Even if your skin is on the less problematic side, you’re only too familiar with sudden blemishes along your jawline, enlarged pores, more oiliness and sometimes even cystic acne on your chin telling you that your period is near. It’s like a sign that tells the world “Stay away – cramps and moodiness ahead!” Your skin goes through loads of changes during your cycle thanks to all those hormonal changes within, so we decided to help you care for it better. Whether you notice extreme changes or subtle ones, we tell you the right skincare routine based on your period cycle. In your face, PMS-pimples!
Days 1 – 6: Your Period!
As your uterine wall sheds, levels of estrogen are super low. Your skin is extra sensitive at this time and can look blotchy, but it isn’t as prone to breakouts and oiliness like during PMS. It can look dull though, and even dark circles can look more pronounced.
What You Should Do: Use a facial oil to massage into your skin, it will boost your skin with nourishment and glow and the massage will increase circulation to fight dullness. Also make sure to get enough sleep to prevent tiredness and dullness showing up more prominently on your face. Load up on antioxidants with green tea and Vitamin C.
Day 7 – 13: The Phase After Your Period, Leading Up to Ovulation
Our skin looks and feels its best after our period ends thanks to increasing levels of estrogen. Phew! That’s a welcome relief after the turmoil of the past couple of weeks. Your skin will be more hydrated, supple, with smaller pores and increased collagen production at this time.
What You Should Do: Make sure to apply sunscreen religiously to keep your skin looking its best. Also, avoid heavy makeup and let your skin breathe, this is the perfect opportunity for it. If you’re prone to zits and breakouts all month, then continue with acne-fighting products like a cleanser containing salicylic acid and a benzoyl peroxide cream. Tea tree products also help.
Day 14 – 20: Ovulation!
Ovulation occurs right in the middle of your cycle, about 2 weeks after your period. It’s when your eggs are ready and waiting to be fertilized. Basically, the perfect time to get pregnant, or to be careful about if you’re sexually active and don’t want to pop out a baby in 9 months time. As levels of estrogen continue to rise at this time, it triggers the production of another hormone, Luteinizing Hormone (LH), which can wreak some havoc. LH increases oil production, which can lead to - you guessed it - acne! It’s normal to sprout a blemish or two around this time.
What You Should Do: Make sure to use an oil-free moisturizer and oil-free makeup. Use a toner to help control oil and prevent pore-clogging as well as make it a point to exfoliate. Now is the time to be careful about your diet too and stay clear of breakout-causing foods like chocolates and caffeine.
Day 21 – 28: PMS – Oh Hell!
Since your egg hasn’t been fertilized, levels of estrogen decrease. We’ve already told you that your skin looks its best with increased levels of it, so now you know why your skin looks its worst at this time. A surge of progesterone and testosterone can trigger breakouts at this time thanks to extreme oil-production, which can clog pores and cause them to look bigger. You’re most prone to zits now that can appear anywhere on the face, though hormonal acne is more common along the jawline and chin.
What You Should Do: Amp up your acne-fighting routine by making sure to cleanse regularly and take off your makeup religiously to avoid clogged pores. Use a clay mask or even multani mitti to keep oiliness in check. Exfoliate and apply a benzoyl peroxide ointment on acne prone areas to prevent angry spots from forming. Remember to stay relaxed; increased stress levels can take your skin from clear to breakout central overnight!