This series started off as »THE ULTIMATE BEGINNER’S SURVIVAL GUIDE TO SUPPLEMENTS«; however, as I progressed in researching and writing it, I came to realise that despite having read a bunch of scientific publications on this matter, I will never be able to compile a guide to it — for the reason alone that I am not a trained professional, and do not wish to appear as such. The information given in this post can only reflect my own knowledge and opinion; I beg you to bear this in mind while reading this, and to contact your doctor before starting to take anything.
Hello lovelies! In the last Pillbox I gave you a little walkthrough through my supplementing routine, but since starting university (stress) and birth control (hormones) I had to tweak it a little to meet my new needs.
The first change came when I completely emptied the prescription vitamin D I was prescribed by my gynaecologist. My levels were previously quite low, despite having taken 1.000IU daily for the past few years; I think the insufficiency may have been aggravated by my daily use of sunscreen.
This link between sunscreen and vitamin D insufficiency has long been a big argument against daily sunscreen application, with another contra argument being that despite using more sunscreen than ever, and (supposedly) protecting our skin better from the sun, melanoma statistics are on the rise. While I cannot argue with these hard facts (although I’m a bit sceptic about the part with protecting our skin better — we’re living in a very tan-positive world, after all), it still won’t stop me from slathering on that SPF50+ every two hours. I’d rather be reliant on vitamin D supplements than having to worry about cancer — or wrinkles. I might not get skin cancer, but if it’s that cheap and easy to prevent a lot of future wrinkles, then I don’t see why I shouldn’t take advantage of the available technology.
I’m still waiting for my blood results, but it’s pretty obvious that I’ll have to take some form of vitamin D supplement for the rest of my life if I am to continue using sunscreen in such a »flamboyant style« (actual quote from my sister). But, as I said, that’s a price I’m willing to pay.
As I mentioned previously, I recently got prescribed a birth control pill (Deliges, for those of you who live in the UK, Luxemburg, and Belgium), so I dropped everything that wasn’t absolutely necessary — that includes iron and peppermint.
It’s not that they’re not safe to use while on BC, but I want to wait at least three months to see how my body will be affected before I pick them up again. The pill I’m taking is a POP (progestin-only pill), a side effect of which is that Shark Week could actually cease to occur at whole (don’t worry, this effect is reversible), so I’ll only reintroduce iron into my Pillbox again if that doesn’t happen. Also, there have been a few reports — not many, but a few — of acne development as a side effect of this POP , which, in all honesty, is my biggest fear. I know it might sound vain, but I’ve struggled long enough with juvenile breakouts, and I worked very hard to get my skin into the good shape that it’s in today; I don’t want to go through all of the pain again. Should any acne show up during these three months, I’ll try to balance it out with the as-for-now-discontinued peppermint supplement, and with drinking lots of spearmint tea (which is also good for smelly breath, something I do struggle with a little bit), before I switch my prescription. I just really hope it doesn’t come that far.
As for now, I’m taking fish oil when I wake up (that depends on when my first lecture of the day starts) and BC at 6PM. This supplementing routine is probably the most low-key I’ve had for the past nine months, but, actually, I don’t think I need much more right now. Of course, I’ll report on the acne in my regular posts, but the next Pillbox won’t be up until March or May. Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this installment, short as it was! The next one will be longer and more detailed, I promise.
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 Ebede, Tobechi L.; Arch, Emily L.; Berson, Diane: Hormonal Treatment of Acne in Women. The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, Vol. 2 No. 12 2009, p. 20