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Glucophage (metformin) for PCOS?

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So, do you think perhaps increasing my spiro dose exacerbated the problem by further lowering my estrogen (keep in mind, I increased my dose in the first place because I was getting nodules after years of clear skin)? Should my estrogen go back to normal (or what it was) now that I've lowered my spiro or does it stay out of wack?

I use all natural toothpaste and have used two different brands since this resurgence of acne has started. What brand aggregated your acne?

The breakouts are on my chin, deep under the skin in hard, painful lumps (no head).

What's the difference between chiro-inositol and myo-inositol?

Thanks again!

I think it's possible, but you won't know for sure until you get tested. If you can find a doctor in your area that specializes in bio-identical hormone therapy, they will tell you what the correct dose of progesterone cream would be for your specific needs if you choose to go that route. But as you said, if you live in a small town you might just have to rely on information from women who are using the cream currently. Hearts was lucky enough to figure out her imbalance without getting hormonal tests, and many women do a lot of trial and error until they figure out the right combination of supplements/creams.

Many toothpaste brands aggravated my acne, including "natural" ones like toms of mayne (which actually isn't as natural as it claims). The worst was crest - both the toothpaste and the mouthwash. It caused redness all around my mouth and painful pimples. I was using sensodyne for a long time and it was fine, until I switched to their mint one and started breaking out again. I realized it might be the fluoride and peppermint, so I found a toothpaste without those ingredients (and without SLS), and switched to a tea tree mouthwash by desert essence and no breakouts for 2 months. Xylitol doesn't help me either, so it was difficult to find a natural toothpaste without xylitol but I eventually found one with baking soda, tea tree, and fennel.

Chiro-inositol is more expensive and harder to find on its own, but it's more useful for women who have trouble breaking down myo-inositol into chiro-inositol. Chiro is supposed to work faster and in smaller quantities, but most of the studies I read on inositol and acne used regular myo-inositiol so I figured I'd start with that. I use the powder form. Natural sources of chiro-inositol include buckwheat and carob, which I try to eat regularly to get some chiro because I didn't want to pay $60 to order the supplements.

Last time I tested my hormones I found out I had low progesterone and tried the cream (kokoro brand) for 2 months - greengables is very knowledgeable about hormonal balancing and gave me some tips on what to look for in a cream. Unfortunately, I couldn't stick to a regular application schedule, so I kind of gradually reduced it until I quit. It didn't aggravate my acne, and it helped me sleep better but I started getting numbness in my hands and feet every time I applied the cream to those areas, and I called the company to ask if this was a side effect and they recommended I stop using it to see if it would decrease the numbness. That was the main reason I stopped, but I'm still not sure if it was directly related to the cream because I've had problems with blood circulation before - it just happened to start during the time I started using progesterone, so I didn't want to risk it. I'm still getting numbness and tingling though, so I have to go see a neurologist for that but that's another story.

It's very important to stick to a regular, twice a day application schedule if you choose to use progesterone cream. I'm going with inositol for now because it helps with many areas. This is the info from the miscarriage website on the hormonal effects of inositol, also confirmed in clinical studies:

Clinical research has shown the following effects of inositol supplementation:
  • restores normal ovulatory activity
  • increases fertilization rate
  • prevents spina bifida birth defect
  • lowers free testosterone (research has shown up to a 73% reduction)
  • lowers total testosterone (as much as 65% reduction)
  • lowers LH (as much as 55% reduction)
  • lowers insulin response after meals (as much as 62% reduction)
  • lowers DHEA-S (as much as 49% reduction)
  • increases SHBG (as much as 92% increase)
  • lowers androstenedione (as much as 27% reduction)
  • lowers triglycerides (as much as 51% reduction)
  • lowers blood pressure (minor decrease)
  • increases peak progesterone (129% increase in one study)

If you notice, there's no mention of estrogen here (neither in most other studies), but - as with progesterone creams - the idea is that once progesterone increases, the ratio of progesterone: estrogen will become more balanced and progesterone will aid in balancing all other hormones. So this is another alternative to using the progesterone cream in case you want to go off spironolactone and glucosmart at some point and just use one thing for everything.

