How your Period Affects your Skin
One thing that every girl has to deal with is her period. This uncomfortable time of the month is nature's way of showing you, that your are healthy. During your 28-Day cycle, your skin goes through a lot of fluctuation. From an overproduction of oil, to excess dryness and (you guessed it) blemishes! So what exactly is going on with your skin during your cycle, here is the breakdown.
STAGE 1: POST-PERIOD
This is typically 1-2 weeks after your period has ended (I suppose you can also call this the beginning of your next cycle). During this time, the uterine walls start to line so estrogen levels are very high. High estrogen levels means GREAT SKIN! During this phase, the skin is very hydrated, pores are very small, and there is an increase in collagen production. A basic gentle regime should do the trick.
STAGE 2: OVULATION
This is typically about 14 days into your cycle. During this stage, the ovum (the egg) makes is down the fallopian tubes towards the uterus. Blame it on the hormones! At this point, the body still has high amounts of estrogen but it also triggers another hormone. Luteinizing hormone or LH for short. The LH hormone is responsible for the increase in the skin's oil production.
Also during this phase, progesterone levels surpass the levels of estrogen. This increase also tells the skin cells to produce sebum; the oil the skin naturally produces. This increase in progesterone also shrinks the size of pores which is usually a good thing, but when your skin is producing large amounts of oil, tiny pores can easily get trapped with oil, dead skin and debris which leads to a certain skin inflammation AKA pimples. Few blemishes may begin to form on the face but the skin is otherwise in great condition. A mild topical acne fighting lotion should do the trick to get blemishes at bay.
STAGE 3: PRE-MENSTRUATION
This is usually the last couple of days before your period starts. The ovum is now sitting in the uterus waiting to be fertilized. The skin usually looks the worst before menstruation. This is because both estrogen and progesterone levels drop which testosterone remains constant.
This means high oil production, enlarged and clogged pores. Welcome to Breakout City. This acne can come anywhere but it is usually concentrated on the chin and along the jawline. Time to pull out the big guns. An acne fighting cleanser will helps to keep oil production under control, and minimize pores which treating the acne. But remember, the skin is now the most sensitive so go easy on exfoliation.
STAGE 4: PERIOD
We all know how this story goes. The last week, you get your period. Both the uterine lining and ovum is shed from the body for a lovely 5-7 days. The body now has low levels of estrogen which leaves the skin feeling dull, dry and tired-looking. At this time, hydration is key.
Much of acne is caused by hormonal imbalance so no need to tear at your face with harsh scrubs, peels and acidic cleansers. Blemishes will be around for a long time no matter what you do. But you can always do your part to keep them under control by knowing what your skin needs, when and why.