If you’re one of the five million women in the country who are currently struggling with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), then you’re probably pretty motivated to try to find ways to manage one of the more frustrating symptoms of it. You know what we’re talking about here: those unwanted acne breakouts.
Large, hard, deep, and painful, PCOS acne tends to creep along the jawline and on the chin, but that’s not the only place you can find it. It can also make itself right at home on your chest and your back, too. And if you have it, then you already know how discouraging it can be.
Fortunately, there are some PCOS acne supplements that you can use that can help reduce the number of breakouts you get. Not only that, but these supplements can also help reduce the severity of those breakouts, as well.
Curious to learn more about PCOS, acne, and how exactly you can treat it from the comfort of your own home with supplementation? Keep reading, friends, as we’re excited to share with you everything you need to know about PCOS acne supplements and how they can help you!
The PCOS and Acne Connection
Yep, it’s true. If the reproductive issues caused by PCOS couldn’t get any worse, this condition also has a lot to do with your acne problems, as well. The most obvious reason why PCOS and acne are connected is because polycystic ovary syndrome actually causes hormonal imbalances.
Excessive male hormones (namely, androgens) can mess with your bodily functions and lead to most of the symptoms that make PCOS as frustrating as it is. You see, every biological female has some levels of androgens (testosterone in particular) in her body, but PCOS causes your ovaries to produce it at absurdly high levels. 
With that, not only does it wreck your cycle, but testosterone also stimulates your sebaceous glands to produce more sebum. Now, depending on how much of it you have, sebum can be a total nightmare for some of us ladies. But what exactly is sebum and what’s the big deal about it? 
Sebum is that slick layer on your body that you might identify as the natural oils that coat your skin and hair, and its main purpose is to keep your skin moisturized and protected. But when produced in excess, it’s the very thing that clogs up your pores and can cause some super horrible breakouts.
Excessive androgens also cause hyperkeratinization (essentially trapping a lot more dead skin cells in your pores than average). That’s two whole massive acne-causing problems all rolled into one! Pair that with the general amount of stress and weight gain that a condition like this causes, and you’ve got the ultimate recipe for disaster. 
The good news is that treating your PCOS can be especially effective in helping you deal with these sorts of acne problems, as it’s basically getting to the heart of the problem. And to do that, you first need to find out about the precise causes of your PCOS.
Root Causes of PCOS
Although it’s super common, the actual root causes of PCOS are still kind of a mystery. Genetics have been proven to play a significant role, especially since this syndrome tends to run in families, but it’s not limited to that. Factors such as your weight, insulin resistance, and certain lifestyle decisions can also lead to the development of the disorder.
Obesity and Weight Gain
Obesity and weight gain aren’t simply by-products of polycystic ovary syndrome – they can be one of its main causes, too. Increasing BMI is a major contributor to impaired glucose tolerance, menstrual irregularity, and anovulatory infertility in women. This makes it more likely for you to develop the disorder or worsen the symptoms that have already been bothering you. 
Weight loss is actually a great method for reducing PCOS symptoms. If you’re starting to gain weight and the acne’s getting worse (and popping up uncontrollably on weird areas like your chin, jawline, chest, and back), then you might want to have a chat with your doctor and switch to a PCOS acne diet.
You probably already know that stress has a lot to do with acne, but trust us, the connection runs much deeper than you may think. In a staggering plot twist, those awful days where you’re overwhelmed and crushed by a mountain of tasks could actually end up triggering your ovaries. This is called adrenal PCOS, and it’s the one cause that’s directly influenced by your lifestyle.
When you’re super stressed out, your adrenal glands release a surge of stress hormones (particularly adrenaline and cortisol). If this keeps happening frequently, your body’s natural stress responses could actually throw all of your bodily functions off-balance. It also worsens PCOS symptoms by forcing your body to produce more androgens. 
More androgens mean more sebum and a handwritten invitation to uncontrollable acne to join the party. Wearing yourself out also makes you more vulnerable to a barrage of other health issues, too, so it’s just all-around better to stop once in a while and do a little check-in with yourself.
Insulin is awesome for you when your body’s chugging along cheerfully, as it helps your cells get more energy from the sugars you consume. With PCOS, though, your cells aren’t able to take in the glucose as effectively. This makes your pancreas produce more insulin to make up for it, and spiked levels of insulin in your body can lead to something known as “insulin resistance.”
More insulin means more androgens and more androgens mean – you guessed it – more acne and worse PCOS symptoms. Over time, developing insulin resistance also turns into a one-way ticket to diabetes, so make sure to not munch on too many sweet treats (and be sure to periodically check your insulin levels, too!). 
We don’t know who needs to hear this, but inflammatory PCOS is definitely a thing, and the connection between your liver and acne is pretty dang serious. Inflammation is your body’s natural response to fighting off external threats like injuries and infections. But when you have chronic inflammation, it persists long after the infection has healed and causes symptoms like pain, fatigue, and even depression.
Inflammation directly influences PCOS because of something called C-reactive protein (CRP) that your liver produces in response to inflammation. CRP makes your ovaries produce more androgens and can single-handedly cause major hormonal imbalances if left unchecked. 
The bacteria in your gut do a lot more for you than what you give them credit for, which is why when your gut becomes unhealthy, your life can pretty much go haywire. The relationship between gut health and acne is no secret and is actually pretty well-documented, too, which is why you don’t want to overlook this connection.
