Herbal Peels the go to for women with PCOS

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Herbal Peels the go to for women with PCOS

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Face Plus has predominantly a female base clientele which means our dermal therapists are constantly attending to skin issues caused by hormonal imbalances.
Recently, we have seen a rising number of clients come through with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) who are looking for treatments and product to heal their topical skin issues.
What is PCOS?
Polycystic ovary syndrome (or polycystic ovarian syndrome – PCOS) is a complex hormonal condition. ‘Polycystic’ literally translates as ‘many cysts’. This really refers to there being many partially formed follicles on the ovaries, which each contain an egg. These rarely grow to maturity or produce eggs that can be fertilised.
Women with PCOS commonly have high levels of insulin, or male hormones known as ‘androgens’, or both. The cause of this is unclear, but insulin resistance is thought to be the key problem driving this syndrome.
In some women, PCOS is hereditary, whereas for others, the condition only occurs when they are overweight.
PCOS is relatively common, especially in infertile women. It affects 12 -18% of women of reproductive age (between late adolescence and menopause). Almost 70 % of these cases remain undiagnosed.
What are the symptoms of PCOS?
Women who have PCOS may experience:

  • irregular menstrual cycles – menstruation may be less or more frequent due to less frequent ovulation (release of an egg)
  • amenorrhoea (no periods) – some women with PCOS do not menstruate, in some cases for many years
  • excessive facial or body hair growth (or both)
  • acne
  • scalp hair loss
  • reduced fertility (difficulty in becoming pregnant) – related to less frequent or absent ovulation
  • mood changes – including anxiety and depression
  • obesity
  • sleep apnoea.

You don’t have to have all of these symptoms to have PCOS.
How can you treat PCOS?
It is important that all the symptoms of PCOS are addressed and managed long-term, to avoid associated health problems. PCOS is a long-term condition and long-term management is needed.
Depending on the symptoms you experience, management of PCOS can include:

  • lifestyle modifications – increasing your physical activity levels and eating a healthy diet can both help to manage PCOS
  • weight reduction – research has shown that even five to 10 per cent weight loss can provide significant health benefits
  • medical treatment – with hormones or medications.

 What does PCOS mean for your skin?
PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) causes several skin-related symptoms, including:

  • oily skin
  • adult acne
  • skin tags
  • dark velvety skin patches known as acanthosis nigricans.

Most visibly, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) has the capability to change your skin—how it looks, how it feels—in a way that other people can notice. Not only does this add to the embarrassment of women who experience these PCOS symptoms, it produces an issue they cannot hide from. You can second-guess the pain in your abdomen or the irregularity of your menstrual cycle, but seeing your skin break out with blemishes, become irritated, or start to change in texture is an undeniable sign that something is indeed wrong.
What treatments do Face Plus offer to help PCOS?
Our range of Herbal Peels are incredible for soothing and neutralising acne prone skin. Our herbal peels also help to improve skin tone and texture as well as addressing the bacteria from breakouts. We have three levels of herbal peels that gradually increase in intensity and days of downtime. Within each of these three facials there are a number of variations to ensure our dermal therapist is offering you a bespoke treatment that will best suit your skin concerns.
The Herbal Hydra Peel
The Herbal Hyrdation Peel, also referred to as a B Peel. As the name would suggest it is a super hydrating peel but it also targets many other skin concerns. There is no downtime associated with this treatment. It is completely free of chemicals, synthetic binders and abrasives and therefore there are not toxic side effects.
The blend contains proteins, carbs, vitamins, enzymes, phytohormones, mineral salts, tannins and trace elements to kick start and regenerate the skin just one day following the treatment. We can tailor this treatment to the individual to target their main concerns. We specially mix the herbs for the following options:
Clearer: Impure
Calmer: Sensitivity
Younger: Aging
Hydrated: Dehydrations
Brighter: Pigmentation
It’s a versatile effective treatment for those who need something a little deeper without the downtime. Read more here.
Ready to take things a little further?
The Herbal Phyto Peel
This peel is the second most popular treatment in clinic following the Face Plus Enzyme Peel. The Herbal Phyto Peel like the Herbal Hydration offers many variations to target your key concerns. This is a deeper facial and some will experience flaking following a treatment.
The Herbal Phyto Peel is similar to a strong micro-dermabrasion procedure. There is a key different; no harmful micro-injuries are inflicted onto the delicate acid mantle of the skin, that means no irritation or sensitivity. Following the treatment patients are a little flush but that can easily be covered with makeup, also some may experience a tingling sensation when they move or touch the skin, this tingle is a very good thing! Means the herbs are doing their thing. Read in detail about the treatment here. 
The Herbal Aktiv C Peel
There is downtime required in this treatment, a total of 5 days.
The Herbal Aktiv Peel is a great treatment that can be performed any time of year but it is a treatment ideal for the cooler months where you won’t be experiencing too much sun exposure.
The Herbal Aktiv Peel is a skin resurfacing treatment based on natural botanicals. This peel cannot be performed on the skin immediately, the skin must be strong and healthy to take the strength of the peel. Our dermal therapists often advise the patient to have a few enzyme or phyto peels before the Aktiv peel.
Read Kim’s Herbal Aktiv Peel journey and check out her incredible results HERE.
Visit one of our clinics and experience a thorough cosmetic consultation:
Call: 02 8897 0000
Email: [email protected][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]


