hormonal acnePeriods can be a lot of navigate at the best of times. After all, your body undergoes some significant changes throughout the month. As your hormones shift throughout your menstrual cycle, your skin may also shift and change to reflect the internal balance — cue hormonal acne and other issues. And while this doesn’t sound ‘fun,’ science gives us an insider look into the relationship between menstruation and your skin to help keep it healthy and vibrant.

ALL ABOUT HORMONAL ACNE:
1-2 WEEKS BEFORE YOUR PERIOD

As far as our skin is concerned, this should be considered the dreaded time of the month. (Dun, dun, dun!) Between seven to 14 days before the start of our period, our levels of estradiol start to fall. Meanwhile, your testosterone remains at higher levels than those of the estradiol. This move to more male-prevalent hormones can lead to a more acne-prone complexion (aka hormonal acne), particularly for those with skin that’s more susceptible to acne in the first place.

That shift of balance can lead to increased activity of sebaceous glands and can manifest as oily skin, with an increase in developing hormonal acne lesions and oily hair and scalp as well. This is the time when inflammation and zits can rear their ugly heads. Furthermore, higher testosterone relative to estrogen and progesterone can promote the clogging of pores during this week and create even more congestion on the skin.

Even “the pill” doesn’t seem stop those premenstrual breakouts. Even though some oral-contraceptive pills can help clear the complexion by delivering synthetic hormones to the body, simply pumping our systems with estrogen likely won’t override the unfortunate beauty effects caused by hormone levels that are more androgenic pre-menstrually.

BEST PRODUCTS FOR THIS WEEK

Using a glycolic or salicylic acid cleanser or toner or Retinaldehyde serum to keep pores clear during the second half of your cycle, or two weeks before your period can help to prevent these breakouts. In addition, supplementation with DIM and/or inositol can also help to prevent those premenstrual blemishes.

ALL ABOUT HORMONAL ACNE:
RIGHT BEFORE YOUR PERIOD

In the days leading up to your period the drama continues. The week before your period, while your body is producing more androgens than at any other time in this cycle, you can expect larger pores along with that increase in oil production. Your skin will look shinier, and you’ll be more likely to get breakouts, including cystic acne, which is made of painful, cystic lumps that are common on the chin and jawline.

To help combat these changes, we recommend a two-pronged, internal and external approach. First, modify your diet by cutting dairy, sugar, and refined carbs the week before your period, since these can all up oil production. Make sure each meal has protein, not just carbs. This will keep your blood sugar stable and reduce inflammation, which causes redness and pimples.

BEST PRODUCTS FOR THIS WEEK

Externally we recommend cleansing with an enzymatic exfoliator 2-3 times during this week. The Osmosis MD Purify Cleanser, The Body Deli Blueberry Fusion Cleanser or Fitglow Beauty Fruit Radiance Mask are personal favourites here at Connected.

ALL ABOUT HORMONAL ACNE:
THE WEEK OF YOUR PERIOD

This week, the skin on our body becomes more tender and sensitive, thanks to the release of prostaglandin hormones, which help the uterine lining shed. Now is the time to be extra gentle with your skin and luckily your skin should start to improve as the week progresses (though it may be more prone to redness this week). We recommend using gentle products this week and opt for a milk or balm cleanser and soothing moisturizers or serums to calm the skin, calm hormonal acne and reduce inflammation.

BEST PRODUCTS FOR THIS WEEK

Some of our favourite products to use during this week include Fitglow Beauty Calm Cleansing Milk, Redness Rescue Cream and Cloud Comfort Cream, Osmosis Skincare Lift Away Cleansing Balm and Calm Serum, Graydon Skincare Sensitive Skin Stuff, and CV Skinlabs Calming Moisture.

ALL ABOUT HORMONAL ACNE:
THE WEEK AFTER YOUR PERIOD

Now’s the time to capture all your selfies and Instagram pics. This week is likely to produce your best complexion days. Why? This is the part of your cycle that’s controlled by estrogen. Estrogen works in tandem with progesterone to maintain a delicate equilibrium; when your estrogen and progesterone are synchronized, your skin appears hydrated, smooth, and calm.

Estrogen and progesterone are not only balanced during this time, but your body should be secreting more of the former now than in other weeks in your monthly cycle. Your skin is more likely to look clear, healthy, and brighter when your estrogen secretion is at its cyclical peak (so long as it is being metabolised properly within the liver).

 


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