Btw, did you used to have increased body and facial hair before going on spiro?


Current regimen: garlic supplements [as needed], Enzymedica gluten blocker [as needed], nicadan [not sure if it works yet]. I try to simplify as much as I can. Don't take more supplements than you need....try one at a time and be patient.

The supplements that really helped me when my acne was at its worst: inositol, DIM [not as frequently now!] digestive enzymes [don't need them every day anymore, only on cheat days], herpanacine & vitamin C with rose hips/ low acid [not every day], regular sun exposure for vitamin D3, superoxide dismutase (SOD) enzyme supplements. NOTE: I do not recommend DIM for long term use, and I do not recommend hormonal creams without doctor supervision.

Lifestyle & Skin Care: acupuncture, regular exercise/ yoga, low histamine diet, avoiding unnecessary stress, balancing skin's PH (using Image Ormedics), using distilled/ filtered water to wash face, occasional high frequency facials...

 

Grocery list:

 

** Find the cause, find the cure **

** If you have a question for me, please ask it publicly so that others can benefit from the discussion**

 

 


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I called all the health food stores and compounding pharmacies in my town, they all said you need a prescription, except for for wild yam cream (that's available in health food stores). I was able to order Emerita on Amazon.ca today, but it will be awhile before it gets here. Is that a good brand? So, as as you know, taking spiro won't negatively impact using progesterone cream or vice versa?

Emerita has is one of the most popular progesterone creams as they have been around for over 35 years. I haven't used it personally, but I'm fairly certain they know what they are doing. As far as ingredients go, it checks out.

When you use it, I would consider applying it to the labia rather than whatever the box recommends.

  • Ideally, progesterone cream should NOT be applied to your skin. Instead use mucous epithelial membranes of your labia or rectum. Absorption through these membranes is more complete than through skin, and hormones absorbed through vaginal membranes enter the same pelvic plexus of veins that your ovaries normally empty into.

Most people recommend one dose in the morning and one at night. But I found that I could not handle progesterone cream during the day. It made me too drowsy. Sometimes you "get over" this effect with repeated use, but sometimes you don't. I switched to only an evening dose (which often put me right to sleep) so I could still function during the day. Just a heads up if you start feeling really tired...


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GreenGables

 


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Thank you ladies!

WishClean, so I wonder if the glucosmart is managing my progesterone levels on it's own then? It is a pricey supplement but my mom pays for it because of the hell I went through with other medications over the years. I have blonde hair, so facial hair is not that noticeable, though I do occasionally get a random long one on my cheek or something (awkward). I do think glucosmart and spiro help with that though.

GreenGables, what do you think- would the glucosmart and progesterone be overboard or would they work together with spiro to help my acne? I've gone back to taking my spiro at night, I'm not sure if that will make a difference but, in retracing my steps, I've decided to go back to my prebreakout regimen in order to be sure there isn't something small I'm missing that could have been the catalyst for this (like time of day I take spiro). So would it be better to take the progesterone cream a few hours apart from the time I take spiro or does it matter? What do you think the impact, if any, of the bcomplex (I took and stopped) could be?


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I'm taking metformin right now for my PCOS and it works great for lowering my testosterone, but just ok for my skin. I do get less inflamed pimples on it, but the improvement is nothing like taking spiro which cleared my skin completely. I think, though, that I am going to have to stop taking the metformin because it is making my hair fall out. Spiro makes my hair fall out too so I feel like I can't win with any hormonal treatments :(

Have you guys heard of berberine? I'm considering trying it instead of metformin because of the hair loss. Here's some info I found:

http://www.naturalmedicinejournal.com/article_content.asp?article=387

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Thank you ladies!

WishClean, so I wonder if the glucosmart is managing my progesterone levels on it's own then? It is a pricey supplement but my mom pays for it because of the hell I went through with other medications over the years. I have blonde hair, so facial hair is not that noticeable, though I do occasionally get a random long one on my cheek or something (awkward). I do think glucosmart and spiro help with that though.

