Chat & list of topical products that have helped with my PCOS Acne & HS breakouts!
Hey gals! Well I’m back! This time with SO much information & SO happy to share! To be fair & honest last year (2022) was pretty crazy personally speaking but most definitely transformative on a few levels to say the least.
So… may this entry be a little longer than usual for a MUST have list?
First I’ll explain. In reality; I haven’t opened up about this one specific topic.
Touched on this a few other entries ago; since the beginning of January 2020 I personally & also astrologically have been faced with several challenges but also been hit with a few adversities I didn’t see coming…. pero…then again … if I saw them coming wouldn’t be an adversities/challenges; ha!
Normally; I keep my personal stuff pretty personal but being I was running on sade sati transit – in a nutshell what one can face many challenges throughout sade sati transit – spiritually – physically, monetarily, energetically, emotionally & etc (yes; i always go back to astrology references ha)
More on sade sati: 10 things to expect in Sade Sati
So naturally …. as a PCOS gal – when life gets lifeing … so does my skin! 🤸♀️
My skin acne flare-ups have had their share of ups & downs essentially since I was in my early twenties. Now 37 but in the past two years and especially in 2021/2022… let’s just leave it to I guess I had some stuff to learn!
Stress in my personal journey with PCOS has & continues to play a huge factor & not to discredit diet either but woah stress is like something else.
To note & if you’re new to my blog:
I’ve been maintaining a vegan/vegetarian diet throughout many years – almost 7 years now but recently noticed not only does my skin (pcos is def not only acne flares up but for this post we can leave it to this on topic) get affected during stressful moments my diet too gets affected by stress.
During stressful (which aka cause anxiety/emotional) moments?
My appetite is nearly gone & chewing of any kind is not on my mind – unless it is chewing air during sleeping hours ya know! cheesy joke!
Although society plays like losing your appetite, is this like this great thing.… man.. it’s really not. Have I lost some weight or a few inches here and there last year? ummm …. Sure! I’ll admit; wasn’t the healthiest way…leading me to a rather scary/odd visit to the ER …which was a serious wake up call for my health; again if you’re new here?
health is something I don’t take lightly.
Although it was a scary time – it was also a great time to take a real good look at myself, my actions, my surroundings, my choices and really reflect (hence as to why I was so hermit in 2022); not only reflect but actually apply such changes.
Focused back as ever; I’m back to a vegan lifestyle (my gyno & I both also believe dairy has contributed to not only the flare-ups but I believe also to the stress and tension – I’ll leave some articles here with information).
https://www.huffpost.com/archive/ca/entry/how-changing-my-diet-helped-my-anxiety_b_3044721 https://www.pcosnutrition.com/dairy/ https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/a-z/hidradenitis-suppurativa-diet
Side note: My gyno has been probably the nicest/understanding doctor I’ve had in a very LONG time! Most of the doctors in my city (Miami, FL) nearly have a thing once they hear of my vegan/vegetarian lifestyle – this doctor has made no assumptions & has gone by my medical stats & history, tests results, sonograms, & vitamin intake. (so easy to blame the vegan lifestyle without considering my actual chart). We’ve narrowed it to a mix of stress in causing malnutrition (lack of appetite) & also dairy.
In these moments of high tension & stress – I’ve also taken it as an opportunity to experiment haha! (so sciencey of me)
I already got the flare ups? Why not test it out!
As mentioned on my previous morning skin care entry
I have integrated tretinoin into my skincare routine which has been wonderful (when i remember to apply it) truth be told if i’m on a go-go like i have been; i miss a few steps what can I say but “human moments” lol!!
I get tired. High Stress = Sleepy me.
Side note: been on top of removing my makeup each night & a few other steps I’ve been wanting to test out.
With that said, my acne flares are not just on my face and neck but also my body and as a PCOS gal I too also have HS short for Hidradenitis Suppurativa.
Long story short back story:
HS has been a condition i’ve had since my early years & although going to doctors there wasn’t enough research to back up my theory.