The Beauty Chef Glow Powder


Heal from the inside out!

If you suffer from PCOS then every medical and wellness advocate will tell you, that food should be your medicine.

If you have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) you can fight the condition by incorporating the following five elements into your daily routine.

  1. Eat a nutritious, anti-inflammatory diet – one that is high in fibre and low in simple carbohydrates and sugars. In fact, carbohydrates should be limited to complex carbohydrates that are low on the glycaemic index.
  2. Establish and maintain a workout routine that engages your body without pushing the limits of physical fitness too far – strenuous exercise can add stress that will keep you in hormone imbalance. Exercise should be a daily activity but should never be something that causes injury.
  3. Incorporate targeted nutritional supplements into a healthy diet. Vitamins, minerals, and botanicals that have been blended together to support specific functions and systems of your body can increase your body’s ability to fight back and regain its health.
  4. Seek support. The symptoms associated with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome can be difficult to cope with, as well as emotionally draining. A shoulder to lean on in times of struggle can be invaluable to you.
  5. Get smart. Learn all you can about Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and Insulin Resistance.

Below is a list of some diet do’s and don’ts. While it is sometimes hard to fit in your daily dose of healthy vitamins and minerals, The Beauty Chef’s Glow powder can help you.

GLOW Advanced Inner Beauty Powder is a complete daily beauty supplement suitable for anyone wanting to improve skin tone and texture for radiant skin that lasts. Containing a blend of carefully selected nutrient dense and Certified Natural and Organic ingredients to nourish and enhance the skin from the inside, giving your skin a healthy glow on the outside.

Our unique and exclusive Flora Culture™ bio-fermentation process is used to super-charge the ingredients in the formula and creates a natural broad-spectrum probiotic. Rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, amino acids, prebiotics and probiotics, GLOW is packed with skin-loving bio-available nutrients that are absorbed quickly and effectively by the body’s cells.

When taken regularly, GLOW aids gut health and effective digestion, which naturally results in a smoother, more radiant complexion

The Beauty Chef Glow Powder is an amazing plant based supplement that should be taken daily and incorporated as part of a healthy, natural diet.
PCOS Foods to Avoid

  • Dairy
  • Soy
  • Highly processed packaged food/ fast food (anything high in sugar and salt)
  • Grain fed meat
  • Non-organic produce
  • Yeast
  • Dried fruits (any product with hidden sugars and fructose)

PCOS Foods to Incorporate

NB: See your Naturopath or Doctor before trying any of these remedies ask for test to be done to find out what imbalance you might have before introducing any of the following supplements 

Call 02 8897 0000 to book a skin consultation 


PCOS Q&A with Brigitte Warne

Brigitte Warne speaks with us about womens health.