GreenGables, what do you think- would the glucosmart and progesterone be overboard or would they work together with spiro to help my acne? I've gone back to taking my spiro at night, I'm not sure if that will make a difference but, in retracing my steps, I've decided to go back to my prebreakout regimen in order to be sure there isn't something small I'm missing that could have been the catalyst for this (like time of day I take spiro). So would it be better to take the progesterone cream a few hours apart from the time I take spiro or does it matter? What do you think the impact, if any, of the bcomplex (I took and stopped) could be?

Well, it's hard to tell without getting tested to at least have an indication of whether your progesterone is still low or not. I read the product description on the Glucosmart website, and they are alleging that it "halts PCOS", which is definitely an exaggerated claim to make! Maybe it helps make PCOS more manageable, but I doubt there is a supplement or a drug that cures PCOS completely. Also, they are saying it's suitable for both men and women, so maybe the dosage of inositol is not that high so that men can use it too....I'm not sure.

As for b-complexes, they usually give you more B12 and B6 than you need compared to all the other Bs, so it's best to get the Bs you need separately or from food. For some people, high amounts of B12 and B6 can aggravate acne.

I'm taking metformin right now for my PCOS and it works great for lowering my testosterone, but just ok for my skin. I do get less inflamed pimples on it, but the improvement is nothing like taking spiro which cleared my skin completely. I think, though, that I am going to have to stop taking the metformin because it is making my hair fall out. Spiro makes my hair fall out too so I feel like I can't win with any hormonal treatments sad.png

Have you guys heard of berberine? I'm considering trying it instead of metformin because of the hair loss. Here's some info I found:

http://www.naturalmedicinejournal.com/article_content.asp?article=387

Hmm berberine sounds promising...the issue with the study you cited is that the participants were also receiving an antiandrogen in a birth control pill (for both groups), so it's hard to say what the effects would be if berberine was taken on its own.

My doctor told me that metformin can help with PCOS but will probably not entirely clear my skin, but I never tried it. If you want to see a study that compares the effects of inositol (what I'm taking) to metmorfin, check this out: http://www.naturalmedicinejournal.com/article_content.asp?article=326

When comparing the effects of metmorfin and inositol to ovulation (which many PCOS women have issues with, resulting to acne in some), this is what they found:

"In this study, myo-inositol offered a significant advantage over metformin in restoration of spontaneous ovulation in patients with PCOS. This also resulted in a non-significant increase in pregnancy rate. In addition, patients on myo-inositol reported no side effects during the course of treatment. Myo-inositol should be considered as a first-line treatment in patients with PCOS experiencing chronic anovulation or infertility secondary to anovulation."

Now, if a supplement can exceed the effects of a drug in terms of regulating ovulation, then it has potential for exceeding the benefits of metformin in other respects too. But of course, pharmaceutical companies don't want us to know this. There are some studies on its impact on acne as well. Some studies combine it with folic acid, but I discovered it works just as well on its own in powder form.

Anyway, just another option for you to think about.


Current regimen: garlic supplements [as needed], Enzymedica gluten blocker [as needed], nicadan [not sure if it works yet]. I try to simplify as much as I can. Don't take more supplements than you need....try one at a time and be patient.

The supplements that really helped me when my acne was at its worst: inositol, DIM [not as frequently now!] digestive enzymes [don't need them every day anymore, only on cheat days], herpanacine & vitamin C with rose hips/ low acid [not every day], regular sun exposure for vitamin D3, superoxide dismutase (SOD) enzyme supplements. NOTE: I do not recommend DIM for long term use, and I do not recommend hormonal creams without doctor supervision.

Lifestyle & Skin Care: acupuncture, regular exercise/ yoga, low histamine diet, avoiding unnecessary stress, balancing skin's PH (using Image Ormedics), using distilled/ filtered water to wash face, occasional high frequency facials...

 

Grocery list:

 

** Find the cause, find the cure **

** If you have a question for me, please ask it publicly so that others can benefit from the discussion**

 

 


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Hmm berberine sounds promising...the issue with the study you cited is that the participants were also receiving an antiandrogen in a birth control pill (for both groups), so it's hard to say what the effects would be if berberine was taken on its own.