As a makeup artist for now over 15 years; chatting with so many gals – I have peeped most gals that were open to disclosing that had either ingrown follicles & HS if they knew they had … either had confirmed PCOS or had all the in reality all the symptoms but yal know how doctors are…
So of course my HS was off the chain last year too!
And although I won’t get super IN to it. Maybe one day on a whole different entry – I’ll go deeper into my personal HS journey.
What I can tell you? HS (Hidradenitis Suppurativa) is not only physical; such as painful to the touch impairing in simple activities such as working out, or even a night out on the town & of course visual too like going to the beach – but very much mental/emotional also; especially if we get worked up into society standards (yet again with another human moment).
HS can affect essentially any part of our body that can grow a hair follicle. This condition can also go unnoticed if you actively shave as it can to appear to be an ingrown hair.
(Started first HS breakouts throughout my pregnancy. Almost 21 years ago; in those times HS was not chatted on much less considered a condition)
HS can be also hereditary & is currently linked with PCOS. Which make sense as as my first outbreak was throughout my pregnancy.
Now; I’m sure that maybe if I applied tretinoin all over my body? Maybe it could work!
It did well on my chest (make sure to really apply SPF if you decided to if not it could lead to scaring).
But real talk?… have you guys ever seen a bottle of tretinoin?
Let’s just say it’s just not very cost effective. Tested other great products which have made a difference to not only my facial cystic acne but also for my body & HS breakouts!
It’s important to mention a few things:
I’m not a doctor; these recommendations are based on my personal experiences & although these are topical options work well in combination with diet/lifestyle/vitamins/mental health and of course water intake.
product reviews are honest & fully independent but can earn affiliate commissions from buying links on this page.
Let’s get to the list of topical products that help with my PCOS Acne & HS breakouts!
As seen on my previous list’s; I’m a huge fan of Niacinamide for acne breakouts!
So when I saw this Pacifica Beauty Bacne Warrior Acne body spray that not only included Niacinamide but also 2% Salicylic Acid and VEGAN? In a mist for my body?!?
Listen… I had to try this & SO happy I have! Is this a miracle product? No, but it definitely helps; especially with itchiness & redness in body acne.
Ex.When you’re about to get a pimple & it’s mad itchy – at least for me, that’s how i know a pimple and or deep rooted cystic pimple coming though?
Oh yeah! This helps so well once that feeling comes in!
I like to apply this Pacifica Beauty Bacne Warrior Acne body spray on my back, chest & also my calves. Believe it or not I get ingrowns in this area too? And thus – I feel it’s quite great!
A quick suggestion when spraying this product? This spray could really take over the room if sprayed in small spaces leading to some coughing lol!! Make sure you got a window open and also give yourself a bit for it to dry. As this product can get too sticky if applying too much.
Long review here: Tested Sulfur soap a few years back; 2017ish when I thought I was having an acne moment (god if i only knew what was ahead lol) at the time just for my face.
In 2022; went through a pretty awful breakout not only facial/neck acne but also HS – which I believe was caused by waxing (not the waxer but my actual body responding to the extraction & stress – which jump started a severe HS breakout & as I did a full body wax? I got it a breakout just about everywhere on my body.
Side note and mad real here? I didn’t take any photos of these breakouts; it’s embarrassing man, it unfortunately makes me feel many negative ways towards my body that I’ve had to work really hard on & still continue to – what can i say another human moment but what I can say these breakouts are not only physically but very much emotional too.
Besides going into hermit, trying to mediate & chill? Amazon & their same day prime service? Really came through; because I bought this product straight out of desperation! I really wanted my breakouts to dry quickly and boom I remembered this soap & how it was quite drying on my face.
To my surprise; Joesoef Sulfur Soap was great & worked quickly too!!
From the first use; my skin started to appear less red & less tender to the touch! This Joesoef Sulfur Soap was a true lifesaver while going through my HS breakout!
