PCOS cystic acne, which is severe than regular acne, can be devastating for your self-image. The painful red cysts can make you feel embarrassed and self-conscious. The acne can make it difficult for you to leave the house without cover-up makeup. And even then it’s not easy to hide! Acne needs to be dealt with both externally and internally. While you can take steps to heal PCOS acne from within through a healthy diet, exercise and helpful supplements, natural skin-friendly remedies can help calm your irritated, inflamed skin. Here is a look at 10 all-natural treatments for PCOS acne that help heal your skin from the outside.
Raw honey is a potent topical remedy for acne, especially if you can get your hands on raw Manuka honey. It has significant antibacterial effects. Also, it is a great all-natural moisturizer to soothe red, inflamed, acne-ridden skin. It removes excess oils, unclogs pores and leaves skin softer and smoother. Find OTC cleansers too harsh for your acne-prone skin? Try mixing a pinch of cinnamon into a tablespoon of raw honey for a DIY acne cleanser that is gentle on sensitive skin.
Willow Bark Extract
If you want an all-natural alternative to salicylic acid (a common ingredient in acne products,) try willow bark. It has astringent, anti-inflammatory, soothing and conditioning properties. As a natural exfoliator, it helps slough off dead skin cells to open up clogged pores, and also stimulate new cell generation. This is why this amazing natural extract is added to many OTC acne cleansers and scar treatments. Make your own scrub to gently exfoliate skin, or look for an OTC cleanser with willow bark as an active ingredient.
Australian Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is an excellent natural treatment for PCOS acne. It has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. Extracted from the leaves of Australian tea tree, tea tree oil’s antibacterial activity works wonders against harmful microbes. And because it is all natural, it doesn’t damage normal, healthy skin microbes. Studies have found that 5% tea-tree oil works just as well as 5% benzoyl peroxide for treating acne. Dilute few drops of pure tea tree oil with water and use a cotton ball to apply all over the face.
Don’t just add turmeric to your food; add a pinch to any home-made face mask too! The biologically active component of turmeric, named curcumin, has potent antioxidant, anti-viral, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory properties. To treat cystic acne, mix a teaspoon of turmeric powder with a teaspoon each of water and honey. Apply this paste to washed skin and allow it to dry.
Fresh aloe gel has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and astringent properties that help treat acne naturally, without irritating the skin or causing dryness. Studies have found that when aloe vera is used in combination with topical retinoids, it helps prevent cutaneous irritations and is a more effective treatment for acne vulgaris. Aloe vera accelerates wound healing which helps treat acne. And its anti-inflammatory action prevents new cystic acne from forming underneath the skin. For maximum benefits, get an aloe vera plant and use the fresh gel from its leaves. You can apply the gel to cleansed skin like a moisturizer, or even add it to homemade face masks.
Grapeseed oil is another topical natural treatment for PCOS acne worth trying. It is rich in linoleic acid, which activates receptors in the sebaceous glands. These glands can control the production of sebum (an oily, waxy matter that lubricates the skin) and make your skin less oily. Its anti-microbial properties fight against acne-causing bacteria. Grapeseed oil also contains anti-inflammatory properties to soothe red, irritated acne-prone skin. It’s also one of the best sources of Vitamin E, which works wonders to heal cystic acne. Apply a thin layer to your face, neck and chest post-cleansing like any other skin lotion.
Green tea has potent anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. These help in treating cystic acne when applied topically. It can soothe irritated skin, reducing sebum production and protect your skin from acne-inducing bacteria. Scientists believe that green tea polyphenols can be an effective treatment for skin disorders caused by androgen (male sex hormones.) These disorders include excess body hair and possibly acne. Steep a tablespoon of green tea in a cup of boiling water for 8-10 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool, and use it as a facial toner to heal PCOS acne.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar offers a world of health benefits, but did you know it can also help against cystic acne? Apple cider vinegar (ACV) contains several organic acids – like lactic, acetic, citric, and succinic acid. Studies have shown that lactic acid applied topically to the skin can lead to significant reduction in acne. ACV has strong antimicrobial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, the acids in ACV help restore skin’s natural acidity which encourages healthy bacteria flora. Use it as a toner to heal PCOS acne and balance pH of your skin.
Marigold also has potent anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe acne-prone skin. Its antimicrobial action further fights bacterial infections and prevents new cysts from forming. It soothes the skin and keeps the irritation from getting worse. Research has found marigold can be used as a safe and effective treatment of acne. Boil 2-3 marigold flowers with a cup of water for 2 minutes. Allow to cool, and use it as a toner for acne-prone skin. This toner also helps with cystic acne scarring.
Licorice can help restore hormonal balance when ingested, but this amazing extract can also be applied topically to treat PCOS acne. Licorice root has powerful anti-inflammatory action which makes it an effective topical treatment for dermatitis, acne and cysts. A study found that when a topical treatment containing Licorice extract was used to treat acne, it resulted in reduced sebum production and acne, while skin hydration was improved. A homemade face mask with powdered licorice root is a must-add to your PCOS acne-fighting arsenal.
A Word On Makeup
Hiding a problem is never a solution. We know that. Yet, many women with PCOS need to use makeup to cover their embarrassing acne every day. Color correcting concealers and sheer foundation can offer coverage, making you feel more confident in public. Along with natural treatments for PCOS acne to heal your skin from within, make sure you are using makeup with least number of harmful ingredients. Always stick to non-comedogenic, paraben-free, sulfate-free and oil-free beauty products that don’t clog pores and irritate delicate skin. Also, avoid all alcohol-based beauty products as these can agitate acne-prone skin. But most importantly, make sure that you keep your makeup brushes, sponges, and beauty blenders clean and free from acne-causing bacteria! Wash them with a mild soap weekly and allow them to completely dry before next use. Spray rubbing alcohol on powders, blushes and eye-shadows every 10 to 15 days to disinfect your makeup.