Skincare items to consider if you suffer from PCOS

27 October, 2023 / words by Alicia Lartey

PCOS is the acronym for polycystic ovarian syndrome, which I am all too familiar with. PCOS can cause your hormones to fluctuate and as a result contribute to a number of secondary conditions such as acne or oily skin. With PCOS whatever you experience will likely require some form of management over a long period of time, so finding something that is easy to replicate and gentle yet effective enough to use often will be life changing.

I’ve been unlucky enough to experience both severe oily skin and severe acne, which means I have definitely made it my life’s mission to find skincare products that work for me and others. Many people who are familiar with my work, will know that I have taken two cycles of Accutane. Even after those cycles, I still experience periods of acne flare ups which I combat using some of my recommendations below.

LED Mask

An LED mask is usually an investment in the hundreds, but the results with consistent use are priceless. We are all used to exfoliating away our skin when it comes to dealing with a breakout which is often not suitable for those with sensitive skin, an LED mask can be useful as most contain red light or blue light and sometimes both. Red light, helps to reduce inflammation that occurs with a breakout whilst blue light kills acne causing bacteria.
My favourite LED mask from current body, is something that I use every single day during a flare up. Using an LED mask can also help to reduce signs of premature ageing (using girl math, that’s a 2-in-1 product, so it’s basically free).

Benzoyl Peroxide Washes

When you’re in the depths of a breakout and need a fast acting solution, Panoxyl can be your very best friend. Anyone who has ever gone to the GP for help with their acne will be familiar with benzoyl peroxide as an acne fighting ingredient. From personal preference and experience, I find benzoyl peroxide washes to be a more enjoyable product to use as they are far less drying and you do not have to worry about them bleaching your bedsheets. Benzoyl peroxide works incredibly well on most breakouts as it kills bacteria and reduces inflammation, but it’s at the top of my recommendations for pustules and nodules (types of breakout).

Tatcha blotting sheets

As someone who is chronically oily and likes to wear makeup on some occasions, my deepest fear is my face producing so much oil that my makeup begins to degrade. To avoid that I never leave the house to do anything serious, without my tatcha blotting sheets. Of all the blotting papers that I’ve tried, the only one to not disturb my makeup or leave me with a strange film has been the tatcha ones. I like to cut these into nose strips and leave them on my face for 20 seconds to really soak up the excess oil.

If you notice that your breakouts become worse during your menstrual cycle, adjust your routine to begin using your acne products the week prior and during your cycle.


Alicia Lartey


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