Sure, factors like stress, skincare products, and certain foods all have a big impact on your skin, but none more so than your hormones. Your body will change a lot during each month, so it’s important to understand exactly how your changing hormones can affect your skin.
To help you navigate what your skin needs throughout your menstrual cycle, we’ve put together this guide to help you work with your body during each phase of your cycle and to make sure that you’re nourishing your skin effectively.
How Does Your Cycle Affect Your Skin?
Each month, your body undergoes drastic hormonal changes. As your oestrogen and progesterone levels rise and fall you’ll most likely notice changes in your skin in response to these fluctuations.
Every menstrual cycle follows four phases, menstrual, follicular, ovulation and luteal, and each phase affects your skin differently.
* Note, if you’re on the pill, your hormones are being synthetically managed so that you don’t actually experience an ovulation phase, and as such, you’ll have far less testosterone to bring on blemishes and other skin changes.
Days 1-5: The Menstrual Phase
The first day of your period is also the first day of your cycle. During menstruation, your hormones are at their lowest and with these low levels of progesterone, your skin might start to produce less sebum (oil).
In response, you might notice that your skin feels a little dry and sensitive. Try some pampering during this phase, like a beautiful face mask or even a facial, to give your body and your skin the love it deserves.
Days 6-12: The Follicular Phase
Oestrogen levels begin to rise again in the follicular phase and it’s not just your energy that gets a little boost. Collagen production boots up and the skin will become a little firmer and brighter. However, as your sebum levels rise again, oil can build up and cause congestion. Consider focussing on cell renewal with a good exfoliator during this time.
Days 13-18: Ovulation
Ovulation is the fertile phase of your cycle. During this phase oestrogen levels are at their highest and once again collagen production gets a lovely little boost. Enjoy this glow-worthy phase when your energy levels are high and your skin is gloriously clear and radiant. This is a good time to dose your skin in oils and serums to enhance that natural glow.
Days 19-28: The Luteal Phase
In the weeks leading up to your period, your skin can take a hit as oestrogen levels start to lower and progesterone levels increase. Hello increased sebum production, clogged pores, and hormonal blemishes around the jawline (wahh). During this phase, it’s important to have an effective daily cleanser and something to gently treat those occasional blemishes by your side.