It’s no secret that our bodies go through 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.
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 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 lacklustre (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.
What to do: Your skincare during your period
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 (we love simple!). Here’s our quick tips to help you out:
- Double cleanse: It may feel counterintuitive to cleanse with an oil cleanser while your skin is secreting extra sebum, but oil actually absorbs oil, so we recommend a double cleansing routine to cleanse oil-based impurities first, then water-based impurities second, so you can really cleanse the extra sebum from those pores. Start with Clarity: Nourishing Dual-Phase Cleanser and follow with Purified: Purifying Cleanser
- Use a spot treatment: Clay masks work like a magnet for sebum. We recommend using Refined: Clarifying Red Wine Mask as a spot treatment directly on any blemishes and breakouts
- Use probiotic skincare: Probiotics deliver nutrients to our skin that protect against bad bacteria (one of the leading causes of breakouts) while decreasing inflammation too. This means they can assist to reduce the appearance of your breakouts, while soothing and healing their appearance too. We recommend The Limelight: Brightening Probiotic Lotion
- Hydrate your skin: One of the best ways to combat dullness and the sudden prominence in fine lines and wrinkles, is to hydrate your skin! Boost hydration with a serum like Eternal: Plumping Deep Sea & Malachite Collagen Serum (always apply to dampened skin) followed by a moisturiser like Sol: Hydrating Gel Moisturiser (best for oily skin) or The Limelight: Brightening Probiotic Lotion (suitable for all skin types)
While that covers your simple routine to cleanse, treat and hydrate, it’s worth noting these extra tips too.
- Resist picking 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
- 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
Most importantly – take care of yourself! Hormonal changes during your period, and their effects on your skin, are completely normal and nothing to be worried about. Keep your skincare simple and keep it targeted to assisting breakouts and dullness (the rest of your routine can wait!). We hope you feel confident no matter where you are in your cycle!