Okay, so to understand what our skin needs, first we need to figure out the different stages our bodies to through every 28 days or so. Here are the four key phases your skin survives every single month.
1. Surfing the crimson wave
When you're on your period, your oestrogen levels are low, which can make your skins look more rough than usual. As well as drinking things full of antioxidants (we're fans of Qi Organic Matcha Green Tea!), we can rely on skincare to sort us out.
- Try a double-cleansing routine, beginning with an oil-based cleanser and following with something water-based. Ingredients like salicylic acid are your friends at this time.
- Exfoliate more often than normal - two or three times a week is great.
- Clear out any impurities with a clay mask.
2. Dull-town, population: you
As you get close to the end of your period, it's common for your skin to be a little dull and flaky. But it's pretty easy to deal with!
- Stick with gentle exfoliation. Have you tried a chemical exfoliant? Packed with naturally-occurring acids (like AHA's or BHA's), they're perfect for taking it easy on your skin but still brightening up your dry li'l face.
- Skincare that packs in moisture is your best friend right now. Before moisturising, try a vitamin C serum; it helps your skin produce collagen and naturally brightens your complexion.
- A calming, soothing mask with anti-inflammatory properties will go down a treat. Try popping a green tea or aloe vera sheet mask in the fridge before using it to make it extra chill.
3. The light at the end...
The sweet spot! After your period ends, your body ramps up the oestrogen production, which makes your skin look awesome.Here's how to make the most of it.
- Go for the no-make-up make-up look whenever you can. Try a tinted SPF if you want to go for a light coverage. (Speaking of, you gotta slap that on every other day of the year as well. Yes, even if it's cloudy!).
- Even if you're not breaking out, don't skip any acne-fighting products you'd normally use. Look out for ingredients like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and tea tree oil to treat breakouts, and niacinamide and zinc PCA to prevent them.
4. It's almost that time again...
After your oestrogen increases, your body gets ready for your egg to be fertilised and when that doesn't happen, your body experiences an increase in progesterone and testosterone and a surge in luteinizing hormone (LH), which unfortunately increases oil production. That's where all that PMS acne flourishes! Now we know what to blame, here's what to do about it.
- Stick to oil-free make-up and skincare products where possible. Keep an eye out of the label "non-comedogenic' - that means your products don't clog pores or cause acne.
- Grab a cleanser that contains salicylic acid to fight blemishes and remove excess oil.
- Studies have shown that the increase in testosterone during this time of the month makes us want to wear more make-up than we normally would. If you do go full glam, just make sure you're extra careful about removing all of it before you go to bed. Let those skin cells breathe, Moxette!
After that, the cycle beings again! Remember: no two periods are the same, and no two faces are either. So the most important tip of all is to know your skin, pay attention to its needs, and give it what it wants!