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My Journey with PCOS Acne

My Journey with PCOS Acne

Written by Imogen Jefferies, Vancouver Journalist and Editor

I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome roughly three years ago. The condition, which is when cysts grow on your ovaries and inhibit ovulation, causes chronic symptoms like constant fatigue (thanks to the imbalance of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone), infertility (infrequent menstrual cycle), and lastly, rough skin conditions like cystic acne around the jawline, clogged pores, and hirsutism. It’s a difficult, intricate condition that affects roughly 10% of young Canadian women between the ages of 20 and 30, and there is no cure.

When diagnosed with PCOS three years ago, though, my acne was quite manageable. I would have a few cysts around the time-of-the-month. But they would slowly dissipate after a bit of patience, and following my routine skincare program. During this time, I was also following a natural treatment plan devised by my Naturopath, which was working. I felt – and looked – healthy enough.

But just 6-months ago, my skin and PCOS symptoms in general, took a turn for the worse. I had just moved back to Canada from living in a sunny, Australian climate (which I must say, drastically helped in managing the entire spectrum of PCOS symptoms). I started a new job. I had a new long, crazy commute. I was on the hunt for an apartment. And I was continuing a strict workout routine of 5-days of strength training a week. It’s easy to say that my stress levels were through the roof thanks to my 14-hour days, infrequent meals; and my body was showing itself through the skin. I began to develop acne that took up the entirety of my jawline and cheeks, like a rash. That was it, I thought. It will only get worse from here.

And that’s where Rita Moldovanos at Pure Laser Clinic comes in.

I found Rita after searching for laser, and acne treatments, in clinics and medi-spas across Vancouver. After comparing a few different places, I opted to seek out Rita’s treatment at Pure Laser after reading the amazing reviews by fellow acne-sufferers. But also because Pure Laser appeared to offer a well-rounded, supportive, and affordable treatment plan. The booking process was enjoyable; the lady at the front-desk spoke to me for over 10-minutes about my current health issues and explained how Rita would be equally as understanding and supportive on my journey to better skin. I booked my consultation with Rita and arrived at Pure Laser Clinic on Broadway a few days later, happy to find that the clinic was welcoming, clean, and professional.

During my consultation, Rita sat me down, and before even looking at my skin under the light, discussed my current health and skin conditions. I was relieved to hear that Rita has treated women with hormonal acne in the past, and she was even quick to suggest some natural treatments to help mediate PCOS symptoms. I left the consultation with the plan to come in for the deep cleansing facial in a few weeks time. Leading up until then, I was advised (but never pushed) to grab some of the products Rita works with. This includes using the ZO Medical Oilacleanse Cleanser for Normal to Oily Skin day and night (it contains tiny microbeads, and active ingredients like salicylic acid and niacinamide to help remove dead skin and clogged pores), and the Zo Acne Pore Treatment pads, a daily, leave-on treatment, that is wiped across the face to help calm, tone, and unclog the skin. It was also suggested I pick up some Aveeno Moisturizer, which I must say, feels like any $100-dollar daily cream – if not better – than I’ve used in the past (and it goes for $10 at the drug store). It was also a relief to find that Rita was willing to work with my budget, only suggesting what would work well, and never pushing to make a sale with the in-house products available.

After using my new products for a few weeks, I arrived at Pure Laser Clinic for my first facial. Rita began the 1-hour appointment, first, cleansing the skin with a Zo Medical cleanser, and then after turning on the steam machine, leaving me to rest for 10-minutes as it opened up my pores. Once returning, Rita began with extractions. Targeting the clogged pores which includes blackheads, milia, pustules, and cysts, it was quite uncomfortable at times. But Rita was adamant about checking in to see if I was still feeling O.K. It also should be said that all skin reacts differently to extractions, and in my case, getting rid of this gunk in my skin is actually helpful to speed up the healing process. So, just like all things in life, a little bit of pain is worth it.

Next, a chemical treatment with Vitamin-C was applied to the skin, called the Ossential Stimulation Peel by ZO Skin Health. After just a few moments, you can feel the active ingredients working its magic, optimally removing the build-up of dead skin cells, calming the skin, and reducing pigmentation. It contains 10% Citric Acid, but also 10% Lactic and Salicylic acids respectively, which of course, do wonders for not just breakouts, but signs of ageing, too. Lastly, the microdermabrasion is done in order to exfoliate deep within the layers of my skin even more.

You must remember that skin will look rough for the 2 consecutive days following the treatment. But as someone with years of experience of dealing with acne and acne facials, I have to say that I was relieved to see a difference within a weeks time. Many of the squeezed, clogged pores left a little bit of scabbing, but after waiting patiently for 2 weeks, these healed up nicely, and I experienced smoother skin.

I look forward to my second facial and working with Rita to help reduce my acne. She has recommended a course of deep cleansing facial treatments, one every three weeks, and I will also continue with the at-home treatment which simply includes cleansing, applying the salicylic acne pads, and a moisturiser. Pure Laser Clinic works well in conjunction with my PCOS supplements and prescriptions to decrease my breakouts, clogged pores, and inflammation.

For any of those that experience hormonal acne, and are struggling to find a truly comfortable and non-judgemental setting for facial treatments, I highly recommend Rita and her services. She will provide not only advice for an affordable and appropriate skincare routine for your concerns, but she also has a thorough understanding that the skin is a reflection from within. I highly recommend seeking out the expertise of Rita and her specialities at Pure Laser Clinic for your own skincare journey, and discover that through time, patience, and the correct skincare guidance, you too, can experience better skin.

This article was written by Pure Light Clinic