My doctor told me that metformin can help with PCOS but will probably not entirely clear my skin, but I never tried it. If you want to see a study that compares the effects of inositol (what I'm taking) to metmorfin, check this out: http://www.naturalmedicinejournal.com/article_content.asp?article=326

When comparing the effects of metmorfin and inositol to ovulation (which many PCOS women have issues with, resulting to acne in some), this is what they found:

"In this study, myo-inositol offered a significant advantage over metformin in restoration of spontaneous ovulation in patients with PCOS. This also resulted in a non-significant increase in pregnancy rate. In addition, patients on myo-inositol reported no side effects during the course of treatment. Myo-inositol should be considered as a first-line treatment in patients with PCOS experiencing chronic anovulation or infertility secondary to anovulation."

Now, if a supplement can exceed the effects of a drug in terms of regulating ovulation, then it has potential for exceeding the benefits of metformin in other respects too. But of course, pharmaceutical companies don't want us to know this. There are some studies on its impact on acne as well. Some studies combine it with folic acid, but I discovered it works just as well on its own in powder form.

Anyway, just another option for you to think about.

Here's another article on berberine which shows comparable results to metformin

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2410097/

I have read about myo-inositol on a PCOS forum I also visit and I think it also sounds interesting. I might consider trying it in the future. I'm really scared of stopping the met though because my skin is in a very good place. I've lost about half my hair though sad.png

Do you notice any skin benefits from the myo-inositol?

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That's very interesting. And it just goes to show that we don't need to resort to drugs because supplements can work just as well. My doctor wants me to exhaust all natural options before prescribing anything, and that's what I'm doing.

If you are losing your hair, then obviously the met is setting some of your other hormones off balance. I would say maybe biotin supplements or l-cysteine could help (if you check the B5 hair loss thread, you will find more suggestions that may apply to you), but the logical thing would be to stop taking what's causing the hairloss, or maybe decrease the dosage? Maybe it's too strong for you? What did your doctor say?

I've only been taking inositol for 3 weeks, and I'm also taking a high dosage of D2 prescribed by my doctor, so I think they are both helping with skin texture and reduction of acne. I haven't noticed any hair loss, I think my hair looks healthier but again, it could also be the vit. D. When I added inositol, I was taking a low dose and this week I upped it a bit more and noticed that any breakouts I get take less time to heal. But it's a bit too early to tell. The studies I read saw results from anywhere between 8 weeks to 3 months.


Current regimen: garlic supplements [as needed], Enzymedica gluten blocker [as needed], nicadan [not sure if it works yet]. I try to simplify as much as I can. Don't take more supplements than you need....try one at a time and be patient.

The supplements that really helped me when my acne was at its worst: inositol, DIM [not as frequently now!] digestive enzymes [don't need them every day anymore, only on cheat days], herpanacine & vitamin C with rose hips/ low acid [not every day], regular sun exposure for vitamin D3, superoxide dismutase (SOD) enzyme supplements. NOTE: I do not recommend DIM for long term use, and I do not recommend hormonal creams without doctor supervision.

Lifestyle & Skin Care: acupuncture, regular exercise/ yoga, low histamine diet, avoiding unnecessary stress, balancing skin's PH (using Image Ormedics), using distilled/ filtered water to wash face, occasional high frequency facials...

 

Grocery list:

 

** Find the cause, find the cure **

** If you have a question for me, please ask it publicly so that others can benefit from the discussion**

 

 


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Thanks WishClean, I totally agree, over exaggerated claims on supplements can be highly suspect. :-S

I hope things straighten out soon; I've ordered some progesterone cream but it takes up to three weeks for delivery. And my chin is really sore :(.


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Thank you ladies!

WishClean, so I wonder if the glucosmart is managing my progesterone levels on it's own then? It is a pricey supplement but my mom pays for it because of the hell I went through with other medications over the years. I have blonde hair, so facial hair is not that noticeable, though I do occasionally get a random long one on my cheek or something (awkward). I do think glucosmart and spiro help with that though.

