Skincare for This PCOS Gal!

New year, new me!

Okay, so it is not exactly the new year yet but I do want some things to change about me starting as soon as possible. One of those things includes my skin. I have struggled so much with it just like many others with PCOS do.

I will be talking about my skin, providing reviews on some products and showing what I am using currently (could be options for you!) in this post.

PCOS and skin

Acne is something that many people with PCOS have to deal with as well as oiliness. It is estimated to affect 10-34% of them with the higher percentage being more likely. The acne can cause a lot of self-esteem issues and frustration as it can be be difficult to treat.

It is the androgen excess and hormonal imbalance that causes the acne issues in those that receive said diagnosis. In a couple of studies, some people with PCOS that presented with severe acne had elevated androgen levels (total testosterone, free testosterone and DHEAS) when tested.

As medical professionals have come to find out, a lot of people given the PCOS diagnosis actually have lab test results that are in the normal range-yet they still meet the other criteria for it. In these cases, the cause of the acne could be from the body responding to the androgen levels as if they are in excess.

Not all people who struggle with acne have PCOS as many have isolated cases without having it. Some medical professionals may still want to check their patient’s hormone levels when they are seeking treatment though.

The acne that people with PCOS have tends to be different than what people with isolated cases of acne deal with. It usually shows up on the lower part of the face (jawline and chin) and neck. The lesions are typically deeper as well.

The first line of treatment for hormonal acne is usually medication that will block androgens. These medications include Spironolactone and some types of birth control. This will get to the root cause of the acne.

Other common acne treatments are taken/done as well. These include Accutane, antibiotics, tretinoin, Differin, salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide.

My skin

I started getting acne along with oiliness when I was 11 years old. At that time, the lesions were only on my forehead but they eventually formed all over my face.

I have been on so many different acne treatments in my life. The only treatment that I would say was close to a miracle for me was the regimen that requires the use of benzoyl peroxide. It was easy and very effective.

The severity of my acne comes and goes. Right now I would say it is on the mild side.

The main issues I am having currently are occasional cysts, severe hyperpigmentation spots/patches and the aged appearance that comes with well…age! Battling these three things has been slow and frustrating. Many products have been tried and money has been wasted.

Most recent products + reviews

The following are products that I have used in the past three years and aren’t part of my current lineup:

  • Gly-Luronic Serum– I kept reading so many good things about this serum from Makeup Artist’s Choice. What made me want to try it were the possible skin-tone evening, anti-aging and acne controlling benefits. I did three rounds (used three bottles) of consistent use and unfortunately saw no results from it-good or bad. This was pretty disappointing for me but I think it would be a great option for people who have less skin issues than I do.
  • Glycolic acid peels– I did several, 10 week rounds of these peels from Makeup Artist’s Choice. My reasoning behind doing them was because they were a higher percentage than the glycolic based serum (above) so I thought that they might yield better results. I started with the 30% strength one and then got up to the 50% strength one. Let me tell you, that 50% strength one sure was a doozy! Unfortunately, there were no results to speak of after one, ten week round of each strength I do believe that these glycolic peels are great at-home spa treatments for others-they just didn’t work for me.
  • Pumpkin Exfoliating Mask– This mask from Makeup Artist’s Choice contains a small amount of glycolic acid along with a whole bunch of other goodies. It is marketed as being good for aging, tone and texture issues. I was interested in getting it so it could be part of my “Sunday Pampering Day.” I did these a few times and started noticing that my skin was looking worse texture-wise. My hyperpigmentation spots seemed to look darker as well. I stopped doing the masks and will not start up with them again.
  • 20% Vitamin C Serum w/ Phytic Acid – Vitamin C serum has always been of interest to me because of the alleged skin tone evening, anti-aging and brightening effects it has. I had been through many different kinds without any positive benefits before trying this one by Makeup Artist’s Choice so I didn’t actually have much high hopes for it. Unfortunately, I was right and it didn’t work for me at all despite consistent use for a few months. Ugh!
  • The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin Serum– This serum is supposed to target and lighten hyperpigmentation marks due to the alpha arbutin ingredient that reduces the production of melanin. I was interested in trying alpha arbutin already so I was excited to find this serum. It was also a great price. I used it faithfully every night for around three months and didn’t see any results.

