Being diagnosed with PCOS at 19, I didn’t know what it was. Little by little you read, you ask and you learn. During my journey, what surprised me though was the lack of research and that even with all the advancements in the world, PCOS was still a mystery.
So, I started my own journey of self discovery. When you are diagnosed with PCOS you need to take charge! Yes, you should always consult your doctor but medication can only take you so far! You need to find your own health path and clean living because what works for you might not work for someone else.
For all those wondering who I am – I’m Lea, the Marketing and Operations Manager at Beauty Binge :).
However, with the amount of information out there, it is very difficult to know where to start. Through personal experience and research, here is what we know!
What Is PCOS?
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a hormonal disorder that impacts women during their reproductive age.
PCOS is diagnosed when a woman has two of the following symptoms:
- Prolonged or absent periods.
- An increase in the level of male hormones (androgens), that can cause excess body and facial hair, and hair loss.
- Enlarged ovaries that have follicles that are around the eggs, impacting their function.
To this day, a definitive cure for PCOS doesn’t exist, luckily though, there are ways to manage the symptoms. Causes are not 100% known or agreed upon but experts state that it could be hereditary, the result of an increase in insulin levels, or low-grade inflammation in the body.
Also, being overweight can sometimes worsen the symptoms. Sometimes, a diagnosis is not made until weight gain happens, because when weight is stable, symptoms are dormant.
But here’s an interesting fact – did you know that everyday products can also impact PCOS symptoms? Traditional cosmetics contain something called Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs)! This is especially important to women diagnosed with PCOS.
Why and what can you do?
Research available on EDCs shows that BPA concentration, which is an EDC, is higher in the follicular fluid of women with PCOS than in those that don’t have it. Also, they are found to be linked to an increase in testosterone and estrogen levels and even weight gain and insulin resistance.
How can you decrease exposure? Keep an eye out for ingredients in the products that you use for your makeup and skincare!
Here are some of the popular EDCs and where they are used:
- Parabens, commonly found in commercial shampoos and lotions.
- Phthalates, in color and fragrances.
- BPA, in cosmetic packaging.
Clean Beauty & PCOS
Simply put, clean beauty is, cosmetic, skincare, and haircare products that is transparency and toxic-free.
To know what ingredients to avoid, here is a list created by the Good Face Project that is also regularly updated. Hopefully this serves as a easy check-list, or at least a way to familiarize ourselves.
As for some products and brands that you can use, here is BB’s trusted safe list:
- Conscious Coconut, their coconut oil is cold pressed and is not exposed to chemicals! Best part is that it has multi-uses from conditioner to skin moisturizer to makeup remover to anti-aging cream.
- Akamuti, has botanical oils, such as hazelnut oil and raspberry oil, as a base for their products as opposed to water, which helps in combating water scarcity and using the tiniest bit on your skin has a powerful impact. They have a range of day & night creams, body care creams made from shea butter and castor oil to name a few.
- Blissoma, has a wide range of botanical skincare products that are made basis plant science by combining chemistry and traditional herbal knowledge.
- Keep Well Kept, is another brand that uses natural, organic and non-toxic ingredients! Their oils are extremely nourishing for the skin and can be applied to any part of the body. They contain ingredients such as rosemary, eucalyptus and coconut oil which are incredible for nourishment, inflammation and relaxation.
- Violets Are Blue, use organic and natural ingredients for their oils, creams and balms that are amazing for your skin and healthy for your body. Some of their ingredients are argan oil and jamanu oil. What’s more? They are totally treatment-safe!
Beauty & Makeup
- Chella, is a beauty brand that is committed to creating beauty essentials that are vegan, paraben-free, gluten-free, and cruelty-free!
- Beauty Made Easy, is one of the first plastic free beauty companies worldwide. They produce lipsticks and lip balms, which are made from vegan, natural ingredients, and biodegradable packaging. We are currently crushing over their zero-waste lipsticks. <3
- Hynt Beauty, is a beauty and skincare brand that uses natural, vegan, and organic ingredients that are eco-friendly and non-toxic.
- Salty Girl Beauty, is a brand that has created a community which they proudly support in anyway possible and have curated a range of natural beauty products that are non-toxic and safe to use on the long term.
- The Organic Skin Co, is a skincare and beauty brand that uses only natural ingredients. They are of course cruelty free in addition to being vegan and gluten free. For every purchased product, they also help plant a tree!
We hope you’ve enjoyed this read and that it has shed a little more light on a subject that is commonly discussed and for which many of us are still looking for solutions, either for ourselves or our loved ones.
*If you think you are impacted from PCOS, please consult an OBGYN to start your treatment.*