GreenGables, what do you think- would the glucosmart and progesterone be overboard or would they work together with spiro to help my acne? I've gone back to taking my spiro at night, I'm not sure if that will make a difference but, in retracing my steps, I've decided to go back to my prebreakout regimen in order to be sure there isn't something small I'm missing that could have been the catalyst for this (like time of day I take spiro). So would it be better to take the progesterone cream a few hours apart from the time I take spiro or does it matter? What do you think the impact, if any, of the bcomplex (I took and stopped) could be?

I took spiro with breakfast, and then with lunch. I took progesterone before I went to sleep. So they were definitely hours apart. Who's to say if it actually makes a difference, but I figure the body can only handle so much at a one time.

I'm taking metformin right now for my PCOS and it works great for lowering my testosterone, but just ok for my skin. I do get less inflamed pimples on it, but the improvement is nothing like taking spiro which cleared my skin completely. I think, though, that I am going to have to stop taking the metformin because it is making my hair fall out. Spiro makes my hair fall out too so I feel like I can't win with any hormonal treatments sad.png

Have you guys heard of berberine? I'm considering trying it instead of metformin because of the hair loss. Here's some info I found:

http://www.naturalmedicinejournal.com/article_content.asp?article=387

What's funny is that on spiro my hair is thinner on my head, overall, but my hairline has changed slightly. I don't know what to call them, but you know those Vs on the temples at a lot of people have? Mine were kind of far back before spiro....almost resembling a guy just starting to bald. Even though I have less hair overall, those Vs are smaller now, more hair has grown in those places.

From what I've read, less hair overall on the scalp is more of a "female" trait. We think when we're losing hair we're balding and something is wrong. Balding is actually correlated more to a specific pattern of hair loss (on the crown of the head, and those V shapes on the temple). But balding men, with high testosterone, will actually have more hair on other parts of their head, and then have no hair in the specific balding spots.

Does that make sense?

Not to underwhelm any hair loss you had. Just wanted to let you know that it is fairly normal to have less "overall" hair, body AND scalp, when your testosterone goes down. But if you had any "balding" spots, those would have gotten better at the same time.


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GreenGables

 


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What's funny is that on spiro my hair is thinner on my head, overall, but my hairline has changed slightly. I don't know what to call them, but you know those Vs on the temples at a lot of people have? Mine were kind of far back before spiro....almost resembling a guy just starting to bald. Even though I have less hair overall, those Vs are smaller now, more hair has grown in those places.

From what I've read, less hair overall on the scalp is more of a "female" trait. We think when we're losing hair we're balding and something is wrong. Balding is actually correlated more to a specific pattern of hair loss (on the crown of the head, and those V shapes on the temple). But balding men, with high testosterone, will actually have more hair on other parts of their head, and then have no hair in the specific balding spots.

Does that make sense?

Not to underwhelm any hair loss you had. Just wanted to let you know that it is fairly normal to have less "overall" hair, body AND scalp, when your testosterone goes down. But if you had any "balding" spots, those would have gotten better at the same time.

I understand what you're saying. However, in my case my hair loss isn't normal. No one in my family has hair as thin as mine right now and the part in my hair looks abnormally sparse. I've been doing some research into why metformin might give me this side effect, and all I've been able to find is that it is an aromatase inhibitor which might cause hair loss. Unfortunately the berberine I was going to try is also an aromatase inhibitor -_-

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@ paigems...hair loss is a risk whenever we try to regulate our hormones using synthetic drugs, or even herbs and supplements (there's a massive thread on B5 hairloss from people who megadosed on it). I would say, if you choose to replace metformin with berberine, the hairloss -- and also the blockage of aromatase -- will probably lessen because on its own, it seems to be a bit weaker than metformin but could be just as effective in terms of the positives.

The inositol I'm taking is supposed to inhibit aromatase too, among other things, but I haven't noticed any more hair shedding than usual. Whenever I have tried to regulate my PCOS - whether by birth control, antiandrogens, herbs -- I always seem to get some hair shedding.

