Have you ever noticed that just before your period, your skin gets a little oilier and the dreaded "period acne" appears, the acne that appears on your chin or jaw? Or that your skin feels super soft and moisturized and shines a little brighter afterwards? Did you know that your diet and menstrual cycle play a VERY IMPORTANT role in how your skin looks and feels?
The length of the menstrual cycle is different for each person, as is the duration of each phase. Keep a diary or use a menstrual tracker app and note how your skin changes during your period - from oily to dry in just a few days. This way, you can find the most balanced skin care routine to match your hormonal changes.
Here are some tips on how to balance your skin care with hormonal changes.
Phase 1: Follicular phase
Duration: 7-10 days
The follicular phase begins after the end of menstruation. The follicles in the ovaries prepare for the release of a new egg. Estrogen begins to rise to thicken the lining of the uterus to accommodate an egg later.
In the follicular phase, your skin is at its peak and your face is radiant ✨. When estrogen levels rise, the skin thickens, pores become smaller and collagen production is boosted.
Boost your glow by exfoliating every other day to remove dead skin cells.
Phase 2: Ovulation phase
Duration: 3-4 days
The ovulatory phase is the time when the ovaries release an egg into the uterus (i.e. when you ovulate). At the time of ovulation, estrogen levels remain elevated and the body begins to produce luteinizing hormone, which can make the skin oilier and cause blemishes.
During this time, avoid over-applying makeup and moisturizer and opt for a gentle, non-comedogenic cleanser.
Also, try incorporating dry brushing into your daily routine to help your lymph nodes balance out the sudden surge of estrogen. Using a purifying mask is also a great way to cleanse your pores.
Phase 3: Luteal phase
Duration: 10-14 days
The key to skin care during this phase is to stay hydrated and increase your intake of water and antioxidants in your diet. Continue your skin care regimen from the ovulation phase, and if you notice those pesky symptoms, try switching to a salicylic acid cleanser for pre-period skin care. Your skin is more sensitive during menstruation, so apply a nourishing moisturizer or a hydrating and soothing mask to keep it hydrated.
Phase 4: Menstruation phase
Duration: 3-7 days
The day has come: Your period is here! The progesterone level drops quickly and the estrogen level is low.
In the first days of your period, your skin is still a bit more sensitive than usual, and pimples may still appear. For this reason, your skin will continue to be oily, dry, dull, blotchy and uneven. Maintain the pH of your intimate area with natural products such as menstrual wash.
At the beginning of your period, continue to use a cleanser with salicylic acid to fight acne during the menstrual cycle. Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant masks are also great for giving the skin that extra boost it needs.