65% of people experience acne breakouts around their period. Here’s how your menstrual cycle affects your skin and how best to care for it at every stage.
Hormonal changes during your cycle can really put your skin to the test. It’s itchy and dry one week, fresh and glowing the next, and then suddenly it’s oily and breaking out. How do you keep up?
Skin type varies from person to person, and if you menstruate, it’ll vary throughout your cycle too. Understanding hormonal changes can help you care for your skin at every stage.
What causes ‘period skin’?
You might have noticed your skin tends to be more problematic just before your period starts. Often called ‘period skin’, this is when Aunt Flow makes her upcoming visit known, and dreaded breakouts crop up when you need them the least.
This is due to a surge in sebum production that occurs just before your period starts. It can make the skin oily and congested, and lead to hormonal acne.
Lifestyle factors like diet, sleep, and stress have a huge impact on your skin. Since it’s common for menstruation to throw all these factors out of whack - hello, chocolate and late-night Netflix - it’s no wonder problem skin worsens at this time.
Remember it’s normal for your skin to fluctuate. Try not to get frustrated and keep your skincare routine minimal and consistent. It will pass, and you’ll soon reach your glow phase!
The menstrual cycle and your skin: tips for every phase
We recommend keeping your skincare routine as consistent as possible, however, you might wish to prioritise certain steps throughout your cycle to target your main skin concerns.
1. Follicular phase ~ Protect & regenerate
After your period, you go back to the first days of your cycle. It’s a welcome relief as this is a great time for your skin and your mood. Estrogen levels slowly start to rise again, and your complexion is calm, clear, and hydrated. You’re glowing!
- Make the most of your glowing skin by going makeup free and giving your skin the chance to breathe.
- Keep your skincare simple and focus on maintaining your skin health so it’ll thank you at a later phase. You might enjoy our Regenerate + Protect Essence toner and a light touch of the Replenishing Moisturiser.
2. Ovulation phase ~ Cleanse & maintain
This is the midpoint of your cycle. It’s your prime glow time as estrogen levels peak. Your skin appears radiant, plump, and bright.
You might notice your skin start to get a little oiler, as progesterone levels begin to rise. Preparation is key – now’s the time to prevent those pesky breakouts!
- Avoid things that could clog the pores, like thick creams, falling asleep with your makeup on, and touching your face too often.
- Prep your skin against future breakouts, with our Gentle Cleansing Oil and Regenerate + Protect Essence Toner
3. Luteal phase ~ Balance & purify
Wave your estrogen glow a (brief) goodbye. In this phase, progesterone rises, and you may start to experience PMS symptoms, like carb and sugar cravings, irritable mood, and breakouts.
Your skin will be its oiliest here and you might also experience inflammation. Stay calm and treat your skin, and yourself, kindly.
You might want to use a deeper cleansing treatment at this stage, such as our Purify + Nourish Mask. This will also feel like a nice treat when the PMS mood swings hit!
Keep yourself hydrated and avoid overly processed foods as much as possible.
4. Menstrual phase ~ Moisturize & Nourish
This is when your period arrives, and you have one of that ' ahh that’s why my skin is bad and I cried for no reason’ moments.
Your estrogen and progesterone are at their lowest, which might result in dry, dull, and tired skin. Be gentle, as your skin might be more sensitive and itchier.
- Up your hydration! Drink lots of water and try our Facial Oil and Replenishing Moisturiser to maintain nourished and glowing skin.
- Since your skin might be more sensitive, avoid exfoliation in this phase.
We know it can be overwhelming to keep your skin on track during your cycle. Hopefully, these tips have given you somewhere to start.
Remember, everyone’s experience of their cycle is different, so don’t worry if your experience doesn’t match up exactly with the symptoms we’ve described!