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How your period could be affecting your skin

The low-down on your skin’s changes during the 28-day cycle.

For many of us the monthly arrival of Aunty Flo can see our moods change like the tides. But it’s not just mental changes that tend to accompany the arrival of your period, but plenty of physical ones too. We’re sure you’ve already noticed, but menstrual cycles can wreak havoc on your skin with our complexions undergoing change after change across the typical 28 day stretch. Not sure quite how? Let us explain...

Early cycle (days 1 to 5): When your period first arrives your hormonal levels will be low (we’re talking progesterone and estrogen; the latter being the key factor in a face that looks Insta-filtered). What does this mean for your face? Well unfortunately it tends to mean dry skin, a dull lifeless complexion and the enhancement of any fine lines or wrinkles. It’s not a great start to you’re cycle we can all agree, so don’t forget to moisturise (and even use a serum) which is key to combat dryness and encourage any breakouts.

Post-period (days 5 to 10): Don’t fret during your period because once it passes you by, great skin arrives (we’re talking 10/10). Once menstruation has ended your levels of estrogen begin to rise, which means your skin will typically be in its peak condition. Think high levels of hydration, plumpness, smaller pores, and collagen production at an all-time high. If it was ever a time to embrace the make-up free life, we’d suggest it’s during this time of your monthly cycle (not that you need make-up anyway).

Ovulation (day 14): A fortnight before your next period begins marks your first days of ovulation. You would think that the continued increase in estrogen levels could only be a good thing, but unfortunately it tends to trigger an increase in another hormone dubbed Luteinizing hormone (just our luck!). This new addition to the body tends to increase oil production, in turn causing breakouts and acne, so make sure you stay on-top of your cleansing routine, taking care of your skin as best you can.

Pre-menstrual (days 22 to 28): Not only is this time frame when your mood and sensitivity tends to be in overdrive (hands up if you also suffer from PMS) but it is also the time of your cycle when your skin is feeling the same (aka at its worst) Simply put, there’s a lot going on; there’s a decrease in estrogen and surge of progesterone and testosterone taking place which means a surge in oil production, clogged pores, and breakouts aplenty, with the chin and jawline particularly at risk. This is the time of the month to bring out the clay masks, the oil-free skincare et al. But most importantly, remember to be kind to yourself; it’s all just a part of being a lady, and being human.

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