Acne is a skin condition typically associated with teenagers, however it also affects around a quarter of adult women. For years, the standard treatment for adult acne in females has been the oral contraceptive, or birth control pill. However, taking synthetic hormones every day is not suitable for many women. Taking the pill carries the risk of side effects including mood changes, depression, weight gain, changes in libido and deep vein thrombosis.
The pill works by limiting the stimulatory effect that androgens have on the skin. In women, androgens are hormones that are responsible for more than 200 cellular actions. If your androgen receptors are particularly sensitive, these hormones can trigger excess oil production, leading to clogged pores, inflammation and breakouts.