At Face Plus Medispa we are passionate about helping women with their skincare issues.

Our goal is to make every woman feel confident inside and out about their skin. PCOS is an issue that effects a large portion of our clients.

With little research or funding behind the Syndrome we understand how frustrating this can feel for women looking for answers.

One of our own staff at Face Plus, our graphic designer, Keely, suffers from PCOS and is passionate about educating others and herself in holistic and medical treatments that help to manage her symptoms. Keely dedicates a lot of her spare time to research and came across a fellow Sydney PCOS advocate, Brigitte Warne.

Brigitte is a women’s health advocate who also happens to be a boss business woman & model. We recently invited her in for a treatment at Face Plus and sat down with her to pick her brain and delve into the magic that is her @pcos_to_wellness account and website. Make sure to check out Brigitte’s blog here:

How would you explain PCOS to someone that has never heard of it?
To put it simply PCOS, or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a complex hormonal condition.
However, it can be hard to really define PCOS as many women experience many different versions and symptoms of the condition, and you do not have to have all the symptoms to be considered as having PCOS.
The cysts themselves are actually not even cysts but are partially formed follicles that each contain an egg.

When did you first find out that you had PCOS?
 I found out I had PCOS in November last year (2017), it took nearly 1 year and 5 different doctors to finally get the diagnosis as I didn’t fit the ‘typical’ look of someone with PCOS.
There are 4 different types of PCOS according to Lara Briden (Insulin-Resistant PCOS, Pill-induced PCOS or Post-Pill PCOS, Inflammatory PCOS & Hidden-Causes PCOS), what category dose your PCOS fit under and what kind of symptoms did you have?
Its funny because I have spoken to several naturopaths about this (including one that works at Lara Bridens Sydney clinic) and its seems that I am combination of them.

Initially I thought it could have been pill induced (as I had been on the pill for 10 years) but looking back I had signs of having PCOS before that and I was actually put on the pill when I was 17 to help with acne and to regulate my non-existent period.

I also think there may be some links to insulin resistant PCOS too, Although I have always eaten very healthily, when I lowered my carbs I noticed a big difference in my symptoms, particularly acne.

I also think stress was greatly impacting my PCOS, so there may have been some element of inflammatory PCOS too!!

Haha… its hard to pick one!
The types of symptoms I experienced were:

  • Cystic acne on my face, neck, chest and back.
  • Hair loss
  • Dandruff
  • Migraines
  • Fatigue
  • Skin tags
  • Anxiety
  • Memory loss
  • Amenorrhea (absence of periods)

What where the first steps you took to treating your PCOS?
The first thing I did was research, research and then do more research.
After being told by my doctor that PCOS wasn’t curable and that the only way I would be able to manage the symptoms was through synthetic hormones and drugs I decided that there must be a better way.

Having a background in health science I set out to look at natural alternatives to managing PCOS from reputable sites, scientific journals and studies.

After spending weeks researching I got to work changing up my diet, implementing herbs, decreasing stress and reassessing my beauty routine.

What was your diet like before getting diagnosed with PCOS and what is it like now? Was it hard to give up your normal routine way of eating? 
Before PCOS my diet was still very healthy, I ate a vegetarian diet (mostly plant based) and ate lots of fruit, veggies and complex carbohydrates, but I would still happily enjoy everything in moderation including alcohol.

However, after finding out I had PCOS I decided to change my diet, I still stuck to a plant-based diet, but I had to cut out almost all sugars (including natural sugars from fruit), reduced my carbohydrates (including complex ones) and really increased good fats, I even tried a vegan keto diet for a while.

I also cut out all alcohol and caffeine. I am not going to lie, it was very hard sticking to this strict diet.

Thankfully I love cooking and coming up with recipes so at home it was bearable, but socially it was incredibly difficult.

In the end I would just have to explain to my friends and family why I was doing it and the huge improvements I had seen so far from sticking to my diet. Most of the time people were understanding and didn’t question me too much about it.

