Skin Vs Cycle: How We Should Be Caring For Our Skin Whilst On Our Period
There’s no denying it, our skin – in most cases – is usually not particularly fond of our periods either. Whether it is acne and irritation or an overproduction of oils, a female’s period of menstruation can be the primary cause of a variety of skin concerns.
With a growing number of Australian women reporting that they have noticed their skin to be more sensitive during menstruation, it is extremely important that all women – The Fix team included –are educated and aware, of how to correctly care for their skin during their cycle.
Despite menstruation having long been known as somewhat of an acne accelerant, it’s not uncommon to find many women still confused as to how to effectively treat such concerns – hence we created, XBreakout.
Whilst we may not be able to control the degree to which our skin does react to our cycle, we certainly can control the treatment and care we provide it. Caring for our skin during our period is as important, as the care we show all aspects of our body throughout our cycle.
In order to learn more about how one should actively be caring for their skin whilst menstruating, The Fix spoke with Australian Naturopath and successful beauty brand founder, Bridget Carmady.
Also agreeing that our skin should be of the utmost priorities, Carmady joined forces with The Fix to share her practical tips on ways we can – and should be – tending to our skin during menstruation.
Why does a woman’s skin typically react or flare-up during her cycle? What causes this?
With a large proportion of women, presuming that their period-related skin concerns are a direct result of their period and period only, many are often shocked to find that it is actually our hormones – and the combination of them – produced during our cycle, that are the primary problem starters.
“During the menstrual cycle, our hormones are in constant states of change, peaking and then dropping, depending on the time of the cycle. The hormones that play a major role in the menstrual cycle, in particular oestrogen and progesterone, also have a direct effect on our skin. The most notable effect is on our skin’s sebum levels (sebum is the natural oil that our skin produces to keep our skin moist, particularly on the face and scalp)” Carmady informs me.
When estrogen and progesterone levels are low – typically in the first 2-3 days of a woman’s cycle – a woman's skin is prone to appear drier and duller than usual. This is again due to the combination of hormones that fluctuate in a woman’s body during menstruation. Hence, our hormones also have the power to impact our skin’s hydration levels and collagen production.
“Fluctuating hormones are a normal part of the menstrual cycle and so, understanding the effect that they have on the skin should guide how you care for your own,” says Carmady.
We must also acknowledge that the manner in which we nurture our internal health, will in-turn dictate the degree to which we experience certain menstruation-related skin concerns.
“Our skin is a very good indicator of the internal health of our bodies. This means that when we don’t look after ourselves - eat poorly, don’t get enough sleep, have too much stress – it shows up in our skin. Therefore by making healthy choices for our body you are more likely to see your skin glow” Carmady states.
What are the most common skin issues women experience before, during and just after their cycle?
Considering that every woman’s menstruation symptoms will vary – depending on age, health concerns and diet – it is as a result of this, that so too will her skin concerns.
Whilst a large proportion of women are prone to experience and notice issues with their skin either before, during or after their cycle, many are now confirming that it is actually throughout all stages of their cycle they are having problems with their skin health.
Although this is certainly not the case for all women, several Fix customers have confirmed that they too have experienced skin irritations and issues within all three cycle stages – which is of course, far from ideal.
“At the start of the cycle (when you first get your period) your oestrogen and progesterone levels are at their lowest. This means that this is when your skin is most likely to feel dry, dull and lacking in lustre. As these hormones increase during your cycle, your skin tends to return to health with ‘normal’ sebum production and hydration levels. Then towards the end of your cycle these hormones are peaking, causing an increase in skin sebum production and making acne more likely to occur”
“At the start of your cycle when your skin is at its driest, try adding an extra layer of moisture to your skin e.g. serum or moisturiser. At the end of your cycle when skin is at its oiliest, try reducing your moisturiser application” Carmady suggests.
Although dry, dull and excessively oil skin are the typical period-related skin concerns, Acne remains one of the more prevalent issues women of all ages are experiencing.
Here at The Fix when we hear news like this, we are of course quick to recommend our XBreakout Capsules. Considering that these ingestible tablets were been designed to assist with hormonal breakouts, it’s only in our nature to suggest what may help fight off those pesky pimples.
Due to the tablet’s active ingredient list, clogged, congested and inflamed skin is bound to be brought back to life in little to no time.
What can women actively do to care for their skin during their cycle?
Here at The Fix we love a good old cleanse, moisturiser, and serum combo, but over time we have definitely come to learn that there is more to menstruation skincare than what meets the eye.
“Start by choosing products that work in harmony with your skin. By using too many skincare products, products that contain chemicals or products which strip your skin, this can lead to even more disruption in your skin. Instead, choose natural and organic skincare products that work to promote the health of your skin and keep the routine simple, Carmady suggests.
Similar to other experts in her field, Carmady also stresses the importance of a nutrient-dense, diet and supplementary vitamins when necessary.
“What we eat can have a direct effect on the health of our skin and so it’s important to choose foods that promote healthy skin. The Mediterranean diet is a great example of a range of foods for healthy skin. Rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, whole grains and oily fish, these foods have an anti-inflammatory effect on skin and promote a healthy, glowing complexion” Carmady explains.
It is crucial to remember that great skin also stems from the inside, so prioritising what you are ingesting into your body is equally important as to what products you are slathering on it.
“When you look at your favourite skincare products and the actives that make them especially effective, it’s helpful to also be taking these nutrients internally, either through diet or supplementation. Key to skin health are things like zinc, B vitamins, vitamin D and probiotics”.
“For example, zinc is one of the most important nutrients for growth and development (hence the importance for skin) and immune health. Deficiencies in Zinc can show up as things like impaired wound healing, poor appetite, impaired taste and even delayed growth. That’s why its super important to make sure you’re getting enough zinc each and every day”, says Carmady
And finally, it is of course the combination of exercise and stress management that will further aid in preventing these pesky period-related skin concerns.
“Exercise is fantastic for regulating hormones - which can in-turn benefit how such hormones affect your skin and cycle. Exercise also promotes an increase in circulation to the skin, which can therefore help to clear skin and transport key nutrients in the skin to where they are needed”.
“Stress can also have a huge effect on our hormone levels (and therefore your skin) and so it’s important to find ways to regulate stress and not let it overcome you. Meditation, relaxation exercises and general exercise are all great ways to keep your stress levels in check”, says Carmady.
Bridget Carmady is an Australian-trained Naturopath and successful beauty brand founder. To learn more about Bridget, her work as a naturopath or natural beauty brand visit, www.clemenceorganics.com