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The 5 Korean Products That Helped Heal My PCOS-Related Acne

What are the best Korean skin care products for PCOS? One woman shares her journey about how K-beauty was the only thing that helped manage this finicky type of acne.

When it comes to adult acne, many women are confused as to exactly why they’re suddenly developing hormonal breakouts in their mid to late 20s. Shouldn’t that be happening in their teens? A lot of times the reason why you develop acne in your late 20s and 30s is because of a change in hormones due to going off birth control or the diagnosis of a hormone disorder called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Some of the major symptoms of PCOS are missing of super long and painful periods, and most notably, an increase in testosterone.
This increase in testosterone is what causes hormonal acne mixed with dry skin (super fun!). “PCOS acne is due to an imbalance in the woman’s endocrine system causing and over-production of androgens or male sex hormones,” says Paul Lorenc, a plastic surgeon in New York City. “This imbalance in turn causes sebaceous glands to produce excess oil which can lead to clogged pores and more severely, hormonal acne.”
On top of this painful and annoying acne, if you are lucky enough to control your PCOS and manage your acne, the hormonal cysts leave behind bad acne scars, on top of dry skin.The process of trying to heal your skin with PCOS is super frustrating, to say the least. Sometimes traditional acne products just don’t work; they dehydrate your already dry skin, don’t balance your skin’s pH level, and just don’t show results.
This is what was happening to Patricia. She was spending a massive amount of money on products that weren’t doing anything. Then she found Korean skin care. Here, in her own words, Patricia shares her story on the products she discovered to help mitigate the symptoms of PCOS-related acne and her best advice for those who are also dealing with PCOS.

The beginning:

Five years ago, I turned 25, and I found out I had PCOS. High testosterone levels are what comes along with PCOS, which means you have hormonal imbalances creating cysts on your ovaries and your body is trying expel the imbalance of hormones through your skin and detox itself of what you have and it can’t. One of the things that happens as your body detoxes is that the hormones get “trapped” in your skin and thats how you get the cystic acne through PCOS. 

I didn’t know what to do. I went to so many derms and I had so many chemical treatments and spent thousand of dollars on facials and nobody could figure out what was going on.

The breakthrough:

I started to do a little more research and I realized that I was sitting there suffocating my face with all these expensive American acne products. On top of my cystic acne, I started to get blackheads and insanely dry skin and a bunch of whiteheads because I was irritating my face and being too harsh on it. 

I decided I was just going to quit everything I was doing and I said, you know what, American skin care is just not working for me. I even looked into European skin care and I started having worse reactions to all the perfumed products.

Im March of 2018, I found Korean skin care on social media and I saw all this talk about essence and all these steps. At first, I was like, who in their right mind has all the time to do this? But then I was like, how do I get my hands on this? I actually looked at Sephora first and the only thing I found was SK-II products and I didn’t want to spend that much money on it. And then I Googled “the best place to buy Korean skin care with the best customer service” and I found Soko Glam.

I loved that the first thing I saw on the website was all these tips saying, “Hey, if you have dry skin, you don’t need to exfoliate every day but you should follow these other steps and here’s why.” It wasn’t just telling you to do it, but also why you should do it. I liked how the site talked about pH-balancing your skin and how you don’t need harsh cleansers to over-dry your skin. It was an eye-opener for me that you need to treat your skin gently.

The products that changed her skin:

Neogen Cranberry Real Fresh Foam CleanserThe very first thing that caught my eye was the idea of using a water-based cleanser. I knew I was going to end up with the Neogen foaming cleanser. I teetered between the green tea and the cranberry, but then I looked into how my skin was so dry and I realized that part of the dryness was due to not achieving the right pH balance.
From a woman’s perspective, you’re told to drink cranberry juice for any imbalances. So I was like, let me see what happens when I put cranberry on my face, because what you put on your face, your body is going to absorb. What I love is that the cleanser has real fruit water, real cranberries, and a ton of extracts. I knew it wouldn’t strip my skin of its natural oils. The cleanser is subtle enough to not irritate or dry out my already sensitive skin, but powerful enough to remove all debris and oil from the day.
Klavuu White Pearlsation Revitalizing Pearl Treatment Toner: I took the Skin Quiz on Soko Glam and I got the Klavuu toner. I love that it has a quick absorption rate and that it has mineral water. The pH level is medium and I love how it has pearl extract to brighten my scarring and pigmentation.

Hanskin Hyaluron Skin Essence: I got the Hanskin essence because I liked how it specifies that it has a sodium hyaluronate acid, which means that it uses a hyaluronic acid that’s already in the connective tissues of the human body. I needed the moisture for my drying skin, so I loved that it used something that the body already makes but realized that I was clearly lacking in it.

Hydration was key here, and I needed something that provided more than just being a dewy film on the skin and focused only on providing pure hydration that could actually be absorbed. This delivered.

COSRX Triple C Lightning Liquid: I can’t believe I didn’t know about this product sooner! I was using the Hanskin brightening serum before, which was good, but I saw an immediate improvement with discoloration from my scarring with the Triple C. The results have been so impressive that I’ve actually started to use it on my surgery scar.

Easydew EX Repair Control Renewal Moisture: This is the first moisturizer I’ve ever used that truly locks in what the other products have given to my skin, as well as providing its own moisture with the ability to smooth fine lines and improve dark spots. I have some smile lines and I’ve seen an improvement with this product. I’ve also started to add it on top of my surgery scars with the Triple C serum.

Why Patricia believes Korean skin care products worked best for her PCOS-related acne:

The focus with Korean skin care is on the formula, not the packaging and not the scent. The brands pay attention to actual ingredients and what they can truly do for the consumer. The products are also well-priced so you’re not paying for the brand’s marketing scheme. Instead, you’re paying for the transformation that the product provides. Korean skin care companies seem to really care about finding a real solution to the problem.

Patricia’s best advice for those suffering from PCOS-related acne:

There is a solution! And do not race to buy the product with the most salicylic acid in it! Take a step back, look into buying products made for sensitive skin so you’re not irritating your already irritated skin, and give the products at least 10 days to work.

It will be hard in the beginning because more than likely you’ve come to the point of thinking that if a product doesn’t burn or make your face feel like the Sahara desert then its not working, but this simply is not true. Your skin should feel plump, look dewy, and bounce at the light touch of a finger. Have patience and realize there is a solution. And never forget to moisturize!

As for those who are now experiencing the scarring, discoloration, and texture from hormonal acne, please try the COSRX Triple C Lightning Liquid. It lightened my scarring without overly drying my skin or leaving awkward white spots. I would recommend this product for those who experience acne scarring, especially from picking.

+ What do you think are the best Korean skin care products for PCOS? Share your story in the comments! 


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