Your Period and Your Skincare Routine Might Need to Breakup
For many women, around middle school we learn that our menstrual cycles affect much of our existence. Especially as newly menstruating women, we learned it's just easier to avoid pools, white pants, tight clothes and maybe even people. We learned how to manage pain and bloating. We bought different pants and snacks for the appearance of our Aunt Flo, and we learned to throw our oily hair into a pony.
We also knew that our skin would get oily and maybe, especially during puberty, we would have a breakout.
As we got older, we perfected our routines, learned to manage more of its aspects and became more confident. But few of us learn what to do about that oily skin.
Why when we change nearly all of our routines to account for our cycle, do we not change what we do to our skin?
If you are one of the unfortunate ones like me, I hope this blog will help!
Where in the cycle are you?
There are four phases of the month for women.
During the menstrual phase (3-7 days long) Lady Estrogen and the Mistress Progesterone both decrease. This is why women may feel withdrawn during this phase. This decrease is also responsible for leaving the skin dry and irritable, so using low irritant products like aloe vera, argan oil or marine glycogen or anything soothing to the skin is great.
At the beginning of your period, use a salicylic acid cleanser to fight acne. Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant rich masks are also wonderful to help provide the extra boost your skin needs.
Follicular phase (7-10 days long) or the stage between menstruation and ovulation. This stage starts the day your period ends. It is a glorious stage for so many reasons.
During this stage, our estrogen is at the highest level. During this phase we feel our best, confident and active thanks to Lady Estrogen. This increase in estrogen also makes our skin naturally moisturized and bright and our natural collagen is high. Low key skincare routine ok! Consider using an SPF and products like retinoid or Alpha-hydroxy acids.
During ovulation (3-4 days long and about 2 weeks before you start menstruating), the skin will be oily and you might see an increase in pimples. This is all thanks to the body’s production of the luteinizing hormone. Treat yourself and your skin to a purifying mask
The luteal phase (10-14 days long) or stage between ovulation and menstruation has the lowest estrogen levels and we start to produce progesterone. This is where PMS rears its head. The Mistress Progesterone can be thanked for this stage. She activates the sebaceous glands, produces oily skin and my favorite, invents spots. Just random spots.
During this phase of exfoliation is key. Exfoliation keeps your skin glowing by removing the dead skin, but it also helps clear clogged pores. In this oily phase of the month, this is important. You may also want to add in hyaluronic acid to help with hydration.
Retinol cream can also be used during this time to help your skin recover and decrease any scarring.
As I mentioned in the beginning, our menstrual cycle affects much of our daily lives. Living cyclically is not only for skincare. With hormones changing so frequently diet, sleep and even socializing might need to look different during each of these phases.