Guest Post by Kelly Keating
Dewy, fresh-faced, clear skin should not be elusive! Every woman dreams of having a perfect complexion. We chase this desire by spending obscene amounts of money on all the latest products that “guarantee” big results. Those results are almost always disappointing. For women with PCOS, the disappointment can feel almost unbearable.
The internal symptoms of PCOS are hard enough to deal with, but acne is one you wear on your face for everyone to see. Every glimpse in the mirror reminds you of the battle you are facing. I used to be embarrassed and dreaded the reflection of my inflamed face. It felt like all anyone ever noticed was my acne.
I was extremely self-conscious because my acne was not like the simple pimple here-and-there breakouts of my peers: it was red, cystic, and consumed my entire face. I didn’t know what normal skin was like because my skin was always plagued with painful breakouts. All I wanted to do was run and hide. I spent many hours sitting in the dermatologist’s office only to be given a new prescription every couple of months, and yet I still couldn’t get it under control. I was frustrated and so were the doctors. PCOS wasn’t mainstream, so approaching my issues any other way than with “traditional” acne solutions were out of the doctors’ wheelhouse.
The mentality of treating the symptoms and not the root cause was leaving me stuck. I decided to investigate holistic options for myself because I knew there had to be a way to treat acne outside of the standard options. It wasn’t until I went the natural route that my skin started to change for the better, and I knew I would never go back to all the harsh prescription treatments with countless unpleasant side effects. I could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel: clear skin and without all the scary complications.
I truly believe natural treatments are the best method to help you calm your breakouts and restore your skin’s radiance. Whether you have mild acne issues or full-blown screaming skin like I did, ditch the RX and treat your skin with the TLC it deserves.
Here are some skincare secrets that will change your complexion forever.
- Less is more! Don’t over wash your face. I know this goes against every instinct you have, but trust me this is critical. Somewhere along the line, we were told that if you have clogged pores you need to eliminate the “dirt” from the skin. By over cleansing your skin, you do more harm than good because you’re constantly stripping your natural oils and protective barriers. This is very damaging to your skin! The most important time to wash your face is in the evening, before bed, to remove any debris or makeup that has been on your face all day. A gentle cleanser with a low pH is all you need.
- Moisturizing is key! Most people think that if you have oily skin, you shouldn’t moisturize it. That is not true. Sometimes dehydration is exactly what is leading to the formation of acne. Your skin is unbalanced and keeps producing extra oil (sebum) to try and even things out and protect your parched skin. Keeping your skin hydrated is imperative. The best and most natural way to do this is with either Rose Hip Seed oil or Jojoba oil. These two oils are great choices for acne prone skin because they are the most similar to the natural oil the skin produces. On top of that, don’t neglect the very important internal component: drink plenty of water to keep your skin well hydrated. If you are skipping on the H2O, nothing will work.
- Exfoliate! You need to remove the dead skin cells to have healthy, clear skin. The easiest and most natural way to do this is to use sugar. Sugar is nonabrasive and won’t sting. Just remember to be gentle, scrubbing too hard creates trauma (trauma = inflammation). I would limit exfoliating to two to three times a week, which gives your skin time to recover in between.
- Eat an anti-inflammatory diet. PCOS acne has a lot to do with inflammation and hormonal imbalance. Following a diet rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids can be a real game changer in this area. Omega- 3 is shown to reduce inflammation in the body and this will lead to healthier skin. Think salmon, walnuts, and avocados. Added bonus: these foods are more filling, so you won’t be tempted to put your hand in the cookie jar. You may also consider a high-quality Omega-3 supplement. Be sure to check for purity and third party certification. Maybe most importantly, consider eliminating inflammatory foods such as gluten and, especially for acne, dairy.
- Probiotics are a must! Probiotics are live bacteria that are great for your health. Think of them as good bacteria that help keep your digestive system thriving. With PCOS, your body is naturally prone to inflammation and probiotics can help you reduce it. This can benefit your skin, as well as make you feel better physically overall. This is a win-win in my book. Recent studies have found probiotics can aid in weight loss and may help reduce your risk for heart disease, two more complications that effect women with PCOS. When looking to incorporate one of these powerhouses into your routine, do your research because not all probiotics are created equal. You want to find a high-quality formulation that has various strains of Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillusand
- Essential oils are very healing. These babies are skincare secret weapons! There are a variety of essential oils that can be used to help reduce breakouts. My personal favorite is tea tree oil, which has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. When using tea tree oil, remember to dilute it with water, it is very powerful and shouldn’t be used at full strength. Do your homework before starting with essential oils because there is an art and science to mixing them together and you don’t want to combine them haphazardly. Better yet, check out the recipes in my Shop. I’ve taken the guesswork out of it for you.
When it comes to my acne, I’ve done and tried it all (you name it, I gave it a go). I can honestly say that I have had the most success when I moved towards gentler, natural alternatives. My skin is healthy and clear, and my confidence has dramatically changed. Take it from someone who has been in your shoes, try some natural treatments, and you won’t regret it!
Kelly Keating is the founder of PCOS Living. Her path to a PCOS diagnosis and frustrations with her ability to find smart, researched, and practical information about her condition drove her to start her site. PCOS Living is dedicated to providing vital knowledge for women on the topics of health, nutrition, fitness, and living an empowered life! Kelly is certified in natural holistic remedies and believes in sharing her knowledge to help women conquer their PCOS with natural treatments like she did.
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