Your Cart

Double Sale: $15 off any 3 items + Free US Shipping +$50, CODE: "15on3"

Need help choosing the right kit?

Our Skin Profile Quiz can help recommend a kit that best addresses your skin’s unique concerns


Want to order by phone or have questions about our products?

Our skincare experts are here to help 7am-3pm PT Monday - Friday



Sign into your account to track & manage orders or update your account info below.


Facial Cleanser

Ultimate clean, no over-drying

Clearing Tonic

Instant skin rebalancing

Acne Treatment Serum

All-day Protection

Clear Pore Serum

All night pore clearing

Derm-X Cloth

Skin renewing exfoliation

Moisture Complex

Weightless oil-free moisture

Microderm Scrub

Instantly Smoother Skin

Clarifying Mask

Deep down skin detox

Probiotic Complex

Clearer skin from the inside


Can Plan B Cause Acne? (Side Effects and Treatments)

A breakout or a pimple popping up out of nowhere is a universal, albeit unwelcome experience. It often leads us to examine our lifestyles, diets, and routines. While several factors could potentially be responsible, a question that has increasingly intrigued many is: can Plan B cause acne?

Plan B, also commonly known as the 'morning-after pill', is a form of emergency contraception taken to prevent unwanted pregnancy after unprotected sex. Comprised primarily of a hormone called levonorgestrel, Plan B has been a game-changer for many women worldwide. However, in the sea of benefits, certain potential side effects associated with hormonal changes may arise, such as acne.

This comprehensive guide will explore the connection between Plan B and acne, what causes these breakouts, and how to manage and treat them. All without having to pay a visit to the dermatologist.

Also read: How to choose the best acne treatment

Biggest Take-Aways:

  • Plan B, an emergency contraceptive, could lead to acne flare-ups in some individuals due to its androgenic effects on hormone levels and increased sebum production.

  • Hormonal birth control, depending on its composition of estrogen and progestin, can either help control acne or potentially worsen it due to their varying androgenic properties.

  • Managing post-Plan B acne includes adopting a skin-friendly diet, maintaining good skincare habits, staying hydrated, and practicing patience as your body's hormone levels adjust over time.

  • Exposed Skin Care can be an effective ally in managing acne, with its products designed to control sebum production, promote clear skin, cater to those prone to hormonal breakouts, and provide comprehensive care around the clock.

Woman worrying about taking plan b

Understanding Plan B: The Emergency Contraceptive

Plan B, or the 'morning-after pill', is a type of emergency contraception. It's used after unprotected sex or when another form of birth control fails. This pill contains a high dose of the progestin hormone levonorgestrel. Contrary to popular misconception, Plan B is not an abortion pill.

It's designed to prevent pregnancy before it begins by keeping the egg from being released from the ovary and altering vaginal fluids to prevent the sperm from reaching the egg. It's worth noting that the effectiveness of Plan B decreases within 72 hours of taking the pill.

The Hormonal Connection: Can Plan B Cause Acne?

Acne, a common skin condition, can be influenced by various factors, including hormones. Hormonal changes can increase sebum production in your skin, leading to acne. When taking Plan B, your body's hormone levels are affected due to the high dose of the progestin hormone levonorgestrel.

It has androgenic properties as it breaks down in the body, potentially leading to increased sebum production, worsening acne or triggering breakouts in those already prone to hormonal breakouts.

Consequently, whether Plan B can cause acne depends on individual responses to hormonal fluctuations. However, it's worth noting that not everyone taking Plan B experiences acne flare-ups.

Not Just Plan B: Hormonal Birth Control and Acne

Interestingly, the link between hormones, acne, and birth control is not unique to Plan B. Various forms of hormonal birth control, such as contraceptive pills, IUDs, and patches, can affect your skin. Birth control pills that contain estrogen and progestin often help control acne by leveling off those hormone levels, reducing sebum production and acne.

Female legs covered by contraceptive pills

However, some contraceptive pills or devices containing only progestin could lead to acne flare-ups due to their androgenic effects. Therefore, taking the pill or any other form of birth control method and its influence on your acne condition is a nuanced issue that depends on individual hormonal responses and the type of birth control used.

