Sorry to go all science-y on you ladies, but there are two types of hormones in the female body: estrogen and progesterone. Your menstrual cycle determines which hormone is in abundance, and therefore what kind of care your skin needs. A month is divided into three menstrual cycles according to the levels of these hormones: the menstrual phase, follicular phase, and luteal phase. Here’s what you should be doing during, before and after your period to keep your skin glowing. Read our period skincare tips for fabulous skin ALL month long!
a. Menstrual Phase:
The time when you’re on your period is called the menstrual phase. Estrogen and progesterone levels both fall during the menstrual phase, which gives the skin a dull appearance.
1. Use a steam towel on dull skin
If your skin starts looking dull during periods, it’s because of your hormones wreaking havoc in your body. Use a steam towel to increase blood circulation and bring colour back to your face. Make sure you eat plenty of foods rich in vitamin E for improved circulation and hormonal balance.
2. Moisturize well
You will notice a difference in your skin during your period in that it becomes drier as oil production decreases. Whether you have naturally dry or oily skin, you need to make sure you moisturize it well, especially when you are on your period.
3. Avoid skin irritants and wear a sunscreen
Your skin is especially sensitive during and just before your period. Stay away from harsh skincare products and foods that tend to irritate your skin and cause redness. Also make sure you never step out without wearing sunscreen as your skin is also more sensitive towards the harmful rays of the sun.
4. Stay hydrated to fight wrinkles
We all know that people with dry and dehydrated skin get wrinkles earlier. But did you know that dry skin also makes your wrinkles much more noticeable? The dip in estrogen makes your skin dehydrated and less plump, which enhances the appearance of pimples and fine lines. Make sure that you moisturize well and drink plenty of water during your period.
b. Follicular Phase:
The time right after your period is over is when your skin is in excellent shape. Here’s what you should be doing during this time...
1. Experiment with skincare products
This is exactly the right time to experiment with skincare products and routine. If you want to try out that new cream to see how well it reacts to your skin, do it now. Also make sure you pamper your skin with some good face packs to keep it glowing.
2. Let your skin breathe
We suggest you let your skin breathe and go easy on the foundation. Your skin is healthy and glowing, so let it breathe without any heavy coverage.
c. Luteal Phase:
This is usually the time when most skin problems crop up and you can also experience PMS symptoms towards the end of this cycle. Here are some things you can do to take care of your skin at this time of the month:
1. Cleanse well to take care of excess oil
During the last 14 days of your cycle, i.e., the luteal phase, the low estrogen and high progesterone levels give rise to excessive oil production. This makes your skin look oily and can lead to breakouts and even cause bacterial infections. Make sure you cleanse with products meant especially for oily skin to keep your skin clean!
2. Use salicylic acid to unclog pores
An increase in the levels of progesterone and testosterone - which occurs about a week before your period - can clog your pores with sebum and make them appear larger. This happens with people who have oily skin. Using a cleanser with salicylic acid can regulate sebum production and help with this problem.
3. Keep breakouts at bay
Acne is quite common at this time, so make sure you take extra special care of your skin. As we mentioned earlier, use products with salicylic acid to keep pimples away. Tea tree is also an effective ingredient to help prevent breakouts.
4. Protect your skin
The harmful UV rays of the sun can leave your skin red and irritated. We suggest that you be extra careful about protecting your skin: never step out without sunscreen and don’t experiment with new products during this phase. So ladies, make sure you tailor your skincare routine according to your menstrual cycle and see the difference in your skin!Images: Shutterstock