how to start to heal PCOS and acne: my journey

by purelytwins

Hello friends,

I have been getting more and more emails and comments about my PCOS.

  • Can I share an update?
  • Can I share more about acne and pcos?
  • Can I share tips on what to do, where to start?
  • Can I share tips for weight-loss and pcos?

I hope to get to most of those over a few posts, as it is so much information to put in one post. I hope to break it up some.

I don’t consider myself an expert on PCOS, just someone who is dealing with it. Here to share my journey. Remember PCOS is complicated and very different for each of us dealing with it. Again like everything that relates to health, diet, and weight loss we are all different and will have different journeys and outcomes. So one thing that might help someone else might not help you.  Do your research. I just hope my story with healing hormonal acne due to PCOS can help someone else in some way. At least know you are not alone in the battle.

how to deal with pcos and acne

The main reason why I have not really shared much on my acne and PCOS as I am still dealing with it.

I am not healed…yet!

Yes I do feel you can heal yourself from PCOS.

It’s not a quick fix. If your looking for an overnight cure, then you are in the wrong place. As my journey is still happening. My hormones are still trying to get balanced. Although, they are better.

Today I will be sharing a few things that have helped with my acne and PCOS so far on my journey.

I’ve learned so much about PCOS through Stefani PCOS unlocked book. Highly recommend it. And if you don’t follow her blog, you need too as she has a lot of great information about PCOS on it.  She did a great job in going through all the details about PCOS and what to do about it. Love how she broke PCOS into 3 categories. I feel I fall into Type II, the overly stressed – hypothalamic amenorrhea – PCOS category.

Looking back at these past few years I have been under A LOT OF STRESS which I know now might have been huge factors of why I am dealing with PCOS. I knew stress can be very harmful to overall health, but now I realize first hand that stress can be detrimental on so many different levels.  Even good stress – as it is still stress to the body!

I dealt with moving to a new city, getting engaged and planning a wedding, getting a puppy (more particular a vizsla), bought a house, changed careers, studied to be a personal trainer, started a new job, and during this time played around with exercise and my changed my diet. Now that is a lot of stress in a short period of time. Stress adds up over time!!

Knowing all these really helps me realize the bigger picture and helps me with the healing part of PCOS and acne.

rejoice in hope

Disclaimer: I am not an doctor or nutritionist. This post and tips are from MY personal experience with dealing and still dealing with PCOS and acne. Please consult your doctor before trying anything. Again you may have different results with some of of my tips. And that is ok, as we are all different and need different things.

Let’s begin.

Do I feel I have made improvements in my skin and acne?


Do I feel that I am healed?

NO. As I still get a few pimples on lower cheeks and jaw line area. Not as intense but still a few. So making small progress.

What are some things that I’ve done to help? I will share even more details in another post next week with more.

  • Take more antioxidant supplements.
  • I spray a niacin complex balancing mists on face – morning and night.
  • Keep face routine simple – only splash with water in the morning with niacin spray and moisturizer.
  • Keep reducing stress as much as I can.
  • Eating (to my best ability) a low inflammatory and low glycemic diet for the most part.
  • Eating more paleo/primal like —> as for those insulin resistant eating more paleo like can really help with weight-loss and PCOS. Though my issue was never weight-loss but feel I might have some insulin issues. And I do feel eating more primal is great for those with food sensitives and digestion issues like me. I know it’s not for everyone, and that is ok but I have seen improvements in myself by eating this way.
  • Be careful with my carbs. Still playing around with my carb intake to find how much my bodies likes to be happy.

What is the deal with carbs and PCOS?

To me the amount of carbs a person can handle, no matter if they have PCOS or not, greatly varies from person to person. Whether you have PCOS or not, but how active you truly are! I do feel those with PCOS have to be more careful with the kind of carbs and the amount of carbs. Some people might do better with eating higher carbs where someone else might have to keep their carbs low. It really all depends. Carbs is still one macronutrient that I am struggling with in what and how much my body can handle. Something that Michelle and I share in our program, things we learn and try as the body can be confusing.

Some articles I read say no more than 80g of carbs, others say no less than 100g, and others say around 150g or more, and others say 40g or less. Those are big differences. So my advice to those that have PCOS and acne —> experiment. Track your carbs and see how you do. If you are not seeing any changes in 1-2 weeks, switch it up. Keep playing around until you find your sweet spot to heal your PCOS.  

