Your Skin & Cycle: Hormone Fluctuations & Period Acne

July 09, 2020
Your Skin & Cycle: Hormone Fluctuations & Period Acne

Your skin is constantly changing in reaction to the climate, aging, and passing through the various phases of your menstrual cycle. During your period, the skin may experience an increase in oiliness, acne, or dryness due to fluctuations in hormone levels.

Fluctuations in hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone cause changes in the appearance and feel of your skin. Estrogen is responsible for the production of Elastin, Collagen, and Hyaluronic Acid which contributes to your skin’s moisture retention. The hormone progesterone stimulates the production of sebum which may cause you to experience oiliness and make you more prone to hormonal acne. A rise in testosterone levels results in sebaceous glands secreting excess sebum which can contribute to breakouts during your period.

How to Control Hormonal Breakouts During Your Menstrual Cycle

Due to these hormonal fluctuations, it is common for acne to flare up right before your menstrual cycle begins. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is also associated with increased levels of stress, which could worsen acne. Breakouts during your period may be especially pronounced along your chin and jawline, which is indicative of hormonal acne. To reduce long term scarring or infection, it is essential to avoid trying to pop your pimples.

To control hormonal acne, use cleansers with Benzoyl Peroxide and chemical exfoliants that contain Glycolic and Lactic Acid. These ingredients help remove dead skin cells and prevent pores from clogging. 

Recent research shows that limiting the intake of foods with a high glycemic index, such as highly processed foods, white bread, and sugary foods and beverages, can also help prevent acne flares and breakouts.

Dry Skin During Your Cycle

Your estrogen and progesterone levels are lowest when your period first begins which can result in skin dryness. These hormones can also remain low for the week after your menstrual cycle. Incorporating moisture-boosting ingredients such as Hyaluronic Acid, Ceramides, and Glycerin into your skincare routine will help keep the skin moisturized.

Managing Your Menstrual Acne

It can be tough to manage and treat the skin when sebum production fluctuates throughout your cycle. Sticking to a skincare regimen with oil-free products is important to control skin oiliness. Incorporating the antioxidant-rich ingredient Niacinamide into your skincare routine can help decrease inflammation and this subsequently will decrease sebum production. Niacinamide will also limit dryness, and improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. If you are facing excessively oily skin, consult a board-certified dermatologist or the Ask Dr. Z page about the best ways to treat your skin.

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