Bloating, cramping, aches and pains, feeling sluggish, not to mention skin flare-ups, breakouts and zits of all shapes and sizes––when it comes to that time of the month, women go through a lot, to say the least.
Whether you like it or not, your skin reacts to hormonal fluctuations. This causes drastic changes in your skin throughout your 28-day menstrual cycle; from clear one minute to dry, pimple-ridden, or oily the next. Below, we unpack how your skin changes throughout the different stages of your period cycle and how you can keep it under control.
The first stage of your cycle (days 1–8):
In the first week of your period, your estrogen and progesterone hormone levels will begin to rise. This means your skin will start clearing up from pre-menstrual breakouts (see the final stage) and become less oily. However, because you're not producing as much oil in this stage, you may find that your skin is more prone to dryness, flakiness and dullness.
Skin Tips: During this phase, your skin will crave some extra TLC. Slather on deeply hydrating moisturisers, hydrating face masks and drink lots of water to nourish and protect your skin's moisture barrier and keep it glowing.
The second stage of your cycle (days 8–14):
The week following your period, your skin will be at its best, as your estrogen levels continue to rise and the rough part id over. By day 14 of your menstrual cycle, when ovulation (your ovaries release an egg) usually occurs, your estrogen level will be at its peak, and you'll notice clearer skin and a healthy glow.
Skin Tips: With hormonal changes around the corner, it's important to nourish your skin at its best and stick to a consistent routine, including a gentle cleanser, a toner, a serum, and a moisturiser (plus don't forget your SPF every day!)
The third stage of your cycle (days 15–24):
This is when your skin will be at its oiliest. At this stage, your body producer higher level of progesterone hormone, which activates your oil glands, leading to an increased production of oil known as sebum. This oil blocks your pores and encourages bacteria to grow, leading to inflammation and breakouts.
Skin Tips: This is when you need to take extra care to wash your face properly, and get rid of any excess dirt and oil build-up. Exfoliate with a gentle chemical exfoliant once or twice a week to keep your breakouts at bay and buff away any impurities and dead skin cells.
The fourth and final stage (days 24–28):
This is your premenstrual phase, the few days right before your period when your estrogen and progesterone levels drop rapidly and things get really nasty for your skin. Thanks to this extreme change in hormone levels, you'll likely experience increased oiliness, redness, and inflamed pimples, along with bloating and swelling throughout your body due to water retention (a nightmare, we know!).
Top Skin Tips: Go easy on yourself! It's important to minimise your stress levels as much as possible at this stage. However, it's also equally important to stick to a consistent skin-care routine and cleanse your skin gently but thoroughly. Additionally, try to include more antioxidant-packed and vitamin-rich superfoods, like sweet potato, fish, and citrus fruits, to help detox your skin.
Considering we’re all unique and hormonal fluctuations can affect your skin differently each month, we understand just how difficult it is to stay on top of your skin’s health 24/7. So aside from understanding how your skin reacts to different stages of your menstrual cycle, it’s important to build and stick to a consistent skincare routine to nourish your skin properly. At Yours, we do all the hard work for you––take a quick skin assessment and we’ll take into account your skin type, lifestyle and environment (including sleep, stress, and hormonal changes) to create a personalised skincare regimen for all your needs!