Tip: I found applying this sulfur soap on breakout areas; letting the soap sit there for a few mins & repeat like a double cleanse! works super well!
Repeated this process for almost 2 weeks daily; was some dryness (which in my case is exactly what i wanted). What an amazing product to use when having an active cystic acne or HS breakout!
It’s important to mention too, I also use several other body cleansers. That is because i would like to ensure less breakouts. Sulfur soap is great when going through a breakout but for daily washing for my skin can be too drying.
Purchased this cleanser for my hair initially but after the first use; I peeped? I have too much hair for this bottle lol! After doing some research I realized it would be pretty great for my body too!
The Ordinary Sulphate 4% cleanser is mild, doesn’t give the “bubbly effect” just an FYI if that’s what you’re going for. This cleanser is also fragrance free – and as much as i love fragranced bathing products – in 2022 I had to stand down.
In fact; scented soap was leading my skin to further breakouts – The Ordinary Sulphate 4% cleanser has not and again its pretty mild & not too drying either!
I like to also use this on exfoliating gloves for an extra clean-clean feel.
Contrary to popular belief even if you have acne prone skin – all skin types should must be hydrated. Skin hydration is important to avoid aging, cracking, collagen production and many other benefits.
No Dr. here but I have been a licensed full specialist aka skin care specialist for over 15 years and I truly believe even when acne-prone skin is dry it will naturally over-hydrate; causing an excessive oil production in attempts to hydrate the skin naturally.
Applying a good moisturizer and or a body cream that does not clog yet hydrates efficiently the skin should not get oily throughout the day.
When going through an acne or HS breakout; as i’m treating my skin with drying products – hydration is key. Especially important to use a product that won’t further clog my pores such as this African shea butter and avoid shaving/waxing
Applying this African Shea Butter isn’t the easiest to apply – i recommend to warm up the product for an easier application. I like to use this product before bed. Saturate my skin, cover up nicely so this product does not transfer onto sheets & etc and let it do it’s thing while i sleep!
Firstly; there is a big difference between therapeutic grade tea tree oil and essential tea tree oil. Therapeutic grade tea tree oil is of a higher quality and has been tested for medical use. Essential tea tree oil is used for aromatherapy. Both equally good – just for different purposes.
Highly suggest when purchasing any type of natural products please always look at the ingredients to ensure that you’re looking at a cleaning product before applying.
That being said; therapeutic tea tree oil has also been a game-changer overall especially when it comes to spot treating!
Tea tree oil can be mixed with carrier oil’s such as: Safflower oil – Jojoba oil – Sweet Almond oil & Sunflower Seed oil which are noncomedogenic oils (less likely to clog pores as much)
To be quite frank & honest when I’m having a breakout? I spot treat it directly without any type of diluting. Even with having sensitive skin I have yet to encounter problems applying directly. Like anything, repetition is key especially when using natural products.
I really like tea tree oil especially for small pimples not only necessarily HS breakouts … but it does work wonders in that department as well!!
Before applying I like to ensure the targeted area is super clean (even if I have to go in with some alcohol to ensure the removal of any excessive oil) apply directly with a Q-tip. At times cover it with a Band-Aid depending on the size of the outbreak/cystic so the oil stays put and also doesn’t move around all over the place.
The only negative of tea tree oil I would say is the smell (of course that’s personal right?) Especially if using a directly; therapeutic grade it is quite strong in scent. I would advise to just be careful applying areas around the eyes and anywhere else that it could be sensitive.
Talking about spot treating? Pimple patches are definitely my thing and I’ll say it this again I really wish these would’ve existed when I was younger!
but if you’re not trying to make your own pimple patch with tea tree and a bandaid lol!!
These ZitSticka – Pimple Patch with these microdarts are non painful AND effective are great!
These micro darts are painless & essentially goes through your pimple/cyst and into I guess into the pimple? Shrinking it in size?! I don’t know what it does y’all… I really don’t know lol!! But IT works!
