Have you noticed that while you are using the exact same products everyday, your skin reacts to the same routine very differently depending on what time of the month you are in? The behavior of skin is affected by the fluctuation of your hormones during the menstrual cycle, you can optimize your skincare routine by analyzing this behavior.
Each Menstrual cycle is usually divided into 4 phases:
Day 1 to 5
Progesterone is very low at this phase so the production of sebum decreases; prostaglandins increase the inflammation and low estrogen level causes the skin to get thinner, sensitive, dehydrated, and drier. You should focus on hydration and anti-inflammatory products at this point.
2. The follicular Phase
Day 1 to 12 (Menstruation is categorized as part of the Follicular phase)
In the first half of your cycle, just after your period has ended, estrogen starts to increase, which means that your skin begins to produce more collagen and rebalance itself.
Day 13 to 16
Both estrogen and testosterone levels rise, the skin is thicker, and more plump. Pores are at their smallest, and your skin is more hydrated. During this phase the skin can handle actives (Vitamin C, Retinoids) much better. Better get facials without extraction at this time.
4. Luteal phase
17 to 28
Progesterone levels keep going up to a week before your period; hence, oilier skin during this time.
Day 17 to 21: Your skin is highly prone to breakouts during this time. The combination of very high progesterone (oil) and excess estrogen (inflammation), makes this period probably the worst time of the month for your skin; However, the reason that only some women experience breakouts during this time of the month is that their body does not have the ability to process and eliminate the excess estrogen and testosterone efficiently.
I prepared a general guide (following chart) to help you address your skin needs with the right products at the right time!
The cycle of hormonal changes is different while you are on pills. The birth control pill keeps you from ovulating by preventing the estrogen levels from rising on day 14 of your cycle; hence it is prescribed often for acne patients in order to stop hormone fluctuations.
In summary, you can help prevent dehydration, breakouts, and hormonal-related skin problems simply by focusing on hydration, restoration, and exfoliation at the right time of the month.
Disclaimer: The content is not meant to be a substitute for medical advice.