As you may already know, PCOS sucks. On.A.Daily.Basis. It affects our emotional, mental and physical health. It makes us insecure. But there are things we can use and do to feel better.
These are a few of my favorite things. They have helped me live with this syndrome. Most of them are natural, but a few of them are not a 100% organic. I own at least one version of everything I recommend here. I have bought them with my own money, and I’m not sponsored by any company included here, but I do participate in affiliate marketing. These are honest recommendations.
Of course, what works for me may not for you, as it goes with anything in this world. But from one girl with hormonal issues to another, chances are at least one of these things will help you on your healthy hormonal level journey!
#1: Bentonite Clay
I use Bentonite clay externally, mainly on my face and I also use it internally, by drinking it. This type of clay the most powerful one. It is charged negatively, which makes it perfect to attract free radicals in our body, toxins, heavy metals, that are often positively charged. As a bentonite clay mask, it acts as a magnet to remove impurities. Internally, the toxic chemicals bind to bentonite clay, which then expels them from the body through bowel movements. My face is always softer and smoother after I use bentonite clay on it. Taken as a drink, it eases my “transit” if you know what I mean. I feel lighter, both in my body and my mind (because toxic metal accumulation can make you feel groggy). It’s also a fantastic natural way to treat constipation.
This product helped me fade the acne scars that were left after years and years of hormonal acne. One of the active ingredients is the glycolic acid which is thought to speed up cellular turnover, leaving new skin behind. It’s particularly effective for skin that has been battling hormonal acne, like mine.
It’s not a 100% natural, and it is extremely drying, but it did help my skin shed a few layers of cells, to reveal healthy, even-toned skin. Oils and essential oils have also helped. But I personally think my skin needed something drastic to really get on a good path. I took that risk. So you’ll have to decide for yourself if it deserves a place in your facial regimen. As for me, it does. It’s a weekly treatment and will cause shedding, so be prepared if you want to give it a try!
If you’re suffering from ingrown hairs post shaving (from face to legs), PFB Vanish Chromabright will be your best friend. No kidding, this stuff is fantastic at removing ingrown hairs. It won’t stop the hair from actually growing, but it will grow on the surface of your skin, making it easy for you to remove it, whatever way you choose. After using it consistently for approximately two years now on my face: I don’t get any ingrown hair anymore. So I use it very seldom now (results are long lasting, trust me!). Something that triggered ingrown hair for me was plucking the hair, which is something I stopped doing. Not only was it causing more ingrown hair to form, but it also created some profound tissue damage, resulting in hyperpigmentation.
The Chromabright is supposed to help with hyperpigmentation, which is something a lot of women with PCOS suffer from. It acts by speeding up the cellular turnover of your skin. This means your skin will shed +++. And who says skin shedding also says dry skin. So this product does make your skin super dry. I strongly recommend you follow the PFB Vanish + Chromabright with a good moisturizer. I use jojoba oil; it usually does the trick! As for the hyperpigmentation itself, I have to admit it never completely went away with this product only. I had to add the next product.
Its main active ingredient is glycolic acid, which is, as aforementioned, known for its exfoliant properties. This cleanser also dissolves dead skin cells, leaving young, fresh and smooth skin behind.
It also has chamomile, marshmallow, sage, St. John’s wort, and yarrow extracts, all soothing ingredients for the skin. There a light citrusy smell to it, which I love. It lathers very well on the surface. I usually leave it for a minute and a half (while I brush my teeth) and rinse it. It’s not written on the bottle to do that. It’s just that glycolic acid usually work when you leave it on the skin for a brief period, so that’s why I do it. I wouldn’t recommend you to do it, as you may have a more sensitive skin than I.
Now I started with this cleanser and used it once a week too. It led me up to a certain way, and it seems like my skin grew out of it. My guess is that the percentage or the strength of glycolic acid wasn’t enough anymore. So that why I had to upgrade and go with Paula’s Choice. I still want to put it out there for people who are starting with glycolic acid, who’d like a gentler effect. This cleanser’s for you.
#5: Crate 61 Organics Soaps
We use soap every single day of our lives to clean our skin out. It’s our largest organ, and it quickly absorbs the molecules that sit on it. For this reason, you’d think the companies making soap out there would be mindful of what they’re putting in those soaps. But most of them aren’t.