It sucks that we try to fix one issue and then another issue emerges saywhat.gif


Current regimen: garlic supplements [as needed], Enzymedica gluten blocker [as needed], nicadan [not sure if it works yet]. I try to simplify as much as I can. Don't take more supplements than you need....try one at a time and be patient.

The supplements that really helped me when my acne was at its worst: inositol, DIM [not as frequently now!] digestive enzymes [don't need them every day anymore, only on cheat days], herpanacine & vitamin C with rose hips/ low acid [not every day], regular sun exposure for vitamin D3, superoxide dismutase (SOD) enzyme supplements. NOTE: I do not recommend DIM for long term use, and I do not recommend hormonal creams without doctor supervision.

Lifestyle & Skin Care: acupuncture, regular exercise/ yoga, low histamine diet, avoiding unnecessary stress, balancing skin's PH (using Image Ormedics), using distilled/ filtered water to wash face, occasional high frequency facials...

 

Grocery list:

 

** Find the cause, find the cure **

** If you have a question for me, please ask it publicly so that others can benefit from the discussion**

 

 


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@ paigems...hair loss is a risk whenever we try to regulate our hormones using synthetic drugs, or even herbs and supplements (there's a massive thread on B5 hairloss from people who megadosed on it). I would say, if you choose to replace metformin with berberine, the hairloss -- and also the blockage of aromatase -- will probably lessen because on its own, it seems to be a bit weaker than metformin but could be just as effective in terms of the positives.

The inositol I'm taking is supposed to inhibit aromatase too, among other things, but I haven't noticed any more hair shedding than usual. Whenever I have tried to regulate my PCOS - whether by birth control, antiandrogens, herbs -- I always seem to get some hair shedding.

It sucks that we try to fix one issue and then another issue emerges saywhat.gif

I agree it does suck! Thankfully birth control doesn't cause my hair to shed. Keep us updated on your experience with inositol please :)

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@ paigems...hair loss is a risk whenever we try to regulate our hormones using synthetic drugs, or even herbs and supplements (there's a massive thread on B5 hairloss from people who megadosed on it). I would say, if you choose to replace metformin with berberine, the hairloss -- and also the blockage of aromatase -- will probably lessen because on its own, it seems to be a bit weaker than metformin but could be just as effective in terms of the positives.

The inositol I'm taking is supposed to inhibit aromatase too, among other things, but I haven't noticed any more hair shedding than usual. Whenever I have tried to regulate my PCOS - whether by birth control, antiandrogens, herbs -- I always seem to get some hair shedding.

It sucks that we try to fix one issue and then another issue emerges saywhat.gif

I agree it does suck! Thankfully birth control doesn't cause my hair to shed. Keep us updated on your experience with inositol please smile.png

I actually just updated on heart's thread... here: http://www.acne.org/messageboard/topic/333143-pics-how-i-cleared-my-hormonal-acne-naturally/page-2

Inositol has given me promising results so far in such a short amount of time and low dosage...I thought my hormones were so messed up because they haven't been responding to things that used to work for me in the past. Anyway, read my update and let me know what you think! It's not just my skin that's improving, it's other symptoms too.


Current regimen: garlic supplements [as needed], Enzymedica gluten blocker [as needed], nicadan [not sure if it works yet]. I try to simplify as much as I can. Don't take more supplements than you need....try one at a time and be patient.

The supplements that really helped me when my acne was at its worst: inositol, DIM [not as frequently now!] digestive enzymes [don't need them every day anymore, only on cheat days], herpanacine & vitamin C with rose hips/ low acid [not every day], regular sun exposure for vitamin D3, superoxide dismutase (SOD) enzyme supplements. NOTE: I do not recommend DIM for long term use, and I do not recommend hormonal creams without doctor supervision.

Lifestyle & Skin Care: acupuncture, regular exercise/ yoga, low histamine diet, avoiding unnecessary stress, balancing skin's PH (using Image Ormedics), using distilled/ filtered water to wash face, occasional high frequency facials...

 

Grocery list:

 

** Find the cause, find the cure **

** If you have a question for me, please ask it publicly so that others can benefit from the discussion**

 

 


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