One thing I do know about carbs is that I like to eat my carbs with protein and fat. I can eat protein and fat alone but I don’t like to eat carbs alone. I feel eating my carbs with protein and/or fat helps balance and stabilize my blood sugar levels. I also do feel that eating more gluten-free can help PCOS; even further would be grain-free. Now I am not perfect at it, as you know I eat some things that aren’t quite grain-free etc but I feel it is about the 80/20 rule. Having some balance and some fun in life as you find what foods your body likes.

lori acne update

make-up helps 

I will share more on PCOS in terms of exercise and weight-loss and more things that I am doing to help with acne in another posts here soon.

One key takeaway from this is:

EVERYONE HAS DIFFERENT NEEDS when dealing with acne and PCOS. Experiment until you find success. And know that it takes TIME. A LOT OF TIME. And most of important thing to do is reduce your STRESS!!

Be patient with healing your PCOS, hormones, and acne or whatever health issue you are dealing with. —> something that I have to remind myself every single day.

UPDATE — read here to see how my skin is doing and what I am doing to get clear skin.



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Taylor @ October 15, 2013 - 11:04 am

I love your honesty and I think that so many people can learn from your experience and positive outlook. You’re right, everyone is different and the most important thing is to not be afraid of experimenting. Best of luck friend!

purelytwins October 15, 2013 - 11:43 am

thank you Taylor

Lisa October 15, 2013 - 11:16 am

I always sympathize with skin conditions, since I definitely suffered from a number of years with acne. It definitely was hard, but now my skin is better than ever.
I love the you have really focused on changing your mindset. I really believe that is so important because the added stress we feel about our skin can actually make it worse. Of course some days will be hard, but remaining mostly positive will make the world of a difference!
It definitely does take time and sometimes you need to take a different route, but one day you will look back on this journey and appreciate how well you take care of your skin. It will happen and I know that because if my skin could recover yours can too!

purelytwins October 15, 2013 - 11:45 am

thank you Lisa for the kind words of encouragement 🙂 HUGS

Lauren October 15, 2013 - 11:46 am

Thanks for sharing! Honest, true and candid:) You guys mention skin issues, do you have any scalp issues? I struggle with acne break outs off and on, but I consistently get dry scaly patches on my scalp. One doctor told me it was eczema and gave me a foam that didn’t work. Another doctor gave me a cream, no luck. I have recently tried coconut oil and a mix of olive oil with tea tree extract and no luck again:( It’s very frustrating because it is itchy, gross and uncomfortable. I have been dealing with is for maybe 15 years now. Any advice?

Lauren October 15, 2013 - 3:12 pm

I guess not.

purelytwins October 15, 2013 - 4:40 pm

we struggle with dry itchy scalp, something that is a mystery to us. we hope to find an answer soon.

Laura @ Mommy Run Fast October 15, 2013 - 2:21 pm

Love that you shared about this! It’s amazing how many women have pcos-like symptoms, or low progesterone. I was never full pcos but really had to work to balance my estrogen-progesterone levels. Fat and protein helped a lot, as did some supplements. Love your emphasis on de-stressing and positivity. I know you’ll get there!

purelytwins October 15, 2013 - 2:55 pm

thanks Laura 🙂 it is amazing how many emails we get with questions about PCOS and hormones, such a tricky thing to figure out too

lindsay October 15, 2013 - 3:42 pm

Your journey is very encouraging to others. Thank you for being honest and real. Every will have a different approach, but i think you are right with the stress, keep it low! And i love the primal approach. Hugs and you are beautiful friend. <3

Erin Higgins October 15, 2013 - 6:06 pm

Hello Ladies!

I have been following you for some time and you are such an inspiration to me! Thank you for sharing your journey. I have learned a great deal from you and how to keep moving forward.

You mentioned keeping it simple with skin care and I could not agree more. I have learned that keeping it simple seems to be the best approach these days. I too struggled with finding the right skin care products and wanting to feel girlie. I was at a living and eating green expo recently and their was a woman there by the name of Camille Jarmusz. She worked with a team of experts to come up with certified organic and gluten free skin care. Her own health journey led her to doing this and she wanted to create product with natural healing properties. (I hope I am capturing her story accurately.) I tried it and loved it, so I wanted to share in case it might be of interest to you or someone else.

