within myself, to lean in and listen to my inner self, my thoughts, feelingsand get to know what my body really needed from me and what I needed to let go of in order to support my health so I could be and live at my optimum.
The first step I took was to see a Naturopath, as my period hadn’t returned after 6 months of coming off the pill and even though many say that this is ‘normal’ I felt I needed to check things out a little, by getting my bloods looked at and my hormone levels etc. These tests although very thorough and greatly needed for a deep look into the root cause of why my skin the way it was and also why my period wen on hiatus. These tests were expensive and quite frankly something that I did question as to whether I could invest in them. However, I knew with all my heart that I was worth the investment and I would just have to manage my finances during this time, and so I did.
Having received my results it showed I had quite a bit going on, my cortisol was super high in places it should have been much lower—this made complete sense since I was experiencing extreme anxiety every morning on waking. My oestrogen wasn’t detectable via blood test; I had MTHFR, which compromises ones ability to detox properly and affect the conversion of folate into its active form, methylfolate. Oh and I also had my poop checked, yes, the wonders a poo sample can tell you about yourself and your health is quite remarkable. For me a streptococcus over-growth was the main culprit for my digestive dysfunction and acne breakouts, hello to a dreaded round of antibiotics. So, this was quite a lot to digest and I must admit my first reaction was simply that, to react, and go down the rabbit hole of how I had created this, how badly I treated my body in my late teens/early twenties and how all of this could have been avoided. This mindset was definitely not helpful, insert…. STRESS major response, which I knew wasn’t going to help my gut health, my skin, or my anxiety.
So where did I begin healing my skin? Well, externally it began firstly with facial treatments and high-grade no-nasty skincare products. Having the ‘right’ skincare and routine began to heal my skin at the surface level but, in all honesty it truly began when I took a deep dive into my own inner world, with the help of my Naturopath and various other healers and mentors. Even though my skin was causing me added stress and sadness, I really wanted my period back and the advice given to me for my own personal journey was to get my cortisol under control and one of the best ways for this was to begin a meditation practice. TO BE CONTINUED….