How to Look After Your Skin when Hormones Try to Ruin Your Life

Warning: I do use the word period in this blog post. Maybe don’t read it if you’re easily icked-out.

When I was a teenager, the most overused word in our house was ‘hormones’. If I had a pound every time my mum blamed something on hormones, I would be very rich now. I used to think she was trying to aggravate me, but as a (slightly) more rational adult, I can see that she was right.

 

hormones-period-cycle-skin-spots-monthly-breakout

 

Our hormones – basically chemical messengers – are responsible for a whole lot of upheaval in our bodies. Unfortunately, this doesn’t change; even as so-called adults. (I still wouldn’t describe myself as an adult, even though I’m on the wrong side of 30, and am responsible for several little people).

I don’t know about you, but in the days approaching my period I feel disgusting. There really is no other way to describe it. So, what’s going on? Why do our bodies torture us so? And, what does it mean for our skin?

*An average cycle is 28 days, from the first day of your period to the end of the cycle (the day before your period starts).  Of course, that doesn’t mean your cycle is 28 days, so these time-frames are simply a guide. *

 

Days 1-7

WHAT’S GOING ON?!

Day 1 is the first day of your period, and – depending on the length of your cycle – day 7 would be the end. At this time, your body produces more prostaglandin. This annoying, but necessary, group of hormones deal with tissue damage; they help to repair injuries and infection. They affect us during our cycle by increasing pain sensitivity. During your period, you may notice that your skin is extra sensitive, and you may suffer from flushing more than usual. Now is not the time to get your bikini line waxed.

HOW SHOULD I TAKE CARE OF MY SKIN?

One word: pamper it (sorry, two). In addition to the increase in prostaglandin, oestrogen is now decreased. This causes the skin to be more dry than usual, and makes lines and wrinkles (if you have any) more prominent. These few days would be a good opportunity to relax with a hydrating face mask (sheet masks are my favourite for this). Nothing too aggressive, and try and choose a mask that contains hyaluronic acid. This naturally occurs in our bodies, and – in very simplistic terms – holds water.

 

Days 7-10

WHAT’S GOING ON?!

Your period is probably over now, and you should be feeling gooood. Your ovaries will be producing higher levels of oestrogen again, so your skin should be plumper and more hydrated. Seratonin levels will be higher, this is the feel good hormone, resulting in general happiness. Oestrogen encourages the production of Collagen, which acts as a plumper and firmer for the skin.

 

HOW SHOULD I TAKE CARE OF MY SKIN?

Now is an excellent time to step up the exfoliation routine. New skins cells are forming, meaning that you will want to get rid of the old ones. Dead skin cells cause the face to look dull and grey, so it makes sense that sloughing them away will leave skin looking brighter.

 

period-cycle-monthly-hormones-skin-breakout

Days 12 – 16

WHAT’S GOING ON?!

Ovulation will occur soon, which means Mother Nature wants you looking your best (typical interfering mother). In order to attract a good mate to fertilise that egg, you’ll need to be glowing and fabulous. During these few days, you will hopefully be looking plumper, and firmer, than ever before. Collagen production is at an all-time high, which is good news for that face of yours, and bad news for wrinkles and lines.

 

HOW SHOULD I TAKE CARE OF MY SKIN?

You may find your make-up applies better, and you’ll be ready for anything. Enjoy it, because the next couple of weeks are going to be rough….

 

Days 17 – 24

WHAT’S GOING ON?!

Remember how increased oestrogen makes the skin more dry and dehydrated? Well, now oestrogen’s evil step-sister takes over. Progesterone is one unpleasant b***h. With increased progesterone comes increased sebum. That’s right, now even the driest skins may find they contain more oils than a massage parlour. Increased oils means one thing: blocked pores and spots.

 

HOW SHOULD I TAKE CARE OF MY SKIN?

Keep it clean. You may find you need to switch up your skincare products a bit during these days.  Use a gentle cleanser, and wash twice a day. Any more and you could strip the oils away, which may sound like a good thing, but when the skin feels stripped it will produce more oils to compensate. Exfoliating can increase oil production, so be gentle.

 

Days 25-28

WHAT’S GOING ON?!

Progesterone and Oestrogen levels now take a dive, and this causes the lining of the uterus to shed.  You’ll more than likely be feeling pretty rubbish now.  Spots may still be present and accounted for, and you may have cramps and bloating.  Oh joy.

 

HOW SHOULD I TAKE CARE OF MY SKIN?

You are about to enter into the sensitive zone (see days 1-7), so go easy, and keep it clean.  It will probably be too late to do anything about the spots at this stage, so use a gentle cleanser, and pamper as you see fit.

 

 

IS THERE A WAY TO REDUCE MONTHLY BREAKOUTS?

  • Try to avoid touching your skin.  Easier said than done, unfortunately.  Touching spots, and generally fiddling with skin is the surest way to spread bacteria, increasing the amount of spots.
  • Clean your mobile.  Phones are a breeding ground for bacteria. Assuming you use your phone in the old-fashioned way (did you know you can talk to people on it?!) then it can be a problem for your skin.  The chin and jaw are the most common area for hormonal breakouts, and where do you hold your phone? Up against your jaw and chin (sort of).  Of course water and mobiles don’t mix, so clean with care.  I use anti-bacterial wipes personally, just be sure to not get anything too wet.
  • Don’t smoke. As well as making you smell pretty rank, smoking affects your skin.  Oh, and it causes cancer, but I’m sure you knew that already.
  • Practise good hygiene.  Clean your skin regularly, and always take your make-up off properly before bed!  Cleanse, tone, moisturise.  At a minimum. Serums can be an important step too, if you have the funds (a good serum can be pricey).
  • Clean your tools! I am very guilty of not doing this (I hate cleaning my brushes and sponges) but it is SO important.  Brushes and beauty sponges contain bacteria, there is no two ways about it.  The best way to avoid swirling dirt and grime all over your lovely clean face? Keeping those brushes clean and sparkly.

Are you still there? That was a long one, I know.  If you made it this far, then thank you, and I hope you learned something about how hormones change the way our skin behaves throughout the month.

sssssss

*This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your continued support of Joyful Things!* Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *