Skin care is important for all equally but for those dealing with PCOS needs to put in a little bit of an extra effort for obvious reasons. Effect of hormonal imbalance on the skin can range from hyperpigmentation to acne to excessive facial hair growth. These effects become more prominent as you age so an adequate skin care from early on is pivotal. The earlier, the better!
Everybody has different kind of skin and that is why everyone presents differently in PCOS. It’s important that you find out your skin type with/without the help of a professional – Oily, dry, combination, sensitive etc. It is also of prime importance to meet a dermatologist to help you choose the right kind of treatment and skin care products. There is absolutely no substitute for a physical examination and hence visiting your doctor is crucial. So, keeping that time, it’s important we formulate and follow a healthy skin care routine so we don’t end up dealing with consequences later on.
This skin care regime can be followed by anyone interested in getting into a routine and are not particular to those dealing with PCOS, however, is highly recommended. So, let’s get started:
General skin care tips
First and foremost thing in any skin care routine is ‘hydration’. Inadequate hydration makes your skin prone to age and wrinkles fast. There are certain water-transporting proteins in the upper layer of your skin that helps in the regeneration and maintenance of skin integrity, a function of which is compromised in absence of hydration. Now I am not saying, you will have a glowing skin overnight by drinking enough water, no, that’s not true but it’s importance in maintaining the natural integrity of your skin cannot be denied. A minimum of an 8-10 glass of water every single day is advisable and if you find drinking water a ‘boring’ task like I do, add a few cucumber, lemon, other citrus fruits or make some iced tea to sip throughout the day. Best summer tip!
Another essential requirement to add to your skin care routine. With our current stressful lifestyle, we often overlook the importance of supplementing ourselves through diet so most of us end up being deficient in micronutrients which are required for healthy growth of hair, nail and skin. Supplementing can dramatically reduce all of your skin problems but again it’s not magic, consistency is the key. Biotin, vitamin E and C provide excellent nourishment to your skin.
How many of you are familiar with the concept of dry brushing? It’s one of the most crucial weekly habits I have picked up to improve my skin care routine. Dry brushing your body from feet up not only exfoliates but also helps in opening up all of your lymphatic channels under the skin so it can detoxify itself naturally. It also opens up the pores and many proponents claim to have gotten rid of their cellulite over time with dry brushing. Ideally, dry brushing is done twice weekly but you can go up to 3 times depending upon your own preference. Choose a brush with firm bristles and handle.
Free radical injury is the most common cause of damage to your skin. Personally, for me, the ‘green smoothie’ which is full of antioxidants every morning has made a tremendous improvement in my skin problems related to PCOS but you can choose your own source of antioxidants – Blueberries, cranberries, cucumber, pecans, dark chocolate, green tea, any super food of your choice.
Following a lifestyle that includes physical activity, adequate sleep, no to smoking/drinking has no substitute because the way you feel on an inside is what ultimately shows on outside. Your skin is the best indicator of your health, don’t take it for granted.
Specific skin care routines
- Cleansing – Like anywhere else, cleansing is an important part of skin care. For those of you with PCOS, try to find a mild cleanser rich in glycolic or salicylic acid. It will help with acne and in counteracting the excessive production of sebum. Irrespective of what product you are using, it’s important to use the cleaner for solid one minute throughout in circular motion. This gives an adequate time for dirt to come off without making your skin too dry. You can alternatively ask your dermatologist/skin doctor to advise you on the type of cleanser based on your skin type.
- Toning – Toning regulates the production of sebum/oil, helps in removal of dirt/dust, clean up the pores and allow better absorption of skin care products. Try to choose an alcohol-free mild toner or anything suggested by your doctor. Rose water with a few drops of your favourite essential oil is an excellent natural toner and can easily substitute your daily toner.
- Moisturising – Just like C (cleaning) and T (toning), M ( moisturising) is equally important in CTM skin care regime. Any hydrating day cream can be used but the key is to remember here is – Your day cream does not substitute for a sunscreen. A sunscreen of SPF 30 and above should be an important part of your skin care regime and as someone who always encourages a more natural way of living, I recommend using the sunscreen containing a physical blocker rather than a chemical one. Women suffering from PCOS are naturally more prone to developing pigmentation earlier or later in life as a result of UV rays damage which makes using a sunscreen even more important for them.
Post this routine, you can go ahead and do your make up as usual. It’s optional and completely subjective but should always be followed by CTM.
- Cleanser – You can follow the same instructions as AM here. It’s important to cleanse both morning and night time of the day.
- Toner – is totally optional here. You can rather switch over to a mist or a rose water + essential oil formulation.
- Moisturising – Night cream is different from day cream and need not be UV protective. You can alternatively use a hydrating serum. Coconut oil is another great night time moisturiser depending on your skin type, it also helps in removing the residual makeup if left behind.
- Eye cream – If you struggle with the dark circle, a minute massage in the eye area can help restore the circulation and even reduce puffiness. Natural aloe vera can provide an excellent massage around the eye area as it is very mild and has a wonderful cooling effect which can additionally help the tired eye. The eye cream can be used in the daytime as well depending on your personal preference.
These are the few things to keep in mind when it comes to skin care. These are the basic steps that anyone with/without PCOS can follow. Choose skin care products wisely and see your doctor on time. Rely on natural care but know when you need professional help. There are tonnes of material available online to misguide you but be conscious of what you choose and let yourself get exposed to. You can always get in touch with me if you have any questions related to PCOS/lifestyle changes!
Here you will find the attached file of this routine, in case if you want to get this printed and use for future references. ❤
None of the images shown here are my own, no copyright infringement intended