It's no secret that for us girls, our skin can become a little bit difficult around that time of the month. Just another glamorous part of being a female!
We’re always left wondering which phase of our cycle is responsible for our hormonal acne, and we are left searching for answers around what we can be doing to prevent and minimise these pesky breakouts. That why we're here.. let's get to the bottom of this bestie!
So, the average cycle length goes for roughly 28 days although, everyone is different in regards to hormones and the way that they fluctuate.
It is interesting to note that the dominant hormone during the first part of your cycle is oestrogen, whereas the second half, progesterone takes the lead. While oestrogen can actually assist the skin and clear up acne, progesterone, on the other had, does the opposite 😭 (because it heightens the sebum and oil production in the skin).
Testosterone is also another hormone that increases sebum production so, when these two link up and become friends (more like frenemies) they team up and create the best environment for hormonal acne to pop up on the skin.
Hormonal acne can take a few forms, the most common being blackheads and whiteheads. Blackheads appear black as a result of their exposure to oxygen meanwhile whiteheads, build underneath the skin's surface and form a ‘whitehead’ of pus at the surface. It is also a very common meeting place for hormonal acne to gather around the chin and neckline and hold their monthly party there.
Having a consistent skincare routine can help to maintain and or prevent hormonal breakouts. This includes:
- Washing your face with an antibacterial cleanser morning and night to keep your skin free from any lingering bacteria and potential causes of congestion.
- Keeping the skin hydrated with a moisturiser day and night to make sure we don't encourage over production of oils on our skin (yes, that's right... if you're oily you need to make sure you are keeping up your hydration. The dryer you leave your skin, the more encourage that oil production to occur).
- If all else fails and the time comes that you experience a hormonal breakout, a pimple patch or the acne hack cream will help to speed up the healing and keep your hands away from the desire to pick.
Whilst having a great skincare routine can minimise hormonal breakouts, for some of us, we will always have to deal with blemishes as part of our regular cycle. If you feel though your breakouts are turning into more severe cystic spots at this time of the month, we would encourage you to see a GP, naturopath or dermatologist. Sometimes there is a key hormonal imbalance behind these flare ups that require more prescriptive treatments!
Here are a few tips that we recommend you keep in mind around that time of the month...
- Avoid oil-based makeup products, as these can add to congestion by clogging your pores
- Try to take a shower immediately after any exercise or excessive sweating
- Make sure to remove your makeup and clean your skin thoroughly before bed
- Avoid touching your face to keep it clear of bacteria that can cause flare-ups
- Remind yourself that breakouts or no breakouts, you're beautiful as you are!