As women, our bodies are in a perpetual state of change. Just like the phases of the moon, each month as hormone levels – and their permutations and combinations – rise and fall, our moods to food choices and everything in between varies too. One such observable change occurs in the condition of skin throughout the month. No surprise then, our skin care routines must be adjusted accordingly.
What’s really going on?
There are three main players – estrogen, progesterone and testosterone – whose varying proportions define your skin’s responses. Both progesterone and relatively higher testosterone can result in increased sebum (oily secretion) on your skin and eventually breakouts.
When are you most susceptible?
- First, at ovulation, thanks to progesterone. Estrogen dominates the first half of the cycle and prepares the uterine lining, until progesterone takes the baton at ovulation.
- Second, before menstruation, when both estrogen and progesterone are at their lowest, while testosterone peaks. This also results in larger pores and dehydrated skin.
The good news is, post period your estrogen climbs. It’s the magic potion you need. It strengthens your bones stimulating production of collagen and helps the skin retain moisture. Say hello to glowing and healthy skin!
We are ruled by hormones. We may not win the battle with them, but we can minimize the damage with these 6 period skin care tips to keep the glow then too.
1. Dealing with menstrual acne:
Although acne begins with internal processes like increased sebum production, breakouts happen on encountering bacteria externally. Wash your face twice daily with lukewarm water and a mild salicylic acid face wash to keep bacteria at bay. Extra care must be taken a week before the period. Dab your face with a tissue twice a day to blot excess oil.
2. Scheduling a facial:
For clear skin during your periods, schedule your monthly facial 10-12 days before your period begins. Prior to that, your skin is at its glamorous best and after that most vulnerable. As the pores are relatively larger, cleansing is easier and the damage to skin is least.
3. Avoiding makeup:
Minimise the use of makeup and allow your skin to breathe. Apply milk cream and turmeric, fruit peels and homemade masks to rejuvenate skin naturally. Yogurt, egg, papaya, avocado are just some of many natural ingredients that will make up for the missing sheen. If you must wear makeup, cleanse it before going to bed too. Keep sunscreen handy if you spend time outdoors as skin is more sensitive to the sun at this time.
4. Hydrating dry skin:
Our skin during our period tends to become dry. Hence, honey is not only known for alleviating acne symptoms, it is also hydrating, a natural antiseptic and adds glow to your skin. You can also opt for a homemade hydrating mask – like cucumber and aloe vera – and use a toner after washing your face. Rose water is an excellent choice for a natural toner. Put on an oil free moisturiser and drink plenty of water to prevent limp dehydrated skin.
5. Diet for skin care:
Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin E, and antioxidants are simply superb for your skin. They help reduce inflammation, keep skin supple and moisturized, boost circulation and slow down the ageing of skin. Supplement your diet with flax seeds, fish, vegetable oils, nuts and seeds (sunflower). All berries and plums are rich in antioxidants.
6. Exercise and relaxation:
Don’t fret the sweat. Exercise is not just for weight-reduction. That post period glow will be brighter and period cramps will be lighter. Sweat will push the grime out but remember to wash your face after a workout. Stoking blood flow will nourish your skin cells and cleanse the toxins. Relaxation, a good night’s sleep and rest when due are needed as stress can drain your verve and increase the production of sebum.
Finally, remember that the most important skin care in your periods is staying rash-free. Subscribe to NUA for sanitary pads that are safe for your skin and guarantee an irritation-free period.