Have you ever wondered why your skin seems to change personality several times during the monthly period cycle? Just when we thought we nailed a brilliant skincare routine, skin decides to switch character and we’re left confused.
Just as our mood and energy levels fluctuates with our lady hormones, so does skin. But by understanding our menstrual phases and how they affect skin we can adapt our skincare and help our skin feel its best. Our in-house dermatologist, Dr Anahita Ghorbani, shares her best advice!
PHASE 1 – TIRED MIND, DRY SKIN 🩸
WHEN: YOUR PERIOD (AROUND DAY 1-7)
This phase is 3-6 days, depending on the length of your period. At the beginning of your period, energy levels are often low, and you feel tired and worn-out. Skin feels dry, dull, and overly sensitive.
– During our period, estrogen and progesterone levels are at their lowest. Low levels of estrogen weaken the skin barrier function, which leads to lower hydration levels. In addition, low levels of progesterone lead to lower oil production, which can result in dry and dehydrated skin, says Dr Anahita Ghorbani.
If you have skin conditions, like eczema or psoriasis, they can worsen during this time.
DO: Be kind to yourself, inside and out. Focus on hydration and calming, moisturising skincare. Look out for soothing ingredients like centella, hyaluronic acid, vitamin B5 and ceramides.
DON’T: This is not the right time to introduce new, active products or ingredients, like a new retinol or strong acids. If you do chemical peels, lasers or microneedling in a clinic, be aware that you can be more sensitive to pain right now.
PHASE 2 – POWERHOUSE ENERGY, GLOWING SKIN ✨
WHEN: THE FOLLICULAR PHASE AND OVULATION (ABOUT DAY 7-15)
The length of this phase differs depending on when your ovulation is, but from the day after your last bleeding day until your ovulation your estrogen rises, your energy levels soar and many feel on top of the world, ready to take on anything! Your skin also feels its best. Your collagen production increases, skin feels strong and hydrated, and looks bouncy and glowing. – After your period and until ovulation your estrogen levels go up, which boosts the skin barrier function and increases hydration. At the same time, low progesterone means that your sebum production is not working overtime. Skin feels calm and tolerated active ingredients in skincare better than in any other phase, says Dr Anahita Ghorbani.
DO: This is the perfect time to switch up your skincare routine and introduce new products.
DON’T: Skip your good skincare routines. Even if skin feels balanced, you need to keep it balanced with daily cleansing and hydration.
PHASE 3 – MOODY MIND, OILY SKIN 👿
WHEN: THE LUTEAL PHASE (ABOUT DAY 16-28)
It’s time to jump on the rollercoaster – the PMS-phase has entered the building (or your body in this case). As progesterone goes up and estrogen dips, our mood and skin go haywire.
– After ovulation, progesterone goes up, which increases the activity in skin’s sebaceous glands. This means higher tendency to skin oiliness and acne breakouts. The days before your period estrogen and progesterone dips again, which means that your skin is extra sensitive to irritating substances and allergens, says Dr Anahita Ghorbani.
DO: Practice all the self-love you can. Cry, run, do yoga, talk to a friend or whatever makes you feel better. Eat that chocolate – the cacao in dark chocolate is scientifically proven to contain mood-boosting tryptophane. As for skincare, look for BHA (salicylic acid) and niacinamide to calm skin, balance the sebum production and prevent new breakouts. When a pimple pops up, put a Cloud Patch on it and get on with your day.
DON’T: Skip hydration. Even if skin feels like a pool of oil, your skin needs daily hydration. Otherwise, it might overcompensate by producing more oil. And don’t pop your pimples!
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