Which skincare should I use throughout my menstrual cycle?

Fact:

Our skin is forever changing and constantly evolving. Pores may appear less congested one week, then painfully inflamed the next- without warning or apology! But you know what? This is completely normal and occurs as we journey through our menstrual cycle each month.

Our skin is directly related to our hormones, so therefore our menstrual cycle, meaning it is crucial to become attuned with our bodies’ cycles. To be able to pre-empt how our skin will change and react accordingly requires a little bit of intuition and a dash of science. Our cycle doesn’t just start and end when our period does, our cycle is constantly going through the motions.

Let’s talk about science first and understand how our hormones fluctuate throughout the month, impacting our skin. Anyone who menstruates has three hormones impacting their skin: Oestrogen, Progesterone and Testosterone. Their fluctuation and ratio throughout our menstrual cycle is what causes our skin to change.

 

menstrual cycle

 

During our period…

These hormones are at the lowest in our menstrual cycle and our uterus is busy shedding its lining, on average for about 5 days. Our skin will experience a decrease in sebum (oil), may struggle to hold moisture and congested/acne prone areas will appear calmer. Our skin naturally produces oil to hydrate itself, so those who typically have dry skin will need to give your skin some extra TLC to ensure hydration levels are maintained which will prevent skin from becoming dull and lacklustre. You could use our Radiance Cream Duo Set, enriched with brightening Turmeric, to give your skin that natural, healthy glow.

For those with naturally oilier skin, the reduction in sebum this week will leave your skin supple and naturally glowing as opposed to the usual shine by 2pm. Opt for a lightweight moisturiser to protect skin and enjoy this week of harmonised hormones. If you naturally suffer from low moods or anxiety during menstruation, try our Reviving Facial Oil to utilise the benefits of evening primrose – a sacred essential oil that has been used for centuries to comfort and support women.

During this week, our skin may feel slightly more sensitive as the prostaglandins (that control inflammation) may become off balanced. Those with naturally sensitive skin might feel more sensitivity so reach for extra cooling, anti-inflammatory ingredients such as Sandalwood. Naturally healing, this ingredient reduces redness and inflammation and it’s found in our Soothing range.

Pre-Ovulation…

Oestrogen is predominantly high in the first half of the cycle and peaks just before ovulation. This hormone is in charge of the 2 proteins in our skin: collagen and elastin. It also controls our skin’s moisture retention and hyaluronic acid levels so when Oestrogen is dominant, our skin appears plump, supple and hydrated. Oestrogen, we love you. The increase in this hormone means new cells are forming, so give your skin a little extra helping hand by exfoliating to encourage the process of cell regeneration.

During Ovulation…

Sit back and enjoy the sensational state of your skin. Supple complexion, small pores, hydrated skin – everything we’ve ever wanted. Opt for lightweight products and ensure skin is still cleansed, hydrated and protected.

Post Ovulation…

Oestrogen swaps with Progesterone for the second half of the cycle and this hormone stimulates sebum production which can cause our currently small and closed pores to become overloaded with sebum and blocked. This leads to congestion. Our skincare tip? Soak up excess sebum by using a mask to draw out impurities and remembering regular exfoliation will allow the sebum to escape through unblocked pores. Our Purifying Exfoliating Polish contains antibacterial Tea Tree and Witch Hazel, which can double up as a detoxifying mask for 5 mins before exfoliating.

Pre-Period…

In the lead-up to our period again, we are entering classic PMS and PMDD zone. We may experience mood swings, bouts of depression and anxiety, tender breasts, bloating, fatigue – the familiar list goes on. Our pores loosen and become large, which can result in hormonal acne, typically across the chin and jaw areas (a tell-tale sign). There is no miracle product that will cure hormonal acne, so we’ll just have to ride the wave each month of sometimes deep and painful cystic acne. It’s not all doom and gloom though, cleansing and protecting your skin during this time is vital, so anti-inflammatory and antibacterial products will help to soothe pain and swelling whilst preventing any infection from spreading. Our Soothing range will not only do the trick inflammation wise but in particular the Soothing Facial Oil will soothe the mind and help carry you calmly through those low moods.

Becoming in tune with your body and tracking your menstrual cycle will help you to anticipate changes in your skin, meaning you can pre-plan and alter your skincare routine accordingly for the best results. The more you track the more you will know exactly which skincare products to reach for, and exactly when. Give it a try and let us know how you get on!