Nicole Jardim is a certified women’s health coach, writer, speaker, and creator of the Fix Your Period Program. In this post, Dr. Zenovia and Nicole discuss how fixing your period can diminish hormonal breakouts and improve overall skin health.
The menstrual cycle is guided by our hormone profile. The reason you start bleeding on a certain day or breakout right before your period is directly related to your hormones. Improving menstrual health is therefore interconnected with fixing your skin’s health.
How to Fix Your Period
The first step to fix your period is to ensure that you are ovulating. “Ovulation is a critical component of female health,” Nicole says. “If you aren’t ovulating consistently, you need to figure out why that is and address it.” Our hormonal ebbs and flows are determined by ovulation. By ovulating consistently, your body produces estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone. These hormones have wide effects on our system, impacting cognitive health and overall mood while supporting bone, heart, and skin health.
Experiencing acne breakouts right before the start of your period is due to a decrease in the anti-inflammatory hormone, progesterone. Its anti-inflammatory effects diminish, and you begin seeing pimples, especially if you are very inflamed (which many of us are). Underlying inflammation is related to our gut and liver health which may not be functioning optimally due to a lack of nutrients in our body that support the phases of detoxification. We are also exposed to many environmental chemicals. Overall, high inflammation coupled with diminished progesterone is the cause of hormonal acne breakouts before our period. As our cycle is coming to an end, we get a surge of testosterone which can also trigger hormonal breakouts.
Nicole is a proponent of the fertility method of birth control which tracks basal body temperature and cervical fluid patterns which change quite dramatically according to your estrogen and progesterone levels. “This system isn’t for everyone, but really allows you to develop an understanding of how your body works,” Nicole shares. If you are experiencing acne breakouts, Nicole recommends tracking your cycle and paying attention to where in your cycle you’re getting pimples.
Balancing Blood Sugar Levels
In addition to ensuring you are ovulating, balancing blood sugar levels is imperative for fixing your period and preventing hormonal acne breakouts. “We were never taught that hormones affect our skin or other parts of the body,” Nicole shares. “But if you are eating too much sugar or a diet high in refined carbohydrates, your blood sugar and insulin levels will go up. Insulin is a powerful hormone with a trickle-down effect on a woman’s body. We have insulin receptors in our ovaries. When you have too much insulin from sugar, your ovaries begin producing more testosterone. This increase in testosterone can cause acne and other skin issues”.
There is a direct connection between our diet and our menstrual cycle. By lowering blood sugar levels, less testosterone will be produced by the ovaries. This produces less androgen effects all over your body, including the skin. Additionally, lowering our blood sugar levels lowers inflammation. If you tend to break out right before the start of your period, Dr. Zenovia advises not eating refined sugars for that week. An elimination diet can help determine if your eating habits are affecting your skin.
Improving Gut Health
Gut health is a critical component for period and overall health. Estrobolome is a collection of bacteria in your microbiome responsible for how estrogen is processed in your body. If you have a dysfunctional microbiome and dysfunctional estrobolome, you may be circulating too much or too little estrogen. Often, we are circulating too much estrogen and end up in a situation where we are perpetually estrogen dominant because the bacteria in our gut isn’t healthy. Simple ways to improve your gut health include lowering your stress levels, getting enough sleep, eating slower, staying hydrated, and eating fiber-rich foods.
So much of what happens to the skin is due to the estrogen effect. Dr. Zenovia Skincare addresses the hormonal changes that happen at the skin’s surface. “Getting to the root of the problem is most important but I'm here to help you balance hormones at the skin level,” says Dr. Zenovia. “My topicals are formulated with a plant-derived phytoestrogen known as Geinstein that does not have a local effect on the tissue. You still need to balance your blood sugar and fix your period with the pillars Nicole touched on, but my skincare line targets the hormonal milieu that’s changing at the skin level due to estrogen dropping and testosterone spiking.”