It’s no secret that our bodies go through many unwanted changes throughout our cycle. But did you know that your cycle has a lot to do with the appearance of your skin? Just as our energy, mood and cravings change, so too does our skin, and it all comes down to our hormones. We take a look at what our hormones are doing during that time of the month, so you can maintain your best skin all cycle long.
What’s happening: Your skin during your period
While our skin moves through natural phases of dryness and oiliness throughout our cycle, it’s often in the days leading up to, and during, our period that we really experience noticeable changes in our skin, hello breakouts.
Your hormones and skin
During our period all three major female hormones (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone) are low. This hormonal shift in estrogen and progesterone in particular can trigger your sebaceous glands to secrete more sebum (an oily substance) that can clog your pores and cause breakouts (most commonly along the jawline, neck and chin). Even when testosterone levels increase by the end of your period, this too can also trigger a secretion of sebum, therefore prolonging the length of breakouts. And with estrogen playing a role in the stimulation of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid, low levels of estrogen also leave our skin looking lackluster (dull, with fine lines and wrinkles suddenly more prominent). Basically, our hormones can leave our skin breaking out and looking dull – but it’s totally normal even though, totally annoying.
Your skincare during your period. What to do
By now we’ve established two clear skin goals during our period. One, assist breakouts. Two, assist dullness, fine lines and wrinkles. So let’s keep it simple.
Here’s some quick tips to help you out:
1) Double cleanse. As our skin is secreting extra sebum we must ensure we don’t skip this part. Double cleansing will remove any oil-based impurities first, makeup and dirt and then the second cleanse will remove any extra sebum from those pores. Start with Canvas: Organic Moisturising Cream Cleanser and follow with Naked: Powder to Foam Cleanser.
2) Use a spot treatment. Clay face masks work like a magnet for the skin. We recommend using Detox: Activated Charcoal Clay Face Mask as a spot treatment directly on any blemishes and breakouts.
3) Hydrate your skin. One of the top ways to fight dullness and the sudden prominent fine lines and wrinkles, is to hydrate the skin! Amplify hydration with a toner that’s specific role is to hydrate. Wild Rose: Organic Rose Water will offer massive hydration points as well as having incredible anti-inflammatory benefits, works wonders at reducing inflamed skin.
4) Moisturise. Sometimes this can feel counterproductive especially if you’re using an oil moisturiser but, oil actually absorbs oil. Super Seed: Organic Hemp Seed (Cannabis Sativa) Face Oil not only acts like a multivitamin to the skin, healing and preventing acne, it also closely resembles the sebum that our skin natural produces so makes the perfect moisturiser for hormonal skin.
While that covers your simple routine to cleanse, hydrate and treat, it’s worth noting these extra pointers too, some of which are probably obvious and we are all guilty of.
- Resist picking and squeezing breakouts, blackheads and whiteheads: While it’s oh-so-tempting to pick and pop, this can damage your skin and leave scarring to the tissue
- Avoid heavy and pore-clogging makeup as much as possible (be sure to double cleanse if you do wear makeup)
- Avoid processed or high-sugar foods that can cause inflammation and breakouts. You know it!
- Hydrate as much as possible! Not only do we tend to lose fluids during our period, but drinking enough water can help to reduce the severity of symptoms like headaches, fatigue, bloating and cramps too. Water, Water, Water
Take care of yourself
Most importantly – take care of you! Hormonal changes during your period, and their effects on your skin, are completely normal and nothing to be worried about but the low moods and anxieties are the real bummer here. Try practicing some self care, light some candles, hit the mat with some gentle, body loving yoga, and generally be kind to yourself.
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Never knew the science behind why I get spots in the lead up to my period. Very interesting read and has certainly helped me understand how my skin respond to hormones during a period – I didn’t know even half of what you wrote in this article! This sort of stuff should be taught in school 👏🏻
Great advice Dani. These are also relevant for those in perimenopause (like me). Really dried out your skin. Especially around the eyes. Love you 💗