I’ve been doing a fair amount of research regarding the natural treatment of hormonal acne.  I’ve also had to see what the folks at acne.org have to say.  When the ratio of hormones is off, as it is with PCOS, unbalanced testosterone/DHT slows cell turnover and causes excess sebum, both which clog pores.  Bacteria then infects the blockage, causing acne.  There is lots of debate over what works and doesn’t, so this is only a starting place for my personal acne experiment.  Obviously I would love to eventually not be getting acne because my hormones are balanced, but for now, I’m just hoping to effectively treat the symptoms.   I will be updating this section regularly with my successes and tweaks to my new acne plan.

Moisturizing/Night Treatment – I’ve been using a lot of benzoyl peroxide to help my acne and that, plus cooler weather, has left my face very dry.  I don’t normally use any moisturizer because my face is oily enough, but it’s time to add some back to my regimen.  A lot of people on acne.org like to add a few drops of pure jojoba oil (naturally non-comedogenic) as an addition to their oil-free, non-comedogenic moisturizer to give it more moisturizing power.  I’m also going to try adding a few drops of naturally anti-bacterial tea tree oil to moisturizer to prevent bacteria from causing more breakouts.  It seems wrong to put oil on my very break-out prone face, but, I guess we’ll see.  I’ll use the oil free moisturizer/jojoba oil/tea tree oil combo all over my face, plus benzoyl peroxide on active spots as a night acne treatment that will hopefully not leave my face as flaky as it’s been.  During the day, and under make-up I will just use the SPF, oil-free moisturizer.

Make-up – Make-up is also an acne contributor for me, but the acne itself is one on the main reasons why I need the make-up in the first place.  Frustrating!  Neutrogena finally brought back their skin clearing concealer recently and I just started using it again.  It’s the only make-up I’ve ever found that does not make my acne worse and even helps dry it up.  They discontinued it for a while, but it’s back!

Exfoliation – I’m also going to lightly exfoliate my face every other or few days with a buff-puff to encourage cell turnover, so the dead skin cells don’t clog my pores.  I was unaware of this phenomenon before my research and already, my face has a better texture.

Epsom salt – This one is a little experimental since I’m not exactly sure how Epsom salt helps acne, but I see from some internet sources that it does.  Since I bathe in it several times a week, it seems like an easy thing to try,  When I am relaxing in the bath I will grab a small handful of the salt with wet hands and dissolve it before applying it to my face (after I wash it with a gentle cleanser) like as mask.  I’ll leave it on for the duration of the bath and wash it off before I get out.

B6 – Niacinamide – My acupuncturist added this oral supplement (huge dose of Vitamin B6 plus niacin) to my PCOS supplement regimen over a week ago after I complained to her about my acne.  It is supposed to help prevent hormonal acne, and so far, I think it is helping some.  I was getting a lot of acne on my chin, which is associated to a hormonal disruption, and that has stopped for the most part.