Periods and Pimples: How to Care for Your Skin During Every Stage of Your Cycle
Did you know that your menstrual cycle can affect your skin even when you aren’t on your period?
Hormonal highs and lows throughout the different stages of your menstrual cycle can bring on a range of uncomfortable symptoms at different times, from mood swings and weight gain to dry skin and pimples. Adjusting your skin care routine during the different phases of your cycle can help to keep breakouts and other issues at a minimum.
Here’s everything you need to know about periods and pimples!
Hormones and Skin
Your skin will go through stages of oiliness and dryness during your cycle because of fluctuations in your hormone levels. Generally, pimples will become an issue a week or so before and throughout your period. Most women and girls deal with acne, spotting, and pimples during this time due to the build-up of sebum underneath the surface of the skin.
Your skin may also have an oilier appearance during this stage of your cycle. The oiliness is caused by surging changes in the levels of hormones like testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone throughout your menstrual cycle. They are responsible for changes in the skin… from dryness to oiliness and everything in between.
During different stages of your cycle, estrogen levels fluctuate so much that it can even cause changes in your skin’s thickness and texture. Pimples and acne are affected by the levels of progesterone. When progesterone levels are high, breakouts occur because the pores become clogged, causing massive amounts of sebum to build up under the skin.
Your Skin During the First Days After Your Period
Progesterone and estrogen levels are very low during the first few days after your period. During this time, you may notice that your skin looks dry and dull. Fine lines and wrinkles become more noticeable. Your skin will need extra hydration and moisture during this stage of your cycle. Your hormone levels are so low during the first few days after your period, you probably won’t have to worry about pimples at this stage. However, incorporating a serum into your skincare routine would be especially helpful in combating dehydration, providing plumpness, and giving your skin a healthier glow.
Your Skin During the Follicular Phase of Your Cycle
The first 6 to 10 days after your period is called the follicular phase. This phase starts on the first day after your period and ends at ovulation. During this time, your estrogen levels will gradually increase. Thanks to a slow rise in serotonin levels, you may notice an uplift in your emotions and energy level during this time. The follicular stage of your cycle will likely be the period of the month where your skin is at its best state. Around the ninth day of your cycle, your estrogen levels will start to return to normal, and you should begin to notice a healthier glow to your skin!
Estrogen levels peak between the tenth and thirteenth day. Testosterone levels also begin to increase during this stage. You will probably only need a light-weight moisturizer during this time because your skin will have plenty of natural moisture. Collagen levels will be higher, making your skin more elastic and plump. During the follicular stage, your regular skin care routine should suffice.
Your Skin During Ovulation
Ovulation generally occurs between days 11 and 18 of your cycle, and this is when you will begin to notice that your skin is becoming more problematic. Estrogen and testosterone levels start to decrease during this stage, while progesterone levels start to rise. Higher progesterone level means that your skin will become oilier and more susceptible to bacteria that causes breakouts.
During ovulation, be especially meticulous in removing your makeup before going to bed. Double-cleansing is an excellent way to ensure that every trace of pimple-causing makeup, dirt, and oil is removed. You can consider using natural, oil-free skin care products and non-comedogenic makeup from Korean makeup brands. Korean products are generally more natural and lightweight, but are still able to provide nourishment to the skin.
Your Skin During the Luteal Phase
The luteal phase brings on a whole host of PMS symptoms, from cravings for junk food and mood swings to pimples and other skin changes. For some women, these symptoms are very mild or non-existent, while for others, these symptoms can be so serious that they have to adjust their entire routine. Extreme hormonal fluctuations that take place during the days right before your period are the cause of these drastic changes.
During this phase, continue with your double cleansing routine and stick to light-weight, oil-free skin care and makeup. Stay hydrated to help keep bloating and swelling at bay. During the luteal phase, make an extra effort to eat healthy and incorporate leafy greens into your diet, this can provide the additional nutrients that your body needs to generate energy. Avoiding processed, fried and salty foods can also help to prevent breakouts and bloating.
Your Skin During Your Period
And finally, during the days of your period, your hormone levels are the most unbalanced. Oil production is at an all-time high. Many women deal with hormone-related cystic acne and pimples on their chin and jawline right before and during menstruation. Meticulous cleansing with the double cleansing method will be especially beneficial!
Avoid using heavy moisturizers or makeup during this time because your skin will be especially prone to clogging, which leads to blackheads and pimples! During this stage, exfoliating your skin can help remove dead skin cells from the surface of your skin, preventing your pores from getting clogged. Getting extra rest and eating healthy during your period is especially essential in helping your skin look its best.
Your menstrual cycle affects not only your skin, but your energy levels and emotions as well. Thanks to fluctuating hormones, it’s not uncommon to experience such symptoms before and during your period. Adjusting your skin care routine according to each stage of your cycle will help to keep your skin in excellent condition despite the hormonal highs and lows.