Sometimes no matter how diligent you are with your skin care routine, your monthly flow can still wreak havoc on your complexion (thanks, hormones!). So if you’re one of the many women who experience this, don’t worry. There are a few things you can do to help curb—or at the very least, minimize—these period-related breakouts. Keep reading for your clear-skin strategy!
Apps like Flo Period & Ovulation Tracker allow you to keep track of your cycle and even write notes about the symptoms you experience before, during and after your period—including breakouts. When you take time to do this for three to four months, you can check if there’s a pattern and observe when your acne flare-ups usually occur. This way, you can take extra precautions (more about that below!) around that time of your cycle.
A normal menstrual cycle lasts about 28 days and many hormonal shifts can happen during this time. Around the middle of your cycle, there is a rise in your progesterone hormone and this triggers the secretion of extra sebum or oil. We won’t bore you with all the technicalities, but just know that the excess sebum production build-up can cause bacteria build-up and clogged pores. The solution? Make sure you continue to cleanse your skin well by removing makeup, washing your face, and making sure you use clean towels. If you get extra oily during this time in your cycle, you might want to use a deep cleansing wash or adding an oil-control toner to your routine—just for the next week or two—until your skin’s sebum production goes back to normal.
Sometimes, the key to banishing a zit right away is by treating it as soon as you see or feel it. Look products that have pimple-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide and apply it over your blemishes regularly to help them fade faster.
If these skin routine tweaks or over-the-counter solutions don’t work and your breakouts are starting to affect your self-esteem, don’t be afraid to schedule an appointment with your gynecologist, endocrinologist, or dermatologist. Based on your symptoms, they might need to prescribe oral medication or antibiotics to help balance your hormones and treat your period-related acne from within Also helpful: De-stressing! While you're at it, slather on a skin-clarifying mask or gel to help slough off dead skin and other acne-causing debris on your skin.
Chocolates. Peanuts. Dairy. Potato Chips. Fast food. These are pretty much everything you want to eat during your period, right? Unfortunately, indulging your unhealthy cravings can also trigger breakouts. Reasearch has shown that refined foods, dairy products, and sugary foods and beverages may be associated with acne development and worsen its symptoms. The best way to keep your skin healthy is by choosing whole, nutritious food that are rich in antioxidants like vegetables, berries, and opting to drink water instead of soda. Sounds tough, we know. But trust us—when you wake-up to breakout-free skin, it’ll be worth it.
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