What Causes PCOS Face Shape?

by Tallene Posted April 22, 2024

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal condition that affects millions of women of reproductive age. PCOS is often pretty difficult to diagnose and ultimately requires several tests and symptoms to confirm the chronic hormonal issue. However, you don’t need to have a definite diagnosis to start trying strategies or lifestyle changes to help you reverse your symptoms!

One symptom of PCOS that often gets overlooked is PCOS face shape. Yes! If you’ve noticed changes in your facial features, that could be due to your polycystic ovarian syndrome (POCS.) Other things you may not know to find their root in PCOS include weight gain, bloating, digestive problems, a weakened immune system, excessive hair growth on the face and body, and more! 

We’re going to dive into a few of those today. The root issue with many of these symptoms is the same thing contributing to your PCOS face shape. I’ll explain more below! 

pcos face shape

What Causes PCOS Face Shape? 

Since PCOS is a hormonal disorder, it can affect your whole body. This can impact your facial fat deposits and facial hair growth, causing a condition known as “moon face.”

What is PCOS Moon Face?

“Moon face” refers to some common facial features seen in women with PCOS. Often, Cysters have rounder, fuller cheeks, puffy eyelids, double chins, and even excess facial hair growth (hirsutism). Of course, the way PCOS may affect your physical appearance isn’t the most important reason to fix your PCOS face shape. However, these facial features can be a sign of an underlying problem that is probably contributing to a lot of your other chronic symptoms and the problem could be increasing your risk of common PCOS long-term complications like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. All in all, it’s a good idea to discover what’s the root cause of your moon face to support your PCOS healing journey. 

How Does PCOS Change Your Face Shape?

PCOS can change your face shape, as well as the rest of the body, due to its effect on inflammation, hormone imbalance, and insulin resistance. 

Inflammation

First of all, inflammation can cause bloating and facial swelling. Chronic inflammation is when your immune system is overactive and attacks healthy cells. This state causes our bodies to retain fluid and bloat! Inflammation can also contribute to insulin resistance, which is another culprit of PCOS moon face. 

Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance is when your cells don’t process glucose (AKA sugar) correctly. Instead of turning glucose into energy, it absorbs it as fat. This contributes heavily to weight gain and elevated blood sugar levels! As insulin resistance increases, this may show in the fat deposits on your face. Insulin resistance can also prolong inflammation and contribute to hormonal imbalances.

Hormonal Imbalances

Hormonal imbalances are a big contributor to PCOS moon face. Progesterone is a necessary hormone for digestion, and without it, our bodies have a tendency to retain water. Women with PCOS are often deficient in progesterone, leading to fertility and menstrual problems. (One of the main signs of low progesterone is irregular periods or no periods.) Progesterone, though, as we’ve just discussed can impact physical appearances, too! 

Progesterone isn’t the only hormone playing a role in PCOS facial feature changes. Excess male hormones (androgens) in a Cyster’s body can worsen insulin resistance, further prompting weight gain. But, high androgen levels can also cause excess facial or body hair growth, leading to unwanted dark, coarse hair on the face. It can also lead to male pattern hair loss!

Though appearance isn’t the most important part of your healing journey, for many Cysters, getting their body back is essential to feeling empowered, confident, and joyful again. The changes in your body are signs of bigger troubles within, so let’s take some time to discuss how to lower inflammation, increase insulin sensitivity, and balance excess androgens and other hormones. Here’s what you can do to reduce PCOS moon face:

how to reduce pcos moon face

How To Reduce PCOS Moon Face

Reduce stress. 

Reducing stress is super helpful when trying to reduce PCOS moon face because stress is one of the biggest contributors to weight gain. Of course, the food we eat is a big part of it, but stress can worsen insulin resistance and hormonal imbalances! That means even when you’re eating well and exercising, you may not see change until you find ways to relieve stress. 

You can relieve stress with PCOS by spending time in nature, getting better sleep, cutting back on commitments, doing slow-weighted workouts, engaging in a hobby, and lots more! Figure out what helps you relax, and this can help with weight gain and bloating!

Drink more water. 

Staying hydrated actually helps your body decrease fluid retention, especially in the face! Plus, water supports liver detox, which is good for relieving inflammation and hormonal imbalances. So, to help reduce swelling and puffiness in your face, drink more water and less sugar-sweetened beverages!  

Consume less salt and processed foods. 

We all know that salt is the worst when it comes to swelling. Processed foods aren’t any better! So, cutting back on these two things can do a lot for PCOS face shape. Specifically, avoiding salt and processed food can help reduce water retention, improve insulin sensitivity, decrease inflammation, and balance hormones. Yes, all that! The way we eat can have a big impact on our PCOS symptoms, including moon face! 

Maintain a balanced diet overall.

That being said, a balanced diet is key to healing your PCOS and living symptom-free. Food can be our best friend or worst enemy with PCOS, and, no, that doesn’t mean you can’t eat delicious food anymore! There are sooo many delicious meal options and ingredient alternatives/substitutions that’ll satisfy your cravings, relieve symptoms, and help you lose weight. 

I recommend you try an anti-inflammatory gluten- and dairy-free diet! It’s specifically well-suited to a Cyster’s insulin-resistant and hormonally imbalanced body. The right food selections are essential to symptom management! You can find full meal plans on The Cysterhood app that make a PCOS diet a breeze, but if you’re looking for some ideas to get started, check out these posts:  

Exercise regularly. 

Exercise is also great for your overall PCOS healing goals! Focusing on slow-weighted workouts or other meditative exercises can help reduce stress, lower insulin resistance, lower inflammation, balance hormones, and, of course, promote weight loss! All these things can help shape your face and get rid of PCOS moon face. 

Like I said, not all exercises are made for PCOS. High-intensity workouts that get your heart rate up and pump your body full of cortisol and adrenaline probably won’t help you reach your goals! You can learn more about PCOS exercises here and make sure you download The Cysterhood app for all the best PCOS-friendly workout plans! 

Take Ovasitol and a multivitamin.

Even with a great PCOS meal plan, getting all the necessary vitamins and minerals can be difficult. However, getting our recommended daily nutrients are essential for supporting all your body’s chemical processes that way you can feel your best and find symptom relief. So, you should consider taking supplements to help reduce PCOS face shape!

Ovasitol is my favorite supplement for PCOS, because it can do so much for two of the main contributors to most PCOS symptoms: hormone balance and insulin resistance. You can learn more about Ovasitol in this episode of A Cyster and Her Mister podcast! I also recommend you take a multivitamin like Ovafit’s MetaMulti that includes dozens of other nutrients that we often lack because of PCOS all rolled into one to give your body tons of support from essential vitamins and minerals! 

Talk to your doctor. 

If you’re concerned about any PCOS symptoms, consult your doctor. They’ll have the best tools to help you understand your body and find the right treatment plan. They may suggest you consider birth control pills, metformin, spironolactone, or other prescriptions. However, ensure that you thoroughly research the pros and cons of each before making your next steps.

PCOS face shape happens due to hormonal imbalances, inflammation, and insulin resistance.

Once you get a PCOS diagnosis, treatment for PCOS can feel limited . . . Meanwhile, the symptoms of PCOS can be overwhelming. But, don’t worry! There are so many ways to naturally heal your PCOS and live symptom-free with PCOS! You can reverse everything from moon face and PCOS acne to heavy periods and weight gain.

Here at PCOS Weight Loss I’m all about helping you find relief from all your symptoms naturally and holistically. Just download The Cysterhood app, join our community, and let’s do this thing together!

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