A woman’s body goes through a natural 28 day cycle (on average), including four different phases. These phases include menstruation, the follicular phase, ovulation, and the luteal phase. As your period is approaching, your hormone levels change, with estrogen and progesterone levels dropping. This causes your sebaceous glands to secrete more sebum, which is the natural oily substance that can cause breakouts. During your period, your body is also dealing with inflammation, which can lead to acne too. But don’t lose hope, there are things you can do to help prevent these breakouts!
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Live According to Your Body’s Cycle
In order to help combat all of these unfortunate symptoms that come from your period, you need to work with your body, not against it. It’s so important to learn about your body and what it goes through during its natural cycle. Being informed about these things can teach you what to expect during your cycle and what things to do and to avoid for each phase. A great resource where you can do this all in one place is 28 by Evie. This free fitness and nutrition program will help you learn about what phase you’re in and give you information on diet, your hormones, exercise, and self-care for each phase.
Foods To Eat During Your Period
Here is a list of foods that help keep your hormonal acne under control or prevent it altogether. A healthy, balanced diet is a big part of avoiding acne. Feeding your body with the right nutrients for each phase can help you manage your period symptoms when your menstruation phase rolls around.
Healthy Fats. Some examples are olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds, and coconut oil.
Vegetables. Specifically green veggies such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale, collards, etc. These foods help your body process and remove excess estrogen.
Omega-3s. Grass-fed animal meat, fish, walnuts, and flaxseeds are all examples of foods high in Omega-3.
Foods High in B Vitamins. Look for foods like dark leafy greens, seafood, legumes, poultry, and yams for a high source of vitamin B.
What To Drink
Staying hydrated is an important aspect of everyday life, but especially on your period. Along with food, there are different types of drinks that are beneficial for clearing acne. Here are some suggestions according to Skinkraft Laboratories. Each drink holds several health benefits and aids in balancing your skin.
Water: Stay hydrated to help your body keep your lymphatic system moving.
Spearmint tea: It has both anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It can also reduce testosterone levels, which makes it a holistic treatment for those with PCOS. Excess testosterone can cause excess sebum, which leads to acne.
Kefir: Regular consumption of kefir can reduce your acne. It’s also a probiotic, which puts healthy bacteria into your body and limits bad bacteria. Kefir can also reduce menstrual cramps and help regulate your hormones.
Turmeric latte: It’s anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial. Add pepper for maximum absorption of curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric.
Matcha tea: Matcha tea is filled with “anti’s” – it’s anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-aging, and has antioxidants.
Vitamins and Minerals
Not only are your hormones in flux during your period, but you’re also losing nutrients. Support your body by eating foods or taking supplements that replenish these lost nutrients.
Vitamin A. This vitamin decreases inflammation, helps fight free radicals that cause skin damage, and promotes new cell growth.
Vitamin D. This will help your immune system, help regulate your hormones and mood, and is used to treat many skin conditions.
Zinc. A supplement that can help decrease the production of oil in your skin and help your skin heal more quickly.
Vitamin E. This vitamin is an antioxidant and helps produce collagen.
Magnesium. Magnesium is beneficial because it helps balance your hormones which promotes a clearer face during your period (it also helps reduce menstrual cramping, so it’s a win-win!).
Your skincare routine during your period will all depend on how your skin reacts. For some people, their skin is extra dry during their period, but for others, it's super oily or extremely sensitive. Treat your skin accordingly. For those with dryness, you’ll need products for hydration. Use extra moisturizer during your period, and you can even use hydrating face masks at night.
If your skin is very oily, don’t use anything too heavy. Focus on cleansing rather than hydrating. And if your skin is simply just sensitive, find products that are extra gentle on your skin during this time. Try to create a skincare routine based on your usual skin issues during your period. You probably know your body better than you realize, so find some products that you can use each day, and on your period, you can adjust to a new routine for that week.
Here are some products you can try depending on your skin condition during your menstrual cycle.
It’s interesting how much our lifestyles have to do with acne. It might feel overwhelming trying to control your skin during your period, especially when you’re dealing with bleeding, emotions, cramps, and other symptoms. But living according to your cycle, eating a balanced diet, and adjusting your skincare routine all go together in managing your hormonal acne. Listen to your body, and treat it kindly.
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