What is one of your favourite recipes to cook?
My vegan keto veggie bread is one of my favourite things to bake, and is the most popular recipe on my blog! Giving up bread was SOOOO hard for me, so coming up with this recipe gave me a great alternative. Click here for Recipe

What supplements do you take to help with your PCOS?  
Now days I don’t take as many supplements as I have been able to balance my hormones over time however I still like to take Zinc, maca, vitex and drink spearmint tea everyday.
However, the herbs and supplements I recommend for anyone who is just at the beginning of their PCOS journey are here

What is seed cycling? & what kind of difference did you see by starting seed cycling?
Seed cycling is basically just the process of eating specific seeds (flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds) at specific times of your cycle to help eliminate unwanted hormones or increase them.

This is done throughout the month to help balance your hormones and your menstrual cycle – it’s completely safe, natural and EFFECTIVE!

I have been on the seed cycling band wagon for around 5 months now, and I can honestly say that I think it has been one of the main reasons I have been able to regulate my once non-existent periods and get my fertility back. You can find out more about my experience with seed cycling here

How have herbal Peels helped your skin?
Herbal peels have been a game changer for my skin, they have helped me to be able to control my acne, improve my skin texture and help to heal pigmentation of acne scarring.

The thing I love about herbal peels is that depending on the herbs used you can target different issues and see results quickly.

Any skin care products you avoid?
Any harsh chemicals that strip your skin of its natural oils. When I first started experiencing PCOS related acne I was using every ‘acne’ related product I could find. I thought the harsher the product the more likely it was to kill the acne.

Unfortunately for me this ended up being a vicious cycle and would just inflame my poor skin even more, resulting in more acne.

There is so much miss information about PCOS any advice for someone that is newly diagnosed with PCOS or think that they might have it as well?
Do your own research, and be your advocate. There is so much information out there, and some of it is great!

Unfortunately, a lot of it comes from uneducated people, or people who have never even experienced PCOS themselves.
Listen to your body, if you’re experiencing symptoms that is your bodies way of trying to tell you something is not right or unbalanced.

It’s your job to find out what that is and let me tell you it doesn’t happen overnight!
Stick to evidence-based journals, people who have experienced PCOS first hand and people who have studied extensively in this area.

What’s you take on treating PCOS from both a conventional medical perspective and trying alternative therapies?
My perspective is that there is a need for both. I do however believe that there are so many amazing natural and alternative treatments that can be utilised before turning to conventional medicine.

I also believe that in order to heal you need to address the underlying issue, and quite often conventional medicine only masks the issue rather than fix it. My advice would be to speak to as many people as you can from both conventional and alternative backgrounds. Then use that information to decide your next steps forward.

To book a skin consultation: 
Call: 02 8897 0000
Email: [email protected]