Manufactured soaps are full of chemicals that affect our hormonal system leading to problems like decreased libido, infertility and even certain cancers.
If you’re searching for the perfect non-GMO fruity natural fragrance soap, this could be the one. The Crate 61 founders started making soap in their little kitchen in Toronto, Canada. It is now a renowned company that ships soaps everywhere in Canada, the USA, and Europe. Their soaps come in many fragrances from cocoa-tea tree to mint. My favorite? lemongrass. The smell that comes out from the shower makes my husband hop in every time! Try it and let me know what you think! I buy my Crate 61 products at Winners usually. They also have a website where you can buy in bulk: https://www.crate61.com.
#6: The Green Beaver Company (deodorants)
Now, I remember back in the days when we used to receive those long chain emails; there was one that particularly struck me: it was about the impact of aluminum and other toxic ingredients in deodorants on our health. It was talking about the increased risk of BCA with the use of conventional deodorants. This email was sent to me a decade ago, and I still remember rushing to the drugstore near my house to look for a deodorant without any aluminum…
And I found one.
The only problem is that, in retrospect, the alternative deodorant that was proclaiming itself aluminum free contained other health-compromising ingredients such as parabens, heavy metal derivatives and triclosan, a now recognized hormonal disruptor.
Now I know that the American Cancer Society found no link between breast cancer risk and antiperspirant or deodorant use, but I like to take everything they say with a grain of salt. It’s unfortunate that in this day and age, we can’t entirely rely on associations to tell us the full story since many of them are sponsored by the very industry that sells things that usually causes the disease. So when in doubt, I try to avoid it all. And that’s what I’ve been doing for years.
The Green Beaver Company has a variety of natural deodorants, lotions, shampoos and many more natural options. It’s another family-based Canadian company that began with a biochemist working in the pesticide industry and a microbiologist working for the pharmaceutical industry. They wanted something better, seeing the number of dangerous ingredients that were put into babies products. Hence they started this company. So, they certainly know their stuff!
Now, I have to be honest here: it took a little while (approximately three weeks) for my body to get used to natural deodorants. So if you’re thinking about making the jump, be prepared for the sweaty days ahead. Don’t just throw the deodorant in the garbage after a few days, assuming it’s not working. After a few weeks of use, you should notice a decrease in sweat production and a pleasant natural smell. I’m telling you, switching to something that goes with your body is always the best thing to do.
When it comes to essential oil benefits, I am sold. I’ve experienced them in my daily life. I use them topically (mainly frankincense, I massage it over swollen lymph nodes); I diffuse them in my apartment for a fresh smell (I love lavender and lemongrass for that), and I also take them internally (diluted) for their powerful cleansing effects. Essential oils a great for stress-relief therapy, their healing potential, tension reliever, natural smell enhancer, and so much more.
I use Art Naturals Essential Oils. I like this company. I was looking for a trustworthy source for my essential oils, I also wanted a reasonable price, and different oils to choose from. Art naturals are the company that was able to offer products that had all three components I desired. I was able to get 16 different essential oils, including a diffuser, all for $44.35. Now it usually sells for more than that: $59,95. But art naturals almost always make a coupon code available. Currently, there’s a 15% off if you sign up for emails. And their emails are full of exciting aromatherapy information.
It took some time for my order to come in (more than two weeks). When I contacted them, they apologized and said there had been a small glitch in their system. They gave me a terrific discount on the actual order. So I say they have excellent customer service.
#8: CASTOR OIL
If you haven’t heard about castor oil and you’ve been living with PCOS, you’ve missed something fundamental in your regimen. Castor oil is widely known for its many virtues. It’s an oil derived from the castor plant, also called Ricinus communis, and it’s obtained by pressing it.
Castor oil is known to be an immune booster, a healing fastener, a hair grower, an acne healer, a constipation reliever and so much more.
You can drink it (make sure you have a drinkable oil like this one, or massaged into the skin and applied to your hair and face.
I’ve used Castor Oil both internally (drinking it) and externally (massage, hair growth aid). I’ve also used castor oil as a pack. I think it’s the best use for a PCOS chick. Castor oil packs are widely used as a natural method to help women suffering from PCOS. By applying a linen soaked with castor oil, and covering it with a heated pad, castor oil has been shown to dissolve cysts. Yup, you read right: dissolve cyst.