As you can see, none of these products worked out for me. That doesn’t mean I don’t recommend them-I do. They are clearly popular and have worked well for many people. I also need to add that the customer service for Makeup Artist’s Choice is top-notch. They get back to you quick and are very helpful.

If you are interested in the benefits these products I listed have to offer, I would suggest checking them out. One or more may end up being your holy grail!

Current products and regimen

The following products are what I am currently using and will continue to use for a while:

  • Cleanser: I use Kirk’s Head-to-Toe Nourishing Cleaners (fragrance-free) for my face when I am in the shower and Vanicream Facial Cleanser when I am not. They both make my skin feel clean but not stripped which I love.
  • TruSkin Vitamin C Serum: I used to use this about 5 years ago but quit for whatever reason. I have decided to start using it again as the price is right and I like the ingredients (no fragrance!).
  • Belei Retinol Refining Moisturizer: I used this in the past and didn’t think it did anything. With some time, I have now realized that my skin was better back when I was using it. Thus, I started using it again. I noticed that it is unavailable on Amazon now so I hope it is back when I need a new jar of it!
  • Faded by Topicals- I fell for this dark spot lightening product after seeing a bunch of ads for it. The ingredient list seems to show that it is fully of goodies. I have a feeling it won’t do anything for me though. We shall see!
  • Aloe Vera gel: I love this natural aloe Vera gel from NaturSense. It is soothing and has wonderful nutrients in it. I use it on the days when I spot treat with Faded by Topicals for some all over skin-benefits.
  • Rosehip oil: This rosehip oil from Radha Beauty, is one of my favorite products. It is non comedogenic and is very moisturizing without being too greasy. I also love it for when I use my LED massage wand.
  • Homemade DMAE eye cream: Years ago, I heard about how DMAE may have antiaging benefits for the skin. I made my own eye cream with it because of this. My use of it was very sporadic so there was real way of getting results. I have recently decided to make it again and will be using it daily. To make it, I use the DMAE powder from Bulk Supplements along with a fragrance-free lotion and an oil. You can find my recipe for the cream on my DMAE post.
  • Black Girl Sunscreen: This sunscreen does not leave a white cast to my skin and has an SPF of 30. The problem is that it is a chemical sunscreen so it has ingredients that are considered “bad.” I did a post about finding a physical sunscreen (a tinted one by CeraVe) that I thought I was happy with but I realized that it actually gave me quite a white cast to my skin and was drying. I guess it is back to the drawing board on trying to find a physical sunscreen.

The following is my regimen:


  1. Cleanse and let dry for 10 minutes.
  2. Apply vitamin C serum to my face and neck. Wait for 15 minutes.
  3. Apply a few drops of rosehip oil.
  4. Gua Sha massage.
  5. Apply sunscreen (every two hours).


  1. Cleanse and let dry for 10 minutes.
  2. Apply either retinol or spot treat with Faded. Wait for 15 minutes.
  3. Apply either just rosehip oil or aloe Vera gel and rosehip oil if spot treating.
  4. LED light massage (3-5 times a week).
  5. Apply a very tiny amount of DMAE eye cream to the under eye area.

I hope this helps

So these are the products this PCOS gal is using! All of them (even the ones that didn’t work for me) are things that I would recommend if you are struggling with similar issues.

I realize that the skin problems that can come with PCOS are hard to deal with but together we can help each other conquer them!

Let me know if you are struggling with hormonal skin issues and what products you are using.

Thanks for reading!

September 2022 update: I am on a new skincare journey to fade my severe hyperpigmentation. Come over to my other blog that is specifically about hyperpigmentation and melasma to see how it is going!

Affiliate disclaimer: I am part of an affiliate program. This means that I may receive a commission for any links you click on and purchases you make.

Medical disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. What I post is not a substitute for medical advice and shouldn’t be taken as such. I am simply relaying things that I have learned. If you want to add anything or take anything out of your diet and daily life, talk to your doctor first. Your health is your own and I am not liable for any consequences that occur from your choices.

#retinolserum #theordinaryskincare #bestvitamincserum #acnetreatment #fadedtopicals #hormonalacne #pcos #pcosawareness


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