Combined with the evidence that shows women with PCOS also have gut dysbiosis (which basically means having a disproportionate amount of bacteria in your gut), drawing up a conclusion isn’t particularly hard. The good news? This also means that by improving your system’s bacterial flora, you can also potentially make your PCOS situation a lot better! 
Dealing with acne is already a headache, but PCOS acne is an actual nightmare if you’re not sure about what you’re doing. Sure, all types of acne are caused by excessive sebum buildup and bacteria, but just getting rid of it won’t automatically solve the problem. You need to nip PCOS in the bud, and that means balancing out your hormones.
To control your skyrocketing androgen levels, you need to load up on some nutrients that can help bring back the balance of androgens and estrogens in your body. That might sound hard to achieve, but a hormonal acne supplement can make this super easy for you. They’re packed with all the nutrients your body needs to bring your ovarian function back to normal.
Want to know more about these PCOS supplements and how they can help you stabilize your hormones and get your PCOS back into check? We were kinda hoping you’d say so! We’ve gone ahead and rounded up the best supplements for PCOS acne to get your off-kilter hormones back to normal.
You know that whenever your gut health’s involved, then probiotics follow through. It’s only logical since having a healthy gut means having a healthy amount of good bacteria, and probiotics happen to be packed with those. Healthy bacterial strains are truly magical, and they can do anything from helping you digest your food better to reducing inflammation and – you guessed it -- acne! [9 & 10]
Lactobacillus rhamnosus SP1 is an amazing probiotic strain for PCOS acne since it helps manage insulin in your body and also reduces the visibility of acne scars. L. acidophilus is another well-known probiotic strain that helps reduce acne and inflammation. 
Vitamin D is great for acne, but did you know that it’s also an amazing two-in-one solution for both your breakouts and your PCOS? Studies have shown that women with PCOS are usually vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D also reduces inflammation and improves your body’s glucose absorption to control insulin resistance, making it one of the top-tier PCOS acne supplements to take. [12 & 13]
Inositol is one of the most promising potential cures for PCOS because of the all-around solutions it offers to someone suffering from the condition. Inositol helps your cycle become more regular and improves your fertility, strengthens insulin sensitivity by reducing insulin resistance, and also offers some pretty sweet psychological benefits to boot. [13 & 14]
Omega-3 Acids (Fish Oil)
Fish oil is also probably one of the best natural supplements for PCOS acne because of how effective it is against inflammation. We could all use more omega-3s in our lives, but people with PCOS need it more than others. Omega-3 acids, in addition to helping with PCOS symptoms, can also reduce the risk factors of cardiovascular diseases that PCOS makes you more susceptible to. 
Green Tea Extracts
Green tea has tons of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, making it a staple ingredient in face masks and hormonal acne supplements. It also reduces insulin sensitivity and diminishes your risk of heart disease. Swapping your daily beverages with green tea is a great idea, but you can also create a face mask out of it for a soothing acne-clearing treatment! 
As always, this information does not serve as medical advice. You should consult your doctor before beginning any new diet or supplements.
Dealing with PCOS can really take the wind out of your sails, but making some small decisions (like changing up your diet or getting some supplements) can actually work wonders for your body. Just remember that if these don’t work out though, you’ll need to go to that doctor’s appointment, like, pronto.
Remember, PCOS is one of those conditions that can worsen over time, so nipping it in the bud as soon as you can is the way to go. Even though the condition doesn’t have a cure as of yet, managing its symptoms with the combination of lifestyle changes and the right PCOS acne supplements is all you need to go back to having an ultra-healthy reproductive system – and allow you to enjoy one that won’t wreak havoc on your skin!
Source 1: The Mechanism of Androgen Actions in PCOS Etiology https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6780983/
Source 2: An update on the role of the sebaceous gland in the pathogenesis of acne https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3051853/
Source 3: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3737989/
Source 4: Obesity and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Implications for Pathogenesis and Novel Management Strategies https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6734597/
Source 5: Bilateral Adrenal Hyperplasia as a Possible Mechanism for Hyperandrogenism in Women With Polycystic Ovary Syndrome https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27336356/
Source 6: Insulin resistance and the polycystic ovary syndrome: mechanism and implications for pathogenesis https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9408743/
Source 7: Inflammation in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Underpinning of insulin resistance and ovarian dysfunction https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3309040/
Source 8: A New Approach to Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: The Gut Microbiota https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31513473/
Source 9: Therapy with probiotics and synbiotics for polycystic ovarian syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32372265/
Source 10: The effect of probiotics on immune regulation, acne, and photoaging https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5418745/
Source 11: Supplementation with Lactobacillus rhamnosus SP1 normalises skin expression of genes implicated in insulin signalling and improves adult acne https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27596801/
Source 12: Comparison of Vitamin D Levels in Patients with and without Acne: A Case-Control Study Combined with a Randomized Controlled Trial https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4999291/
Source 13: The effect of nutrient supplementation in the management of polycystic ovary syndrome-associated metabolic dysfunctions: A critical review https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6250088/
Source 14: The inositols and polycystic ovary syndrome https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5040057/
Source 15: Effects of fish oil supplementation on inflammatory acne https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3543297/
Source 16: The effects of green tea on acne vulgaris: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32812270/