This woman’s struggle with PCOS led her to create her own blog
Beauty blogging is serious business—you need to be updated about the latest in makeup, hair, skin and health and make sure your content keeps your followers coming back for that which is exclusively yours. Upon being diagnosed with PCOS while pregnant with her first child, Delhi- and London-based beauty and wellness blogger Shagun Khanna started paying careful attention to her health. This meant reading up expert studies and books on the topic and having multiple conversations with doctors, dermatologists and nutritionists to figure out a way to good health that worked for her. Khanna then started to document her beauty and wellness discoveries on her Instagram account just for family and friends, but soon turned it into a full-time business. On her blog, you’ll find everything from DIY beauty recipes, health tips to reviews of the latest in makeup and skincare. The mother-of-two, who is on this year’s Vogue Beauty Awards jury, spoke to us about her journey so far.
You’ve been writing your blog for the past two years now. How has that been?
I’ve learnt so much about social media. It has really helped me a lot. And I started this casually for my friends, but it suddenly picked up; I’m loving it.
When did you first find out you were suffering from PCOS?
When I was pregnant with my older son, 24 years ago, I went for an ultrasound and found out I had PCOS. But I wasn’t put on any treatment [as] there wasn’t too much information available back then.
How did you control your PCOS?
The only way to treat the symptoms of PCOS [then] was through regular exercise and healthy eating. After I gave birth, I immediately cut down on refined, processed foods and started working out five days a week—I made sure my weight didn’t go up. Regular workouts, healthy eating, meditation and health supplements; these were the lifestyle changes that I made [that were known to be] beneficial for women with PCOS. I didn’t want to be put on any kind of medication.
What did your healing process teach you?
My key takeaway was the power to know I can do anything if I put my mind to it. I can positively heal my body, my mind and help myself to live a better life—PCOS or not. Healing is not just physical—it’s a mindset. You have to want it, only then will you get it, only then will the process become easy.
What are your favourite superfoods?
I strongly believe in the powers of green superfoods; I think they work really well and are so easy to carry too. I usually go for moringa, wheatgrass or spirulina—just one kind at a time. It really helps in keeping your system alkaline. I drink a lot of water and use different ways to keep myself hydrated with coconut or infused water. They clean you from inside and keep your system alkaline, which shows on your face as well. I don’t touch dairy. Dairy for me is like, if I were on holiday then I might have a slice of pizza but it’s not good for my hormones. And I don’t eat gluten either.
Do you have skincare concerns because of your PCOS? How do you take care of them?
I sometimes experience maybe one or two spots around my chin area, which is adult acne related to my hormones. I don’t use any intense treatment as such. I apply some salicylic acid, some benzoyl peroxide and those work.
What does your everyday skincare routine look like?
I cleanse my face by washing it with Vitonomics Vitamin C cleanser, then spray it either with rose water or a mineral-based water and let it absorb. Next, I apply my serum and wait for that to absorb into my skin. I apply my moisturiser, followed by my sunblock. Sunblock is a must. Everyday. Indoors and outdoors. I can’t be without my sunblock. My nighttime routine is very easy. I wash my face and then either spray it with my Kama Ayurveda [face mist], or any rose water which I’m using at the time. And then I use retinol-based products. Again, I keep playing with the strength [of the products]. Sometimes it’s low strength [and] sometimes it’s strong, depending on my skin’s needs. And of course, my under-eye creams, one for day use and one for the night.
What are the top five beauty products you’re currently loving?
I’m using a Vitamin C-based serum by this pharmaceutical brand called Vitonomics. It’s an amazing serum with hyaluronic acid, Vitamin E and green tea extracts. A sunblock that I recently discovered is the Bioderma Aquafluide SPF 50—it comes with a slight tint as well, so you don’t need to apply foundation on it, and it has really nice coverage too. Then of course, the Clarins eye cleanser is one of my favourites. The Innisfree green tea wipes and Rene Furterer Complex 5 are also really nice.
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