For many people, the menstrual cycle comes and goes with minimal impact.
But, for those who experience cramps, fluid retention, lack of energy, headaches and irritability, that time of the month can be a time they dread. And while feeling awful on the inside, let's not forget the external impact of hormonal changes on the skin.
Before, during and after your period, it's common to experience skin dryness, irritation, excess oil, breakouts, acne and redness. These monthly changes can start as early as the teenage years and respond to hormonal fluctuations throughout adulthood, pregnancy and menopause.
For many, hormonal skin is a life-long condition. You can identify a hormonal breakout as spots most commonly occur around the jawline, neck and chest area. Pimples are usually sore and nodular, cyst-like and pustular.
While we've become conditioned to applying harsh topical treatments and heavy makeup to try and cover up hormonal breakouts, we encourage our community to embrace this time of the month and love the skin they're in.
But, if hormonal breakouts are getting you down, as with most skin concerns, a holistic approach to hormonal skincare can help lessen the symptoms and make 'that time of the month' more bearable.
We've teamed up with our friends at Biologi to share tips for supporting the body through your period.
Skin sequencing with active ingredients
Get to know your cycle and adjust your regime to include phyto-actives that target redness and inflammation to soothe and calm the skin as you need them.
While there's no such thing as a topical 'cure' for hormonal acne and breakouts, Biologi recommends to apply their Bd Luminosity Serum directly to hormonal breakouts as it's rich in tartaric acid, gallic acid and quercetin that work in synergy to reduce redness and inflammation and help calm inflamed skin.
The tartaric acid in Davidson plum also works as a fully active, natural enzyme that breaks down dead skin cells and regulates oil flow to reduce blockages in the cells and minimise the appearance of breakouts. The week before your period is due, introduce Bg Defence Anti-Pollution Serum containing salicylic acid that can penetrate the pores and effectively keep them clear of oil that leads to breakouts. Working in synergy with niacinamide and vitamin C, the active ingredients can also help reduce redness and irritation.
Get into a good sleeping pattern
Sleep is one of the best medicines for irritated skin as this is the time when the skin respires, repairs and rejuvenates.
Aim for six or more hours of unbroken sleep a night with light covers to avoid overheating. Our Boody sleepwear crafted in organically-grown bamboo is specifically designed to improve your sleep, including its ability to regulate your body temperature. Bamboo is thermoregulating- meaning you’ll feel cool in summer and warm in winter.
Don't squeeze spots
We completely understand the temptation for 'just a little pick', but it's not just a myth that you shouldn't squeeze pimples!
Not only can touching spots transfer bacteria to the healthy cells, but scarring can also occur making the problem longer-term than once a month.
Pay attention to nutrition
A healthy gut and a balanced endocrine system often go hand in hand. An imbalance in one may lead to an imbalance in the other.
If you experience symptoms as a result of a bacterial imbalance caused by food intolerance or vitamin or mineral deficiency such as zinc, this can affect the production of essential hormones that can impact the skin.
Consult with a dietician or naturopath to rule out any nutritional imbalances and advise on supplements to support the skin.
Avoid sugar and alcohol
While the body might be craving the sweet stuff at this time of the month, too much sugar or toxins can cause an inflammatory response that can leave the skin red, dull and irritated and directly lead to breakouts.
Focus on consuming whole foods packed with nutrients and your skin will usually thank you for it.
Support the skin barrier
A healthy skin barrier can help reduce the impact of hormonal changes. Avoid over-exfoliating and keep the skin barrier hydrated and strong by applying antioxidants.
Avoid hot showers and harsh products that can strip the skin's natural oils leaving the skin dry and tight.
Reduce stress and #DoLess
Too much stress increases cortisol release which can lead to breakouts. While there's often no way to avoid stress in our modern world, identify some stress management techniques such as meditation, yoga, deep breathing or just a relaxing bath.
Feeling confident at 'that time of the month' can also help reduce stress, so take a look at the products you use to support yourself during your period.
Here at Boody, we have proudly launched our Period and Leak-proof underwear campaign, #DoLess. For too long, we’ve seen an unrealistic portrait of people who menstruate and leak. Sometimes, especially when we’re in pain or feeling fragile, it’s okay to just be. Learn more about our campaign here.
Introduce regular LED to help minimise the breakout
Blue LED treatments can help kill the bacteria that gather in the pores leading to breakouts. The LED can also reduce the activity in the sebaceous glands reducing oil production that can become blocked in the pores leading to breakouts.
Hormonal skin is unavoidable for most people at some point in their life. As with all skin concerns, understanding specific triggers combined with applying active ingredients can help reduce the impact of hormonal acne and increase confidence during your period.