Our period really does wreak havoc with our body and our mind. Those up and down mood swings, those uncontrollable cravings, and the worst of all is its ability to wreck our skin. Increased oiliness, a sudden cluster of whiteheads and that annoying big angry zit in the middle of the forehead or even worse – on the nose! We all face it, each and every month. It’s all caused by hormones, but yes, you can take a few steps to try and save your complexion when Aunty Flow visits. We give you a complete guide on what really goes on with your skin during your monthly cycle. Read on to get the scoop and understand your body better.
This is the middle of your cycle, or rather the last 14 days, when oil production is at its highest. Thanks to high levels of the male hormone androgen and lower levels of estrogen, blocked pores and zits are the most common at this time. If your skin is generally acne-prone, then this time is super problematic for your skin.
The imbalance of hormones and those high levels of testosterone send your sebaceous glands into overdrive to produce excess oil. Clogged pores cause acne and your scalp too can feel greasier at this time. The best way to save your skin right now is to use an acne-fighting cleanser to restore the pH balance of your skin, unclog pores and control oil. We like Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Cleanser. Also keep your hands off. Don’t touch your face too much to avoid spreading inflammation-causing bacteria.
One Week Before Your Period - Zit Alert
Things only get worse now. It’s PMS in all its pore-clogging-zit-causing glory. Our bodies are producing more androgen now than at any other time, which basically means more oil production. This is the time when you can expect larger pores, shiny skin (not the good kind) and breakouts. Some women even get cystic acne at this time, which are painful lumps mostly around the mouth, chin and jawline. All this can only just add to those horrible mood swings.
I know what you’re thinking, life is SO unfair! You can take matters into your own hands by eating right to save your out-of-control skin. A week before your period is due, cut down on sugar, carbs and dairy, which usually encourage oil production. Try and cut out milk all together. Load up on all those green veggies and cut back on caffeine as well, which can cause spots. Also, use a gentle exfoliator a couple times this week to prevent annoying pimples.
Your Period is Here - Oh Hell!
The first day of your period is the start of your cycle. Your body starts producing more of the hormone prostaglandin which helps shed the uterine lining. There is a drop in hormones like progesterone and estrogen, which explains why we could be an emotional mess right now. Now you know why you feel so low, plus you have to deal with cramps.
Prostaglandin makes your skin extra sensitive - your skin is the most tender right now and pain is maximized. Spots could be painful and you definitely want to avoid waxing and threading right now. Right before and during your period is also the time of increased sun sensitivity and redness, so be extra diligent about sunscreen. Thanks to low levels of estrogen, your skin is dehydrated and dry, so make sure to moisturize like crazy. Load up on water to keep your skin hydrated.
The Week After Your Period - Hello Gorgeous!
Woohoo! Your period is over and you don’t need to think about it for a whole month. This really is the best part of your cycle, when your skin is at its glowing best. Estrogen levels are the highest at this point and are perfectly balanced with progesterone, which means your skin is smooth, calm, hydrated and can feel firmer and plumper (since estrogen encourages collagen production). You’re the least likely to breakout into spots at this time. Follow your usual cleanse-tone-moisturize routine and book that waxing appointment for this week. Oh, and go on and click a perfect selfie right now!