February 4, 2021
Ever wondered why you always seem to get a raging, stubborn pimple right at that time of the month? Or why one week your skin is vibrant and glowing, and the next it feels duller and dryer? Well clean beauty, we’re breaking. it. down! What *exactly* goes on under the surface during the ebbs of flows of your cycle and do hormones actually play that big of a role in skin appearance? Keep reading to find out!
Menstrual (lasts three to seven days): As your body prepares to menstruate your hormones slowly begin to drop. On the first day of your period (aka the first day of the menstrual phase) they’re at an all time low. Because of this hormone production decline, your skin’s sebum production can decrease leaving your skin feeling dryer than usual. And due to an increase in prostaglandins, your skin may also be more sensitive during this phase. Because of this, we recommend adding a soothing, hydrating mask to your daily skin care routine on these days, like Josh Rosebrook’s Advanced Hydration Mask. While you’re at it, grab a cup of energy supporting tea (De Lune Energy Flow #ftw), keep your sweatpants on and cozy up!
Follicular (lasts seven to ten days): Towards the end of your period or around day seven of your cycle, your body ramps your estrogen levels back up, which supports cell turnover and initiates collagen, elastin, and natural hyaluronic acid production. In other words, you may be having your brighter, dewy-er, ‘good skin days’ right about now. For an *added* boost, we love reaching for a gently exfoliating mask (like Botnia’s Weekly Digest) or a lightly exfoliating toner (our favorite is goop’s Malachite + AHA Pore Refining Tonic) to aid in a more radiant, looks-like-i-got-10-hours-of-sleep glow.
Ovulatory (lasts three to five days): Raise your hand if you’ve been here: you’re riding the skin high from thr follicular phase and then…boom. Estrogen starts to plummet and progesterone peaks. The bump in progesterone can cause sebum production to grow triggering your skin cells to swell and trap oil… which may lead to (*dun dun dunnnn*)….breakouts! Darn! It’s these days of your cycle that we recommend keeping to your daily cleansing routine and a focus on controlling excess oil – both will limit trapped grime or bacteria. A great skin tool during this ovulatory phase? Reach for a purifying mask (we love Osea’s Red Algae Mask) to gently cleanse clogged pores and keep excess oil from building up.
Luteal (lasts ten to fourteen days): As progesterone and estrogen begin to fall below the level of testosterone, you may experience the not-so-fun bloating and discomfort. You also may continue to see an overproduction of oil (aka sebum). As your pores begin to loosen after they contracted during the follicular phase, they may now start to appear larger. The oil that naturally lives in your pores can make contact with bacteria and unwelcomed acne continues to make itself cozy for a bit more time. For most skin types (normal, combination, and oily), reaching for a gentle cleanser with salicylic acid (Ode to Self Bask) can help keep acne-causing bacteria at bay. And… don’t forget to have your handy-dandy spot treatment stocked! (Our forever fave: Province Apothecary’s Clear Skin Advanced Spot Treatment)!
A final note, beauties! While hormonal fluctuations are completely normal and a beautiful part of your body’s natural mechanics, we shouldn’t feel at the mercy of our monthly hormonal shifts. If your PMS symptoms are negatively impacting your overall wellness and quality of life, we recommend seeking out a Naturopath Doctor or Functional Medicine Practitioner to run hormone panels and support you in uncovering a root cause.
If you have additional skin Q’s, schedule a free consultation or facial with our team of Holistic Estheticians and learn more about how to support *your* unique skin during every phase!