How I Cured My PCOS Acne

As someone who has suffered from acne for most of their life, it can be hard to find a minimal and affordable way to stay in control and try to get clear skin. In this post, we will be discussing my routine which may help you also eliminate acne caused by PCOS.

Since my early teens, I have consistently had trouble with acne, especially around my chin and mouth area, as well as blocked and enlarged pores, whiteheads and the most painful of all, frequent cystic acne on my chin.

I often noticed that my acne would get more intense during the luteal phase of my cycle and initially back when I was around fifteen, the first doctor I went to see about reducing my acne stated that I should grow out of this eventually as my hormones normalise. I wouldn’t be tested for PCOS until a decade later, when my acne was just as prevalent as it had ever been.

In my first steps to treat my acne, I used several products that contained benzoyl peroxide as the active ingredient in treating my acne. This dried my skin and left it often flaking. With age, I didn’t want to continue a skincare routine so severe that it often ruined my skin for applying makeup or even feeling comfortable to be in.

This inspired me to explore what alternative options for treatment have been released since I was in my teenage years, this eventually led me into looking at prescription retinols and their complementary ingredients azelaic acid and niacinamide.

For the past two years, I have trialled retinol (also known as tretinoin) from both Dermatica and Skin + Me. Whilst I had a great experience with both of these services I did find that the latter brand, Skin + Me does more readily prescribe higher dose retinol. I also believe that their metal packaging leads to a longer shelf life as I noticed the formula did not yellow after a month of portioning out the stronger treatment.

I notice that if I take a break from using retinol for even a week that I will likely break out in acne. With consistent usage (either daily or one day off, one day on) I notice that my skin is better than it has ever been before. I rarely get painful cystic acne anymore and any pimples that do come up heal much faster and do not scar or leave red marks which could take over a month to fully heal prior.

When using these strong prescription-grade skincare ingredients I keep the rest of my routine as minimal as possible and at the moment I use a nice basic cleanser and moisturiser from Cerave (which I have listed below):

  • Cerave Moisturising Cream
  • Cerave Foaming Cleanser

  • It is vital to note that it is essential when using retinol that you must use high SPF sunscreen to protect your newly regenerated skin. I often use 50 SPF sunscreen and enjoy combining a base coat of clear sunscreen with an added layer of tinted sunscreen as a type of liquid foundation/BB cream when going out.

    These are the recommended sunscreens I swear by, which suit a range of price points (listed in order from lowest to highest):

  • Altruist Sun Cream
  • Evy Technology Sunscreen Mousse
  • Skinceuticals Mineral Radiance UV Defense

  • User Recommendations For The Use Of Retinol/Tretinoin In Association With PCOS Acne:

    As a last note, the use of topical retinols is not recommended for use by those that are pregnant or looking to conceive and should be discontinued if you were to find out you have become pregnant or are actively looking to try for a child within the year.

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