I know it’s hard to believe, but I’ve had some personal experience I’d like to share with you. As I already mentioned on this blog, I was diagnosed with multiple micro cysts on both my ovaries a few years ago. I’m fairly regular, so I assume that because they are micro cysts, they haven’t affected my menstrual cycles so much. But there was this one time: I had a very painful abdomen over a few days, not the usual period cramps. It felt like a stabbing feeling on my left flank. I didn’t know why.
Being a nurse, I was thinking about the worse: kidney stones. And no, there wasn’t a chance I was pregnant. But I was three days late on my periods, something that almost never happens. Something told me my menstrual cycle might have been delayed by a cyst that was bigger than the rest of the gang. So I decided to apply a Castor Oil pack on my abdomen for a few minutes. If it weren’t working, I’d have to rush to the ER; the pain was unbearable. Ladies, I kid you not: after 30 minutes of applications, I started having cramps, the menstrual cramps type. I could feel something coming down… you know where.
My periods came only a few minutes after I installed the castor oil pack. Some will say it’s pure coincidence, but the way I felt it, it was the castor oil that probably decongested the are from a larger cyst. By dissolving it, the castor oil allowed my periods to come through. That’s why I recommend castor oil packs above all else. Don’t use castor oil packs if you are pregnant, as it can induce labor.
I use the one from the Heritage Store. I’ve been using it for many years. And it’s also safe to consume!
#9: Sunrise Morning Alarm
I know, I know: waking up in the morning, for most of us, is a pain. But getting awaken brutally is even worse. I know it’s the case for me. If I could, I’d let myself wake up by the beautiful and shiny sun and little bird tweeting on my window. But it’s just not going to happen, so I found a way to fake it!
I own the Philips Wake-up Light with Sunrise Simulation Alarm Clock There’s a sunrise stimulation that starts around 30 minutes before you’re supposed to wake up, which slowly wakes you up from your deep night sleep and also six natural sounds including forest, birds, and wave with it. It’s like someone, somewhere heard my prayers and did that alarm. Gone are the days I wake up abruptly from that 95.9 FM hard rock, or that banging, none-stopping “beep beep beep.” I wake up with ease, unalarmed, and look forward to a new day. Now I won’t lie: it still sucks having to wake up in the early morning, but at least I do it with more grace!
#10: SANTEVIA ALKALINE WATER PITCHER
We all know the numerous advantages of drinking enough water: more energy, fewer headaches, delicate skin, etc. But did you know that acidic water can have a negative impact on your health? Bottled water is almost always more acidic than tap water (at least where I live), so my husband and I decided to ditch bottled water and invest in a good water pitcher like this one.
I’ve had it for almost two years now. I test the pH of the water now and then, and the pH usually lies around 8.5 on my digital pH meter, which is excellent. You want your pH to be higher than seven because the cells of your body thrive better in an alkaline (more basic) milieu. Acidic environment usually leads diseases.
I bought the bigger version for my parents, just because they have more space than us and it looks like a mini oasis. After a few weeks use, my dad told me his sleep had improved, and his joints hurt less. I didn’t know these were benefits of alkaline water, but at the same time it made sense: for example, if your joints hurt, the chances are that the synovial fluid is more acidic than alkaline. I then went on to the reviews on Amazon, and many people reported these same benefits!
Girl! Let me tell you something: if you don’t have a juicer at home, you have missed your life! I’ve been juicing for the past two years. My husband bought this juicer out of nowhere (I wasn’t into juicing back then) and started juicing a little bit after we got married. He made me taste some of the juices: they were to die for! And now, I use more often than he does!
I started doing some research (the geek I am) on the benefits of juicing, and I was sold. Did you know juicing allows for your digestive system to rest? Juicing fruits and veggies remove the insoluble fibers (the ones that need to be digested) and leave only the soluble ones. They go directly into your bloodstream, without having to go through the process of digestion. That’s why some people do juice fasts. I’m actually doing one as I’m writing this article! I use only organic fruits and veggies when juicing (you don’t want pesticides and chemical to go into your bloodstream directly).
I’ve heard about the big juicer bosses, and I’m thinking about investing in one, but I still have to do some research on it. In the meantime, the Jack LaLane Fusion Juicer does a perfect job!
That’s it! Each one of those I own and use them on a regular basis!
I hope you’ve found something that might help you on your journey to hormonal balance.
RN, BSN, CHC