Did you know your skin changes according to your monthly cycle? As you breeze through the month, three main hormones are playing very critical roles inside your body preparing your uterus to hold a teeny tiny baby. Yes! As women that is what God created our incredible bodies to do! Now, not all women go on to have children or are able to have children, but our chemical makeup has set the stage for this from the beginning.

You have three main hormones at work each month, estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Each one has a very specific role and should be properly balancing each other out though the month. When one is even the slightest bit off it can throw the whole cycle off. Keeping our bodies healthy with nourishing food, exercise, proper rest and free from toxins can help these hormones stay in balance.

So how does our skin play into this?

You may have heard that the best time for a facial is during your ovulation phase or that the worst time to get your eyebrows done is during your period. Well you heard right. You may also notice your own skin changes over the month. Lets find out why…

Estrogen is the first hormone to show its face in the first half of your monthly cycle. This hormone stimulates the production of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid, thereby impacting your skin’s ability to stay firm and hydrated. When estrogen is at its peak, your skin looks nourished, dewy and glowing! (I’ve personally noticed this which lead me into this research on how our cycles affect our skin.) During this phase let your skin shine! I feel I need minimal makeup during this phase but allow myself to exfoliate or add serums as my skin is at its least sensitive and less prone to breakouts. 

In the second half of your cycle, progesterone rises. Progesterone stimulates the production of sebum, (a thick oily substance, secreted by the sebaceous glands of the skin, that consists of cellular debris) and, as it rises, causes your skin to swell and constrict your pores. This can lead to a build-up of oil and hormonal breakouts. Stay extra hydrated and let your skin breathe during this phase (limit oils and makeup) to avoid intense hormonal flareups. This is a great time to use a mask (homemade charcoal or bentonite clay masks are my favorite!) to break down some of that excess oil. 

Testosterone remains constant throughout your cycle and takes the lead when estrogen and progesterone dip during menstruation. Like progesterone, testosterone activates the sebaceous glands, triggering them to produce more oil. The result: Excess sebum and clogged pores, both of which contribute to acne during your period. Your pain receptors are extra heightened and your skin is extra sensitive when you have your period- so be extra gentle to your skin during that phase. Try using a warm gentle cloth to wash instead of harsh cleansers or exfoliators. A facial steam would be a nice way to eliminate toxins, adding in some lavender essential oil to sooth any irritation. Save masks, facials and treatments for your post period phase.

Use these tips during these three phases to make the keep your skin at its best!