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Here's the short and sweet story: PCOS is not a new condition or one that affects only a particular group of women.
When I hear the stories of resilient warrior goddesses that have kicked PCOS in the butt, I am reminded that I'm not alone.
From insulin resistance to sugar cravings through the roof, PCOS is a different kind of beast.
And while PCOS affects over 5 million women in the US alone or 1 in 10 people, many don’t know about one of its greatest secrets...
The love affair it has with acne!
It’s true! No matter what the conversation surrounding PCOS is (and I’ve heard many), you often won’t hear about the acne storm that can come with PCOS.
In my story, acne was definitely left out of the conversation. I was first diagnosed in 2017, and I remember feeling confused and utterly frustrated. As a newly married girl, I received an uninformed diagnosis from a less than stellar ob-gyn, in the most unhelpful way.
For months I did the only logical thing: live in a state of denial.
I avoided the topic like the plague. I avoided the subject. I avoided reading up on it. And, I threw the two-sided pamphlet in the garbage (which I definitely regret). I simply ignored the diagnosis and chose to live my life without the added baggage of a PCOS diagnosis.
It wasn’t until I decided to look into PCOS for myself that I saw a road map leading to one of my biggest problems—acne.
I know that I’m far from alone in dealing with PCOS acne, so here is some information that I wish I knew sooner!
P.S. Don't throw important pamphlets in the garbage!
First, let's discuss why PCOS is an acne trigger. The connection between the two may not seem like an obvious pair, but hormonal imbalances can create a serious acne storm.
While 80% of the population deals with acne, women with hormonal imbalances, like PCOS, are effected at a higher rate. In fact, one study found that almost 30% of all women dealing with consistent acne also have PCOS.
So what’s the connection?
For PCOS girls, the testosterone levels tend to be higher than average. This can create excess oil production and ultimately, create the perfect situation for acne.
Oil mixed with dead skin and bacteria can get into pores, cause inflammation, and create acne of all sizes.
And if that wasn't bad enough, hormonal acne tends to be a repeat offender in certain places, like the jawline, chin, or neck.
Lastly, those with PCOS may get larger, cyst-like "knots under the skin" that can be very sensitive and take longer to heal.
So, now that you know that acne and PCOS definitely go hand-in-hand, you need the remedy to get rid of it!
While the PCOS road may seem steep, there are ways to get your body and hormones in check! So here are three PCOS tips that I live by.
If you're experiencing a string of breakouts, one of the first places to look is the digestive system. Why? Recent scientific findings have suggested that a leaky gut could be the root cause of acne, especially for people with PCOS.
Here's how it works: The story all begins with proteins that surround the gut. In normal cases, the proteins align around the digestive tract like a stonewall. But, for those with leaky gut (which is common in those with PCOS), the protein wall has cracks that leave the body vulnerable to toxins and bacteria escaping from the digestive tract to various places such as the skin.
The Solution: Fortify your gut health with probiotics once per day or fermented foods 3 times a week. Fermented foods include sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, and the ever-popular kombucha! This will help restore the natural barrier of your digestive tract and keep those toxins from escaping to the skin.
So, the first question: What is the Glycemic Index(GI)? GI is a measurement of how quickly a food results in your blood sugar rising. These foods consist of grains, some high sugar fruits, fast food, etc.
If a food has a high GI, it can cause a spike in blood sugar and lead to inflammation in the skin.
A low GI diet can not only cause less inflammation overall- which is super important for those with PCOS because of the amount of inflammation that already occurs in the body- but it can also help with a super important PCOS side effect. This major side effect is called insulin resistance.
As you can imagine, if it can help your body in such a powerful way, it does the same for the skin. In a study conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, participants that lowered their consumption of carbs and high GI foods saw a decrease in acne at twice the rate of those that had not.
The Solution: Start cutting those bread bowls, pasta, and high sugar baked goods the next time you go to the store, ok? Your skin will thank you!
These two supplements, Beta-Sitosterol and Saw Palmetto are what I like to call the "magic regulator" supplements for hormonal imbalances.
The hormonal imbalance associated with PCOS only makes acne worse and is the culprit behind all of our frequent breakouts. So to ease up on the excess oil, inflammation, and acne, pick up these supplements in your local grocery store or get your hands on our Clarifying Hydration Dew to help balance out those hormones and get your skin where it needs to be.
When I was first told that I had PCOS, all I could think about were the side effects. It seemed like a permanent sentence to unhealthy skin, but the truth is...it wasn't. It was the fresh start that I always needed and didn't realize.
My PCOS diagnosis was a way for me to reclaim my life and the health of my skin for good. It took a little time, but I finally came to that realization, and you can too! A few changes and good skincare are all it takes to see real improvement!
Today we wave our glowing skin flag high and say no more! PCOS acne has got to go!