Skin and Hair Products That Have Helped Me Manage My Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Side Effects
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.
Shiseido Ibuki Multi Solution Gel
Spot treatments are fun if you're actually trying to treat a spot. But I'm not prone to zit outbreaks, so much as I am to mystery dark patches, rough patches, and other miscellaneous hardships that show up all over. Shiseido's Ibuki Gel is the most multitasking product I've ever used. I put it on literally any bump, bite, bruise you could think of.
Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 Corps
In my personal opinion, Biologique Recherche should receive some sort of commemorative plaque for creating the world's greatest facial toner. The Lotion P50 transformed my skin, and I have an unhealthy dependence on it. Somewhat recently, they released the Lotion P50 Toner Corps, which is a toner for your body and just about the smartest product I've ever used. It's managed to pretty much subdue my Keratosis.
Hair Is Fabric
So while one of the most common symptoms is excessive hair growth that tends to be regulated to everywhere but my head, one of my particular symptoms is thin head hair, which when combined with a 3A curl pattern means that my hair has a mind of its own. I have to be extremely careful with how frequently I wash my hair, as well as what I put in it, which is why Hair Is Fabric has been a godsend. I find the products are extremely gentle and nourishing, which is important in preventing further fallout. I tend to switch between the Volume Support and the Curly Hair Support, depending on the season.
Soapwalla Deodorant Cream
I try to be extremely careful about pore-clogging products, which is difficult when it comes to deodorant. I turned to Soapwalla because all of their products are handmade, vegan, and have a cult following. In all honesty, I was apprehensive to try a lotion deodorant because that concept is just so far from anything I've ever considered. The consistency is actually more like a pomade than a lotion, but you apply it like a moisturizer. If you have long nails, use one of those spoon scoopers that come with like, every moisturizer jar. Trying out a new deodorant (especially a natural one) is somewhat of a gamble, but this one is worth it, in my opinion.
Inhibitif Body Serum
So the struggle with hair in unwanted places has been all too real and too difficult for the majority of my adult life. On top of that, any type of shaving or hair removal tends to irritate the life out of my skin (ingrowns are the real bane of my existence). Inhibitif's body serum does two important things for me—it thins regrowing hair and hydrates and soothes skin to prevent irritations and ingrowns. It takes a couple of weeks to really see results, but it's the closest thing I've found to a miracle product.