How the menstrual cycle affects the skin (and how to care for it correctly)?

Every month the situation repeats itself, without being able to do anything to avoid it. Surely it sounds like you: you have an important appointment, be it work, with friends, with the love of your life or an invitation to a wedding. After you have it all planned out and go look in the mirror, you see it for the first time: a hideous pimple in the middle of your face that looks downright terrifying. Come on, who could star in a horror movie. It is also as if he were carrying a sign that told you: “Your period is going to lower you!”, like this in capital letters and with exclamations. And the truth is that it is not entirely misguided. This is the first proof of how menstruation can affect the skin.

And it is that, although we try to take care of ourselves with masks, creams and an adequate diet (which by the way does a lot), there are natural aspects of our body that we cannot avoid. This is one of them. You can look well cared for, bright, smooth and clean skin that can be disturbed at some point. How does the menstrual cycle affect the skin? In this article we tell you about hormonal changes and their effect on the dermis, as well as some ideas to know how to care for it correctly.

Phases through which the skin passes during the menstrual cycle

  1. Some of the changes that menstruation produces in our body, like the one we just mentioned, are very characteristic. However, you must bear in mind that our skin is not only affected by the period during the days that it lasts. It undergoes changes practically during the 28 days of the cycle, but we do not notice it that much.
  2. Sex hormones play a fundamental role in all of this. Estrogen serves to protect the skin and to keep it hydrated. For its part, progesterone allows the activity of the sebaceous glands. During the cycles there is a rise or fall in these sex hormones, and it is precisely these changes that produce certain consequences in the body. The first of them can be seen reflected in behavior or humor, and the second in the skin. What two phases or processes can we observe?

Phase 1

  • It occurs during ovulation and menstruation. It is the moment that we mentioned at the beginning of the article, when the skin begins to get much oilier. The sex hormone progesterone blocks androgen receptors in the sebaceous glands, which are responsible for producing both sebum and oil. By plummeting in this phase, they do not find any protective barrier and it is very likely that the appearance of pimples and blackheads that you do not like so much occurs.
  • During this same phrase we must take care of our skin in a very different way than we normally do. It is much more fat, so we must avoid all those products that can produce even more fat. On the other hand, and although it sounds cliché, not touching your pimples is essential for the care of the dermis. It is best to apply some type of product that favors its natural disappearance. It is also important to remove make-up and do it with a good cleanser, in addition to applying a toner to remove excess sebum.

Phase 2

  1. It occurs during the pre-ovulation phase. To situate yourself in the menstrual calendar you must establish yourself on day 1 of your cycle, that is, the first day of your period. You will then progress through the next few days and end your period. On these days (around 6 or 7), there is a rise in estrogen. What does this mean? In general, this hormone produces an improved appearance of the skin, making it look brighter, smoother and more beautiful.
  2. Should we take care of our faces at this stage? Yes. Our skin always needs some care and, even if it looks pretty, we must help maintain it. For this reason, although it does not require excessive care, it is important to keep it hydrated with a good cream and use sun protection when we go out (winter or summer).

How to take care of your skin (oily or dry) during Menstruation or ovulation

  • Regardless of whether you are going to get your period or not, there are certain steps that you must include in your day to day to take care of your skin. One of the most important things to avoid stains in the long term is sun protection, both in winter and summer. In addition, in general terms and regardless of the type of skin you have, it is recommended to drink water daily as it helps to cleanse the skin and eliminate toxins. Another thing that will help you the most is daily exercise: sweating will not only calm possible menstrual discomfort but will also leave your pores much cleaner.
  • In any case, what recommendations should you take into account according to your skin type? If you have oily skin or if you have dry skin, you should know a series of tips to take care of your dermis during your own menstrual cycle. Let’s see it!

Oily skin 

In the case of having oily skin or skin that tends to be oily, on the days of ovulation you should use a toner or micellar water that helps cleanse the skin and restore the pH. Of course, as long as they help to mattify the skin and that it does not shine more. Of course, it is not advisable to start using new products on those days because they may affect you more or your face may react by producing more fat.

Dry Skin 

If, on the other hand, you have dry skin, you will notice a lot that in the first days of the cycle it is even more dehydrated. Your concern should be to apply creams that contain acids and vitamins A and C, as well as treatments that nourish your skin. Likewise, this is not the time to try new products (as was the case with oily skin) since, in this case, these types of products that we do not know about can dry out your skin more or cause a reaction to having it more sensitive.

If you still don’t know what skin type yours is, stop for a moment and look at it: is it shiny? Does it pull fat? Do you have a lot of pimples? Is it dry and tight? You will be able to know what your skin type is just by looking at it carefully.

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