I like to use these on my cystic acne which I normally get around my neck? These work fabulous! I have also tried these on some of the outbreaks I get in my under arms & believe it or not these work nicely too!
Ex. You know how you can feel the bump under your skin but it’s still not to a head? so essentially when I get that feel I’m popping one of these on! Prep the skin morning/night routine depending when I’m gonna apply this dart (making sure the skin is super clean) I let that baby sit there for at least eight hours!
Promise you? I have not seen anything more effective to shrink it in size and without the smell like tea tree oil?
Another great & effective product especially for my HS breakouts!
The ordinary squalane based salicylic acid 2% is amazing & mega cost efficient!
Not only is the salicylic acid great for cleaning out impurities from pores but also helping with size of cystic acne, acne production and also helps immensely with my HS breakouts
This particular salicylic acid is made from squalene – squalene in itself is also another great product for the skin as it mimics our own hydration.
Ex; You’re treating your skin for an HS breakout & you’ve started with sulfur soap (which is a bit on the drying side) & don’t feel comfortable possibly putting on moisturizer? No judgment here! I totally get it!
You can definitely spot treat the areas that you feel are excessively dry due to sulfur soap and topically applying this salicylic acid in the squalene formula to further help with these breakdowns. This product also bring in hydration murking future pimple/cystic acne properties without feeling like your skin is burning off!
Especially find this product very effective when applying to HS cystic tunnels AKA outbreaks passing the epidermis & went too deep into dermis causing scars and essentially refilling time to time.
Please note: I make my skin care especially when dealing with an outbreak top priority!
These products take time to dry & take time for the skin to absorb!
I would suggest not to rush these processes! Especially when applying the salicylic acid in sensitive areas such as the buttocks/groin areas/under arms & even neck area?
Just be patient with yourself, the process & ensure these products make full absorption for better outcomes.
Now let’s say I am NOT going through an outbreak and I need to shave as waxing is not an option (side note I’m not actually too hairy/fuzzy I guess it’s the indigenous in me) I’m always trying my hardest to avoid an outbreak. If going through I’m not worried about shaving ya feel me?
When it comes to shaving; I don’t go against the grain – I go with the grain and when I was younger I was upset about the “not so smooth” now I genuinely don’t care as long as i’m not breaking out? I’m good!!
Once I’m done shaving quickly, getting out of the shower I always follow while my body’s damp with some hydrocortisone cream anywhere I shave.
I’ve heard rumors that if you apply cortisone cream your skin will get darker?
I’m not really sure because quite honestly if you have HS you know that area may get dark regardless. The fact this product helps me avoid getting a breakout? I’m going to do it!
I’ve applied this cortisone cream to my chin and neck area for many years as a PCOS gal yes I have some follicles that grow under my chin …and I’ve have NOT gotten Darkness
I recommend not to let these rumors stop you from trying out cortisone cream is something that is quite effective to avoid not only ingrown hairs but if you have PCOS for itchy acne? It’s really a lifesaver also and a must have in my bathroom!
Last but not least and if you know me personally or if you’ve ever worked with me this is my first recommendation for just about any skin related matters; chamomile tea! If you got a tummy ache & you’re working with me? I’m probably gonna hand you some cause’ I always have this in my kit as well.
It is pretty random… but the flower has antibacterial & anti-inflammatory properties which works wonderful for the skin!
Chamomile tea cold compresses also extremely help HS breakouts especially for any inflamed skin or red & tender to the touch.
Chamomile tea compresses not only alleviate swelling but as it’s cool it also feels quite relieving as well! A natural method, but definitely healing in itself. Also doesn’t hurt to consume it either; as it’s really good for the belly too!
Hope this list helps anyone dealing with either PCOS acne flare ups & or HS breakouts!
Not only did these products provide solutions but they also provided some sort of sense of comfort during a time where in reality all the way it may sound super vain it was hurting me not only physically but emotionally too.
Hope you ladies & gents found this list aka long chat/semi vent haha helpful & if you do try it out?!? Let ya girl know!
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