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Skin & The Monthly Cycle: How To Predict Skin Changes

Skin & The Monthly Cycle: How To Predict Skin Changes

Guest Blogger: Katie Pierce

Skin & The Monthly Cycle: How To Predict Skin Changes

Sometimes, it takes more than having your trusty period underwear, period supplies, and self-care kit to feel even slightly more confident while menstruating.

The thing about periods is that they will always feel uncomfortable in every part of your body. It’s not just the cramps—it’s also the headaches, the mood swings, the fatigue, the greasy hair, and, to top it all off, the very spotty skin. When you understand your PMS symptoms and menstrual cycle, you may be able to predict what's to come, but the skin is a different story.

It’s hard to understand your skin most of the time. One minute you’re glowing, and the next, you’re battling the worst hormonal acne outbreak. So, if you’d like to know which days will bring out the best or worst in your skin, we’ve got you covered! 

Below, we’re diving deep into the hormonal changes you experience during your period and ways to treat your skin accordingly.

The Hormones Affecting Your Skin 

Throughout your monthly cycle, three hormones strongly impact your skin: testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone. These hormones fluctuate throughout your cycle, and their shifting ratio affects how your skin feels and looks.

Testosterone

Throughout your cycle, testosterone is the hormone that remains constant and often takes the lead when your estrogen and progesterone fall. Your testosterone activates your sebaceous glands, generating more oil as a result. Unfortunately, this means excess sebum and clogged pores, both of which worsen your period acne.

Estrogen 

The primary hormone throughout the first part of your monthly cycle is estrogen. This hormone affects the structural integrity and moisture retention of your skin by stimulating the creation of collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid. When estrogen levels are at their highest, your skin appears and feels moisturized, plump, and wrinkle-free.

Progesterone 

Progesterone typically rises in the second half of your cycle. Just like your testosterone, progesterone stimulates sebum production. This results in skin swelling and compressed pores. All of this will almost certainly result in an accumulation of oil and hormonal breakouts.

Skincare For Every Phase Of Your Cycle 

Your skin might feel like it has a mind of its own when you're on your monthly cycle. It’s a good thing you can pretty much understand its mysterious patterns once you get a deeper understanding of your hormone levels!

Here’s what to expect from your skin throughout a 28-day cycle.

Period Phase (Days 1 to 6) 

Every hormone in your body is at its lowest level on the first day of your period. When estrogen levels are low, your skin may produce less sebum and struggle to retain moisture. Your skin will most likely feel dry, dull, and lifeless as a result.

Furthermore, your body also creates more prostaglandins throughout the first week. Prostaglandins have hormone-like effects that control inflammation. When out of balance, these compounds increase pain sensitivity. Your skin may feel more sensitive and reactive as a result.

Pro Skincare Tip

Use a gentle hyaluronic acid facial serum to keep your skin plump and moisturized. Since your skin will be extremely sensitive, stick with organic skincare products and avoid painful procedures like waxing. 

Follicular Phase (Days 7 to 11) 

During this phase, your body restarts its production of estrogen. This process promotes the production of collagen, hyaluronic acid, and elastin, encouraging the development of stronger and more elastic skin cells. As a result, you might feel that your skin is more supple, youthful, and fresh during this phase. 

Pro Skincare Tip 

Make sure to focus on exfoliation during this phase. New skin cells are forming, so it’s a great time to speed up the turnover process.

To reveal the healthy skin underneath the surface of your skin and remove dead cells, try using a mild exfoliator. You can also use a vitamin C serum or a hydrating organic face oil to boost your glow. 

Ovulation Phase (Days 12 to 16) 

Ovulation is when estrogen levels are at their highest, so this phase is when your skin will truly glow! Moisture levels are high, your pores appear smaller, and there’s also an increase in collagen and elastin. 

However, you might notice that your skin gets a little oilier, and a few pimples may pop up.

Pro Skincare Tip 

Even if your skin is at its best, don’t forget to take care of it! Boost your body's natural increase in collagen production by using anti-aging products. Use products with natural retinol alternatives and botanical peptides to maintain that youthful look. 

Furthermore, you should also stick to a good cleansing routine. Opt for oil-free formulas to reduce excess sebum. 

Luteal Phase (Days 17 to 24) 

Your estrogen levels drop after ovulation, but your progesterone levels will begin to climb. Your skin swells, and your pores constrict due to this spike. It will also drive sebum production.

While this makes your pores appear very small, it also traps oil and results in buildup, which can trigger breakouts.

Pro Skincare Tip

Include a clay mask in your skin care regimen to absorb extra oil and extract pollutants from your pores' interior. Once you start breaking out, remember not to pop your pimples

PMS Phase (Days 25 to 28) 

You may experience hormonal acne breakouts and full-blown PMS symptoms during this phase. This is because progesterone and estrogen levels fall below testosterone, causing puffiness, bloating, and an oversupply of oil. 

Your skin might appear extra shiny, and as your pores open up, they might appear bigger. In addition, the oil in your pores might combine with acne-causing bacteria, causing hormonal outbreaks on your chin and jawline.

Pro Skincare Tip 

Use skincare products with salicylic acid! This beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) removes blockages, kills bacteria, and prevents future outbreaks from ever happening. 

Take Care of Yourself and Your Skin 

Your overall mood, level of energy, and the health of your hair and skin are all affected by your menstrual cycle. But despite all the hormonal fluctuations your body will undergo, you can still maintain healthy, glowing skin by understanding the phases of your cycle and adjusting your skincare routines accordingly. 


If you’re looking for organic skincare products, you’ve come to the right place! Check out 3 Organics’ collection of beauty products today!

Thank you, Katie Pierce, from Kristine Sperling and the Makes 3 Organics Wellness Team!

Katie Pierce is a teacher-slash-writer who loves telling stories to an audience, whether it’s bored adults in front of a computer screen or a bunch of hyperactive 4-year-olds. Writing keeps her sane (most of the time) and allows her to enjoy some quiet time in the evening before she walks into a room of screaming kids (all of whom she loves dearly) the next morning.

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