Managing and Treating Acne Post Plan B

Should you find yourself experiencing acne after taking Plan B, don't despair. There are several steps you can take to manage and treat acne. While Plan B might play a role in acne flare-ups, many other factors can contribute, including stress, diet, and inadequate skin care. Here are a few tips to help you manage post-Plan B acne:

  • Adopt a skin-friendly diet: Certain foods can cause acne flare-ups. Try to minimize the consumption of processed foods, sugary drinks, and dairy products.

  • Maintain good skincare habits: Keep your skin clean and well-moisturized. Opt for non-comedogenic products that don't block your pores.

  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated and help flush out toxins.

  • Be patient: The hormonal effect of Plan B is temporary. Your body will adjust, and your skin condition should improve over time.

Woman resting on sofa with dog

Harnessing the Power of Exposed Skin Care

While hormonal fluctuations due to taking Plan B or any other oral contraceptive pills may lead to acne flare-ups, there's a silver lining in the form of Exposed Skin Care. This acclaimed product range can effectively ally against acne, including the potential acne aggravation from Plan B's levonorgestrel hormone or irregular hormone levels.

Exposed Skin Care Ultimate Kit

Benefits of using Exposed Skin Care:

  • Targets Sebum Production: It plays a significant role in controlling sebum production, which could otherwise lead to acne flare-ups and skin that produces more sebum than usual.

  • Promotes Clear Skin: The range includes over-the-counter products which are designed to prevent acne and maintain clear skin.

  • Designed for Prone Skin: It's especially beneficial if you're already prone to hormonal breakouts, such as those potentially caused by emergency contraceptive pills, progesterone fluctuations, or testosterone levels.

  • Comprehensive Care: Exposed Skin Care includes products meant to be taken morning and night, providing around-the-clock skincare.

Remember, while there’s no way to guarantee the morning-after pill or other birth control methods won't cause acne, the small price to pay for preventing an unwanted pregnancy can be balanced with good skincare practices and effective products like Exposed Skin Care.


The complex interplay between hormones, emergency contraception such as the morning-after pill, and acne continues to fascinate and puzzle. We've learned that while Plan B pills or other forms of birth control like IUDs could potentially lead to acne flare-ups, not everyone will experience this side effect. Moreover, there are ways to manage and potentially prevent such outbreaks.

If you find yourself prone to acne and dealing with skin issues after taking emergency contraception, it's essential to take a comprehensive approach. This might include adopting a skin-friendly diet, maintaining good skincare habits, and using effective products such as Exposed Skin Care.

Remember, birth control pills containing estrogen and progestin often help control acne, while progestin-only options could potentially exacerbate it due to their androgenic effects. Therefore, if the pill gives you acne, you may want to ask your doctor or healthcare provider about alternatives, such as contraceptives with a balanced hormone content.

Ultimately, while the potential of a morning-after pill like Plan B leading to acne might seem daunting, it's a small price to pay for an effective means of preventing an unwanted pregnancy. As you navigate the nuanced landscape of hormonal birth control and skin health, remember that maintaining clear, healthy skin is a journey, not a destination.


Q1: Can Plan B cause acne?

While Plan B could potentially lead to acne flare-ups in some individuals due to its androgenic effects, not everyone taking it will experience this side effect.

Q2: Can taking the pill cause acne?

The relationship between birth control pills and acne depends on the type of pill and how your body responds to hormones. Pills containing estrogen and progestin can often help control acne, while progestin-only pills could potentially exacerbate it.

Q3: How can I control acne flare-ups after taking Plan B?

Maintaining a healthy diet, ensuring good skincare habits, staying hydrated, and having patience as your body adjusts can help manage acne after taking Plan B.

Q4: How long does Plan B affect your hormones?

Plan B can temporarily alter your hormone levels, but the effects are typically short-lived, and your body should return to its normal hormonal balance within a few days to a week.

Q5: Does emergency contraception always cause side effects?

No, not everyone will experience side effects from taking emergency contraception. However, some common side effects may include nausea, abdominal pain, fatigue, headache, and changes in your period.