It is easy to hate your body when you have a condition like PCOS. Really easy. When I first started noticing my body was doing weird things I was 13 years old and black became my color. I wore heavy big coats that covered literally everything. I found a picture the other day, me and one of my best friends at the time. She was dressed in a tank top showing her belly with jeans and I was dressed in this huge snow coat looking jacket and it wasn’t a cold day. I am not kidding. I remember that day, I remember that coat, I remember sweating so much I thought I was going to melt into a puddle. I had a tank top underneath but I refused to take off my jacket. The whole day I tried to pretend I wasn’t sweating even though it was pretty obvious. It was horrible. I mean hells, I didn’t even buy shorts for the first few 100 degree summers in this city. Why? Simple, I have scars, acne, extra fat and facial hair. PCOS is a beast and it can result in so many hormonal things. Like acne at my age, because when my hormones start fluxing my chin breaks out bad. I also have Hidradenitis suppurativa linked to PCOS, though no one is quit sure how. Then there is the Hirsutism that got so bad when I started gaining weight that I started worrying that everyone was looking at only the chin hair when talking to me and I would spend hours each night plucking away with my tweezers while reading my book. I lost a lot of my confidence due to PCOS and over the last couple of years I have been working really hard to gain it back. How? Well with finding ways to deal with the issues. For the most part, if I stick to healthy eating and a low sugar diet, I can keep the Hidradenitis suppurativa and acne on my chin under control. I also make sure to wash my face nightly and I use night cream before bed. I use witch hazel on any bad spots after I sweat, like under my armpits. I control the Hirsutism by using Sallie Mae’s hair removal cream for faces. It works and doesn’t cause in grown hairs for me. It took a lot of trail and error to learn these few tricks.
Somewhere along the way I discovered something, looking well put together makes me feel confident and makes me worry less if everyone can see the scars or extra fat. When I look good, I feel good. I enjoy learning new make-up techniques, how to do my own nails, how to style my crazy curly hair and I especially love trying new products. One of my favorite YouTube channels is still Kate at The Small Things Blog. She truly taught me how to curl my hair the right way, showed me even I could do nice up-dos, how to add cute accessories to my hair and even introduced me to some amazing beauty products.
I also discovered Birchbox and BeautyBox5. They are monthly box’s full of beauty samples, usually with a theme and you take a quiz before you get your first box so they can kind of cater the box to what you prefer/complexion/hair type. Each month I wait impatiently to see what goodies I will be able to try out now and I am not often disappointed with either box. I absolutely love most of the products I get. Below are some of my favorite.
I had to add an extra shelf to the bathroom to hold all the products now that I am currently trying and some that I have gone ahead and purchased because they were just that good.
Along the lines of trying new things, recently in one of my BeautyBox5’s came with sunless tanner. I put it on the shelf thinking, oh hell no. See when I was growing up, sunless tanners were orange and streaked horribly. I am assuming they were fairly new and they hadn’t perfected the formula yet. I just remember one day wanting to be tan, going into my sisters area of the bathroom, grabbing her sunless tanner and the results were horrible. I went orange and streaky. Terrible. So I never really gave sunless tanners another thought. I don’t mind my pale freckly Irish skin. But I stared at those samples for a month. Then I started looking up YouTube videos about sunless tanning. I started finding that my want to try sunless tanning was outweighing my pale skin. Mostly because I have legs that just absolutely won’t tan and I always looked mismatched with tan arms and very pale legs. So one night, I shaved, exfoliated and put on some rubber gloves.
I completely forgot to take a before picture but there is some color there. A lot more color than there ever was before. I felt like showing my legs off afterwards and loved seeing the soft brown color the bronzer produced. I absolutely loved how the tanner skin just sort of covered up my scars and little flaws. Do I want to be Snookie? Hell no. But I do like the idea of maybe having sun-kissed skin that covers up a lot of my little scars without having to risk cancer or terrible wrinkles for it. I stayed firmly on the fence though. Well I did up until Amazon sent me an email informing me that one of the very well reviewed and liked products I had been debating was on sale for very cheap. So I jumped on the sunless tanner bandwagon and now I am waiting impatiently for the package to arrive.
Part of getting healthy for me also meant discovering how best to take care of myself. It meant learning how to feel confident in my skin and to feel good about walking into a work place full of well put together women that didn’t have PCOS issues to contend with. Some women don’t like beauty products, they don’t want to wear make-up and they feel great without it. I applaud those women because that is the great thing about being individuals and being different, we all get to choose what we like and don’t like. I personally love make-up, I love discovering new products, I love trying out new beauty samples and it makes me feel really confident in my own skin. Which is important for me because for a long time PCOS made me feel very uncomfortable in my skin. For a long time I didn’t know how to deal with the acne or facial hair from the rising testosterone in my system. I hid away from the world because I was so darn self conscious. Now I don’t. I walk out of the house feeling good mostly every morning. I no longer worry about blemishes or unwanted hair because I know I have found the best ways to deal with those issues. I don’t worry about how I am dressed because I know that my clothes are suited for my body type. And when I asked my husband if he misses the 19 year old me who wore blue mascara and kept covered up or if he likes the me now that looks a lot more sophisticated and put together, he will choose the me now, he will also say that he likes how much confidence it has given me.
So what have new beauty product have you tried recently? Do you sunless tan? How do you feel confident in your skin? How do you deal with the unpleasant physical aspects of PCOS?