Is it me?
Feeling dotty and spotty? Days before your menstrual cycle begins, your skin may start to appear blotchy in the form of blemishes, clogged pores or congestion. Typically, it will localise to the lower part of the face, around the mouth, jawline, chin and neck.
If this sounds familiar, you could be experiencing hormonal breakouts.
The Link Between Our Hormones And Our Skin
Congestion in our skin can be tied directly to our hormonal fluctuations. When the female body is preparing for menstruation, your oestrogen levels lower and your androgen levels increase. The main androgen hormone is testosterone. Yep! Both sexes have this hormone naturally occurring in their bodies. As women, we are more naturally sensitive to the androgens and testosterones, as our bodies can’t use them for their typical functions.
One of the main roles of the skin is to detoxify and release what our body doesn’t need or can’t use. Our skin has androgen receptor cells, so this hormone can be detoxed and removed from the body. It does this by taking the form of a pustule or cyst, causing what we call a ‘hormonal breakout’.
Testosterone in the bloodstream causes higher sebaceous activity and oil production. This causes the skin’s surface to texturise into blackheads, whiteheads, blemishes, breakouts, cysts, congestion and in extreme cases, acne.
Here Are A Few Easy Ways To Help ‘Reduce’ The Signs Of Hormonal Breakouts.
Topical Support (give your skin some love):
- Wash your makeup brushes regularly, bacteria can easily become trapped within the bristles, causing further inflammation. If you are using a makeup brush over an open pustule, make sure to wash it immediately after as it will be at a much higher risk of spreading bacteria.
- Using an oil base, gel base or micellar water cleanser can be a great alternative to rich, creamy or milky cleansers coming into that time of the month. It’s best to speak to your beauty therapist to make sure this change is okay for your skin type, skin conditions or any impaired areas on the skin. If you are unsure, Salt and Petals would be more than happy to advise.
- Make sure to double cleanse. This thoroughly removes any makeup and oil on the skin. This must be performed morning and night to properly clean the skin.
- Implementing active ingredients into your skincare routine can be effective for reducing the appearance of breakouts. This step needs to be approved by your beauty therapist however, as some actives (if used on the incorrect skin type or skin condition) can cause severe dehydration and disrupt your acid mantle. Retinol, Vitamin A, Glycolic Acid, Salicylic Acid and Lactic acid can all be used to ‘actively’ treat your breakouts.
- Swap your rich and creamy moisturisers to lighter-weight, hydrating moisturisers in the lead up to your cycle. Once again, you should speak to your beauty therapist to make sure this change is okay for your individual skin.
- Avoid picking, touching and squeezing as this can cause more inflammation, making the skin sore and irritated. It can also spread the bacteria and cause more blemishes to appear.
- Have regular facials to balance oil production and clear the skin’s pathways. This is an effective and professional way to control and reduce the effects of hormonal breakouts on the skin.
Internal Support (give your gut some love):
- Add a Zinc supplement to your vitamin routine. This will help boost your body’s immunity. Zinc is loaded with anti-inflammatory properties and helps with the detoxification of the body.
- Eat foods containing essential fatty acids such as Omega 3. This will help decrease the skin’s inflammation.
- Studies have shown significant health and skin benefits from cutting down on the consumption of meat, sugar, refined carbs and dairy products.
If you are unsure of your skin type or skin conditions, or are wanting further advice on skin care, I am always here to help and guide you on your way to beautiful skin. Please email me at email@example.com anytime, no questions are ever too silly!