I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was 18, and while it's in no ways a detrimental or life-threatening condition in my case, there have been some symptoms and side effects that I've had trouble managing. In case you don't know what PCOS is, here's your breakdown. It's an endocrine disorder that reportedly affects 5-10 percent of women of child-bearing age.
According to Dr. Michelle Warren, who is the medical director of the Center For Menopause, Hormonal Disorders, and Women's Health in New York City (and my personal savior since my diagnosis), it can be described in a nutshell as "a metabolic inherited disorder linked to insulin resistance, which causes the ovary to make too much male hormone," and is linked to the existence of cysts on the ovaries, cosmetic results like "increased facial and body hair," and forms of acne.
My symptoms and side effects have largely been relegated to skin and hair issues. Although I stopped suffering from severe acne when I was around 18, I still have Keratosis Pilaris, as well as really sensitive skin, especially with my pores. I've spent the better part of the last three years trying out a number of products and remedies and below are the ones that I've found that have helped me manage the external aspects of my PCOS.
However, that's not to say these will work for everyone or are even right for anyone with the side effects of PCOS—these are my personal faves. As always, if you're concerned, you should talk to your doc and your derm first about what you should introduce to your routine.