4 types of PCOS

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4 types of PCOS

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If you think you have PCOS then it is imperative you seek the help and guidance of a medical professional. Go to your doctor and ask for a blood test. Proper diagnosis requires a blood test that shows high testosterone or other male hormones like androstenedione or DHEA. Never accept a diagnosis that was made by ultrasound alone.
PCOS is not one thing. It is not one disease. PCOS is a set of symptoms. The key primary symptom is failure to ovulate regularly. Failure to ovulate is why you are deficient in estradiol and progesterone. It’s why you have high testosterone, and why you develop secondary PCOS symptoms such as hair lossacne, and infertility.
According to Dr. Lara Briden there are 4 Types of PCOS. If you believe you are suffering from it, you need to understand the root cause of your ovulation issue by identifying what type of PCOS you have. You should help navigate this under the guidance of your health care professional.
1) Insulin-Resistant PCOS
This is the classic type of PCOS and by far the most common. High insulin and leptin impede ovulation and stimulate the ovaries to make testosterone. Insulin resistance is caused by sugar, smoking, trans fat, and environmental toxins.
Is this you? You have been told that you are borderline diabetic, or you had an abnormal glucose tolerance test. You probably have elevated insulin, and you may also have elevated LH (luteinizing hormone). You are probably overweight, although you may be normal weight. Normal-weight insulin resistance can occur in the years following dieting or eating disorder.
Treatment ideas: The first step is to quit sugar.  A small amount of fructose is healthy but a large amount is a major contributor to insulin resistance. Please also consider gentle intermittent fasting, which works well to improve insulin sensitivity. Best supplements for insulin resistance are magnesium, lipoic acid, inositol, and berberine. The Pill is not a treatment for this type (or any type) of PCOS because it impairs insulin sensitivity. Improvement for Type 1 PCOS is slow and gradual over 6-9 months. Please see my Insulin Resistance post.
2) Pill-Induced PCOS or Post-Pill PCOS
Hormonal birth control suppresses ovulation. For most women, it’s a temporary effect, and ovulation will usually resume fairly soon after the Pill is stopped. But for some women, ovulation-suppression can persist for months or even years. During that time, it is not unusual to be given the diagnosis of PCOS. Some experts deny the existence of Pill-induced PCOS, but it is very real. It is the second most common type of PCOS that I see. I have spoken to many other clinicians who are seeing the same thing. We desperately need more research into it.
Is this you? You had regular periods before starting the Pill, although you may have had acne. You probably now have elevated LH on a blood test, although you may have normal LH and high-normal prolactin.
Treatment ideas: If your LH is elevated, the best herbal treatment is Peony & Licorice combination. If your prolactin is high-normal, then the best herbal treatment is Vitex (also called chaste tree or chaste berry). Do not use Vitex if your LH is elevated. Vitex stimulates LH so it will make things worse. Indeed, many of my PCOS patients report feeling worse on Vitex.
Both Peony and Vitex work on your pituitary-ovarian axis, and they are powerful herbs. I recommend you do not use them too soon or for too long. Do not take them if you are a teenager, or if you have just come off the Pill. Give yourself at least 3-4 months off the Pill. Do not use Peony or Vitex for more than 10 months in a row. They should not need to be used that way. If they are the right herbs, they will work fairly quickly (within 3-4 months). And then, your periods should stay regular after you stop the herbs. Do not take licorice if you have high blood pressure. Please seek professional advice.
3) Inflammatory PCOS
Inflammation—or chronic immune activation—results from by stress, environmental toxins, intestinal permeability and inflammatory foods like gluten or A1 casein. Inflammation is a problem for PCOS because it impedes ovulation, disrupts hormone receptors, and stimulates adrenal androgens such DHEA and androstenedione.
Is this you? You have other symptoms of immune dysfunction such as recurring infections, headaches, joint pain or skin conditions. Your blood test shows inflammatory biomarkers such as vitamin D deficiency, abnormal blood count, elevated C-RP, thyroid antibodies, or gluten antibodies. You may have elevated DHEA or androstenedione, and a positive urine test for intestinal permeability.
Treatment ideas. Reduce stress and exposure to environmental toxins like pesticides and plastics. Eliminate inflammatory foods such as wheat, dairy, and sugar. Treat intestinal permeability with zinc, berberine, and probiotics. Supplement magnesium because it is anti-inflammatory and normalizes adrenal hormones (HPA axis). Improvement is slow and gradual over 6-9 months.
4) Hidden-Cause PCOS
This is the ‘simpler-than-you-think’ type of PCOS. Hidden cause PCOS usually means that there is one simple thing that is blocking ovulation. Once that single thing is addressed, this type of PCOS resolves very quickly, usually within 3-4 months. Common hidden causes of PCOS include:
– Too much soy, because it is anti-estrogen and can block ovulation in some women. (A small amount is okay.)
 Thyroid disease, because your ovaries need T3 thyroid hormone.
– Vegetarian diet, because it causes zinc deficiency, and your ovaries need zinc.
– Iodine deficiency, because your ovaries need iodine. Please be careful with iodine supplementation. Read my iodine post.
– Artificial sweeteners, because they impair insulin and leptin signaling.
 Too little starch in your diet, because your hormonal system needs Gentle Carbs.
To book a skin consultation: 
Call: 02 8897 0000
Email: [email protected][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]