My struggle with PCOS could be seen a mile away.
I avoided the mirror like a plague.
If I did have to use the mirror, I would make sure the lighting definitely had that “glow” so I wouldn’t see the true extent of what would stare back at me.
I never went out in public without some makeup on my face.
To make matters worse, I was a college professor and felt I could never be taken seriously when my face looked no different than a 16 year old…and I’m not talking about that “youthful” look.
This struggle went on for years. Even when I struggled with infertility, I couldn’t escape the PCOS symptom I would exchange for anything in a heartbeat.
It affected every area of my life…most of all my self confidence.
I am talking about ACNE.
Even as a 30-something, I suffer with SEVERE acne. I feel like no matter where I am, that is all anyone can see.
I know I am not alone…
So, this week I decided to dive into skin care here on the blog. Even if you do NOT have acne as one of your PCOS symptoms, your skin care regimen can make your PCOS and your hormones worse.
PCOS is an endocrine disorder which means it affects the hormonal balance in our bodies. Did you know that there are so many products out there that are actual ENDOCRINE DISRUPTERS? That means YOU are making your PCOS symptoms worse by putting certain products on your skin!
Here’s the PCOS Nurse break down on PROPER skin care when it comes to PCOS…
When it comes to skin care, there are thousands of products out there promising a youthful glow and clear skin. I have tried many products out there in my quest for a solution for my acne from PCOS but did not have much luck. I then set out to discover really what is going on with the skin.
The skin is considered the largest organ in your body. We spend all this time and effort trying to protect our heart, lungs, etc. How come we don’t focus as much on our skin as the organs inside our bodies?
When I was pregnant, I spent my time searching for answers that are natural and safe for me as well as baby. I took my passion for healthy living and researched natural ways to care for my skin. The more I have researched about skin care products, the more I have found how much they truly affect our health. For those of us with unbalanced endocrine systems, these products contain ingredients that can do some pretty nasty stuff.
On average, a woman uses 10 different products per day on her skin.
These include all the shampoo, lotion, makeup, perfume, etc. These 10 different products contain 100s of different chemicals. Now think about this: our skin is very good at absorbing what we put on it. Are all these chemicals truly safe for both outside and inside our bodies? The FDA and cosmetics industry have tested only a few of the 1000s of chemicals that are used in skin care products.
There are currently 10 ingredients that are banned in the US and over a 1000 banned in Europe.
Do you really think our bodies are safe from these ingredients that we use on a daily basis if only 10 of at least 1000 are even banned here? For example, phthalates are chemicals that are known endocrine disruptors. You know what that means for ladies like us who have messed up metabolisms? More messed up metabolisms! It throws our bodies even further out of whack!
Another ingredient on the list is fragrance. You may want your products smelling good or enjoy putting on that nice perfume, but companies do not need to disclose what chemicals are used to make up their fragrances. You are bound to find an endocrine disruptor in there.
I can go on and on with chemicals that I found in my research that are endocrine disruptors. Instead of focusing on all the scary things these ingredients can do to us, let’s focus on what we can do to make sure we protect our bodies naturally and get youthful, radiant, and clear skin!
I have not been one of those “only choose organic” ladies, but am finding I am headed that way with all the research of our toxic environments and how they affect our endocrine systems. Organics are regulated unlike products that are just marked as “all natural” and contain less harmful pesticides, chemicals, and other ingredients that can disrupt our hormones. Main point: Organics have less of the bad stuff and more of the good stuff.
Fragrances are the mystery of the cosmetic industry. Do you truly ever know the ingredients they include behind that on the ingredients list? They do not require companies to release that information. Who knows what you are actually putting on your skin? With a large amount of chemicals used today being classified as endocrine disruptors (make your hormones go crazy), do you think we should really be putting unknowns on our skin? I like to play it safe.
There is absolutely no need to get all the fancy products. Do not fall for the advertising. Not much in the ingredient list changes from one product to another and there is no skin care product that truly makes everything go away or gets rid of all wrinkles. Don’t waste your money. Spend your money on a QUALITY cleanser, toner, moisturizer, and sunscreen that are free of those harmful ingredients and your skin will thank you for it.
All Natural Truth
There are no regulations on what ingredients are considered “all natural” like they do for organics. Do not fall for products who say this. Always look at the ingredients like you should with your food. If there are ingredients listed you can’t pronounce or that are listed above, do not use the product. You are smarter than those advertisers! Show them you won’t fall for their silly games.
We have all heard that plastic containers can leach into the product inside. How much should we really be concerned? Well, considering that plastics can be endocrine disruptors (that again?), we should be concerned if we have any desire to rebalance our health. Stay away from Plastic #7 as it leaches BPA into the product and #3 is also a no go. Plastics #1 and #2 are generally considered “safe”, but do we really trust the companies to keep us safe when they hardly test all these chemicals? If possible, choose products that come in glass containers or stick with #1 or #2 on the packaging.
Our cars hardly need this, why do our bodies? Petrochemicals can be hidden in the names: mineral oil or paraffin on the ingredient list and are a known carcinogen (causes cancer).
Make Your Own
There are tons of great recipes out there for skin care products that you can make at home. Just do a quick Google search and you will come up with more pages you can possibly read. I am trying different ones at home and seeing which ones I like the best. I will share on a future post when I find my favorite.
It’s not only about what you put on your skin, but what you put in your body that can affect your complexion. When you eat junk, you skin will look like it. The skin is a portal for your body to get rid of toxins. So, when you are full of toxins, guess what? Your body excretes them through the skin leading to all sorts of complexion issues, especially acne. What do most of those ladies you see that truly “glow” do even when they aren’t pregnant? They limit the toxic clutter. Grab your PCOS diet cheat sheet for free by clicking here.
This gets your cardiovascular system working more efficiently and your body is able to get rid of toxins better (sweat). Exercise also reduces stress and releases those “feel good” hormones that help balance out your entire hormonal system. It is good for dealing with PCOS or other endocrine disorders inside the body as well as helping your skin. Grab your exercise cheat sheet for free by clicking here.
Increasing water intake and getting rid of sodas will do wonders for balancing your hormones, dealing with insulin resistance, and flushing out the toxins.
Getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night really does benefit your skin. You can definitely tell the look of someone who is tired and someone who has been getting enough sleep. Get enough sleep to help your skin get that wonderful complexion and youthful glow!
Sunshine and Fresh Air
Do not underestimate the power of sunshine and fresh air. Do not be afraid to get a moderate amount of unprotected sun exposure. You need some everyday for your body to produce enough Vitamin D. Sunscreen puts a barrier there that will lower the amount of Vitamin D that can be produced in your body. This will help with your complexion. It also lowers your stress levels which is a great way to help out your hormones.
Do Not Smoke
Ever notice the skin appearance of people who smoke and those who don’t? There is a huge difference. If you smoke, do whatever you can to quit. Not just for your skin, but for your entire body. Smoking impairs the skin’s ability to repair and rejuvenate itself which leads to premature aging and no cool glow.
Find a Good Product Line
I recommend Annmarie Gianni’s Skin Care. She struggled with finding products out there that met with her strict toxic-free requirements, so she created her own line. The other brand I recommend is Just the Goods which is what I currently use. (I am not affiliated with either company)
It is time we started not only thinking of what we put inside our bodies to help balance our hormones, but what we put on them as well. In order to truly restore our health, we must cut out all the toxic clutter and add in all the healthy, helpful strategies.
YOU SHARE: Leave a comment below. Do you have a favorite natural health product or recipe? What do you think about the tips above?