I just ordered my trial set and absolutely love it! With sensitivities, I had been very limited and now I have something I can use. I so appreciate the simple things especially of feeling girlie. I miss those trips to the spa for a facial and manicure, so now I can get a facial at home! I am one happy camper!

Blessings & Hugs,

(aka Natural E)

purelytwins October 15, 2013 - 6:37 pm

Erin thank you so much for sharing this, we will check it out for sure! So glad you are doing better.

Natalie October 15, 2013 - 6:18 pm

Thanks for this article! I am currently struggling with adult acne and have found that a low carb diet is essential to help keep skin happy:) I just ordered Eat to Live to really understand the connection food has with the body. I also just saw a couple of recent studies were cocoa actually worsened acne (this study was only done on men but I would assume it would have the same result for women). I do find that I stress fairly easy and that is another thing I am working on. Thanks again for sharing!


I’ve also heard green tea is helpful:)

amanda jewell October 15, 2013 - 7:46 pm

Thanks for sharing Lori! Having corresponded with Stefani, she recommended about 150g of carbs a day for me (especially since I crossfit 4-5x/wk). Since going paleo (from a long road of raw, vegan, vegetarian, pescetarian, then just poultry, and finally all meat!) in September and purposefully gaining some weight (from eating healthy foods), I’ve just about cured my amenorrhea. From no periods in two years to 1 period every 3 months, to every 2 months, and for the past 3 months, it’s come EVERY month (almost on the same day too! I haven’t been that consistent since I was 16). I’m still taking metformin every day (2000mg at night; i sleep through the side effects) and I plan to keep going with this paleo-happy weight-150g of carbs-metformin routine. I hope you know you’ve got a big support team out here and we’re all in it together! Thanks for always making delicious food and posting honestly. <3 <3

purelytwins October 15, 2013 - 8:29 pm

thanks Amanda 🙂 paleo has done the same thing for us in terms of getting our periods. ever since stopping BC 5 years ago and being raw vegan we never really got it, until this past year where we are almost getting it every month!! huge difference. carbs is still something I am playing around with to find a happy place for my acne. it is tough sometimes. thanks for the love and support!

Allison October 16, 2013 - 7:31 pm

Hi –

I have PCOS too but I do not have acne. I am very hirsute though – I try to forget about it but everytime I look in the mirror there it is! Sometimes I feel like a freak. But I’m not.

Meg October 16, 2013 - 9:52 pm

I agree, everyone is so different. Stefani really hit the nail on the head when she categorized PCOS into three types. From my experience counselling women with fertility issues caused by PCOS the diet and stress aspect of health is really key to healing and is SO different for each woman. I truly believe that for women who are thin and struggle with HA induced PCOS keeping carbs higher ~150g and more if very active is critical as is adequate caloric replacement. Our bodies can’t be under any stress and not eating enough is stress on the body. I think you gals are so great for experimenting for what works for you and sharing it with the rest of us who also struggle with hormone imbalance. For myself, I’ve been struggling with HA since 2007, when my spouse died. I don’t have PCOS but do follow a lot of Stefani’s guidelines or HA and have recently started bio-identical hormone replacement. Fingers crossed my period returns…just thought I’d share with you after you share so much with us! Blessings.

purelytwins October 16, 2013 - 10:08 pm

Meg we hope your period returns!! HUGS

Deanna@healthyleanfit October 16, 2013 - 10:37 pm

Much love! I am always so proud of you as you forge ahead! I am in the same boat of hope and then despair, but each day I wake up, I, too, hope and pray for the best!!! It’s all we can do…wait with joyful anticipation! ❤️

Cat October 17, 2013 - 4:02 am

Once again your detailed, personal accounts helps and encourages me so much, thank you 🙂 I’m currently waiting for results on pcos diagnosis, and while my skin has improved greatly this year (much thanks to you for that!) I’m still trying to get my period back. You’re right about it being an ongoing journey, but I feel I’m moving in the right direction, and posts like this are a huge help.

One little thing I wanted to ask about, was makeup: obviously topical solutions can only do so much, but when I switched to a mineral powder foundation I noticed big improvements. I almost think the zinc in them does some good for my skin rather than just blocking my pores! Not sure how much you’ve experimented with that..?

Leslie October 18, 2013 - 9:36 am

Thank you for sharing this journey and providing encouragement to others. I’m glad you talked about the importance to trying to keep stress down, it affects so many aspects of how our bodies feel and look. You’re doing great things here! 🙂

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