Did you know that over 60% of women experience hormonal acne around that time of the month? Typically we just pop on the spot treatment and call it a day but what if we told you that “skincare cycling” could help curb these flare-ups and other skin concerns! Are you familiar with skincare cycling? The idea behind this approach to skincare is that our skin changes with our hormone cycle, and hence our skincare should follow suit. This is because your menstrual cycle ultimately has the final say in what your skin looks like. We interviewed naturopath and nutritionist Anna Mitsios, and founder of Edible Beauty Australia to gain further insight on this interesting topic. Keep reading for more!
Here’s Why People Are Syncing Their Skincare To Their Menstrual Cycles
We are now more than ever very aware of how our body changes with surges and drops in our hormone levels during our monthly cycle. This has led to recommendations around how we can be changing up our exercise routine, work, diet, clothing, and even seeds we should be eating (“seed cycling”) to sync with our hormone levels as they change. As part of this trend, rotating our skincare has become a trend. The idea behind this is that our skin can become dry, radiant, acne-prone, or oily as our hormones change. Mixing up our skincare routine to address these changes is a fantastic way to sync your beauty routine with your hormones.
In general, our skin tends to be more radiant and balanced during the start of our cycle as progesterone levels drop. As estrogen kicks in at the beginning of our cycle skin tend to feel plump and dewy with reduced pores. You may be wanting to cut back on excessive layering with your skincare and makeup routine as skin is generally looking and feeling fantastic. Mid-cycle during ovulation, luteinizing hormone surges can come along with a surge in sebum production. Now we recommend using oil balancing serums (like our Turmeric Beauty Latte) to tackle clog poring or bacterial build-up which comes hand in hand with sebum production.
In the lead-up, our skin tends to look the worst as estrogen drops and progesterone and testosterone rise leading to inflammation and congestion. Your skin is also hypersensitive at this time. Use gentle cleansing milk that does not strip your skin of its natural oils. Remember to tone to reduce excess bacteria and prevent breakouts. Don’t forget to hydrate, using a moisturizer can reduce the risk of the skin overcompensating with additional oil production when stripped of hydration.
How to Sync Your Menstrual Cycles to Your Skincare
1) Before the Start of Our Cycle
Before our periods, the hormones estrogen and progesterone drop, and testosterone becomes a more dominant hormone. This signals our oil glands to produce excess oil which may result in clogged pores and breakouts. Use a toner here to keep bacteria and clogged pores at bay. Switch to dry oil which is non-comedogenic and contains anti-inflammatory properties ensuring skin is hydrated without becoming congested. Increase your exfoliation to 2 – 3 times a week and use a purifying mask.
2) First Half of Cycle
In the first half of our cycle, prior to ovulation, our estrogen levels are high. They peak just prior to ovulation, normally around Day 13. High levels of estrogen promote the surge in luteinizing hormone. This is the trigger for the release of an egg from a follicle. This surge in oestrogen keeps skin looking plump, springy and hydrated. Use a water-based serums and a light-weight lotion to keep skin feeling smooth and hydrated. Skin will have less of a tendency to clog so keep to exfoliating 1 – 2 times a week.
3) First Day of Period and Throughout the Following 5 Days
Hormone levels are low so your skin may appear fairly dry and dull. I recommend upping the ante on your ingestible wellness products like vegan collagen and greens powders. Increasing hydration internally and externally is key. Use pure oils that can assist in boosting hydration whilst also brightening the skin during your menstrual cycles.