• PCOS Vitality (c)

...for the salon to open? Let’s face it, it could be some time before the next salon appointment so some home hair removal may be in order. Here are some tips and products that you may find useful especially if you have PCOS and those pesky androgens are playing havoc!

Facial hair is a major problem in PCOS but trying a few different methods can help you to find a way that works and suits you – everyone is different and has this problem to varying degrees. For a smooth finish, waxing can be good. Nads, Australian brand, do some great facial wax strips and a Wax Wand which is perfect for upper lip and is easy to use because you can literally control where you are putting the wax as it’s like a pen. Many with PCOS pluck the facial hair as they like the smooth skin feeling it provides but remember your skin is delicate. Gentle exfoliation will help prevent ingrowing hairs. Waxing usually prolongs hair regrowth and can make it appear finer.

When it comes to good old-fashioned shaving, more blades give you a smoother shave. Gillette Venus Comfort Glide is a good one and get some nice moisturising gel shave foam. Again, gentle exfoliation helps prevent ingrown hairs.

Braun do a brilliant little facial epilator (epilators pull the hair out from the root ouch! Yes it does hurt) which is not for the faint hearted but it gives you a lovely smooth finish no stubble. Now listen up – when I say this is a facial epilator – that is what it is. NEVER EVER EVERRRR USE ANY OTHER KIND OF EPILATOR ON YOUR FACE OR YOU WILL DAMAGE AND POSSIBLY SCAR YOUR FACE. The skin on your face is thin, fragile and sensitive so just don’t even think about it – don’t even try it, it is a different product completely. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

When it comes to eyebrows, now may be a good time to let them grow a little (I’m thinking Cara Delevigne lol) but maybe avoid the monobrow (or maybe embrace it if it’s your thing). Concealer can be used to hide short brow hairs you are growing out in the meantime. Vaseline is good to tame any stray hairs that don’t wish to behave. Remember to try not to overpluck eyebrows if you do decide to have a tidy up. Slanted tweezers work best, Wilkinson’s are good. LIllibeth of New York make fab eyebrow razors (which should probably be reserved for those skilled not to take away too much). I keep one of these little beauties handy for quick touch ups of any stray hairs ! they are fast and furious and could take your brow off in a second so go easy and don’t get too over ambitious.

For body hair you can use similar methods and to prolong smoothness use moisturisers that reduce regrowth of hair to give you some more time between treatments, these have varying success so if you are on a tight budget you might want to leave it out and go for a better razor first. If you have very coarse dark hair that is particularly stubborn Nair now do a Tough Hair Hair Remover Cream (check the packaging for areas where you can use it). Good old fashioned Jolen Bleach is useful at times for those that like it too – again be careful of your skin type. Particularly good to lighten hair on arms for example. Other good products include Wilkinson Quattro’s fab bikini trimmer or Veet do a basic version.

Budget permitting, now may be a good time to invest in the likes of Philips IPL Lumea which will cost about £300 + but its very good and if you count up the cost of a few salon visits it won’t be long paying for itself.

The important thing is to play around with all the different products and see what works best for you, your skin, your budget and your lifestyle. Frequently carrying out hair removal can be problematic in PCOS especially if you have Acne so do use products with caution and try to give your skin a break sometimes. Keeping our hormones in balance is truly the best way to cope with the excess hair but in the meantime these things can help lessen the problem. Do get in touch via our socials as we are always happy to chat/answer questions.

Lastly, if you rock the hair thing – we love you too! And respect that not everyone wants to be hair free and that’s cool too. Have fun and stay safe from all of us at PCOS Vitality.

© PCOS Vitality 2020

All information provided in good faith.PCOS Vitality does not recommend a particular course of action or products.Always follow safety and allergy advice on any products used.

  • PCOS Vitality (c)

The 28th of May is Menstrual Hygiene Day, when we highlight the need to provide good menstrual education to all girls before they get their first period. Approximately one quarter of the global population are women of reproductive age, many of whom menstruate each month. Menstruation is a healthy normal occurrence in the female body but it can be a challenge when you lack access to resources and social support.

The 2016 publication “An Opportunity to Address Menstrual Health and Gender Equity”, highlighted gaps and opportunities for further action and investment. More research and funding are essential for interventions focused on Menstrual Health Hygiene and how it is linked to life outcomes. The report captures how stigma related to menstruation are pervasive and how this hampers progress. Taboos among communities contribute to shame and ignorance related to menstruation. Education and interventions need to engage men and boys too. (Advancing Gender Equity by Improving Menstrual Health | FSG, n.d.)

It is critical to the health of women, that more robust research is carried out on adolescent reproductive health to understand more about the normal pathway through puberty. By establishing what “normal” is, it can help identify those likely to develop PCOS and other menstrual conditions as adults (Carlson & Shaw, 2019). Girls from diverse ethnic backgrounds with a range of weights will need to be included in these studies to match contemporary adolescents (Adams Hillard, 2019). The challenges of diagnosing PCOS in adolescence are well known. Recent International Guidelines have refined diagnostic criteria to help prevent under or over-diagnosis. (Peña et al., n.d.). Increased education on Menstruation and tackling the taboo will empower adolescents and women to recognise when something is not right and to seek help early. Nevertheless, we need to tackle the stigma and have more research on both the normal pathway through puberty but also on PCOS during adolescence. Compounded by the covid-19 pandemic, which exacerbates the menstruation-related challenges women and girls face around the world, these needs are even more pressing.

© PCOS Vitality, 2020

Not medical advice. PCOS Vitality does not recommend any particular course of action.

If you need medical advice please contact your GP or local healthcare provider. Information provided in good faith.

Adams Hillard, P. J. (2019). A Research Agenda for Adolescent Menstrual Cycles. In Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology (Vol. 32, Issue 3, pp. 247–248). Elsevier USA.

Advancing Gender Equity by Improving Menstrual Health | FSG. (n.d.). Retrieved May 26, 2020, from

Carlson, L. J., & Shaw, N. D. (2019). Development of Ovulatory Menstrual Cycles in Adolescent Girls. In Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology (Vol. 32, Issue 3, pp. 249–253). Elsevier USA.

Peña, A. S., Witchel, S. F., Hoeger, K. M., Oberfield, S. E., Vogiatzi, M. G., Misso, M., Garad, R., Dabadghao, P., & Teede, H. (n.d.). Adolescent polycystic ovary syndrome according to the international evidence-based guideline.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a lifelong metabolic disorder, that affecst one in 5 women.  Hirsutism is excess facial and sometimes body hair and we are not talking peach fuzz here, we are talking coarse dark hair usually.  Studies have shown that many of those with PCOS experience anxiety and depression as a result of hirsutism.  It can have an impact on their self-esteem, sexual satisfaction, quality of life, mental health, interpersonal relationships.  Some research has shown that treatment for facial hirsutism in particular led to improved quality of life and a reduction in anxiety and depression.  We feel that given this condition causes hirsutism that this should be treated on the NHS to help reduce the impact of the condition on our mental health.  Please show your support by signing and sharing the petition - link below.  Thank you for your support.

(c) PCOS Vitality, 2020

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