The Menstrual Cycle: How To Keep Your Skin Clear & Balanced During Your Period
Written by Kerry Benjamin
Let’s say your skin is, more or less, in a state of balance: generally clear with little to no breakouts, excessive oiliness or visible pores. However, one week before your period, you may begin to notice some unwelcome changes—extra oil along your t-zone, pesky blemishes on your face or even painful cystic bumps along your chin. Is it time to totally change your skincare routine?
You probably don’t have to give your skincare regimen a 180 every month, but even the smallest tweaks can keep your skin clear and happy no matter where you are in your cycle.
CONTROL PREMENSTRUAL BREAKOUTS
Estrogen helps to suppress sebum (oil) production in the skin. About a week before your period, estrogen levels drop while progesterone levels increase, activating the oil glands and clogging pores. This increase of sebum also allows for the growth of the bacteria P. acnes, which makes the skin more sensitive to breakouts.
Exfoliating the skin during this part of the cycle can keep oil at bay while preventing dead skin cell build up. Since your skin is most sensitive during this part of the cycle, aim for gentle peels instead of abrasive scrubs. Our self-neutralizing TCA MULTI-ACID PEEL evenly removes dead skin and contains salicylic acid to fight breakouts.
Consider swapping out your regular moisturizer with an oil-free version for day and night.
REPLENISH MOISTURE DURING YOUR PERIOD
During your period, estrogen remains low while inflammatory prostaglandins are high. This can compromise the skin’s protective lipid barrier, which helps maintain a healthy moisture balance. That’s why you may notice your skin feels dry, blotchy and irritated during your period.
Look for a hydrating serum like our HA HYDRATING SERUM to draw moisture back into the skin. It uses hyaluronic acid, a clean ingredient naturally produced by our skin, to plump and hydrate. It also contains niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3 that improves elasticity and prevents waterloss.
If you’re finding your skin is particularly parched, apply an oil like our CALMING HEMP FACIAL ELIXIR over moisturizer for an added layer of hydration. Ours contains antioxidant-rich rosehip oil, which hydrates while also promoting blemish healing (especially helpful for those pesky premenstrual breakouts).
VISIT YOUR DOC FOR MORE EXTREME SKINCARE CHANGE
A rare and extreme skin condition called autoimmune progesterone dermatitis can occur as a response to the hormonal shifts before your period. Once the progesterone levels increase, the body responds with an autoimmune response, creating skincare reactions including eczema-like papulovesicles, urticaria (hives) mouth erosions and itch (the most common complaint). These skin changes can occur approximately seven days before menstruation and can last one to three days after. If you experience this, see your skincare professional for help.