Picture this: It's a few days before that time of the month, and you feel a volcanic breakout brewing on your chin. Sound familiar? Welcome to the intricate realm of hormones and skin health, where it appears that your skin is engaged in a direct dialogue with your menstrual cycle. Fear not, dear hormone navigators, for in this blog post, we shall delve into the hormonal intricacies and unveil how comprehending your cycle can be your skin's closest confidant.
The Menstrual Marvel:
Our menstrual cycle resembles a precisely choreographed ballet of hormones, comprised of four distinct phases, each starring its own hormonal protagonists: oestrogen, progesterone, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and luteinising hormone (LH). Let's pull back the curtain:
Menstruation (Days 1-5):
At the onset of your period, both oestrogen and progesterone are at their lowest. During this phase, your skin might exhibit tendencies toward dryness and sensitivity, so pamper it with hydration. I love a Meder EU-SEB sheet mask here to hydrate the skin and help calm any breakouts.
Follicular Phase (Days 6-14):
As oestrogen begins to build, your skin might start to exude a healthy glow as your body prepares for ovulation. This is when your complexion is often at its best - behold, radiance! This is a great time to exfoliate the skin to really enhance the glow. Why not try my Exfoliating Face Mask to really hydrate and boost the skin.
Ovulation (Around Day 14):
Oestrogen reaches its peak, and your skin is typically in its prime. Anticipate it to look and feel fantastic. This is your moment to shine!
Luteal Phase (Days 15-28):
Now, progesterone takes the stage, which can lead to heightened oil production and the possibility of breakouts. Keep your skincare regimen steady, and don't forget to practice a little mindfulness.
Peel pads are great here to reduce redness, take control of oil production and keep the pores clear.
The Hormone-Skin Connection:
So, why does this hormonal extravaganza matter to your skin? I have found that understanding your menstrual cycle empowers you to anticipate skin fluctuations, reducing the anxiety that often accompanies sudden breakouts. Equipped with this knowledge, you can tailor your skincare routine accordingly.
For me, I know that at certain times of the month I will break out and as I've already anticipated it, when they pimples arrive I'm not surprised - and if they don't, it's a bonus!
The Role of Ovulation:
While breakouts during the luteal phase are common due to increased progesterone, it's important to note that some individuals may also experience breakouts during ovulation. Oestrogen is dominant during this phase, but the hormonal shifts can still affect your skin. So, keep an eye out for any potential surprises.
Tracking your menstrual cycle is now easier than ever, thanks to apps like Natural Cycles. These digital allies help you stay one step ahead of hormonal capers, enabling you to predict when your skin might require extra attention.
Make sure you use them to their fullest too. I note down everything I'm feeling from tired, anxious, hot, bloated etc etc. then when you look back through the history, you can see a pattern. This really helps me as I can look and see that I always get bloated around day 22. So I don't stress about it. Same with breakouts, I know those pesky little fiends will appear during ovulation and just before my period, so when they arrive they're not a surprise.
Let's embrace the synchronised ballet of hormones and skin with open arms. By understanding the ebbs and flows of your menstrual cycle, you gain control over your skin's health and your mental health too. Remember, your skin isn't your adversary; it's simply responding to the hormonal whirlwind. The next time a pre-period pimple appears, don't despair – it's merely your hormones having a little soirée.
Thank you so much for reading,